Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument

We took a much needed break from the Vegas heat and the 2020 nonsense over the 4th of July weekend. We rented a SUV for a song and drove to Central Utah and stayed in a rented cabin for 3 days. It was like opening the decompression valves to full. All three of us were very happy for the short escape.

We reserved the cabin and rental car last month. That’s when we decided that there was no better way to practice social distancing than Utah. I looked at it as a social distancing vacation from well, social distancing. Utah has been pretty laxed on pandemic requirements. When we were there you could tell who the tourists were and who the locals were by the mask or the absence of a mask. I’m not a fan of wearing a mask, but I had to ask myself– Why not? Right now there is no other known way to prevent the spread. Yes, wearing masks is arguably causes more harm than good. I believe that wearing a mask for short periods of time throughout the day as you weave in and out of public places will cause minimal harm.

Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
“Yep”
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Our little escape for the weekend. That was a sweet ride. We only paid $233 for the whole weekend!

July 2

We arrived early Thursday afternoon at the Sand Creek RV Park. We rented our cabin for around $50 a night. We had talked the owner, Harry, a couple of times prior to coming. Harry was very helpful and accommodating. The cabin we rented was the best of the three and didn’t disappoint. It was at the back edge of the park next to a wide open field overlooking some gorgeous red cliffs. It was like a small oasis within the small RV park. We had the best seat in the house! The cabin was as expected for $50 a night– no running water inside and small. It’s easy to overlook those inconveniences with such a beautiful location. I’d do it all over in a heartbeat!

Our first night was great. We settled in pretty quickly and cooked some brats on the grill. We then started a campfire in the ring and attempted to make some smores. Believe it or not, I’ve never made smores. I tried last Thursday night and failed miserably. I was so confident I knew how to make them I didn’t even consult YouTube before leaving. Feiya ended up eating a half dozen marshmallows.

Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
I can’t think of a better place to be.
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Best wife ever.
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Best family ever.

July 3

The first day, July 3, we explored Capitol Reef. We drove through the park through highway 24 and Scenic Drive. We even took the short drive to the overlook on Goosenecks Rd. It was a near perfect day. A little breezy, but warm. I had my drone and took a couple of flights. I also took my DSLR along. It’s been a long time since I carried one around on a road trip. It fared ok. The problems were mostly with the user, but I straightened some of them out by the 2nd day.

Late afternoon into evening some rain storms passed through. These yielded some spectacular skies. The sunset was gorgeous and we had a solid double rainbow. We were able to cook an awesome meal on the grill, however. We had brats, steak, fried veggies, and roasted corn. We were able to cook in between rain storms. Kind of put a damper on our campfire plans. It turned out to be a pretty great night.

Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Not sure why this pic made the cut.
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Getting better. That sky!
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
I wasn’t feeling this camera the first day.
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Ok.
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
A couple of angels.
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Another great day of sight seeing.
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
The veggies I mentioned. Delicious!
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Feiya insisted on handling the brats. I did the steak. She did a much better job!
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Roasted corn!
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Our backyard for the weekend!
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Double rainbow!

July 4

Saturday, the 4th, we got up and made breakfast on the grill. I came up with the idea to fry some eggs and fry some corn tortillas. Then add the left over veggies from the night before. Top it off with some melted cheese and there you have a nice camp breakfast. My iron skillet took a beating. It’s so temperamental!

We took the Scenic Byway Route 12 drive to Escalante, Utah. I’ve been on some beautiful drives before, but this one takes the cake! To top it off we took Burr Trail Road from Boulder. We drove through some beautiful canyons. I took some photos of Dana and also flew the drone. I mostly concentrated on video with the drone, but was able to get some still photos as well. What an incredible day!

Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Just an incredible drive!
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Dana still loves the camera.
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Me, not so much!
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
The camera still loves Dana!
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
A nice way to wind down from a day of sight seeing.

That evening we cooked what we had left in our stash. The partly cloudy sky made for another awesome sunset. It was close to a full moon so, I didn’t do any astrophotography. I’ve only attempted astrophotography once before in Colorado many moons ago. I’d like to take it up now that I’m living the desert. We’re kicking around a getaway to Death Valley this fall. I’ll definitely give it a whirl then.

Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
“Picture time!” Dana pulls me off of my rump.
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Worth every minute!

We had a nice campfire and to our surprise a local firework show took place about a couple of miles from our cabin. We were able to sit at the campfire and enjoy the show. Unbelievable!

Parting Ways

The trip was pretty spectacular. It’s very high on the ranking list for extended weekend sojourns. We’ve been to Zion, Yosemite, Bryce, and The Great Sand Dunes, and Capitol Reef hangs with all of them. The area itself is very unique. It goes from red and blonde canyons, green mountainous forests, and dusty deserts. It offers so much and cupled with the Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument it’s also vast. Just an incredible part to our country. We have some issues going on, but we still have to take the time to be grateful for what we have. Gratitude is what this place will show you. I highly recommend it!

Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Still my favorite shot to get from the drone.
Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
These two will be hanging my wall soon!