I am finally back to my blog after the holidays.
I sat down with the intention to do a post several times,
and always found myself pulled away or distracted by something else.
And so now I return to posts about our trip to the southwest this fall.
We explored Capitol Reef on Bernie’s Birthday, Halloween.
On our way from Bryce to Capitol Reef we drove through Escalante National Monument,
What a spectacular, vast, moving stretch of land this is!
There is simply so much there that we decided it needed to be a whole trip in itself.
So we will return to Escalante in the future to absorb its immense beauty.
Steadily my little car climbed this hill.
We stopped at a view-point to enjoy the overlook of just a bit of Escalante’s beauty.
I love that even while seeing our path before us on a road map,
Nature still holds surprises for us around each turn.
I truely did not know we would be going as high as we did.
It had been quite cold, and as you can tell at the higher elevations some
snow even fell.
We ran into a couple icy spots on the road. This was the first main one.
I have to say we were both a bit nervous of the icy road with the downward
sloping turn. Neither of us knew how my new car would deal with it,
and perhaps because it was a new car we wavered.
Yes, it was fear, most likely completely unwarranted.
We pulled off the side of the road for just a little bit, we were not sure what was up ahead,
was it worse? Perhaps it would warm a bit?
After enjoying the view for a bit and hashing over our hesitation, we decided
that we were being too cautious. Of course if we were aware and just felt our way along the ice,
we would be fine!
And so we did, we moved forth, dissolving the fear that was holding us back.
Yay little car! You will be fine!
And so we all were.
Capitol Reef is a unique area.
It is called the waterpocket fold. A giant buckle in the Earths crust.
This has then been eroded in different ways to reveal the formations that are present today.
We stopped at the visitors center and watched a video about the park.
On our trip I really enjoyed the video at each park, they are well done,
and give you a better over all perspective on the park.
After learning a bit about the history of the site that the visitors center was on
(which I will talk about more below)
We drove to the end of the scenic drive.
This is a fun road that is paved part of the way, and then toward the end it turns to dirt,
and at the very end you are actually driving through a wash.
You are not allowed to go to the end if it is raining anywhere in the area because of flash floods.
At the end of the road there are a couple of trail heads.
We took the trail that went toward Golden Throne.
Shortly up the trail we peeled off layers that were quickly growing too warm
in the sunshine and physical movement.
I had my moccasins and Native American flute in my hands.
With my layers of clothes I shed my broiling hot running shoes and slipped on my soft moccasins.
We stashed our layers behind a rock and continued on.
The trail meandered through beautiful shades of red and yellow.
We zigged and zagged in and out of little washes
as we contoured the hillside.
We reached the top with a spectacular view of Golden Throne in one direction,
and groupings of mountains in the distance the other.
It was an inspiring place to sit and play my flute.
Its song echoed off the rock around us.
A wash below sang with me as the notes trickled down into its its corners and crack,
bouncing off a rock here, tumbling along the sand there.
And when the music tired of wandering the path that water followed down the valley it
would spring free and somersault among the sandstone,
bouncing ever higher on the energy of the landscape.
On the way back down we came to a part of the trail that
traveled along the bottom of a large cliff wall.
Any sound that was made bounced off it like a Parkour artist.
We stopped so I could play with my flute,
bantering with the spirits of the wall.
My flute sang, the wall spit it back.
I played more notes, and the rock spirits tossed them back, like a child tossing stones in a pond.
Every once in a while they would miss a note that got lodged in a crack.
I wonder if some day as the rains wear away the rock if one of those notes will become dislodged,
and trickle down the valley.
Will someone hear it?
Bernie joined in once in a while with his voice.
When we had finished playing with the rock spirits we continued back down the path to the car.
We returned to the valley that the visitors center was in.
This part of the valley used to be called Fruita.
It was a small community that lived in the valley and raised fruit trees.
What a beautiful place to call home!
There are still some of the old orchards, and even a house and school building.
They keep the orchards going as part of the historic site.
Our last stop was at a Petroglyph wall.
I had seen this once before on a brief stop in the park,
but I had forgotten all about it.
It is truely amazing to see the artwork of people who really no longer exist.
Our modern society has almost completely erased all civilizations that lived as our
Native American ancestors did.
I would love to be able to pop back in time, and see the community of the people who
filled this wall with their perspective on their world.
I would love to see how they were completely in tune with nature,
living with her instead of trying to dominate her.
So it is with their beautiful creations that we bid farewell to Capitol Reef National Park.