As I left off, I explained we were done with our summer of mountain living. We left Gunnison and headed down to Montrose, Colorado where we spent a couple of days with hook ups – a necessity in hot weather. Not a particularly pretty place, but we stayed at the Elk’s lodge and met up with Mark and Judy who were also staying there, so it was great to meet up with friends again. Had a great lunch with them but too busy visiting for any photos!

Nice lunch, laundry done, getting used to our usual (hot) summer weather, we were ready to say goodbye to Colorado. Not sure if I’ve explained out plans yet, but we need to be back in California by August 1st. We are expecting a new grandbaby – due the middle of the month – and we made reservations to be close to my daughter for the whole month.

We are close enough to move quickly if the baby comes early, but we’re enjoying our trip back west and not making it at the breakneck speed we did last summer. So, we’ll be crossing Utah again, and this time we decided to take a detour off of Highway 70 and check out Capital Reef National Park .

It was a pleasant drive and we arrived at the park in the afternoon – with no plans or reservations! At the park headquarters we found out there was no room at the Fruita Campground, but we were able to park the RV there while we took the Jeep on the scenic drive.

First, we had to stop at one of the orchards so Tom could pick some Apricots.

There was no time for hiking and the end of the drive was closed off – which was okay because with the threat of rain, going into a canyon didn’t sound like a good idea.

But seeing all the rock formations as we drove by, stopping to take photos of course, was beautiful.

Then we went down the road with our fingers crossed to find a BLM site a park ranger told us about – at Mile Marker…something.

We were worried about getting stranded someplace with the rain coming, but the ground seemed high and hard enough and we weren’t very far from the blacktop.

Luckily we found it, and even luckier we made it in and almost had the place to ourselves.

With limited time to explore this National Park, we got up early and drove back into the park to do some minimal hiking.  There were a few short trails and the views were spectacular.

We hiked up to look down at a gooseneck river:

We checked out the park in camp and read about the history of the orchards and the Mail Tree – a gigantic 200-plus-year-old Cottonwood tree.

We stopped at the roadside park to see the petroglyphs – some of which have been eroded by rock slides.

Then we hiked up to see a natural arch. It was just a beautiful area all around.

This would be a wonderful place to spend some more time at (don’t I say that about everywhere we’ve seen?). But we are on a deadline and need to keep moving so now we are on our way through to the next state: Nevada.

Leaving camp to get back on the highway.
Back on the road heading west to Nevada.

Happy Travels,

Peace & Love, Joy