Friday, June 29, 2012
Our seventh national park is Mesa Verde.
Its a park featuring the cliff dwellings of ancient people.
This is the Cliff Palace,
the largest settlement in the park.
Tower house inside of a deep canyon.
We were able to tour the Spruce Tree house.
The hole in the floor of the circular area leads
to an underground kiva via ladder.
Inside the kiva it is much cooler than the 99 degrees outside.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Zion is a park of steep canyon walls.
The view coming into the park from the east.
The Great White Throne in the background
The hike through the Narrows is the popular hike.
The water is clear and cool on a 101 degree day.
Our campsite in the shadow of the Watchman Peak.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Capitol Reef is a little known national park in Utah.
Its main feature is the 100 mile long crest of slickrock called the Waterpocket Fold.
There are well preserved pioneer cabins
In the interior of the park, is the Fruita Valley,
where mormon pioneers settled and planted orchards.
Apple, cherry, pear, peach and apricot trees were planted making this an oasis in the desert.
The apricots were almost ripe.
We visited the historic Gifford homestead
and sampled some of the homemade pies.
We are continuing our trip through Utah.
Next stop, Bryce Canyon National Park.
The hoodoos of the canyon.
We hiked Queen's Garden/Navajo Loop,
Touted as the best 3 mile hike in the world.
A tree growing up between the hoodoos.
At one point along the trail, there were thousands of cairns.
We hiked at the base of the fins.
and at eye level with some of the tops.
We took several other hikes including the Mossy Cave hike which passed thsi waterfall.
Sunset at Bryce
Friday, June 22, 2012
We also visited the nearby Canyonlands National Park.
We hiked in the desert heat to Mesa Arch.
An arch on the edge of a deep canyon.
Even up here which seems like the top of the world,
we found wildlife.
This is nearby Dead Horse Point State Park.
Legends says that the point was used as a corral for wild mustangs in the 1800's.
The cowboys rounded up the herd, pushed them across the
30 yard wide neck of land and fenced the neck with branches & shrubs.
some of the horses were left corralled on the waterless point,
where they died of thrist 2000 feet above the Colorado River.