Monday, May 19, 2008

Capitol Reef

This past Saturday, I was invited to go down to Capitol Reef with my cousins, Chad and Ryan, and my Uncle, Brent. I'd only been to capitol reef once, when I was 17 or so, so it was fun to get down there again. For those of you who love the hiking of Zions and such, but don't want a four hour drive, you may be interested in this gem of a National Park. The drive was exactly three hours, and most of the drive is passing through beautiful little towns like Loa, Koosharem, Scipio, and Torrey. It's quite the charming little road trip!

Anyway, we got up at 5:00am on Saturday and were on the road by 6:00. It was early, and I was certainly dozing all the way there, but when we drove into the valley entrance, just west of Torrey, we were greeted with this view:
Look at those buffalo! It's straight out of a movie!

After a quick stop at the ranger station, we headed out for our first hike: Spring Canyon. It takes off from the Chimney Rock trailhead, and goes into a canyon where apparently a small spring seeps out from between two layers of sandstone to create an effect similar to weeping rock in Zions.

Weeping Rock. Zions National Park. Notice the lush moss and damp, dripping walls.

Ryan, Chad, and Brent. My cousins and uncle, respectively. Here we begin the first part of our hike.

We had just turned one of the first bends and I look over spot this baby - petrified wood! It was ALL over out there!

I LOVE the chunky, rugged texture of the rock down there.

We soon came upon a little crag in the rock, which practically begs you to get out of the harsh, mid-morning light and take a picture with some gorgeous, soft light. I like how it turned out.

Chad was nice enough to climb up on this rock for me so I could get this shot, which turned out really great! The guys were really patient with my nearly obsessive picture-taking. : )

The cottonwood trees in this area of Utah are full of these caterpillars. They build huge silken nests in the trees which look like giant spider lairs! To add to the creepiness, they are consistently falling out of the trees, which makes walking underneath them akin to passing through a wormy gauntlet.

One of the creepy nests. It was like some horrific, biblical plague.

It was hot, but stunning!

Later in the day we came to the waterfall in the main canyon just south of the small orchard-town of Fruita. Sadly, I had not even thought to bring my swimsuit!

Brent brought his, though!

Later, we drove to the gorge to hike to where there were some petroglyphs.

And here they are! Some jackasses vandalized them awhile back, so they're a little hard to see, but still very cool.

Even after the vandals, the sun still shines. That makes me happy.

Some pioneers left some markings of their own a little ways down the canyon. I think Garn was courting Sue.

This little guy stopped long enough to let me take a very close picture. : )

A small, natural bridge located just above one of the natural cisterns of very dark, deep, stagnant water.

I'm the bright green thing.

By now, we're very happy to be in the shade.

On the way out of the canyon, I spotted this beautiful little plant about thirty feet up the rocky cliff walls. I climbed up and shot this. : )

This was the closing view of the canyon before we made our way out of the last bend. What's funny was that just as I shot this picture, an old man next to me, with a Nikon D80 looked up and said, "He's right." And shot the scene as well. I was happy to have influenced his photography!

Well, I hope you've all enjoyed the pictures. We did end up finding the spring in Spring Canyon, but it was dried up. I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of it. I guess I thought it was gross looking and didn't think pictures were necessary, but as I think back, I realize that it would have provided you with a nice contrast to what we expected to find.

Anyway, it's late! I gotta go to bed!



  1. Barry, please invite me next time! I know I couldn't go this time cause I was on my trip, but i really really want to start hiking and exploring!

  2. Dude Barry your pictures blow mine out of the water. Seriously. I am glad you enjoyed Capitol Reef though and we still need to do our Canyonlands trip sometime.


  3. Very nice!! You should send a copy to the lizard! Ain't you never hearda skinny dippin"?

  4. Barry, the pics were great til I got to the caterpillars! I swear, if those suckers are living in the 5 giants in my backyard.... I'm gettin the chain saw!