Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Eating bird poop is not good for you

This post has the above title because it's one of the things I told my grandchildren at Capital Reef National Park.  In this particular instance, 2-year-old Marshall wanted to lick a picnic table that -- no matter how many times I wiped it off -- was not going to be guano free.  
In other words, instead of full timing in our motor home, doing what we want when we want, we had the grandkids with us.  We started our with 4-year-old Mia, who traveled with us in the “school bus,” as she calls our rig, from SLC, to the park near Torrey, Utah.  Then our daughter, SIL and Marshall joined us a couple days later.

Capital Reef is in south central Utah in the middle of the beautiful red-rock country.  It’s full of cliffs, canyons, arches, monoliths, and other wonderful geologic features in a huge wrinkle of the earth called the Waterpocket Fold.  The canyon running through the park is green, lush and home to a Cottonwood-tree filled campground surrounded by pioneer-planted orchards.

We love Capital Reef.  It’s our favorite of Utah’s five national parks and it was fun to share it with our family. One of the rangers told us that at Capital Reef you feel as if you are part of the park, and not just peering into it.  We agree.

This was our tenth visit to Capital Reef. I hope we make it back there again soon.
Granddaughter Mia near Capital Reef's Fruita campground.  The campground has 71 spots (no water/electric/sewer at the sites, but there is a dump site and  water available) and was almost always full by late afternoon.
Mia and Grandpa walking from the campground to buy homemade pie for breakfast at the Gifford House -- a museum/store that was originally the home of a polygamous Mormon family.  The third residents of the house -- the Giffords -- lived there 41 years until they sold the house to the National Park Service in 1969.  
I took this photo from our rig. The tree to the left is a mulberry, and the deer obviously like the fruit. The folks in the fifth wheel are full-timers from Colorado Springs who loaned us sidewalk chalk and a ball from their stash of grandkid toys.
Mia on the Grand Wash Trail. Grand Wash is one of our two favorite Capital Reef hiking trails.
Ranger intern Cinnamin (who told us her parents named her for the Neil Young song "Cinnamon Girl) and Mia at Capital Reef's Ripple Rock Nature Center.  Cinnamin, who doesn't look much older than Mia in this photo,  did a presentation for kids on the ecosystem. Mia also saw presentations on the animals of Capital Reef and how mountains are formed.  
Horses near the campground.
A campground apple orchard.  The area near the campground has 2,700 fruit trees.  During fruit harvest you can pick as much as you can eat for free, or pay a fee and take some fruit with you.
RVs barely visible in the trees of the Fruita Campground.
Marshall on the Capital Reef's Grand Wash Trail.
Mia, SIL Shad, Marshall and daughter Ashley on the Grand Wash Trail.
Mia follows her dad up a crack in the rocks on the Cohab Canyon Trail.  This is another of our favorite hikes with a trail head right across the road from the campground. The trail starts out steep, then turns a corner into a breath taking canyon. 

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