Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Heber City, Green River, Capital Reef

We said 'Goodbye' to Allan, Connie and Julie and headed into Utah.


Daisy was overwhelmed by the heat and kept looking for shade whenever we stopped for a walk. (Me too) She was also, once again, mourning the loss of another new best friend, Julie.  I think Julie was probably happy to see that overly-energetic, hyper, scruffy puppy disappear over the horizon.


Heber City, just outside of Salt Lake City was higher, hence much cooler, so we stopped for a while.  We were waiting to make a connection with Gary, the son of my Santa Fe friend, Alexandra.   


Gary started hearing of my RV adventures 6 years ago and as a result, purchased his own RV.  He wanted to team up with me for his maiden voyage, so we agreed to meet in Green River, Utah.


He brought along  the very sexy Lady Doga so Daisy was happy again, but Lady thought of Daisy as an interloper and wouldn't let her get too close.


Oh, life is so cruel.


 Gary's RV was an old classic (sorry, I forgot the brand) but quite lovely and roomy and in pristine condition.  There are many, many RVs out there that were someone's dream at one time then never got used.


It was fun to do a 'companion trip' for a change, and I followed Gary as we headed toward Capitol Reef National Park.


Capitol Reef is the name of an especially rugged and spectacular group of canyons, dome formations,  arches and reefs that follow for 100 miles along the Fremont river.  


  The park was named for a line of cliffs of white Navajo sandstone with dome formations similar to the white domes on capitol buildings. 

Navajo Dome is the result of hard sandstone being sculpted by winds and scoured by water erosion.


Nature is a powerful sculptor.  The park was created through addition and removal.  Wind, water, gravity and upheaval are the tools.  


The result is a unique geologic sculpture.





Road Access did not come here until 1961 and, in 1970 the area was designated as a park to protect it.


Mormon pioneers, arrived in the 1880s, and built gravity-fed irrigation systems to deliver water to orchards.  They used horse-drawn equipment to plow fields and maintain roads.  The first tractor did not arrive in Fruita until 1940. Pioneers grew nearly all of their own food--from produce to livestock.


 There are now many orchards and we camped in an apricot orchard.   


Much to Daisy's delight the orchard was home to a family of deer.

 

 This is one of the original Mormon cottages.  It is now a gift shop and they sell the very best individual home made pies.  I had a rhubarb.  

Food was canned, dried or smoked and stored in cellars without artificial refrigeration, as there was no electricity until 1948.


 There are petroglyphs and pictographs throughout the park including on the face of this cliff.


(This particular one made me think of the stick drawings you see today on rear view car windows showing mom, dad, three kids and the dog.) 

There are many meanings to the markings at various places in Capitol Reef and across the Southwest.  Most occurrences of petroglyphs (carvings) and pictographs (paintings) in Capitol Reef are attributed to the Fremont Culture by Euro-American archeologists and were created between about 300 and 1300 C.E.  Some are older still.  The creators are most closely related to the Hopi and Pueblo of Zuni tribes.
The Hopi and Zuni say the markings confirm the presence of their ancestors in Capitol Reef.  Tribes associated with Capitol Reef say the markings are libraries that speak to American Indians about past events, legends, journeys and genealogy.


These cottonwood trees were here upon the arrival of Mormon pioneers in the 1880s.


In the early 1900s mailboxes were attached to the tree for mail delivery from the outside world.


Gary, this picture is for you.
This lovely young lady gave a lecture on the formations in Capitol Reef.  


I am in awe of the pioneers that settled this rugged land 150 years ago.  The enormous amount of work that went into surviving the harsh weather, scarcity of water, and the endless miles of rocks and sand was hard to imagine.  The native tribes that were already here, and probably surviving quite well on their own, were not happy to have the new neighbors either.  


2 comments:

  1. That is such an incredible landscape. How I envy you your adventures!

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  2. Just take a look at the pictures you take from your balcony. They are spectacular and you aren't spending a fortune for gas either. Wishing you and Terry might 'caravan' with me some time.

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