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(Utah Map)


All of the images below are thumbnails and can be clicked on for a larger image.

TUESDAY, JUNE 1, 2010:

I had a 7:00AM flight out of the Indianapolis International Airport to Denver.
After a two hour layover in Denver it was a quick 30 minute flight to Grand Junction, Colorado.
Denver International Airport

The eleven minnute video below includes takeoff from Indianapolis and landing in Denver.
Next shown is takeoff from Denver with view of the Denver skyline.
There are some views of the Rocky Mountains before the video concludes with the Grand Junction landing.

I arrived in Grand Junction at 11:00AM local time.
I grabbed a quick lunch and bought some groceries and then hit the road.
After about a 30 minute drive on I-70 I crossed into Utah where I would be spending most of the trip.
Welcome to Utah sign

I exited I-70 onto scenic State Road #24. I wouldn't see an Interstate again for two weeks.
It was a 175 mile drive from Grand Junction to the entrance to Capitol Reef National Park.
Capitol Reef is one of the jewels of Utah, thanks to its unmatched geological variety, fantastic scenery,
surprisingly rich vegetation and lack of crowds. This extraordinary park is often overlooked by visitors
to the Southwest and isn't heavily frequented. This may be due to its geographic location,
which makes it less accessible than its better-known neighbors of Bryce and Arches.
The center picture below is Capitol Dome. On the right is the old Fruita Schoolhouse.
Capitol Reef National Park east entrance Capitol Reef National Park Fruita Schoolhouse in Capitol Reef National Park

A road called the Scenic Drive winds through the heart of Capitol Reef National Park,
allowing visitors to see many of the park's famous formations.
The end of the paved road marks the official end of the Scenic Drive,
but an unpaved spur continues for two miles and provides access into Capitol Gorge.
Capitol Gorge in Capitol Reef National Park Capitol Gorge in Capitol Reef National Park Capitol Gorge in Capitol Reef National Park

The beautiful formation called The Castle can be veiwed from Highway 24 near the Visitor Center.
Capitol Reef National Park Capitol Reef National Park Capitol Reef National Park

The impressive cliffs become even more spectacular during the golden hour, mornings and evenings.
Among the formations at the base of the cliffs are Chimney Rock and the Castle.
One of the best spots to photograph this area is Panorama Point, located almost 4 miles past the west entrance
and 2 miles west of the Visitor Center. From this promontory, you get a splendid panoramic view of
the western part of the park with Capitol Dome, the Castle and the Henry Mountains in the distance.
A sign claims that this spot is the least polluted in the United States.
Panorama Point in Capitol Reef National Park Panorama Point in Capitol Reef National Park Panorama Point in Capitol Reef National Park

About a mile from Panorama Point via a dirt road is Goosenecks Point.
Goosenecks Point in Capitol Reef National Park Goosenecks Point in Capitol Reef National Park Goosenecks Point in Capitol Reef National Park

Below is the eleven minute Capitol Reef video and it includes all of the sites shown in the pictures above.

I saw as much of the park as I could before darkness fell.
I wanted to hike to Hickman Bridge but ran out of daylight.
I spent the night just outside the small town of Torrey, Utah near the west entrance to the park.
The Best Western Capitol Reef Resort is a nice motel with nice views of the cliffs from the room balcony.
Best Western Capitol Reef Resort in Torrey, Utah

The three minute video below shows my accommodations in Torrey, Utah.

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON JUNE 1, 2010
Hello Everybody,

I am traveling again. Nothing exotic like last year. I'm National Park hopping in Utah and Arizona. My first stop is Capitol Reef National Park in central Utah.

Capitol Reef National Park east entrance

I have never been to this park before. It is very remote.

Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Gorge in Capitol Reef National Park

I didn't get here until late this afternoon. I flew to Grand Junction, Colorado this morning and then it was about a 200 mile drive from there. I spent a couple of hours exploring the Capitol Gorge area of the park which you can see in the pictures below.

Capitol Gorge in Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Gorge in Capitol Reef National Park

The picture below is Panorama Point.

Panorama Point in Capitol Reef National Park

Below is Goosenecks Overlook.

Goosenecks Point in Capitol Reef National Park

I'm staying in the small town of Torrey right outside the park. There's nothing here except three or four motels. There is a very nice view from the balcony in my room. Similar to the picture below which was taken a couple of miles from here.

Panorama Point in Capitol Reef National Park

That's all for today. Long day with having to get up at 4am and the two hour time change. I'm ready to hit the hay. Will write more soon.

Tim


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