It has been quite a length of time since our last post. We returned from our trip east with the intent of staying in Boulder City for a week or so while we unloaded all the items we retrieved from our storage unit in Pennsylvania. But a short stay turned into a long stay, as we found ourselves enjoying the warm water of our pool. Our son Kevin seems to also like the pool, as he spent considerable time in it when he came out from Atlanta for a visit.
Friends Terry and LuAnn also stopped by for a few days. We enjoyed showing them around the area and catching up on recent travels.
While we really enjoyed hanging around Boulder City, the urge to travel (and enjoy some cooler temperatures) soon got the best of us. So we packed up the motorhome and headed north into Utah, beginning our trip with a visit to one of our favorite national parks, Capitol Reef.
The scenery along I-15 north of Las Vegas is interesting: rolling desert with mountains in the distance. But as you head into the corner of Arizona, the highway winds through the Virgin River Gorge and the scenery becomes spectacular.
Once out of the gorge we entered Utah and headed for Sand Hollow State Park for a one night stay.
The next morning we continued our journey into central Utah for a stay in Torrey, just west of Capitol Reef National Park. Our site at Thousand Lakes RV Park has a great view of the red cliffs below Thousand Lakes Mountain.
After setting up at our site we headed into the national park to pick some apples. The views approaching the park reminded us of why we love this area.
The area near the park visitor center is called Fruita, named by Mormon pioneers who settled there in the 1880s. Orchards they planted are maintained by the park service and the public is permitted to pick the fruit. We picked two bags of apples, so some fresh applesauce is in our future.
The next day we headed back into the park for our first hike, the Fremont Gorge Overlook Trail (4.5 mi. round trip).
The trail begins in the blacksmith shop parking area, following a maintenance road up a hill for a quarter mile. At the top of the hill the trail turns off the road and heads steeply up a hill for another quarter mile before heading across a fairly flat meadow for a mile or so.
After crossing the meadow the trail finishes with a long climb up to the white mesa in the center of the photo below.
Friends Annette and Larry live just outside of Torrey, and we always enjoy time with them while visiting the area. They joined us for dinner one evening at Hell’s Backbone Grill in the tiny community of Boulder. From Torrey Boulder is a 36 mile drive up and over Boulder Mountain with a peak elevation of over 9,000 feet. With the changing of the season the Aspens provided us with a colorful drive.
Located in the little crossroads community (pop. 226) of Boulder, Hell’s Backbone Grill is a gourmet farm to table restaurant. No visit to the area is complete without a visit to the Grill.
For another adventure we decided to repeat a hike we completed a few years ago. The trail to Spring Canyon begins as part of the trail to Chimney Rock.
After about two miles on the Chimney Rock trail the route to Lower Spring Canyon splits off to the north.
The trail then weaves its way down into the canyon.
Once in the canyon we enjoyed the many unique rock formations and the soaring colorful cliffs surrounding us.
For our last hike of this visit to Torrey, we joined Annette and Larry for a hike to a couple of mountain lakes near the top of Boulder Mountain. We followed them up a narrow, dusty road through colorful Aspens to the trailhead.
Our first stop was at Blind Lake, one of the many lakes on Boulder Mountain.
We continued past Blind Lake for a visit to Pear Lake.
On our final day here we took a drive through Capitol Reef NP on Scenic Drive. Below are a few of the many photos we took driving through this beautiful area.
Capitol Reef may just be our favorite national park. The park is filled with great hiking trails, but if hiking is not your thing there are many spectacular sights accessible by car.
Next up for us is a visit to Grand Junction, CO. More on that later . . .