I probably shouldn’t speak for Mark about whether or not he’s been itching to go on another adventure, but I am dying to go spend a day in the great outdoors. I miss seeing new landscapes, breathing in the crisp fresh air, and being completely enthralled by all of my surroundings.
I’ve come to really appreciate the freedom of lacing on a pair of hiking boots and trekking through the woods or clambering up mountains. It has been so long since I’ve been able to go on such an escapade, and today during my commute home, I found my mind wandering back to my Utah trip.
The Utah trip, for those who haven’t seen some of my other posts, was when Mark and I visited Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and then Pinnacles National Park. I’ve written about all of those parks except for this one.
Now, Capitol Reef may not look the most interesting in comparison to the other three national parks, but it harbors some of my favorite memories. The main reason why we visited this park was not because it was pre-planned and there were some magnificent landmarks that we didn’t want to miss. It mostly had to do with our tent and our ill equipped camping gear.
When Mark and I camped at Bryce Canyon, we had a rude awakening when the sun set. Imagine two people, one of the only people camping with tents, huddled close to a campfire as the temperature quickly dropped to about 20 something degrees Fahrenheit. I, with my three sweaters and a jacket, sought for warmth in our tent only to discover that the interior of our tent was not any warmer than the outdoors. In fact, it felt colder. (The lovely Mark had brought a summer tent, which was not made for the type of temperatures we were dealing with)
For three hours that night, I lied curled up shivering as the cold ground seeped through my sleeping bag and layers of clothing. Mark and I eventually gave up on sleeping in the tent and ended up getting into the car at around 2 AM and making our way towards Capitol Reefs National Park (the nearest national park to Bryce). Mark ended up driving us for about an hour before realizing that he needed to get some sleep to avoid any major collisions or killing any deer.
We arrived at Capitol Reefs National Park bleary eyed and exhausted at the break of dawn. Hence why we found a little picnic area where we brewed some coffee and cooked up some scrambled eggs for breakfast.
We can’t go anywhere without a little bit of a caffeine boost! We used a Chemex to brew the coffee.
Capitol Reef National Park is slightly less impressive than Zion or Bryce, but it’s a gem nonetheless. We were too tired to do any intense hikes, but we definitely got to see some of the park’s history and many of its more well known sites.
We focused our time at Capitol Reef doing the Scenic Drive and then hiking the Capitol Gorge.
It’s a fairly flat and sandy trail.
As you hike through the gorge, pay attention to the poles protruding from the walls. They’re remainders of the telephone poles.
Search for the fading petroglyphs.
There are other trails that branch off from the gorge and you can shimmy along the canyon sides to explore all there is to offer.
For example, there are little caverns where you can pretend to take naps in.
When you’re finished hiking, go visit this historic house where you can enjoy yourself with some freshly baked pie and ice cream. Guys, their pies are to die for.
Life seems so sweet when you get to indulge in some crumbly sweet fruit pies and ice cream with towering red cliffs as your view.
Mark and I arrived at Capitol Reef unmotivated to explore any part of it, but as we ate breakfast and soaked in the tranquility of the park, we realized that we had to take advantage of our time there.We learned so much about the pioneers who traveled through the gorge and etched their names into the walls of the canyons. We passed by apple orchards and wished that they were in season for picking. Now I’m so glad that we took a leisurely walk down the Capitol Gorge, drove along parts of the Scenic Drive, traversed through random paths, and struck up conversations with strangers. Oh, what sweet memories we had the luxury of driving away with!
This national park is one that is often overlooked when people travel to Utah. I’d suggest stopping by it for a little while, even if it were only for the pie.
Until our next adventure, I’ll hold onto these memories. Hope you’re all having fun and going on your own adventures!