Friday, May 20, 2011

Capital Reef National Park, Utah

Dick's dad used to use the saying "going on a bus-mans holiday", meaning that when the bus driver would take a holiday he would go for a bus ride.  Being camphosts at a National Park, that's what we did on our last days off.  We visited a National Park and a National Monument.  Actually we visited 2 National Parks and one National Monument in one day but that's another story.

Our days off started on Sunday with a trip to Moab for church and then off for about 150 miles to a hotel near Capitol Reef National Park.  We arrived, unpacked and headed off into the park to check a little of it out.  As you can see, it was a clear day with a few clouds and lots of red rocks. 

As we approached the park we got a feeling of the magnitude of the hills.

Another view looking down at the river in the bottom of the canyon from a great vantage point.

A trip into the visitors center with more of the hills in the background.

Very interesting combination of texture and color throughout the park; what a site to see.

A view through the juniper trees to the hills in the distance, again notice the colors at the base.

Here we go again with the Jeep up a narrow back road into a wash and canyon.  Looks like the rock bugs have been at work on the side of this hill.

As we are about to leave a narrow spot in the slot canyon.

More rock bugs at work on the hillside.
On the way back to the hotel we caught some shots just before sunset.

On the second day when the weather wasn't as nice, we took another day trip around the park, south to the town of Boulder on Hwy 12 and then east through a small part of Grand Staricase-Escalante National Monument (another Blog posting), across the southern end of Capital Reef, took a left going north now back to the hotel.  This is called "Loop the Fold" and covered over 127 miles.  It was an incredibly beautiful drive and we would recommend it to anyone.  More of the color in the hills while going back into the park.

And a little closer, the red looks out of focus but it's not.

This is one of the pictures you have to click on to view the switchbacks we had to go down.  When you get to the bottom and look back it's so steep you can't see where the road goes down.
Another trick picture for you to figure out.  No one ever comments on these so we will tell you now what it is.  Take a look before scrolling down and see if you can figure it out.

For thousands of years the smooth surfaces of the side of some of the cliffs turned very dark; this has been called desert varnish.  The Native Americans used these surfaces to chip or paint what are called petroglyphs or pictographs.  But in this case a large section fell off the side and ended in the middle of a wash where through the years some of the desert varnish was washed away leaving this interesting pattern.  The size here is about 4' wide.  Fun to shoot and fun to share these unique pieces of nature.

To be continued..                                                                                                                   

1 comment:

picinichml said...

I thought I knew what that last picture was!! I would have guessed it was a close up of a fresh batch of brownies!!