An Amazing Adventure~Part 8

14 Dec


Judy Wills




The next morning, we had breakfast at our out-of-the-way hotel. It was surprisingly good—make your own waffles and all the stuff that goes along with that.

We went through the little area known as Fruita. There is a bit of history about it, as well. It was settled by the Mormons, and they planted all kinds of fruit trees—apple, pear, peach, cherry, apricot, mulberry, even Potowatomee Plum (I’d never heard of that one). They made their living off all the things one can make from fruit. The original name of the place was Junction. After the success of the fruit trees, they changed the name to Fruita.

The residents (usually no more than about 10 families) built a one-room school house, which still stands today, after some renovation. The National Park Service purchased most of the land—and trees—and razed most of the buildings. But the school house survived. And while the land and trees belong to the National Park Service, the public is invited to help harvest. According to their website, any fruit consumed in the park is free. If you pick the fruit and take it out of the park—you are charged. Interesting. Here is a picture of that one-room schoolhouse.


From there, we headed on to Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, in Moab, Utah. It took us a while to get there, so by the time we arrived, it was time for lunch.



I found it interesting to know that Canyonlands National Park is the LARGEST park in Utah! When looking at the map, there is an area five or six time larger than Canyonlands, but then I realized it is the Grand Staircase Escalante National MONUMENT—not a national park Big difference—I suppose mostly who controls the area. Canyonlands has deeply eroded canyons interspersed with sheer-sided mesas and a variety of spires, arches and unusual rock formations

We had a picnic lunch near the Grand View Point, at an outside picnic table. We were joined by some chipmunks and either a raven or a crow (we aren’t sure just what each of those birds looks like, so…..). They must have had some scraps from other picnickers, because they were quite bold.



After lunch, we drove around Canyonlands, as much as we could. Again, of course, I wanted to get out and take pictures of just everything I could see. So Brian stated that when we stopped, it was for a “two photo stop” only. If I took more than two photos, he would go off and leave me (he never did)! Of course, if HE got out to take pictures, the deal was off!


We stopped at Buck Canyon Overlook. Fantastic scenery. It’s like I just couldn’t get enough of it all. Apparently the Green and Colorado rivers confluence carved out what we saw. Absolutely amazing! Breath-taking! And frankly, I thought some of the rock formations were as spectacular as what we saw in Grand Canyon.

The elevations in Canyonlands range from 3,700’ to 7,200’ above sea level. That makes for hot summers and cold winters. Sometimes the temperatures can change as much as 50° within one day. The area has less than 10” of rain per year, usually in the summer by monsoons, which can cause flash flooding.

There is also an area within Canyonlands called Upheaval Dome. The “experts” still aren’t sure—even after all these years of studying it—whether it was a salt dome that exploded, or a meteorite impact. It was a bit of a hike—classified as a “short steep trail” to get to the overlook, so Brian was the only one who made that trek. We contented ourselves with the sign.



~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~

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