View of Cohab Canyon Trail in Capitol Reef Park
Sunday, June 5, 2005
We drove the 6 miles from the Campground to the trailhead and were on Chimney Rock Loop trail at 8:30 a.m. and back to our car at 11:40—3 hours and 10 minutes of strenuous, shade-less hiking amid unbelievable beauty.
Yesterday’s hike to Cohab Canyon was “micro” with everything near. We were able to study and photograph various colors of lichen—orange, yellow, blue, small tundra-like flowers, artful striations of erosion marks on the rocks, and countless small lizards and large chameleons.
Today’s hike was “macro,” a spectator’s hike with extremely wide-angle views of row after row of Wingate, Navajo, Chinle, and Moenkopi formations with colors of vermilion, salmon, azure, gray and white—all framed against a clear-blue morning sky at the beginning and then populated by fair-weather cumulus clouds by the time we arrived back to the trailhead.
On this hike I inaugurated my new walking pole with spring tip and ergonomic grip and wrist strap. Normally an “aspen-stick” user I became a believer as the spring tip held, especially on downhill rock faces, taking pressure off my slightly arthritic knees.
View from Chimney Loop Trail
We made the loop and decided to drive the 5 miles to Torrey Utah for lunch. When we drove through town looking for a restaurant, they were all closed. Then we saw dozens of cars parked around one building. It was an LSD church. Nothing was open and probably all 187 residents of Torrey were at church. On the way back out of town we spotted a sign pointing up a hill: Wonderland Café. Up the hill and not visible from the highway, this restaurant was Open. What a delightful surprise! And, great food! It was mostly traveler food but done with a delicacy of flavor rarely found in small rural communities, especially one located 75 miles from the Interstate Highway. I had the ground steak with sautéed fresh mushrooms and onions in a very delicate brown sauce along with steamed veggies and a garden salad. All the veggies were fresh, not frozen, and very tasty. We’ve had our share of marginal meals in both Torrey and Hanksville, the two towns closest to Capitol Reef Park. Now we know where the good food can be found.
We usually cook all our meals in the motor home or on our LP gas grill but if we’re out for the day, we’ll grab lunch on the go. We can carry frozen meats and fresh fruits and veggies for about 8 days without shopping. We can “dry” camp (without hook-ups) with quick “soap and rinse” showers in the motor home every other day and have enough space in our holding tanks for a week, but if possible, we prefer to shower in the State Park Showers. Most are free but we’ve found a couple that were timed and charged $1 for five minutes of hot water.
Monday, June 6, 2005
We’re camped tonight at Cave Lake State Park near Ely Nevada—one of our favorite places on Highway 50, the loneliest highway in the U.S. The scenery is spectacular and the camp spaces are placed among the pinion and juniper trees typical of this area, very private and secluded. The small lake is pleasant and reserved for shore fishing—no boats or water-recreation equipment.
I had my mind set on a hot shower in the park but only one shower was open and the other provided approximately 30 seconds of warm water—just enough to soap up and add shampoo—then turned freezing cold. By the time I rinsed body and hair, my skin was pink and very cold. I walked back up the hill to our motor home and sat in front of the furnace outlet to warm up. I even thought of turning on the generator to blow-dry my hair but since I had it cut short for the vacation, it dried pretty quickly.
Tomorrow a short day of driving to Bob Scott National Forest Campground just before Austin, Nevada.