Thursday, December 8, 2011

Capital Reef National Park and Escalante Staircase

The drive to Capital Reef National Park was so deserted and quiet. The desert is a peaceful place. We stopped at this roadside view to take in the mountains and stretch our legs. We drove into Capital Reef National Park and saw this mountain first (the picture bellow), It looked like a Hershey's kiss. We also stopped in at the Fruita Schoolhouse, as old school house, a small house that early pioneers lived in, and a tiny waterfall.

The petroglyphs were so cool! There were lots of mountain goat drawings and men dressed in armor. I thought the men looked like aliens and there were even some drawings that looked like flying saucers. But who knows, like the signs said it was probably just men dressed in armor.
See what I mean? There was a lovely boardwalk along the cliff where you could walk along and see all the petroglyphs.
This formation was called "the Castle." It was the reason why the park was named Capital Reef. It did look like a castle too. When you first drive into the park there are a couple of orchards. The orchards were around since way back when the area was first settled.

We took the scenic drive through the park. The road was the only road back in the day. Carriages and the first cars used to drive this road. We took it all the way to where it ends now.
This picture to the left is of the canyon you drive through.
We took hwy 12 though Utah and headed towards the Escalante Staircase. We have found that the 12 in any state seems to be beautiful every time. So when in doubt, always take the 12.
We had heard from most people we meet on the road, and even some of my family, that the Escalante Staircase is a crazy drive. They were right! We drove along the road that was on top of the mountain, a cliff on each side of the road, and no shoulder to save you if you were enjoying the view too much and veered the wrong way.

We stopped at a view point to take a picture and watch the sun go down.
We headed down the mountain towards Bryce Canyon, ready to get some sleep and continue on with our National Park marathon.

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