April 25, 2008

Capitol Reef NP & Highway 24

On our way to Canyonlands & Arches (Moab area) we passed through Capitol Reef. We really hadn't heard much about this place where one of the earth's most unique geological features exist, a "waterpocket fold". http://www.nps.gov/archive/care/geology1.htm

Besides that uniqueness, the Park is a stunning example of one of the most lush & picturesque canyons man could encounter. Some early Morman settlers recognized this and stayed there, giving it the name "Fruita" because their orchard grew so well. http://www.nps.gov/archive/care/fruita.htm

Unaware of the Park's popularity, and arriving late, the camp host informed us "sorry, we're full" but went on to suggest boondocking on the BLM lands just outside of the Park boundry. Wow, what a great suggestion! Arriving just prior to sunset, we found this beautiful spot and nestled in for the night...

After quickly setting up the trailer, I turned westward to notice natures towers close by.
Morning brought anticipation along with a nice surprise.....the Visitor's Center was unusual in that it looked like a Frank Lloyd Wright design. If you've been following our escapades, you've already noted that we are big FLW fans.

Alongside the Center we noticed an example of the many volcanic rocks strewn about the Park. Since there were no volcanos anywhere near, geologist theorize these were all carried by glaciers.

We took the long drive down the Canyon to the very end of the Grand Wash Road, which turned out to be a continuous study in contrasting geology. The beauty of this place is indescribable!

Out the corner of an eye, I spotted this unique "ET" rock, at least that's what it appeared to be to me, what do you think?

Kim found more interest in the old Gifford Farmhouse and the delightful blossums of it's fragrant pear trees.

We had there wonderful pie for lunch, yep, that's right a whole 7" pie each! You'll have to let your imagination fill that shot in....It was so...oooo goo...ood, I didn't think about a pix 'til they were gone!

After lunch we continued East on Hwy 24, a fabulous drive to Hanksville. First stop, the Pioneer Schoolhouse. Mormon pioneers established the appropriately named community of Fruita when it was discovered that this was a good locale for growing fruit. The tiny 1896 Fruita Schoolhouse served as a church, social hall, and community-meeting hall, in addition to functioning as a one-room schoolhouse. Mormon pioneers established the appropriately named community of Fruita in 1896. The Schoolhouse served as a church, social hall, and community-meeting hall, in addition to functioning as a one-room schoolhouse.
A little further down the road are some interesting petroglyphs from around 700AD....

and an old farmplace across the road where I found some interesting colors & textures, making me aware that Spring has finally made it to the mountains!

The rest of the drive to Hanksville is like roving through another planet. Again, I'm in the delima of keeping the blog size manageable, so here's a sampling.....yes, we'll save the whole slideshow for you!

Ruins of images of a life gone by lay hidden around long sweeping curves....

In Hanksville you simply have to stop at Pop's Rockshop. And, yes those are actual dinosaur bones!


Killer said...

Capitol Reef actually encompasses the Waterpocket Fold rather than the 'Waterfold Pocket' 8-)

Great pictures, glad you enjoyed the visit.

Bob Palin
Torrey, UT
The Torrey Tales

Kim & Sam said...

Thanks for the correction, Bob...I knew there was a reason I made a D in geology years ago!

Hey, your pix are terrific, and yes you are lucky indeed to be living in this land of wonder!

LiveWorkDream said...

Oh you guys, those photos take me way back. Jim proposed to me there, in Cohab Canyon. I love that place. Hard to believe that it was full though. I guess it wasn't when we were there because it was the dead of summer and in the triple digits! Fruita is a welcome respite.

Love the boondocking spot.

Cynde Lou said...

Amazing photos AGAIN, Sam! I love the little schoolhouse. It reminds me of "Little House on the Prairie." Those are really dinosaur bones? For real?