Photos and text copyright Romping and Rolling in the Rockies 2009-2017.

All photographs and text within this blog are copyrighted.

You may not copy or repost any photos or text without specific permission from the author of this blog. When in doubt, please ask.

Monday, May 27, 2013

From Desert to Mountains

After spending a few days in the world of huge red cliffs, we needed a break from the heat. We drove and drove, through Capitol Reef National Park, and eventually up into the mountains on the other side of the Park.

I have mixed feelings about National Parks. My main complaint is that they are completely anti-dog. It was a gorgeous park, and we stopped at a "panoramic point" which was about 50 yards from the parking lot on a sidewalk. However, the dogs were not allowed to even get out of the vehicle according to the signs. No dog paws may touch the hallowed ground of a National Park! So, we humans took turns visiting the point, and it was beautiful.

Throughout the park, there were these odd small ridges at the bases of cliffs. I'm sure that from the bottom to the top of this photo, we are seeing hundreds of millions of years of geological time.
I spotted a gorgeous Primrose flower in the midst of the desert beauty.
And then I looked back at the big picture.
It's called Capitol "Reef" because the explorers of our country called any major obstacle to travel a "reef". It has nothing to do with the ocean.
That driving day was the start of a heat wave in Utah, with temperatures at least 10°F above normal. High temperatures soared to 85-95°F. We seem to provoke heat waves whenever we visit Utah. For us mountain dwellers who had been living in snow until that point, the heat was too much. So, we drove to the area of Boulder Mountain outside the Park boundaries, and we found a spot to camp at about 9,000' elevation, where it was cool and pleasant.

I have a tough time with the driving days during these trips due to the pain my lower back that radiates into my legs when I sit for too long. By the time we stopped to camp, I was at the end of my rope from pain and fatigue. Fortunately, the Runner quickly set up our propane-heated camp shower, which I relished! I felt like a new person after relaxing in the warm water.

I finished my shower just in time for sunset, which was gloriously late at 8:30 PM. I watched Miss Shyla turn into a glowing Labrador in sunset light.
And then, in what was becoming a nightly ritual, she spontaneously waved goodbye to the sun as it went down.
It was a glorious sunset in an isolated spot that we had all to ourselves. It's amazing to see the crowds in the National Parks and National Monuments, and then when you leave them, there's so much open land with no one on it. I love the West!
Happy Memorial Day! I am hoping to catch up on your blogs soon. I'm plugging away at it... but taking such a long break set me very far behind!


  1. Absolutely stunning!! And yes, I'm sure a gas shower works wonders, we have one too, complete with its own shower rose, longer hose, and is all self contained.Bliss!!Shyla glows, no other word for her. Fond greetings,Jean

  2. How we love that wave!!! Going to have to work on that with some one of mine:)

    Take your time on visiting - we all understand.

  3. It is so beautiful! Your pictures always leave me speechless.

  4. Shyla's routine is so cute.
    I'm with you concerning the National Park restrictions, I've seen people that are much more destructive/rude/naughty in NAtional Parks than dogs. But...rules are rules. :(

  5. Beautiful! I agree with you on National Parks; they're so snobby!
    Nola's Mom

  6. We were in that area last year doing SAR demos in the schools, we lucked out and met some locals who showed us the back way into some of the parks where you can take your dogs. It seems so silly. On one search in the Grand Canyon, we had the dogs working off lead in the park for two days. The second we found the missing woman, the park service was all over us about getting our dogs on lead and then instad of letting us hike back out with the dogs, they flew us, so no one would see dogs in the park.
    Whew, that was a long comment.....
    when all we wanted to say was, GREAT PICTURES again....
    bert and my vickie

  7. Yep MOM and I agree, why can't paws touch the hallowed ground?? But like you we would prefer to be away from the crowds that cram in all tight together. Give us that any day. Love that Shyla waves bye to the setting sun.

  8. A few years ago, there was a fellow in town who had a lab who waved from the front seat of the pick-up truck he rode in. Of course, we all waved back at him and I think both dog and people loved the whole experience.

    Do you think Cracker dog is catching?

    Cheers and hugs,
    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  9. So nice to be able to drive to the weather,you enjoy most
    Happy Memorial Day
    Benny & Lily

  10. Beautiful rocks, amzsing landscape, love it!

  11. It is indeed sad that dogs are not alowed to enjoy the delights of the park. Shyla does look more stunning.

  12. What stunning photos, KB! You are such a sweet cutie, Shyla!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  13. Ah, you've hit a nerve for me KB!
    For responsible dog owners I can see how the restrictions seem "snobby" and make no sense. But after 35 years of camping and backpacking I've seen enough dangerous, destructive situations caused by irresponsible dog owners (and parents, btw) to understand. There simply aren't enough rangers to enforce common sense.
    The N.P.'s are the Crown Jewels of the U.S., and currently under real threat from budget cuts, lack of citizen interest, and vandalism. When you visit a N.P. look around at the incredible number of foreign tourists oohing and aahing. They don't have anything remotely as beautiful (+huge!) as our landscapes at home. I know you agree, we owe it to the next generations to protect and preserve these islands of wilderness.
    Love your blog and your photos. If all were like you I'm sure dogs would be welcome in the NP's!

  14. How adorable that Shyla waves at the sun!

    Such gorgeous scenery!

    And, yes, I agree with you on the dog-unfriendliness of many Nat'l parks. I guess it's a case of where the few ruined it for the many at some point so they just banned dogs altogether. There is a GORGEOUS nat'l park in is totally dog friendly. It was amazing!

  15. I kind of don't like that most national parks also are somewhat or all the way anti-bike. Especially anti-mountain bike. But I do love the national parks of Utah, and I can never get enough of the red rocks, particularly in early morning or late afternoon when the sun angle produces such spectacular shadows and depth.

    Your new byline brought a tear to my eyes and made me remember your precious K. Don't stress too much about getting caught up; I think everyone has to take a life once in a while! And you have a right! I'm going to get very, very behind next month (which starts this weekend!), and although I don't want to lose touch with anyone, I don't want to miss one minute of riding, either!

  16. Thank you for taking the time to post all these beautiful photos of your trip!

  17. Stunning. I so hope to see the American desert some day.


If you are a Blogger registered user, you can skip the step asking you to verify that you are not a spammer. For posts older than 5 days, I have comment moderation turned on.

Thanks for your comments!!!!!