2013 Trip Four, Out West, May 5

Sorry for the delay in postings. The Mill cabins in Lyman Utah did not offer Internet service and our portable wi-fi hotspot had a difficult time getting a connection. So rather than continue my frustration, we decided it would be better to wait until we hit Vegas. But the picture taking continued at a furious rate.

Yes, we have been out west before and seen mountains. Somehow, though, on this trip the views just seem more spectacular. Every time we turn a corner and see a new view, we just go Wow and want to capture it on film even though film does not do justice to seeing it in person. Maybe we will get jaded. But for now it is mountains.

Sunday May 5 we were up early and hit 7:30 church. Nope, it was not a “up north fishing mass” but a full hour. Good for my soul. On the advice of hotel staff, we ate at a local restaurant called Starvin Arvin’s. Quite good, great biscuits.

Driving along the Interstate in Utah we came upon a pair of recumbent bikes riding on the shoulder of the road. This time we got a good picture.

recumbent bikers on Interstate

recumbent bikers on Interstate

Our destination was Capitol Reef National Park. We had decided to skip Arches and Canyonlands national parks for CR. Not sure how we chose CR, whether geography, reading books, personal recommendations or what, but it was a great choice. Just the drive to the park was beautiful-an over worked word which you will read frequently along with its synonyms.

We left the Rockies, Glenwood Canyon,and Colorado National Mounument behind and were driving through rolling hills first. Then we started seeing these various uplift views of tall ridges and cliffs of varying color, with some but minimal vegetation. The cliffs get taller and mountains are in the background as we get closer to Capitol Reef.

driving to Capitol Reef

driving to Capitol Reef

Driving to Caitol Reef

Driving to Caitol Reef

Capitol Reef is named for a unique monocline formation, one uplifted ridge that extends for over one hundred miles from north to south. The cliffs are frequently over 1200 feet and can go as high as 2400 feet (if I remember correctly from the ranger talk). This formation has only one east west easy access, along the Fremont river.

The restricted access made exploration late here and development minor. So, you find out that this area was one of the last in the US to be mapped and get regular postal service by car. Even now, it has much less development and visitation than other Utah national parks. The east west road was only paved in 1962.

We decided to “check in” at the Mill Cabins after our initial stop at the visitor center for the park. There was no one at the main lodge which is still under construction so we called and got the owner who was just heading home from dinner at Slackers Burgers and Shakes in the nearby town of Bicknell. There are only six cabins and two were to be occupied this night. It was small but clean and for $50 a night was just fine.

image

We had not eaten since Starvin Arvin’s so after check in we drove to Slackers but they close at 4 pm on Sundays so we tried Cafe Diablo. As Chris says, “Who would have known?” A great restaurant in a very small town. It has Fodor and Zagat comments and ratings. Plus it had chocolate mousse! Actually with each of the house made desserts you also got your choice of house made ice cream. So Chris had strawberry sorbet while I had the mousse.

It was still early and light out. We went back to Capitol Reef and visited part of the park. The weather was alternating cloudy and sunny so pictures vary in the background. We spend most of the late afternoon and evening getting a taste for the area. Given the limited accessibilty (we had our Saturn, not a high clearance 4 wheel drive Jeep), we visited locations mainly along the developed road. Still, the vistas were stunning.

Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef

The evening brought showers so we nixed the outdoor talk. We had a long day and headed back to the cabins and night time in rural Lyman.

Ed May 8, 7 AM

Categories: road trip, travel | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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