31 August, 2016

EPIC Road Trip- Installment #2

~Capitol Reef National Park,
Red Canyon & Kodachrome Basin~

A while back I watched a show on Nat Geo and heard a retired National Geopgraphic photographer recommend three places to see before one dies; these were locations a bit lesser known than the BIG national parks, i.e.: Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Yosemite. The first one on his list was Capitol Reef, this National Park is located in the southern half of central Utah. I made note of the list and we went to all three on this trip! Stay tuned for numbers two and three. We arrived at Capitol Reef early, before it got too hot. The air quality here was so clean and pure, I tried to breathe in enough to saturate my lungs forever.
There is an ever changing palette across the landscape, the hues of these formations vary with the light.

"The Castle", a sandstone formation, is visible behind the visitor center.
"Capitol Dome" reminded early travelers of the US Capitol Building, inspiring the park's name. 
Capitol Reef was established by Mormon pioneers in the 1880's as Fruita. Here irrigation systems were built to maintain orchards and pastures; they sustained a self-reliant agricultural lifestyle for decades.  The park was established as a National Monument in 1937 and became a National Park in 1971.
Look carefully at this photo above and you will see the "Natural Bridge" in the center. We hiked approximately a mile on a steep uphill path to this destination, it was worth each and every step; the hike back was a HOT one.
The next day found us in Red Canyon, a State Park, it is located in the heart of the Dixie National Forest. We explored the trails here and we able to get up close to the HooDoos (columns, pinnacles or pillars of rock with various thicknesses that appear as Totem Poles). How they remain without crumbling or toppling is a mystery.

The air here was fragrant: sun warmed pine and sagebrush made hiking an extremely pleasant experience for the senses.

Leaving Red Canyon through a stone arch on scenic Byway 12. No one drives straight through; everyone pulls over to take a picture first; it must be a requirement!
Kodachrome Basin State Park was number two on that aforementioned list! Two down, one to go!
Chimney Rock looked like a big, giant "thumbs up" to me!
How the park came to obtain its name.

We hiked a good bit in Kodachrome, this trek out to Shakespeare Arch was particularly enjoyable.
Back in the car, bidding adieu to Kodachrome Basin and a treasury of gorgeous scenery for the day.
Leaving Cedar City, UT we headed for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and points beyond in California, as promised earlier. The next installment will include all that and more! Thanks for riding along. And now, for your Snapple fun fact: The state of Alabama once financed the construction of a bridge by holding a rooster auction.  I wouldn't want you to miss out on a complete education; after all, you need a reward for hanging in here through this long post! 

Life is Good!


Sherrill said...

Might have been a 'long post' but worth every look!! Those pictures are absolutely gorgeous. I've passed by Capitol Reef many times and always say "I need to stop next time". Maybe next time I will!! Looks like Hannes enjoyed himself as well--lucky pup! Enjoying the travelogue!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Your photography is spectacular - the vistas are breathtaking and I swear I can smell that fragrant air you described. VERY much enjoying your epic journey from my armchair.

Janet O. said...

Thank you for showing me parts of my state I haven't been to in a LONG time. It is such pretty country, but really warm this time of year. : )

Shasta Matova said...

Gorgeous scenery, spectacular photography. Thanks for taking us along with you!

Nane said...

The next generation won't know that Kodachrome was a favored slide film of its day

AnnieO said...

There is nothing like the west for dramatic rocks!

Ramona said...

Your photos are gorgeous. The more I see, the more I want to take the same road trip. It's amazing how different the various areas of our great country are. Beautiful!

45th Parallel Quilter said...

Thanks for sharing the ride and your memories ... LOVED the picture of you and Hannes!! I don't know why I continue to be amazed at the beauty of this country. We are blessed by God to be its caretakers and I need to get out more to see His hand in it. You have inspired me to make those plans ;-) Linda