10 hours ago
Friday, April 11, 2014
Spring Break 2014--Day 4
Thursday 10 April 2014
We had bacon and eggs for breakfast and packed everything up. We were told to ford the river early in the morning because the warm temperatures were causing surges of snowmelt which makes the river too high to cross later in the day. We headed east out of the park to find the road which would take us into the northern part of Capitol Reef known as Cathedral Valley. Now when I use the term "road" you might want to think "sandy wash" or "lava rock" or some other thing in your mind. It took us about seven hours to go sixty miles on this "road." Most of it was pretty good, but there were only two other visitors on this "road" the entire time! We stopped right before the ford so K could get out and assess the depth of the water. Bossy Cow showed up right then yelling at us to mooooove because she needed a drink! You just never know when you're going to meet a cow in the desert, especially a bellowing cow with attitude.
We got out to hike for a couple of miles to a saddle overlooking Cathedral Valley. I was amazed at the geology of it all! I often wish I had a geologist with me to ask several questions along the way. We had a very nice time hiking across various washes and picking our way around the prickly pear.
We had lunch at another overlook because there was a picnic table in the shade! Oh, the fortune of it all! And then we stopped at the other free campground called Cathedral Valley Campground just to use the pit toilet. When I stepped in, I asked K to grab my camera. Some pleasant soul left a "treat" for some other soul that would really appreciate it. I love that they dated their note. We do not imbibe, so some other "lucky" person will need to make this amazing discovery. People are just great. We were truly out in the middle of nowhere at a primitive campground accessed only by high clearance 4-wheel-drive vehicles and boom--free beer! :)
The gypsum sinkhole was incredible--200 feet deep! We had a blast in the desert!