Daniel Tours America (c)DanielClarke.com Daniel Tours America - http://America.DanielClarke.com
My Blog My Photos My Diary My Movies My Map Message Board
Daniel Tours America
Capitol gorge, Capitol Reef NP, Utah
9th May 2008
Capitol Reef national park, scenic route 12

In my shed I had a job interview this morning.  It was going well, until the free wifi I was stealing dropped my skype call and would not return.  Still, in the bottom of a Canyon 300 miles from civilization, I can't complain.

Today was spent at Capitol Reef national park.  This is not one of the big players on the national park scene, but was pretty cool.  Had one teleported into the middle of the park, it is certainly beautiful; however for someone who's spent a week in the Four Corners national park district it doesn't really offer anything I've not already seen several times.  I did enjoy a stroll down a gorge, and managed to snap some pics that reminded me of the gorge in Morocco whose photo used to hang on my wall.  I say stroll, and not hike, because I took it easy.  My hikes usually involve walking very very fast, such that I am drenched with ten minutes in this weather.  After four days of strenuous hikes I strolled.

I was impressed with the 'tanks', a series of stepped oases that act as small resivoirs in the desert.  Also interesting was the 'Pioneer Register', really just a bunch of graffiti from 19th C explorers.  I found it amusing that many people even etched their names using a cursive hand, rather than the simpler block letters.  The title is quite typical of the way modern Americans see their ancestors through rose-tinted spectacles:  they were not grossly incompetent outcasts, trying in vain to live in a desert (great idea!), they were pioneers.

I was not sure why the park was called Capitol, and not Capital, until I saw Capitol Dome.  This is a large boob-shaped rock that looks just like the dome on most State Capitol (like county hall) buildings.

Lunch was home made bread and cream soda.  The bread was so tasty - it actually tasted of bread, and not just nothing - that I ate it dry. 

Before leaving the area I went to public land, managed by the BLM, to hunt for gems.  I hacked at various rocks and dug shallow grooves with my screwdriver, but I didn't really know what I was looking for, nor where to look.... so I quit after two sites. (The second site saw me wading into the Fremont river.)

Last night's long drive through stunning country ended at night, and so today I set off a little earlier so I could complete the journy in the light.  I used scenic route 12, described as "a destination unto itself".  I crossed the Dixie national forest and the Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument.  The dixie forest was amazing, just 23 miles out of the desert and I was 9600 feet up in pine forests, still with a foot of snow on the ground.  On the way through the grand staircase I crossed the Hog's Back, a narrow road out of Boulder.  It was quite scary at times, because the road ran along the top of a narrow fin, so narrow that it fell away at the very edge of the windy road.  You can see this in a picture.

Now I'm in a campsite in Tropic, Utah, just outside Bryce national park. 

Next: Bryce Canyon national park
Previous: Canyonlands - The Needles; drive to Capitol Reef

Diary Photos

Capitol gorge, Capitol Reef NP, Utah

Capitol gorge, Capitol Reef NP, Utah

Capitol gorge, Capitol Reef NP, Utah

Graffiti, Capitol Reef NP, Utah

Oasis, Capitol Reef NP, Utah

Main fold, Capitol Reef NP, Utah

Main fold, Capitol Reef NP, Utah

Lunch, Capitol Reef NP, Utah

Fremont river, Utah

Caterpillers in tree, Utah

Last night`s cabin/shed, Torrey, UT

Snow, Dixie national forest, UT

The Hog`s Back road, Utah

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, UT

Road through Utah

Diary Movies

Panorama of Needles inner scanctum

640 Words | This page has been read 32 timesView Printable Version