We were here on September 20, 2016?
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Capitol Reef National Park
If has finally begun to dawn on us the significance and the impact the Colorado Plateau makes on these western lands of ours. And too the magic touches it leaves for us to behold. The Arches, The Canyonlands and now the Capitol Reef; and still yet to come Bryce Canyon, Zion and the Grand Canyon all created by the up lifting of the Colorado Plateau.
It rose over 12,000 feet in it's uplift some 70 million years ago and spread over southern and southeast Utah, northeastern Arizona, western Colorado, and northwestern New Mexico. 120,000 square miles in size or about the size of the State of New Mexico, our fifth largest state. Geologist suggest that this plateau was uplifted largely as a single block, and then changed again and again in the ensuing years by volcanic action, even as late as 3,000 years ago. Between the uplift and the Volcano we have the Plateau as we know it today.
The Colorado Plateau is home to the highest concentration of National Parks in the US with the exception of the Washington DC area. Hosting 10 National Parks, Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches, Mesa Verde and the Petrified Forest; and them there are an additional 17 National Monuments on the Plateau.
It is little wonder that these parks are all part of the Great Circle that attracts visitors from across the globe. These visitors can start their tour from several **embanking cities, Las Vegas,
Los Angeles, Phoenix or Salt Lake City. Their travel is aboard large comfortable Provost like coaches which whisk them off to behold the Diamonds of the Colorado Plateau in a circle route of 1200 ~ 1400 miles. We have seen hundreds of tourists coming off many many of these large coaches. They too are enjoying the splendor and the majesty of the Colorado Plateau cradling our Western National Parks .
The Fremont River
The Fremont river flows through the Park on the way eastward to join the Colorado river, as it flows into Lake Powell. The days were very cool and rainy on our visit here, and the river certainly reflects this in its conveyance of the red sand soil toward Lake Powell. Of course the Colorado was called the muddy river for the same reasons, prior to it flow being filtered by Lake Powell.
The wind, rain and river do wondrous and intricate sculpturing, if not delicate work in the walls of the canyon bluff.
Oh! so far down below the Fremont flows in the deep steep landscape.
Sunset on the Reef
The Photographers magic hour.
Dottie loved contrasting colors; and when we passed this point, she exclaimed "back up and catch this one for Me" !!!
This was on a fairly sharp curve, and I had so skinny along the guard rail and the arroyo bank, but Miss Dottie got her picture. From the green juniper and yellow chemise, to the red Navajo sandstone, to the white gypsum mounds, and on to the Vermilion banks, all crowned by then pure white clouds and blue skies, which are forever changing your view.
Grand Wash & Slick Rock Drive.
Grand Wash Trail, but it was closed due to flash flood possibilities, and that isn't something one argues 'with.' It was a 2.1 mile hike and would have been worth that extra offer to be with in the narrow canyon walls, but the Park Ranger saved us from having to make the decision. :))
The Slick Rock Drive & Trail was closed when we arrived. It opened only as we were ready to leave for the house. It was cold and nippy, approaching supper time, and the House won. Just like in Vegas. Too, we alway try to leave something unseen, as the best reason to return.
This is a very explanatory photo; also the one just above, as it shows the effect of weathering. The hard protective limestone layer on the top remained; but as the softer sandstone eroded, the base gave way and down came the large white limestone pieces. Nature doing its thing!
The Majestic Glory of Capitol Reef National Park.
With this splendid view of the Castle we'll leave Torrey, UT and Capitol Reef and mosey down the road a hundred miles or so to Bryce National Park. The drive and the views at Bryce and the area surrounding the Park will excite you, so hitch up and come along.