Monday, May 15, 2006
Capitol Reef May 10
After we hitched up we drove to Ruby’s Inn which is at the entrance to Bryce. Got breakfast, internet and propane then took off for Capitol Reef via Panquitch. Bob wanted to get the fuel filter as insurance. The truck has started to run OK but we didn’t want to get out in the middle of nowhere without the part. By the time we got to Capitol Reef at 3pm there wasn’t a site inside the park that was suitable for us. Most of the good sites were taken up by a little bitty tent. So we went down the road east of the entrance about 10 miles where we found the FREE spot listed in our boon docking list. What a great site. Off the road and hidden by a big rocky hill, right along the Fremont river. There is a small rapid there and we can hear the river. After disconnecting, we set up the lounge chairs and got out the afternoon cocktails for our happy hour. While I was fixing our dinner 3 German visitors came by. They were curious about our “home” on wheels so we invited them in to look around. Nice people we meet out here on the road.
Thursday we got a late start. Hard to leave such a perfect spot. We ended up driving a loop for over 8 hours. We took off down the road about a mile away on the eastern edge of Capitol Reef. It was dirt of course and after 30 miles we cut west thru a series of switchbacks that took us up over 1000 feet. At the top we found a picnic table and had our lunch overlooking that beautiful scene. We then continued west toward Rt 12 at Boulder Town. Just before we got there we passed thru miles of red sandstone “Long Canyon” with steep walls on both sides. At Boulder Town we toured the Anazasi State Park & Museum before continuing toward home. Once again a side dirt road beaconed and away we went. Could hardly call it a road. Several times Bob had to use 4 wheel drive. There were a lot of spots where it was just huge rocks for a road. After 7 miles we came to an impasse where we felt it unsafe to go further as it was very steep, sandy and with a small stream to cross. So back we went over the bad road again. At the end of it we took out the flask of Amaretto and calmed our nerves and congratulated ourselves for getting back out.. It was getting late so we stopped for supper before getting back home just as it was getting dark.
Friday morning we set off on a 5 mile hike up Grand Wash. It was easy and beautiful as the canyon walls narrowed. So many different colors. Mother Nature and her paint brush and sculpturing techniques. Man can not duplicate. After the hike we went to the Visitor’s Center and watched a 10 minute slide presentation re the past inhabitants of the area from the ancient Indians to the Mormon’s. We then proceed to take the 11 mile scenic road. Part way down we went to the other side of Grand Wash, stopping to see an arch at a view point. When we got out Bob had locked the keys inside the truck. We flagged down a car and asked them to go to the visitor’s center and get a park ranger to come. In about 20 minutes he arrived and in another 20 minutes we were back in the truck and on our way to see the rest of the park. In the evening back at the trailer we had neighbors for the first time. A young couple from Atlanta who were renting a small class C motor home. We invited them over for our campfire and had a lovely evening. Before we knew it, it was 11:30. When we went inside we had a mouse. Set the trap and Bob caught two of them. The first escaped and was back inside the trap in 15 minutes. The second time in he took him to the river and drowned him. 20 minutes after we got in bed we heard another one in the trap so Bob made a second trip to the river. Haven’t seen one since but we got the old fashioned traps now. It is scary out here with Hanta Virus and Bubonic plague.