Capitol Reef NP, Navajo Knob, Utah

I left Cove Fort and moved on to Capitol Reef National Park. This park is much quieter than the two big ones in the area, Zion and Bryce. I felt obligated to stop by merely because it was there but once I got there I was blown away. I stayed at the campground the first night, and decided to get out the mapping software and download some maps onto my GPS/PDA. The next morning I drove down the scenic road which is sort of a large slot canyon for cars. I saw a strange looking bird, maybe Mr. Drew could clue us in on what it was, see pic on slideshow.

Then I decided to hike a trail called Navajo Knob, it was a quarter mile from the campground and along the way I saw a hitchhiker whom I failed to pick up because I was going so short a distance. It turned out that the hitchhiker was trying to get to the trailhead as well and I gave him a hard time about hitchhiking so short a distance. He was hiking the same trail as I so I told him to get going. He turned out to be Gary from Vancouver, a solid hiker with good stamina. Once we got to the top Gary suggested I go backpacking with him over at Muley's Twist (see next post). Gary was not attracted to my winning personalitly and my hot body, but moreso the fact that I had a car, he did not and he had no other way to get to Muley's Twist. I immediately agreed because it sounded like Gary knew what he was doing and had a plan, and, sadly, I do not.



Mr. Drew said...

Cham, your bird is a Chukar (pronounced "chucker"). It's imported from Asia for folks to shoot.


lisazilla said...

What was that mountain with the snow on it? The black streaks on the rocks? That fat little bird looked tasty - did you get to try any?

Cham said...

The black streaks on the rocks are all over the place. Unfortunately, I didn't spend any time at the VC (newly learned slang for "Visitors Center",Ranger John is teaching me) to learn anything. However, the mountains off in the distance were part of the Fishlake National Forest in Utah, Mt. Belknap at 12139 feet and Delano Peak at 12173 feet. These mountains can be seen in the area around Cove Fort at the intersection of I-15 and I-70.

Parker said...

Nice shots, but I don't see one with that funny tree in it ;-) Had no idea when we met that you were such a techno-weenie! I saw chukars at Kodachrome State Park too, they were all over the campsite -- that's where I ended up after you and Gary went down Muley Twist. Went from there to Arches -- what a ZOO!

The black streaks are called "varnish" -- they are eons old -- some kind of coating that gets on the rock and fossilizes.

Cham said...


You should have come with us, we had a blast. Arches sucks, too many people. I'm no photographer like you.

Parker said...

picked this up on the web -- desert varnish, a dark coating on rocks found in arid regions. The coating is composed dominantly of fine-grained clay minerals. Within the clays are black manganese oxide and red iron oxide. A more general term is rock varnish which applies to dark coatings on rocks in general.

Now I know more than I did... I miss the West already :-(