Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Capital Reef National Park

Capital Reef is one of those undiscovered gems. Who knew this little known park would be so beautiful. The geological formations are incredible, the walls of the canyon come alive as the sun sets from bright reds, to clay to grey blue. A real education in the formation of the layers of rocks. This area is called the Waterpocket Fold because of the freeflowing Fremont River and the giant buckle in the Earth's crust that stretches approximately 100 miles.

We stayed at Fruita National Park. Our park had a huge apple orchard available to everyone. Eat what you pick, pay for anything you take out of the orchard. An honor system complete with bags, scale, and paybox. We've had applesauce and apple cobbler. Yum . The deer come in towards evening to do clean up. What a sight with about 15 deer wandering around the park.

Petroglyphs made by the prehistoric farmers of the Fremont Culture. There were so many areas quite well preserved. It was like being on a treasure hunt as many were unmarked and just left for us to discover..

I found this ET like rock formation along the roadside. As you can image the kids were climbing all over it.

Hickman Natural Bridge: 133 feet wide 125 feet above the ground is named for Joseph Hickman who labored to preserve Capitol Reef as a park. Well worth the mile hike past a granary used by the people to store beans and corn gown on the plains below.

Just past this bridge lie the orchards of Fruita, a 19th century Mormon pioneer settlement. Throghout the park we found orchards that had peaches, apricots, pears. Too late in the season for us to enjoy however, the local women do keep up the tradiiton of preserving the fruit and sell wonderful home made pies, breads, and muffins in a little vintage farmhouse.

The Castle is a very promintent landmark. This park was quite a wonderful gift to add to our experiences of this trip.

And to all of my farming friends. This tractor was built in the 1940's in Salt Lake and it was used with horses. We found this in an old blacksmith shop.

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