Thursday, October 14, 2010

Utah Road Trip - Day 08

Another beautiful day to be alive! We ate breakfast at the Red Cliff Restaurant. An item called Pancake Sandwich caught John's old printer eye. It was described as two pancakes, two eggs and TOW pieces of bacon. John got eggs, OJ & Texas bacon. Linda got a fruit bowl and tomato juice.

We left the Best Western Capitol Reef in Torrey, Utah at approximately 8:58am in 51 degree cool headed for Capitol Reef National Park, the world's largest monocline. It was only about 7 miles from our motel to the visitor center. We got our Park Passport Book stamped and saw a very informative movie there.

Our feeling about coming to Capitol Reef National Park was the same: What interesting things there are here to see and aren't we lucky that it is not crowded? It is a nearly 100-mile-long warp in the earth's crust - a classic monocline with one very steep side in an area of otherwise nearly horizontal rock layers. It formed between 50 and 70 million years when a major geologic shift in western North America reactivated an ancient buried fault. See? California isn't the only place that has tremendous earthquakes!

Most of the erosion that carved today's landscape occured within the last 20 million years, but it seems like only yesterday. Ha!

Starting around 70 AD (give or take a day or two) people lived in this area for about 600 years, farming, hunting game and gathering wild foods. They left petroglyphs (carvings in rock) throughout the park. Linda photographed some that are in today's gallery.

The next human habitation after 1300 seems to have begun in 1880. Morman settlers established a community near the site of the present visitor center and campground. They planted crops and orchards and grazed cattle. These pioneers lived here for about 100 years. The last residents left in 1969 and Congress designated Capitol Reef a national park in 1971.

Speaking of those early settlers, we enjoyed visiting The Gifford Homestead museum and gift shop. That was our lunch: a shared 2-person peach pie and some cheese herb bread. Both were yummy! The lady in charge of the Gifford house is a desendant of families who had property in the area. Her grandfather bought up a lot of land from the original settlers and she knew all the families who lived in the area. The museum part had some interesting displays. She showed us a corn planter that was entirely built by hand. Each farmer had to be their own blacksmith or be good friends with a neighbor skilled in blacksmithery.

From the Gifford Homestead we proceeded to the rest of the scenic drive and even took a sidetrip down a rough road that sometimes gets dangerous in a hurry during flash floods. The variety of scenery was spectacular. The definition of tenacity has to be the trees that seem to be growing right out of the rocks and cliffs.

We arrived in Moab (Boam spelled backwards) at about 3:30 this afternoon to the Big Horn Lodge where we will be staying for 3 (yeah, count them 3) whole nights. That will be our longest stay anywhere while on this road trip. We will be taking day trips during the time we are here. There are so many places around Moab to explore.

Tonight we had dinner in our room. John fetched Burger King for him and Linda had her doggy bag from The restaurant at The Lodge at Bryce Canyon (broiled trout, rice, carrots and broccoline).

We hope you are enjoying the photos we are taking. In some ways, it makes it more fun to take them when we know that our "victims" are going to be seeing them soon. And Linda thinks we may end up with a few framers to put on our walls to remind us of all the fun we are having.

Soon John will give you more details on the Mileage Madness contest that our blog readers are all eligible to enter.

Sixty-two images in today's photo gallery. Most are HDR images. You can view the photo gallery by clicking here.

Today's teabag wisdom is another one from Good Earth tea: "Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life." (Immanuel Kant 1724-1804)

John's potshots, again selected at random is.....

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