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Published: September 9th 2019
Okay.....I know it sounds repetitive, but it's another beautiful day here. Woke up this morning to the sounds of a rooster crowing, and a cow mooing. Our cabins were adjacent to a farm with many animals. It was different from what we are used to, but nice. Actually Tropic is a real farm community, and we found out that all of the local businesses close for the Winter. After breakfast we headed down Highway 12, another scenic road, towards Capital Reef NP. The highway did not disappoint with its breathtaking scenery. Rt12 is not the shortest way to get to Capital Reef, but it's certainly the most scenic. It follows the few rivers and streams out here, and you're surrounded by high cliffs frequently. Eventually it all changed to green farmland and green mountains. In fact, it looked a lot like New England to us. The closer we got to Torrey and the park the typography began to change again to vivid red and brown buttes and mountains. After getting some information and brochures at the visitors center we headed out on the Scenic Road to explore the park. Our first stop was the "Fruita Settlement" which was established many years
ago by a few Mormon families. There are many orchards that were put in by the settlers and are still producing. In fact, when the fruit is ready, the public is allowed in to pick fruit for free. We enjoyed some of their homemade ice-cream.....yum!, and bought some of their cookies. The Scenic Road is an 8 mile scenic road heading south in the Capital Reef park. There are gravel spurs that lead to vistas and trail heads. We took a short hike on a trail that lead us through a beautiful canyon and dry river bed. We all agreed what makes Capital Reef so amazing is the fact that you are right up close and personal with everything. Along the way petroglyphs are seen clearly on canyon walls. Capital Reef is fundamentally a geological wonder. After hitting all the interesting places in the park we headed to our hotel, relaxed, and then had a short cocktail hour. We had decided to have dinner a little earlier so we could get to "Sunset Point" for sunset. Dinner was at "The Rim Rock", which was delicious, but took forever to get our check. Now it was a race to get to
the overlook before the sun set. After hooksliding into the parking lot, Ray and I dashed up the trail only to be a few minutes late. It was still beautiful, but no longer peak. We've traveled to many National Parks, and have often commented how they are all spectacular, but all different from each other. In researching this trip, we didn't have tremendous expectations for Capital Reef, but boy were we wrong. It is truly awesome, being down in the dry river beds between towering canyon walls just feet from you on either side, and knowing you're traveling in the same footsteps of the early settlers, and the ancient tribes before them is humbling.
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