Friday, May 24, 2013

day 2 at capitol reef

We were up around 8 a.m. Saturday morning and had a leisurely breakfast of bagels, sausage and scrambled eggs (leisurely because we ate each breakfast item one at a time because otherwise stuff would have gotten ice cold whilst the other items were cooking), then headed back down to Capitol Reef National Park.  We took a quick drive through the Fruita campground and were quite pleased that we were camping up in the national forest instead since the park campsites were tiny and crowded.  We checked in at the visitors' center to see about hiking; unfortunately the weather was iffy with on-and-off clouds, lots of wind and the possibility of rain and thunderstorms - not the best weather for slot canyons or ridge hikes.  In addition, one nearby hike that I had been interested in doing - Rim Overlook to the Navajo Knobs - was closed due to "dangerous rockfall."  Rats.

Capitol Gorge road

One thing that we could do was the park's scenic drive, including the long dirt road to Capitol Gorge.  The parking lot there was full so we couldn't get out and hike there (this was becoming the day's theme), so we drove down the Pleasant Creek dirt road for a ways, admiring the cliffs looming overhead.  Late in the afternoon, we did manage to get a short hike in, just out and back in Cohab Canyon, and on our way out of the park we stopped at the Goosenecks overlook to gaze down at Sulfur Creek 800 feet below.

Self portrait on the Pleasant Creek road

Back at our campsite, it was not quite so windy with the temperature hovering in the mid 50s.  Still, a campfire was imperative and we bought more firewood from the campground host so we could keep it going  through the evening.  Because of the wind, we couldn't really sit by the campfire and so we stood by it instead, shuffling around to stay out of the blowing smoke.  Dinner was fettuccine alfredo with chicken and broccoli.  It sprinkled on us briefly and there was a tiny (30-second) hail shower but it did seem warmer and not as windy as Friday night.  Despite some new arrivals at the campground, the night was very quiet - eerily quiet, in fact, in the middle of the night with no wind, no traffic, no birds, no RV generators.  It's been a while since we were in the middle of that much quiet.

Pretty scenic for a scenic drive

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