Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Photo Friday: Love from Capital Reef National Park

In honor of Valentine's Day, photos from one of my favorite parks! (Yeah, I’m a little late. Took a while to get both time and wi-fi to do this!)

Last October we met my husband’s brother and sister-in-law in Utah for a week of hiking and travel. We visited Arches National Park and then moved on to Capital Reef.  

The campground was full—fall is a popular time of year in Utah, as the summer heat is mellowed and  the cottonwood trees are turning color. We found an informal campsite outside the park, and enjoyed a quiet night, free from the campfire smoke that makes me no great fan of campgrounds. It got cold, though—down to about 20, I think.
Dining out in style. In the late afternoon it was warm in the sun, chilly in the shade.

In the morning we sent the guys off on a very long hike, which I couldn’t do because of my plantar fasciitis. Carol and I did our own explorations. These included a stop for pies at the little park bakery shop, and I noticed that they’d had the sprinklers running all night, icing the lawn and an overhanging tree.
Ice sculptures
We drove to the end of the dirt road, and followed the Capitol Gorge to some tanks, natural depressions that hold water most of the year. The lower ones were dry, but I thought the deep, shaded nook pictured below showed promise.

Sure enough, deep in there, I found water.
The leaves, water-striders, and tadpoles seemed to segregate themselves.
We also found the most amazing patterns in the sandstone. As a quilter, Carol loves patterns, and we spent a long time trying to get the perfect pictures of them.

More sandstone patterns
One of the most popular hikes in the park, due to high rewards for a modest hike, is Hickman Natural Bridge.

The mild micro-climate in the canyon along the Fremont river made it an appealing spot for a settlement in the early 1900s. The cottonwood in color behind the schoolhouse caught my eye. The schoolhouse could easily be the one where Big Al teaches in the Ninja Librarian books.

The schoolhouse
Inside, with the stove for winter warmth. The building is no longer open to wander in at will (it was when I last stopped, maybe 8 years ago), but you can see in the windows.
Desk with book and slate

If you look closely, the benches have desks attached to the back for the student behind. The front row is out of luck! The strip on the left of the photo is the reflection in the window :)
A few more photos, out of order because Blogger is wonky when using the iPad and I’m not going to risk rearranging them.
It wasn’t the trail. But there was a good view out there...
A big feature of Capitol Gorge is that it was a way through the reef (so-called because the tilted slabs reminded someone of a reef). Early travelers left their mark. Modern travelers who do so are jerks and deserve the fines they will get; sadly, the park has had to install cameras because people can be idiots.
A list of names high up on the canyon wall. Unsurprisingly, they are all male, and I’ll bet all young men :)
And, to leave you with an interesting image, more of the leaves in the isolated tank.

©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2020
As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated!

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