Sunday, July 17, 2011

Capitol Reef National Park in July

Last weekend we took the Jones family down to my parents home and stayed and played for the weekend.  Mark Jones loves to hike and I had told him about a little hike down at Capitol Reef that only the locals know about.  It is not a marked trail and I don't think one person in the park's visitors center knows about it.  It is one of those wonderful 'good ole boys' secrets.

This is the Jones family at the beginning of the hike, wait, Emmitt is in there too on Mark's shoulders.  Where is William?  Okay, it is not the entire Jones family!

It is a short little hike, where towards the end you run into a wonderful cave and then a rock wall.  I have scaled this rock wall before with a few super strong and tall guys to help (my dad and brother, high school and college boyfriends, etc) and it is quite difficult.  Since Mark was going to be the only super strong guy with us, I grabbed a few ropes at my dad's house; an 8 foot lead rope and a longer lariat.
The first obstacle of the rock wall was to get a piece of wood wedged between it and another rock to use as a stepping spot.  We had to break the ends off of a piece so it would work the way we needed it to, and then we got another one, to make two steps.

The kids just waited and played at the bottom for a few hours while we went to work!  It started raining on us, but we were so sheltered in the little canyon that it wasn't bad at all.  The kids climbed around and played on the ropes, and Emmitt just loved to sit in the sand and run his fingers through it!

They were good kids.  Kelsey is like a little monkey but without a tail, that is what my dad says anyways, plus she is pretty brave, so she climbed all over the place while Kendal, William, and Emmitt watched. Here she is in that tree while they sit on the rock and watch!

After Mark and I got a few pieces of wood in place, we tested the ropes.  We only had the ropes on a few small broken off branches of a dead tree, so we were not too trusting of them.  Kelsey tried them out and of course, climbed the rock.

Here Kelsey is at the top of the rock while Mark and I watch.  Mark did have to give her a little 'cheerleader lift' with his hands and her feet, and then she was scrambling up the rock like a monkey and was up!  The rock was a little too slick and wet from the rain, and the ropes were not all that strong, plus I just had stitches taken out of my foot 3 days before, so we stayed down - DANG IT!! 

Here are a few pictures Kelsey took at the top to show Mark and I what we were missing by being too cautious.  Cool bridge and also cable to help you stay on the rock as you walked across this part.

There are a couple of spots that have hand and foot holds carved into the rock, but I don't think she took any pictures of those.  It was fun for her to go and explore by herself.  She didn't go up last time we went there because she was only 6 or so, so it was fun for her to see.

Kelsey also took this picture of the rest of us from the top while she was exploring.  Here is Mark and I between the two rocks that we wedged the poles into, and the little ones at the bottom with Emmitt playing in the sand!

Boy they were good kids!  Amanda, Thomas, and Lydia had to head back to the car while we were hiking.

This is the fun cave right before the rock wall.  I went on a Junior Prom date here when I was a Senior.  We had a sweet little picnic in here with blankets and candles.  It was really fun.  I think it was raining then too!

After our little excursion, we headed to the big picnic area at Capitol Reef and had some lunch and played around.  The weather was so cool and nice - what a crazy weather day for Capitol Reef National Park in July!

Here is Kendal and Lydia.  They have become quite good little friends over the past while.  They love to play together!

This is sweet little Emmitt back at my parents' house.  He loves the 4-wheeler.  We had just gone for a little ride and he wanted to sit on there for awhile.  I took Emmitt and Kelsey out to the 'dirt track.'  The problem was that my foot I just had surgery on could not shift, so Kelsey drove us to the track, but I took over because I love the speed!  As we were racing around the track, Emmitt kept yelling "WAHOO!"  It was the cutest little thing!  Thanks to the Jones family for a great weekend, and thanks to my mom and dad for letting us stay in the cabin and letting us have a such a good time.


Krista said...

What a beautiful place!
BTW...Your bugs didn't really bother me. Just startled me when they started moving after they were pinned down ;) What fun time we had! You were the best roommate ever!!!!

Emiko said...

I remember the picnic!! It was my Junior Prom, I got something in mt eye and had a big FAT eye for prom, it was great!!!


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