Capitol Reef

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in an orchard in Utah. An orchard in Capitol Reef National Park to be precise. The sun is setting, I can hear nothing but a river a few yards away and the clicking of my cameras as they cook some timelapse shots of the trees against the high cliffs of the park.

Just over two years ago, I made the decision to quit my legal career. It was a long time coming and the decision was not without its doubts. This used to be my view...

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But as I sit here, in this orchard, I know deep down that I made the right decision.

Capitol Reef National Park has some awesome views. The aptly named Sunset Point and Panorama Point along with the washes you can hike through and buttresses you can hike up, it’s a truly stunning place. I can’t imagine what the first settlers thought when they saw it and how they managed to get through or around to keep on heading West. Also how they managed to carve their names into the walls of the narrows so high...

It’s a stunning place for photography. The evening light bounces off the red cliffs and they glow as the sun sets. The huge vistas lend themselves to panoramic shots.

There is some wildlife here also. The small critters such as the ground hog and squirrel type animals. The deer wander the orchard near the entrance to the park. The mountain lions patrol the slightly higher and more lonesome elevations. I’ve yet to see a mountain lion but their presence is there. Scat on almost every trail I’ve hiked up and some fresh prints in the sand in Cohab Canyon heading in the same direction as I was (I figured it was prudent to head back at that point. Although a sighting is unlikely, lone hikers are a wee bit more vulnerable than two or a group).

So as the sun sets over this orchard on my last night in this park, I’m sad to leave this place. There is a particular measure of calmness and serenity to be gained by spending some time here. My view is way better than it was two years ago...

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Oh, and the park service here sells some amazing cinnamon rolls...