Saturday, June 9, 2012

Capital Reef NP-Scenic Drive and Pioneer Register

I am now back with my family of single traveling RVers.  We are currently staying at Thousand Lakes RV Park, Torrey, UT, just outside of Capital Reef NP.

The day I arrived saw a forest fire just south of where we are staying.  The high winds fanned the fire from 6 acres to over 500 acres in one day.  The locals say the fire was arson, with 7 small fires set about 50 feet apart on a horse trail.  I really hope they catch the person responsible.

This is the Capital Gorge area inside Capital Reef. 

My presence didn't seem to bother the bumblebee at all.

Doesn't this look like the work of rock worms?

And here, someone painted stripes for decoration.

The 3 1/2 mile Capital Gorge Passage was created in 1884 after several men labored 8 days to clear the boulders.  It was wide enough for 2 cars to pass thru.

This is what the passage looks like today.  No vehicles allowed, only foot traffic.

There are some petroglyphs along the way.

All along the rock walls, about 20 feet high, are a series of metal poles which are sticking out of the rock.   At one time telephone wire was strung along these poles so the people living in the area had communication to the outside world.

Many of the pioneers who used this passageway left there imprint behind for all of us to see.

Some of the holes in the cliffs are large enough for a person to stand in.

From the bottom of the gorge you can't see these domes, but after climbing to the top of the gorge, you can see the many domes on top.  Capital Reef was named because so many of these domes look like capital buildings, and like a reef in the ocean, you have to navigate carefully to get thru.

I'm not sure who was more surprised, me or the Big Horn Sheep as he came bounding up the rocks.  He didn't stay long, but I did get a few pictures.

The first of several tanks, which were all dry.  Tanks are usually catch pockets for rain and run off, a place where the animals can get water.  But the whole area has been so dry the last few years, the tanks have dried up too.

The Behunin cabin was built in 1882 to house his family of 10.  It is only a one room cabin, built from double layers of sandstone blocks.  There is the door and window on the front, a fireplace along one wall, and a second small window up high across from the fireplace.  

Behind the cabin are these small caves, which are said to be where the boys of the family slept.  The girls slept in the wagon, while the parents and babies slept in the cabin itself.  There were rugs thrown over the dirt floor and they family probably ate outside because of its small size.

1 comment:

turquoisemoon said...

That cabin housed a family of 10??? amazing...