But where are the Fish?

Trip Start Apr 08, 2009
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Trip End Jun 19, 2009


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Flag of United States  , Utah
Thursday, April 30, 2009

The drive from Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef along scenic route 12 took us through Kodachrome State Park then high over the Hogsback, at 25 mph with a cliff on each side and a high point at 9700 feet. Then down to the red rocks of Capitol Reef, where we snared one of the last spots at Fruita campground.

The Mormon farmers who first settled Capitol Reef (after the Indians) came up with the name and it has caused confusion ever since. However the parks people would have called it a "Fold" which is little better, unless you are geologically inclined. A long fold of sedimentary rock has weathered to produce magnificent rock formations and colours. Sticking out of the red fold are some rounded white rocks, reminiscent of government buildings, at least for Americans. So when the junior ranger asked about the fish you can understand the confusion. I rather liked the local name "Wayne Wonderland", as it is in Wayne County, Utah.

No more than ten families lived here, irrigating their fruit trees from the Fremont River and while the farmers are gone, the fruit trees and some buildings remained, so we could pretend we were early settlers.
The junior rangers loved the horses in the paddock near our RV, and fed them carrot peelings and peanuts. We checked out the original one-room schoolhouse, blacksmith's shop and farmhouse, where volunteers were selling home made fruit pies and ice-cream. The kids managed to find a dead raccoon in the cellar too. There were mule deer grazing in the campsite, humming birds feeding, marmots and a little snake. The Fruita campground is the nicest we've stayed in so far, and a steal at $10 a night.

From Capitol Reef we passed through Hanksville, which is the last hideout of all remaining Hanks you saw in 60's films. There are more wrecked cars in little towns like Hanksville than people. We lunched in Blanding, which is a somewhat nondescript town apart from the first real supermarket we had seen for a couple of weeks. Then across the Colorado border, where the desert turns to greener vegetation to rest for the night at the A & A RV park.
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