So far on this trip I’ve learned that there are way more National Parks than I realized. If you asked me about 2 weeks ago how many Nat. Parks there are in America I would have guessed around 12. Now I know there are 55! We’re in our third National park of our journey, Capitol Reef. The more parks I see the more I appreciate that we have these places in the USA to explore.
This place is an oasis in the desert. Mormon settlers came here at the end of the 1800’s and planted an orchard with apple, pear, apricot, and other trees!! The trees are still here today watered by the clear beautiful river that allows this place to be the unique desert oasis that it is (you can eat the fruit too when it grows). A group of Mormon people lived here until about 1960. There’s a little shop here with pie and ice cream and you better believe I got excited about that! I had ice cream twice. This place is preserved very well and I can just picture the rugged settlers that lived in this remote place 100 years ago.
Now onto the rough part of this experience. Because we’re in the desert walking in and around the river sounded like a great idea and there just happens to be a hiking trail through the water with beautiful water falls. We asked the park ranger at the visitor center how she recommended getting to the trail head. She suggested biking because it was only about 3 miles. Unfortunately that was 3 miles uphill. What do I look like? An Olympic bike rider? I can’t bike 3 miles uphill. After giving it my best effort (3.5 hills into the ride only covered about a mile) we turned around and rode back to the visitor’s center. I'm totally kidding about not trusting the park rangers, you can trust them, just not with bike ride advice.
I at least got a really good workout in while at Capitol Reef. We did end up doing the hike along the water, we just did it backwards until we saw one of the pretty waterfalls. My blisters came from wearing my chacos for the first time of the season, they always take getting a few blisters before they are comfy again.
Our next stop is Bryce Canyon National Park! So far Utah has been more than I expected and is a great place to experience the outdoors. One last thing I’ve been surprised about is the amount of Europeans visiting the parks. Many of them have rented RVs and are traveling the national parks between Moab and California for about 3-4 weeks. I always wondered what the USA had to offer tourists besides NYC and other big cities. National Parks are a great representation of America!
|A home from about 1910 in the town of Fruita which is now in the National Park (this is where you buy pie and ice cream).|
|A River in the Desert|
|One of the orchards|
|A little evening bike ride on a flat road|