Day 9 (Capitol Reef National Park)

It was nice sleeping in a hotel, even if it wasn’t much for the money. I woke up this morning and decided to hike Navajo Knobs. It’s about 9.5 miles, making it about 35.5 miles over 5 days.

It’s interesting the people you meet on the road. I ran into this woman and her two daughters. They are from Packwood, WA. She does land management, such as sub-dividing property, and her husband is a civil engineer. They both are self-employed and homeschool their two daughters and son. The husband and son had gone ahead on the trail while the daughters wanted lunch at 10:30 a.m. I told them it’s always a good time to eat. She was telling me about the perks of being self-employed and how they love it.

I also ran into this couple for the third time. The first time I saw them at The Narrows in Zion when I decided to go the wrong (deeper) way. I also saw them on the Fairyland Loop in Bryce. I wonder if I will run into them in Canyonlands. Canyonlands has more trails, so I think it’s unlikely.

The hike today was exhausted. It was beautiful at the top, but I had a close call coming down one of the rocks. Thankfully my ankles are still relatively young and tough. A twisted ankle at the top would have made a brutal hike down.

I’ve also been carrying a ton of water, but today I could have brought a little more. There weren’t any close calls, but I was rationing on the way down.

As I type this, I’m sitting on a picnic bench on a lovely grassy area shaded by trees. I really appreciate trees in the desert because most of it’s very exposed.

I spent the afternoon listening to a Ranger talk about geology. If you want to feel tiny among the universe, go to a Ranger talk about rocks. That rock right there? It’s 185 million years old. I listened as the Ranger talked about how Capitol Reef used to be ocean front, a swamp, a river, sand dunes, and much more. There are 19 distinct formation periods.

Capitol Reef also has a U-Pick orchard. I picked a few apples and pears. You can eat what you want while picking and if you take some to go, it’s $1 a pound. What a neat experience to pick fruit in a national park in a desert. It’s supposedly a very large orchard as far as national park standards go.

I was planning on doing another short hike tomorrow, but I may skip it. There is a 20% chance of thunderstorms in the morning and 50% in the afternoon. Flash flooding is a huge concern here. It doesn’t have to even rain where you are for there to be flash floods.

I’ll see if anything has changed in the morning and if not, head to Canyonlands.

I don’t have photos from today because I did not take my camera with me and only used my phone. I don’t have any WiFi to download the photos off the cloud.