Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo – not many festivals out here in Canyonlands.

Breakfast was Huevos Rancheros including homemade tortillas, by the chef. It was good say Ace and Bev.
Buffe found her left leg calf to be in a little more pain than just an ‘ache’….as a result Buffe could not hike and has had trouble walking. However, she is “cowgirl up-ing” and hopes the ice, the salon pas, and time will work its magic and she will be able to get back to walking and then hiking.

The day is of course, sunny and hot. We all climbed down to a view point of Sipapu, the 2nd largest natural bridge in the U.S. (the largest is Rainbow Bridge in Lake Powell). Sipapu is 220 feet high and 268 feet span. It is spectacular. We had to climb down a couple of metal ladders and one wooden ladder (think Cliff Dwellings), then along a narrow rim with one huge canyon wall jutting over us and disappearing up into the sky on one side, and sheer cliff on the other side. The rim we were walking along went out about 500 feet; from there, one can get another view of Sipapu (which means “emerging” in Hopi). It was very cool clambering down the ladder and along the rim.

Buffe did not climb out to view points of the other 2 natural bridges, only Ace and Bev did. There are several hikes / trails you can take, but since Buffe’s leg calf wasn’t in the best shape, and we weren’t really prepared to hike, we said we would have to come back some day.

We then drove to Capitol Reef Nat’l Park stopping for lunch in Hanksville. My goodness, I think Hanksville is a dying town. Seems like only tourists stop there for food. The little grocery store was not much either. Got to Capitol Reef and all I can say is how different this park and it’s rock formation is from say Arches or Canyonlands. There are similarities, but this one is different. You see geologic formations of the Waterpocket Fold that goes for about 100 miles. Amazing! There is Cathedral Valley (rock that looks like a cathedral), the multi-hued rock layers make this very different from the 1st 2 parks we have seen. The geologists called this a Capitol Reef because the huge rock walls that rise up so terribly high reminded them of a reef protecting a harbor / port type area. I think you get my drift…..

As we drove into the park aways, there was a nice wooden platform walkway with railings (about 150 yards) that you could walk along the canyon wall and view petroglyphs. It was VERY COOL. Trees shaded you as you walked along, those petroglyphs were amazing. Some of huge slabs of rock that had fallen down and lay in the grass. There was a small herd of deer grazing that seemed skittish, but used to humans. Cute. These petroglyphs were created by the Fremont Indians, which were pre-coursers to the Utes, and the other tribes currently in the area.

There is a little historic town called Fruita, homesteaded by Mormans (no more than 10 families lived there at any one time – til 1941 when it closed up WWII). Anyways, it is a little narrow valley of fruit trees (apples, pears, peaches, cherries, apricots) that sustained the town. We dashed off to the Gifford House for cherry pie (small one) and ice cream. Yum!

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