Cassidy Arch

Marker Capitol Reef 009We headed out on Monday morning all packed up for a big hike in Capitol Gorge.  Well, that didn’t work out.  As I mentioned yesterday, the road to Capitol Gorge was being repaved and was therefor completely closed.  I asked later at the Visitor Center when it would be open and I was told “when they are finished.”  Really?

We didn’t have a lot of other options, so we took the Grand Wash Road and opted to hike to Cassidy Arch and the Narrows.  We stopped to check out this old uranium mine with it’s Abandoned Mine Marker:

Mine Mouth Capitol Reef 011

Uranium Mine Capitol Reef 007

We were thinking that we were a bit “arched-out” but we were pleasantly surprised.  At Cassidy Arch you get to hike to the top of the arch and look down through it – pretty cool!

I’m giving my best smile here considering I was feeling a bit grumpy as we hiked to another arch (instead of Capitol Gorge – where sheep had been sighted!)

Grumpy Reen Capitol Reef 016

I went out on the arch first:

Reen on Arch Capitol Reef 020

Alan thought it would be funny to jump on the arch – I didn’t like this but it was the only picture I could get!

Alan jumps Capitol Reef 027

I don’t usually mind heights but I was feeling a little squirrely this day.  I did manage to spin around to take a full 360 degree panorama.  You can see it here on Photosynth:

We were hot and tired after the 1,000 feet climb to Cassidy Arch but we decided to walk out the canyon to see The Narrows.  It was nice in the shade, at least and The Narrows were interesting.

Al in Canyon Capitol Reef 045

All still in Canyon Capitol Reef 062

By the time you read this, we will be in Bryce Canyon National Park.  We are leaving Capitol Reef on Wednesday morning.  I will probably be able to post something since they allegedly have Wi-Fi in the camp store but it will probably just be more canyons and rocks!

Miles Hiked:  6
Total Miles Hiked:  126.5

Capitol Reef

Fruit Tree Capitol Reef 037We’ve had three days in Capital Reef National Park but our timing is a little bad – the scenic drive to Capitol Gorge is closed for paving!  There wasn’t a lot of warning so we missed our small window of opportunity over the weekend to take the drive and hike Capitol Gorge to Golden Throne and the Tanks.  I am a little disappointed.  I have a mind to write a letter about this!

Our first day, we drove around the Park, checked out the Visitor Center and historic Fruita, had pie at the Gifford Farm House, and fed the horses pears from one of the orchard trees.  They were very attentive whenever anybody noticed that there was fruit to be picked!

Horses Capitol Reef 031

We also stopped at The Goosenecks Overlook:

Gooseneck Capitol Reef 003

Fruita was a small community of mostly Mormon settlers in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.  They planted the fruit trees that are still here today.  There is also an extensive irrigation system that to some extent was originally constructed by the Fremont Indians.  The old schoolhouse is still in the Park:

School House Window Capitol Reef 045

I caught Alan in the reflection – it is a little eerie looking!

There are few artifacts from the Fremont Indians in the Park, except for the petroglyphs.  We enjoyed a very entertaining and informative program by Ranger Tiffany.  The carving of the tallest figure (on the left) is actually four feet tall, even though you can’t tell it from the picture:

Petroglyphs Capitol Reef 071

The only sheep we got to see were on the wall:

Sheep Capitol Reef 074

My favorite petroglyph is this guy waving at his neighbor (at least he isn’t scarred by bullet holes):

Waving Capitol Reef 072

Before heading back to camp on the North side of Torrey, we took a quick hike out to Hickman Bridge.

Hickman Bridge Capitol Reef 087

There are a lot of beautiful rock formations.  A lot of them are in the shape of domes which is what gave Capitol Reef it’s name.

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Another Dome Capitol Reef 101

More Domes Capitol Reef 103

The Castle Capitol Reef 017

Enough rocks for today …  On to the tally.  We have exceeded our initial hiking goal of 120 miles!  So, that means we need a new goal but we haven’t agreed on one yet.  Stay tuned.

Miles Hiked: 2
Total Miles Hiked:  120.5
National Parks/Monuments Visited:  9