Our Journey...

Think we forgot to tell you a lil bit about what sort of vacay we're on! Last September of 2011, Dad retired. He and momzers got an RV and decided to plan a trip across the country, visiting national parks on the way to Maine (where's that?) for a family reunion. That's a long trip from northern California! Anyway, this blog is now a record of our travels across the good ole U.S. of A. and even Canada - plus all the things we get to do and see! We started our journey mid-March and hope to be back in NoCal by mid-October - yeah!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Winds, Sands and Snows at Capitol Reef

We arrived here all excited about a week ago - the weather was beautiful and our campsite overlooked some of the prettiest red rock cliffs you ever saw! Behind these mesas are high wooded mountains, the tops of which were covered with the last of the winter snows. Beautiful.
Mom and Dad took us to some nearby BLM land by Sand Creek to run and play - we had such a great time chasing down our kong and bumper - you can't see the pretty landscape in this shot, but we're running towards the wild high desert! Next day, after (yawn... another) windy night, we loaded up the truck with lunchables and treats and stuff...

And headed out to Capitol Reef NP, which is about 10 miles away. Momz and Dadzers checked out the Visitor's Center and learned that this park also goes by the funny name, Waterpocket Fold. Even if you climb the highest peak here, you can't see this "reef/fold" - you have to almost be in outer space to see it - check it out here. It's a long, skinny park, as you can see! So... we decided to familiarize ourselves with Cap. Reef by truck - first driving the nine miles down Highway 24 and enjoying the lovely Fremont River that creates a super pretty valley full of cottonwood trees and orchards (will explain that in a bit).

Our first stop was a visit to the petroglyphs - attributed to the Fremont and ancestral Puebloans, who etched pictures with triangular shapes - can you see the sheep? Wish we could have gotten closer for a better photo!
We had a great time examining some of the beautiful qualities of the rock formations here - domes and look at this - above! It's called the Cassidy Arch and you can hike a super tough trail to get there, or check it out from a cool canyon ride down a dirt road to Capitol Gorge, which is beautiful! When we leave for Moab tomorrow, we'll explain more about arches; there are two ways that they are formed! You won't believe this, but Cassidy (named after Butch Cassidy) Arch was formed over millions of years with the erosion of a weak part of what was once a cliff - grain by GRAIN of sand! Wow!
Okay... so this was cool! Part of the park is called the Fruita Historic District, where Mormon pioneers - only about ten families - arrived in the later 1800s and planted orchards of various fruits and nuts. The park service still takes care of these beautiful orchards. Above: we loved the barn, field and horses against those red cliffs!
This is part of the road to Capitol Gorge - there are what we decided were "slot canyons" for cars - the tall, high cliffs were barely far enough apart to accomodate our truck! This was one place where there was a ginormous overhang.
Waiting for homemade vanilla ice cream at the historic Fruita store. It was charming with all old fashioned things and old canned goods!
The next day, it rained and was windy and all the roads that are not paved (which are the places we needed to get to) are basically off-limits when wet. See, they cross washes which can flood in a heartbeat and drown you, so we decided to take a road trip...
... to Lake Powell!
It was a long drive to get to warmer weather and the beach (what a red beach!), but so worth it!
Dad threw us sticks into Lake Powell and we were all enthusiastic and happy to oblige their return heheh!
Avalon has a mighty swell CORE to be able to balance on that log so well, doesn't she? Not sure I, Sammie, could do that!
Later, on the way back to windyland, Mom took this pic of the Fremont River, flowing through Capitol Reef NP.
We've really been "doing" lots of weather down here, but we're still trying to stir up that lemonade from this lemonish "weather" we're bein' dealt! Yesterday, we woke up to snow - yeah...not in the mountains even - right out our window - in the valley of Torrey! Mid-April!
The snows didn't stick very well, but we decided to go up Highway 12 to the mountains.
This was a pretty little pull-off we found with a stream and everything. Moi, Sammie, immediately put my nose to work. Mom helped me tell the story as it happened.
Yeah... so I needed to chase my sis, Avalon, to get back what was rightfully mine... but Mom put me in the truck, cause I'm a good girl and come when I'm called! (OOOOPs - my bad! Didn't catch Mom's boo boo - that second pic, top is Avalon, not me! Avalon is furry quick to steal my "sticks"!!!)
It took some time for Avalon to join me in the back seat. Mom and Dad were not pleased at what we'd been so very interested in. They thought it was a stick!

Look how pleased my sissie looks!
At the next stop, Mom and Dad made sure we were chomping or chasing the real thing...
On the way down the mountain, we saw these guys...
...and this pretty cool (and dramatically lit) view! Ciao!


Finn said...

Wow, what an adventure! I love how you can go from petroglyphs to snow covered mountains! Love those views!

The Army of Four said...

Wow! Your photos are so great! Mom just loved seeing the petroglyphs, but me? I liked the SNOW and ... hey, Sammie! Is that a Kong-on-a-Rope you've got in that first pic??!? You know I LOVE Kong-on-a-Rope!!!

Bassetmomma said...

You guys are having a blast! You get to run and play in all different kinds of weather in the same day. It must be neat to see those petroglyphs. The red rocks are just stunning too!

Mango said...

Too bad mom wouldn't let you have that "stick." I mean you are out on a big wild land adventure, right?

I am kind of dizzy from those red cliffs! Amazing!


Golden Woofs! SUGAR said...

Woof! Woof! How COOL! Lovely Photos you guys took. Not sure when will I see SNOW again. Lots of Golden ALOHA n Woofs, Sugar

Kari in Vegas said...

What a beautiful place to visit

Stop on by for a visit

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

OH S. & A. you are having the bestest vacation adventure. Such Beauty.. and you found a REAL TREASURE.. Too bad that THEY took it away from you though. NOT at ALL fair.

I am REALLY enjoying this. THANKS fur Sharing and explaining and stuffs.

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

You all are having such a magnificent adventure - one that most of us will only ever dream about. We are thrilled to be able to share in your trip through your pawesome photos and words. Can't wait for the next stop.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

Lorenza said...

That sure was a pawesome adventure!
Lots of very interesting a beautiful places!
I know you all enjoyed it a lot!
Even the snow... Ooops!
Kisses and hugs

Macintosh Mitch said...

You girls have got to be the luckiest dogs on the face of this earth! You have the best adventures!

Love ya lots,

Rick said...

Those are some beautiful pictures! What a great time you had. Snow, swimming,sticks and bones, you're killing us.

Angus said...

Boy what an adventure . And all the seasons rolled into just one day. Awesome !

bichonpawz said...

What a super fun adventure!!! We did the very same thing when our dad retired back in 2009! We didn't go out to Colorado though...but we hope to sometime!! We will be headed out to Minnesota on our next RV trip...in a couple of months. You sure have had your share of weird weather!!! We love all the cool pics!! Do you have to take showers every time you get back in the RV?? It seems we do if we get full of mud! Happy Trails to you!! We will keep on following your progress!! xoxo Chloe and LadyBug

Laurie said...

That is one furry stick! Good to see the girls having so much fun ... you, too, of course. :-)

Oskar said...

Wow, what an amazing journey that you are on! My peeps & I love to go camping & they hope to do something like this when they retire.

Nubbin wiggles,

Berts Blog said...

Isn't Utah Beautiful. We love living here. One minute you are in the red cliffs, the second you are deep in the forested mountains of the Rockies. We are so glad you are having a fun time in our state. My Vickie and I and Jamie have spent many a day and night in the rugged areas you are now in searching for lost people. Sometimes it is hard to search and not stop and just breath in our surroundings. Be safe and keep posting. WE have so enjoyed your travels across the country.
Bert and My Vickie

Mr. Pip said...

Wow, these pictures are amazing. Love the beautiful red rocks and the pictures on the beach. Keep the pictures coming!

Your pal, Pip

Ms. ~K said...

Amazing photos!!!

Just wanted you to know we are heading out on another cross-country RV adventure, destination- Oregon Coast. We'll be gone a couple of months...please don't forget us!
Kit and The Pups

KB said...

Wow, you are in one of my favorite parts of the world. Beautiful photos... and yes, it's surprising what the weather can do in the high desert, isn't it?

Keep having fun!!!