Into the Gorge of Capitol Reef, Utah

Friday, July 18th, 2008

lone Tree

It was evening, the skies as usual were lightning, also as usual no rain on us, has yet to happen as I think we might be protected… the wind was blowing hard as you probably can guess in which direction! Lonely and only seemingly half alive, leaning by the constant brutal force of the elements, some of its limbs on the ground, scattered, we stopped. I really like this picture including the single little bird hanging on for dear Life… and how strange that we had ridden by it a few times never noticing its presence till tonight. I must have been only looking without really seeing. A little further down more activities where going on, the evenings here have become very theatrical with much contrast between light and dark only within a few miles.

Bad weather

On our way back from the Gorge a couple days ago, or so… who is keeping track, these strange looking rocks appeared on the cliff side of the road. If one did not know better they might have thought suddenly being on another planet! One of them looked like a prehistoric ancient giant skull, even a bit eerie. They had fallen off the cliff after being eroded without a grip to hold them back. I finally heard a rock fall the other day also. I did not see it as it was in a deeper part of the Canyon, it was about the time the sun rose and we both stood there all alone at that time of the day and looked at each other. I think about a rock falling on my head quite often and sometimes I do wear my helmet while taking pictures. It could happen, as I have seen rocks on the road not there the day before…

Capitol Reef 22

Capitol Reef 23 a  

The area is fairly dry right now, but it is the water that attracted the settlers many years ago. The "pockets" of the Waterpocket Fold are natural basins capable of holding thousands of gallons of rainwater. It was these water pockets and the water from the Fremont and Sulphur Creek rivers that attracted the early human settlers. I can just imagine living there within the Canyons, an unbelievable Life.

Capitol Reef 21 

The Fremont Indian Culture began around A.D. 700. People lived here for about 600 years, farming, hunting game and gathering wild foods. Around A.D. 1300, they abandoned the area, perhaps because a prolonged drought made agriculture impossible. The Fremont people are known for their enigmatic rock writings. They left petroglyphs (carvings in rock) and -pictographs (paintings on rocks and stone walls) through-out the park. Their meaning remains a mystery.

Capitol Reef 20 a

Several hundred years passed before Capitol Reef saw any more permanent human habitation. In 1880, Mormon settlers established a community near the site of the present visitor center and campground. Using the water from the Fremont River for irrigation, they planted crops and orchards. They also grazed cattle. The pioneers lived here for less than 100 years; although President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed the area a National Park Service national monument in 1937, the last residents left in 1969. Congress designated Capitol Reef a national park in 1971.

canyon sunrise

We were into the Gorge very early before sunrise, this above actually was the sunrise. No one around, only the sound of the birds waking up, even Spirit was quiet probably wondering simply… why me? Such a shame that we cannot actually camp in those Canyons, it is another world, no doubt about it. Finally slowly the sun rose with a nice hue on the rocks, leaving our road still in the shade.

Gorge 1 a

Meeting others lately, travelers and tourists on a certain schedule, I am more and more realizing the good fortune I have choosing this path where time is not anymore an element of consideration. Any experience with the outdoor and for that matter indoor can linger for as long as desired. I never thought throughout my own past years that I would ever be on this path where the clock has pretty much stopped except as this morning when I need to get myself in a different gear and go flip hamburgers for a couple days. And that too is an irony I feel, it is like connecting the big circle throughout all these years of cooking! I started with the simplicity so many years ago of "flipping hamburgers"! I use that expression as a title of the task. Over time driven by my passion for food and great Culinary Schooling, it all became more and more intricate, all the way to inventing recipes I have had visions of taste for.

Gorge 2 a 

Gorge 3 a  

Cooking for the wealthy for many years, where budget was unimportant, when ingredients could be shipped overnight from any part of the world, was truly a fun and creative "hobby". Courses after courses that had taken days to prepare unraveled throughout the night, bottles and more bottles of exotic spirits and wines were passed on complementing all the created flavors, and now… how about a thin patty of ground beef topped with cheese in between two halves of a grilled bun. Life has definitely taken a different course, the values of it all have changed to the better and all due for the only reason that Lance is not with us anymore. Sometimes I wonder if his own purpose in Life was to show me a better way to live and unselfishly himself went on to maybe a better World guiding me only with his Spirit remaining within.

  Gorge 4 a

Thoughts and more thoughts… maybe too much thinking, maybe not enough. Who knows… In the Gorge we reached the end of the road which turned into a wash where only hiking could be the way to go and I could not help imagining the roar of the waters in stormy conditions running with such force in between those walls now calmly showing their peaceful but raw faces. I would not want to be there… My camera was on hand when on the return ride we saw another sidecar rig coming by. As they are not the most common vehicle we generally stop and chat a bit… They were on their way to the big annual BMW Rally in Wyoming, a short stopover to see the sights, not a Rally we would be going to this year… maybe next year.

sidecar 1 sidecar 2

We had a fine ride back, it is always a fine one going through the National Dixie Forest and its many endless curves and elevations. We met some Honda Goldwing riders having lunch, they were from the Los Angeles area on their own Journey through Utah, towing their little trailers with literally everything needed, including the table and chairs. I turned down politely what looked like a great lunch and chatted for a while. They took pictures of us, we took pictures of them… So many ways to travel!

Dixie Forest

Goldwing Riders  

And the Journey continues… till next time

As always, you be well…

Spirit is asking if… you have you checked the T-shirts lately… T-shirtsMouse padsPhotography

We are truly always under deep appreciation toward the readers that have send in a contribution helping this website’s expenditures which needless to say have gone up. For those who have not, continue enjoying the site, pictures, recipes, and if you feel it is worth $1 a month, the contribution button is above, snail mail is below… PayPal can even set you up with a ONE Dollar a month contribution…

Ara Gureghian   853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245   Naples, Fl 34108

Ara & Spirit

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One Response to “Into the Gorge of Capitol Reef, Utah”

  1. The Artful Adventurer Says:

    My lovely wife wants to know how you handle the summer heat traveling Utah? We frequent those wonderful places you are featuring, but only in spring and fall and sometimes even winter. Stunning photos, as usual. Keep roll’in. Mark and Bobbie.

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