Sunday, October 28, 2012

Capitol Reef National Park - October 18, 2012

In our visit to Capitol Reef we took a backcountry four wheel drive tour with Bob Palin, who is originally from England.  Another couple with us was from California, but they were both originally from France and moved to California in the mid 1970's.  We toured through the northern part of Capitol Reef which is only accessible in a four wheel drive vehicle.

 Near the entrance to the Park from the western side.
An ancient Indian grain storage silo up in the cliffs.
A drive through the river was needed.
Benzenite hills - grey and maroon. Below is a close-up of the dried soil.  When it is wet it becomes very slick and smooth and it is impassable, but when it dries it contracts and forms a crumbly type of surface as shown below.

Looking out over a large valley with the red rock topped by white rock.  The white rock is the same type as the red, but an ancient sea leached the color out of the white rock. Below is a picture from the same spot looking up from the valley.

This is Jailhouse Rock in the center of the valley.

 This looks like a bird sitting on top of a small rock pedestal.
This is the same valley, only from the north.  The previous pictures were taken on the southeast side of the valley.

This is generally a steep, barren hillside, but there is a spring that comes up here so there is a lot of growth.  In the 1800's and early 1900's the cowboys who were driving herds through the valley would camp at this site due to the available water.

This is a Buffalo-Berry Bush.  The leaves are a grey-green color.  Our guide said he once had an obnoxious female tourist put her face in a bush to smell it and she had an allergic reaction - her hands and face swelled up like a balloon!

This is Cathedral Valley.  The white tops of the cathedrals blend into the white rocks in the hills behind.  Below is a side view from the valley floor.

Part of the varied rock formations in the hills.

Above, to the left, and below is an interesting formation.  The thin, upright formation on the right side above is continued across the valley on the left.  It is a result of a crack in the sand and volcanic rock the was forced up and through the crack.    Below is a side view (see the dark patches) on the other sided of the mountain of the rocks shown on the left.

Fluted walls - above and below

Very vivid lines through this formation!

The top portion looks like a community of rock people guarding their canyon!

 The near rock is called the Moon and the far one the Sun.  Hal and our guide (the two small specs in the bottom right) are standing in front of the Moon formation.
Hal and Diane on one end of the Moon formation.

Diane sitting on top of Glass Mountain - a mound of crystal type rock rising out of the desert.  It is one of only two known in the world.  It is actually gypsum.  Below you can see Glass Mountain in the foreground, with the Sun on the right and the Moon in the middle in the background.

This grey mountain was very distinctive.  This was visible as we exited the dirt road to the main road.
This is near the western edge of the Park on the drive out.  Below is another view.

1 comment:

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