Part of June 14th and June 15th ~ Capitol Reef NP, Torrey, Utah
Situated in Wayne County, Utah, this area was originally named “Wayne Wonderland”. Adopted into the National Park fold in 1971, it is a long, skinny section of land 60 miles long, but averaging only 6 miles wide.
“The local word reef refers to any rocky barrier to land travel, just as ocean reefs are barriers to sea travel. Capitol Reef encompasses the Waterpocket Fold, a warp in the earth’s crust that is 65 million years old. It is the largest exposed monocline in North America. The area was named for a line of white domes and cliffs of Navajo Sandstone, each of which looks somewhat like the United States Capitol building.” ~ Wikipedia
We arrived mid afternoon on the 14th, in time to take the Scenic Drive that begins at the visitors center, where we had stopped to stamp the passport and watch a short film.
The Gifford House is located in the Fruita Historic District of the park and was part of the Mormon settlement in this valley. Surrounded by still thriving orchards that the early settlers planted, the homestead offers up delicious pies for sale as well as other freshly jarred salsa and pickled vegetables. We picked up a mixed fruit berry pie for our dessert along with a jar of peach salsa, sweet onion relish and German sauerkraut.
And right next door to the house you will find thriving green orchards, and an old barn that I found very picturesque.
It was late afternoon and the cliffs were ablaze of color.
At the end of the drive, the pavement ended, and the Capitol Gorge Road began. It was dirt, and rough, but passable for most vehicles as long as it was dry.
The next morning (the 15th), we rested and tried to get in a bit of time on the computers. Both of us were having some withdrawal symptoms, lol.
I understand that the twitches go away after you have checked emails, Facebook, and Yahoo…
There was a great little restaurant right next to the RV park that we decided to check out for lunch. The sign had caught my eye the night before, “Fresh, Natural, Delicious, Affordable” – sounds like our kind of place!
If you do stop in, be sure to notice the walls along the walkway. They are made out of petrified wood. The food was delicious and we ended up going back for dinner. It is not often that we can find a restaurant where Tim can feel so comfortable ordering without fear of getting an allergic reaction. Such a treat for us and we definitely recommend the food!
Also in Torrey, is a historic site, an old church/schoolhouse.
But this is not to be confused with the old Fruita Schoolhouse inside the park, that butts up to the cliff.
Our timing was perfect to join the ranger lecture on the petroglyphs. The Petroglyph Panel is along highway 24. The etchings were carved into the side of the canyon walls by the Fremont people who inhabited this area for approximately 1,000 years.
But I’m guessing that you too can’t see them very well on the side of the cliff, so thanks to Tim and his long-range lens, we have some close-up shots to share:
We had planned on taking a two-mile round trip hike to see the Hickman Bridge, but with temperatures in the 90’s, it just did not sound like fun. We are debating whether or not to get up early in the morning and do the hike on our way out-of-town, as we have to pass right by here on our way toward Moab.
One last stop was to take in the view from Panorama Point.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for the very sweet waitress at Capitol Reef Inn and Cafe. We were so excited to find a salad dressing that Tim could eat that we asked if they sold it. Although no one had ever asked to purchase their Honey Mustard dressing before, they figured out that they could put it in the small individual serving size plastic condiment cups with lids and would sell them to us for .25 each. We thought that was a deal and requested eight of them, plus a slice of cherry pie a la mode to go. Imagine my surprise when we returned to our RV and unpacked to find eight cups filled with just HONEY. Somehow the message had been misunderstood, but we appreciate the kindness, none the less!