2009 Summer Vacation travel blog

After the rocks fell

The Big Hiker


Left Green River early so that we would get to Bryce Canyon at a decent hour. The first sign I spotted said there are no services on I-70 for the next 110-miles. It definitely was desolate…..nothing for as far as you could see except desert and mountains. 70-miles into the no services, we decided to be spontaneous again and exited at a sign for Capitol Reef National Park. Now instead of four lanes of desolate….we were down to two lanes of desolate….but we added cows since the road we exited on traveled through open range. I guess you don’t have to worry about cows darting out in front of you like deer would…..but cows don’t mind standing right on the white line watching RV’s.

Travel is definitely slower when you leave the main road….this road was narrow and wove back and forth through the mountains. However, you get to see America up close and personal…..pretty neat way to go. Just before getting to Capitol Reef, as we entered a small town I noticed a “Detour” sign leaning up against a parked car……I thought if it really was a detour, it wouldn’t be leaning against a parked car. Turns out this small town was having a parade……and we ended up being a late entry in the parade from Illinois. I asked the girls if they wanted to roll down the windows and throw candy to the people sitting on the curb…..but I think they were kind of embarrassed so they didn’t.

Capitol Reef consists of a 10-mile scenic drive. By luck, I happened to hear the ranger telling another tourist that vehicles longer than 27-feet would not be able to turn around at the far end of the scenic drive….so I got the details on what I needed to do to avoid backing up for 10-miles. What the ranger didn’t explain was the scenic drive is very narrow…..one and a half lanes in some places and that the drive has these dips to allow water to cross it…..and that larger vehicles would drag going through these dips…..fortunately we didn’t hit hard enough to tear off the sewage valves.

Our first hike was a level one mile out and one mile back. We cut it short (too sunny, bugs, other little girl problems)…..I was trying to be understanding…..Clint kept asking loudly why we were cutting the hike short (I kind of like him). In the end, it was good we cut the hike short because on the way back, we heard a large thunder and got to see a column of rocks collapse….pretty cool. On the way back down the scenic drive, we stopped for lunch (picnic in a canyon), we stopped at the original farm house to the area (homemade ice cream and pie) and then stopped for our second hike. Like the first, it was one mile out and back….but unlike the first, there was no quitting early. Clint is an amazing hiker….he just walks and walks and walks (about four steps for every step I take)….doesn’t want to be carried…..looks like he is about to drop, and then takes off like a rocket after a lizard……he did finally let me carry him the last half mile….(but he doesn’t stop talking)

The trip to Cannonville, UT was 90-miles….but he GPS indicated it would take 2 and a half hours……the GPS was right. Lots of climbing and weaving…..we’d climb up into the mountains were it was cold….then drop back down to the desert where it was hot…..drive into a thunderstorm…..then back out……really beautiful drive…but I was ready to get to the campground…..kids were changing into their suits as soon as we saw the KOA sign.

Another very nice KOA…..clean….pool…..friendly owners……absolutely no cellular reception at all. I asked in the office where I could stand to find “My Network”…..she just laughed….apparently the Verizon guy doesn’t like Cannonville…..I’m afraid my poor wife is really going to suffer withdrawal….we do have internet access through KOA’s network.

As always, I have learned a lot hanging with my wife. The last two nights she has sent me to the shower with shower gel……not soap….I guess the two are interchangeable. Not sure how manly I am hiking and sweating lilac…..



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