We knocked around Capitol ReefNational Park yesterday. I tried to post about it early this morning, but everything I wrote got sucked down a black cyberspace hole, so I'm trying to reconstruct it now that we have stopped for the night. Capitol Reef has the distinction of being the least visited of the National Parks, but it still has some amazing sights, as do all of the parks I guess, or they wouldn't be National Parks.
I asked a ranger how it got its name and she told me it was for the rock formation thatreminded folks of the US Capitol Building dome and an analogy between the cliffs that act as an impediment to land exploration much as ocean reefs act as an impediment to sea exploration. OK, so that's how it got its name. The park is long and narrow, extending over 100 miles north/south while following and encompassing the so-called Waterpocket Fold, a giant buckle in the Earth's crust that stretches for 100 miles across south-central Utah. Rivers cut deep gorges in the uplifted strata that fold back and forth in a goose neck pattern. We parked at the Goosenecks Overlook parking area (above) and took a short hike to the gorge.
We thought this was probably a petrified dinosaur head.
And this must be his footprint.
That's Ron out there on the edge communing with nature.
This is Capitol Reef's version of Chimney Rock.
And Castle Rock.
If you look very closely you may be able to see the Petroglyphs on the rock face...early American graffiti left there a thousand years ago by the early Indian inhabitants of this place. I think the two-legged creatures look suspiciously like spacemen.
After our day in the park, we rode up to Fish Lake, a large pristine mountain-top lake at 9000 feet. Tomorrow (Saturday) we head south to Bryce Canyon National Park and on to Kanab, UT for the night.