And I am leaving tomorrow for the desert. I can only imagine a fraction of what the settlers of the four corners region felt when called to leave Cedar City, already a well established mountain town, to start all over again in a desolate place. I am going for four nights, in luxury, for fun. They left forever to face hardship and danger.
|Theoretical danger only|
Away from the river, everything was dry, but not as dry as in southeastern Utah, the four corners area settled in The Undaunted. That corner of the state was declared a natural disaster due to prolonged drought. Ranchers are currently trucking in water to keep cattle alive.
Monday, we drove and set up camp, then everyone else went on a tough hike while I took a small ride around the campground on my bike.
Tuesday was my "long" (2 mile round trip) hike to a natural bridge. It was fun redrock hiking with lots of variety in the terrain.
We followed the Loa Elementary kindergarten class up the trail, which is a good sign about it's difficulty, but also of the bravery of Loa Elementary teachers and parents. I would have taken my own children at any age, but would have hesitated to take a class of kids anywhere with so many cacti and good places to fall.
If you know anyone in this picture, let them know so I can get their permission. I don't think any of the kids are recognizable, but some of the adults may be.
We stopped to look at some pictographs after the hike and I confused my parents by making a fuss over the cuteness of a tent caterpillar.
We went to see the cathedrals--some sandstone fins that stand apart from the cliffs in a dry valley. The larger is called Cathedral of the Sun and the smaller is Cathedral of the Moon.
There is also a very strange formation called Glass Mountain. It is too small to be a mountain, but the strangest rock I've ever seen. It looks like our usual sedimentary rock was melted into glass, then broken up and squished together. It also looks like people have taken large chunks of it away, probably to rock shops, hopefully mostly before Capitol Reef became a national park.
On Wednesday evening we drove to an overlook area that is supposed to be fantastic during sunset.
Throughout our trip, clouds were better suited to comfortable hiking than amazing photography, but the views were amazing.
On Thursday I was done. While everyone else went on another hike, I rested, knit, and read. I took a very short morning walk to the pioneer store to buy pie and other goodies. How many campgrounds offer fresh pies and sweet rolls (at tourist prices) every morning?