Capitol Gorge Hike

Capitol Reef NP

Wednesday October 8, 2014

Our first hike was a “baby” one – only two miles round trip – that followed a dry stream bed past Fremont petroglyphs and so-called Pioneer Registers. At the end of the stream bed we climbed a short distance to what are called The Tanks.

As you can see, the streambed is quite narrow, not someplace you’d want to be after a rainstorm.

Capitol Gorge streambed

Capitol Gorge streambed

For a long time, this streambed was the only “road” through the Waterpocket Fold region. Who knows how many men and women passed along this road?

I found the Pioneer Register fascinating. I don’t know how the custom started, but travelers began to carve their names and the date they passed through. It made we wonder where they came from, where they were going, and why.

Pioneer Register

Pioneer Register

I suppose this fascination with the past has to do with my love of history. Walking in the footsteps of these people fills me with wonder about who they were, how they lived, what they did.

Once we reached the end of the Capitol Gorge Trail, we took a short side trail to an area called The Tanks. These were semi-permanent pools of water scattered among the slickrock.

The Tanks

The Tanks

And they aren’t that small either. Not quite swimming pool size, but not too shabby either.

Closeup of water pool

Closeup of pool

One of the last things I expected to see in such an arid place was a frog. This little guy, a red-spotted frog, was maybe an inch long and lived in and around the pools. We saw quite a few of these critters.

Red-spotted frog

Red-spotted frog

Ain’t nature amazing?

J

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