THIS IS SATURDAY’S POST BEING PUBLISHED SUNDAY MORNING AT 10:45 MOUNTAIN TIME FROM HANKSVILLE UTAH…
Stepping out of the RV at 6 a.m. with Pheebs this morning I was overwhelmed by the nocturnal beauty created by an overhead half Moon casting leafy shadows all over the ground around me. Looking up I could see Moonbeams dancing on Cottonwood leaves as they made their way earthward through the trees. Not a sound in the night aside from the Fremont River a short distance away shuffling along through the Park.
SUNRISE IN THE FRUITA CAMPGROUND
The area we are in is known for it’s many orchards & apples are in season now. Our short morning walk by the river took us alongside one of the apple orchards & we watched nearby Mule Deer breakfasting on the apples. Kelly walked into the orchard amongst the deer & retrieved a few apples for herself. I am amazed at the number of deer I constantly see from my recliner walking through the Park & right alongside our coach.
NOTICE 4 OF MANY MULE DEER IN THE ORCHARD
THIS MULE DEER ALREADY HAD IT’S HALLOWEEN MASK ON FOR THE DAY
THE DEER ARE HERE AS SECURITY TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE DON’T PICK THE APPLES OFF THE TREES
PHEEBS & A MULE DEER EYE EACH OTHER UP WHILE KELLY GOES FOR A LEFT OVER APPLE IN THE TREE
THIS MULE DEER IS HEAD OF SECURITY & GIVES KELLY THE EVIL EYES
Watched as the morning Sun first tickled the top of a nearby mountain on the west side of the Park. Slowly the sunlight edged it’s way down the mountainside as we rolled out of our campsite heading first for a stop at the Visitor Center to pick up a trails book Chinle:)) Heading west on highway 24 we stopped at a couple scenic sites as we again marveled at the overall beauty surrounding us. Capitol Reef National Park has definitely put the ‘WOW’ factor back into our lives & I have once again overwhelmed myself with too many photos. People like myself just get themselves into a frenzy when surrounded with so much natural beauty. At least I do & as I have said so many times before ‘it is the magnificent scenery of the South-west that brings us back year after year. I have no urge whatsoever to spend the winter seasons anywhere else & today was just another fine example of why I love the west so much.
AND SUNRISE OVER THE FREMONT RIVER
Heading further west I became aware of something unusual on a straight stretch of the road far ahead. As we approached it soon became clear that we were about to part of something once so common in the old west & something most folks have only read about including me. Real cattle & real cowboys were headed right for us coming. We had just driven headlong into a large cattle drive & the cowboys were driving the cattle straight down the highway. What a great piece of luck & wonderful experience to be surrounded by a herd of moving cattle & real cowboys. We slowly made our way through all the bovines finally emerging on the other side of the herd to a clear road once again. Little did we know we would again encounter the cattle drive only this time from the rear.
LIVE WRITER ALBUM
Chinle from SPOTTED DOG RANCH had told us of a boondocking spot just east of Torrey about a mile so we wanted to check that out & did so & yes it was big rig friendly too. Now this may sound a bit odd especially coming from ME but would you believe we liked our campsite in the Fruita campground so much we preferred to stay there as opposed to boondocking. As I said before this campground is just the greatest place & here’s why we liked it so much. First & foremost was the lack of other RV’ers. We had nobody around us & Pheebe was fine outside without having to be tied up. Had the campground been filled up we probably would not have stayed. And it is just soooooo pretty here with all the Autumn leaves. Oh & for us it’s only $10 a night with Kelly’s ‘America The Beautiful’ card. No electric or water at the sites but there is a dump station in Campground B & the 3 campsites all have modern washrooms. By the way there are 71 sites here. Ok, getting back to Torrey………
ACROSS THE ROAD FROM THE VISITOR’S CENTER
A FEW PHOTOS ON OUR DRIVE TO TORREY THIS MORNING
Two winters ago strapped on my Google Earth plane & flew out to Torrey Utah & using Google’s ‘Streetview’ I landed on the highway in Torrey right in front of the General Store. How nice it was this morning to drive into this quaint little tree lined town’s main street (maybe it’s only street) & pull up right in front of that very same General Store it’s very self. I took a liking to this little place with it’s artsy feel & with those big old Cottonwood trees lining the road I just felt comfortable there.
HEADING INTO TORREY UTAH
A STOP AT THE GENERAL STORE
I LIKED THE FEEL OF THIS ARTSY LITTLE PLACE
We had spotted a ‘Subway’ at the eastern approach to Torrey & you know how Pheebs & like our Tuna Subs. Minutes later I was inside the Sub shop getting us guys a Tuna Sub. (broke that $50 bill for our Sub Jean) Torrey is Wifi friendly so I hauled out my laptop & minutes later was able to publish Friday’s post. It was exactly 11 o’clock Mountain Time when I did that with my laptop scrunched between me & the steering wheel. At last this stomach of mine was good for something other than blocking me from seeing my feet.
Heading back East out of Torrey we weren’t long coming on on the tail end of some traffic ahead & sure enough it was the same cattle drive still going down the road only this time we were on the tail end of it. We deaked off to another scenic viewpoint for 20 minutes then headed east again. Minutes later we caught up with the cattle drive with only one car ahead of us so we both ‘with the encouragement of the cowboys’ began threading our way through the herd. Cows to the left us, cows to the right of us, cows out front & cows out back. They took there time criss-crossing in front of us as we in turn took our time thoroughly enjoying being right in the dang middle of a real rootin tootin western cowboy cattle drive. Pheebs was having a blast in the back seat running back & forth with her head out the windows enjoying her surroundings just as much as we were. As we slowly cleared the herd I heard Kelly saying good-bye to the last few cows passing by her window. Five minutes later we were back to our campsite.
Figured we’d grab us a rest before heading out again for an afternoon scenic drive & that gave me a chance to edit all the photos I had just taken on our morning drive. As so often happens when we travel here in the South-west I totally overwhelmed myself again with photos. I just see so much beauty around me & my photographer’s eye just goes into overdrive every time. I have tried many times to cut down on the number of photos I take but I just can’t seem to help myself. And if I thought I had taken too many photos in the morning…..I hadn’t met the afternoon yet.
CHIMNEY ROCK ALONGSIDE HIGHWAY 24
I INCLUDED A COUPLE SIGHT SEERS IN THIS PHOTO FOR PERSPECTIVE
THIS PHOTO IS SO TYPICAL OF THE SCENERY HERE AT CAPITAL REEF
COMING DOWN THE HILL WITH THE VISITOR CENTER SLIGHTLY VISIBLE ON THE RIGHT
APPROACHING FROM THE WEST THIS IS THE TURN OFF FOR THE VISITOR’S CENTER & CAMPGROUNDS
IT IS JUST SO PRETTY HERE
It was around 1:30 when I finished my photo edits & minutes later we were back in the Jeep for a 16 mile round trip scenic drive which we began right from out campground. This narrow paved road runs along Capital Reef’s brilliantly colored towering cliffs. Two unpaved spur roads not included in the 16 miles are suitable for passenger vehicles & we did these roads as well. In fact we did one section twice when we across a couple hitch-hiking. We could they were hikers & probably needed some assistance. They did. They had earlier this morning driven their truck with bicycles aboard 4 miles from near the Visitor’s Center to the Grand Wash trailhead. There they locked their bikes up then drove the truck back to where they had started out from. Being hikers they then spent the next number of hours hiking a trail that led back to the Grand Wash trailhead. Plan was too then unlock their bikes & bicycle back to where they left their truck near the Visitor’s Center. Well guess what…..somebody forgot to bring the key to unlock their bicycles. When we saw them walking along the road they had started the long walk back. Luckily we didn’t have our previous Jeep Wrangler with no back seat & were able to fit them into the back seat of our Jeep Liberty with Pheebs. We drove them back to their truck then turned around & resumed our scenic drive. And what a scenic drive it was too.
‘WOW’ did we ever enjoy the superb scenery on that drive & it will be remembered as one of the best scenic drives we’ve been on. Just amazingly beautiful. The colors, the canyons, towering monoliths, rock formations of every description, the adjectives could just go on forever. Again this is why we love the west so much. For me it’s not about the people we meet or the food we eat. It’s the magnificent scenery & the feelings inside I get when I see or am surrounded by such sheer beauty. It’s about what I am seeing & how it makes me feel. It’s about Mother Natures silence with not a human sound to be heard anywhere except for one’s own breathing. And at the risk of being repetitive I’ll say again how great it is being back in the South-west.
Think it was after 4 by the time we made it back to the rig & I again had a lot of photos to go through. Way too many pics to fit in a post so I’ll have to work on putting a Picasa Web Album together maybe after we get to Congress.
IF YOU HAVE NEVER WALKED THROUGH A SLOT CANYON YOU REALLY NEED TO
I DID A SHORT WALK ALONG THE GRAND GORGE TRAIL
NO IDEA WHAT THAT PIPE IS DOING STICKING OUT OF THE ROCK FACE
Had us another nice campfire tonight under a crystal clear starry night. Hadn’t thought much about it being Halloween until 2 little ghostly figures appeared walking into our campsite. “Trick or Treat” we heard as Pheebs ran up & startled two young girls dressed up as Witches. Well we weren’t expecting any trick or treaters & quickly found ourselves in a dilemma. Didn’t want them to play a trick on us & I luckily remembered we had 1 Tootsie Roll in the rig. I had picked that Tootsie Roll up when we left Cracker Barrel way back in Benton Harbor Michigan one week ago. It had been sitting on the arm of a chair as we walked by & I snagged it. Good thing I did & the 2 little Witches wandered off with one Tootsie Roll between them to another RV a distance away.
HEADING BACK TO OUR CAMPGROUND WHICH IS THAT CLUSTER OF TREES AHEAD
THE FRUITA CAMPGROUND IS IN THOSE TREES ON THE LEFT
We’ve decided to roll out in the morning stopping at another attraction in the Park called Hickman Bridge. We’ll drive the rig & Jeep separately giving the Big EEE a break from towing the Jeep on the winding up & down road leading back to Hanksville. In Hanksville we’ll hook up the Jeep again then head on down another scenic stretch of road to a place called NATURAL BRIDGES. Have been wanting to see this place for a long time as well. We have already determined a boondocking site close by so plan to overnight there & head off towards Congress on Monday. Well that’s the plans tonight & who knows what the plans will be in the morning. We sure don’t……………………….
WE HAVE THOROUGHLY ENJOYED OUR QUIET NEIGHBORS
In summing up our short stay in Capitol Reef National Park let me say it is now one of my favorite places. There is much more to see & do here with it’s scenery second to none. My writings & photos do not even scratch the surface of Capital Reef. Don’t know what our future is but I’m hoping we can one day return & spend more time exploring the hiking trails & just basking in the whole areas ambience.
ROAD LEADS THROUGH A SHORT SLOT CANYON
GROANER’S CORNER:(( zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz