Friday, May 22, 2015

Life Elevated in UTAH, which ROCKS, and the "Mighty Five"

Southern Utah is home to some of the most unique geologic formations in the world, and to five of America's most magnificent national parks: the "Mighty Five", with a Capital M.  Zion, Arches,
Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and Canyonlands  National Parks, all unique, breathtaking, brilliant, exhilarating, relaxing, adventure-filled, awesome, and  incredible in their own right and in close proximity to one another.  How can your Life not be Elevated by a visit to one, two or all of these majestic destinations?  Not to mention Utah's impressive 43 state parks and numerous monuments which are no less stunning.
We feel quite fortunate that our route from our winter location in Boulder City/Lake Mead, Nevada up to Flaming Gorge in the NE section of Utah allows us to visit so many of these stunning destinations.
After another spectacular Winter in southern Nevada, we departed April 17th, headed north for Flaming Gorge Utah on the Green River where we will spend our summer volunteering for the U.S Forestry Service.  We will miss being in our beloved Oregon, where we luckily spent the past two summers near family and friends volunteering for a  BLM recreation site on Mt. Hood, but we are excited to explore a new area hiking, kayaking and fly fishing on the Green River and etc. etc.
We previously visited Arches, Canyonlands and Zion National Parks while traveling from Oregon to southern Nevada in October 2013, but had not had the privilege to enjoy the  remaining  two "Mighty Five", Bryce Canyon or Capitol Reef, so that is just what we are doing as we slowly meander up to NE Utah for a fun-filled summer at scenic Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.

I used to think Arches was my 'favorite' Utah national park, that is until we recently visited Bryce Canyon and fell in love with the hoodoos.  Now I've decided it's impossible to have a 'favorite' Utah national park as they are all so diverse, special and gorgeous in their own unique way.
Delicate Arch  @ Arches National Park

'Hoodoos' at Bryce Canyon National Park

Limestone columns or pillars are sculpted by rain into bulbous spires called hoodoos.  It's fun to hike above them or below them, and numerous trails allow either.
Navajo/Queens Garden Loop Trail             (Hoodo you think you are?)

We were thrilled to experience the sweet treat of SNOW one day, even though we had to dig really deep for our gloves.

Natural Bridge
We decided to spend a month in Torrey, Utah because it's the 'Gateway to Capitol Reef National Park'  and the opportunity to thoroughly explore this 'new' park for us, and  the numerous state parks and monuments close by.  Plenty to see and do in a months time.  Capitol Reef is another natural gem and impressive Utah 70 mile long national park that is part of the famous Waterpocket Fold.
Soon we will be continuing further north, spending time in Palisades State Park and Antelope Island State Park before arriving at Flaming Gorge, but for now, we will continue to enjoy the unlimited recreational and hiking opportunities available to us, and our "Life Elevated" here in awesome Utah.

Capitol Reef National Park

                                                        Fremont River and old Mormon Orchards, (Fruita)  in Capitol Reef Valley

Chimney Rock

Cohab Canyon Slot Canyon

The "Castle"
                                                    Juniper Tree - Windblown
Gopher SnakeS
Cathedral Valley  Temples of Moon and Sun
Cassidy Arch     (named for the outlaw Butch Cassidy)

                                                       Hickman Bridge

                                                                                       Saddle Up!