Five Weekends in October

October, as all our months on the road, has passed too quickly. It is my favorite month – bringing the crisp chill of autumn mornings, dry scent of oak leaves, pumpkin everything, sweater weather. Our travels took us over more than 1,500 miles of roadways this month, from slickrock to snow to desert sand. I’m continually amazed at the vast differences in climate and topography, how the scenery across the West is constantly changing.

October 1: Sunrise at Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah.

October 9: Double Arch, Arches National Park, Utah.

October 16: Highway 550 just south of Silverton, Colorado. You could almost warm yourself by the glow of the aspens in the late afternoon sun.

October 23: The Grand Canyon, Arizona. We hiked five miles and 3,000 feet in elevation down into the canyon, but didn't get all the way to the Colorado River.

October 30: Saguaro, Prickly Pear and Teddy Bear Cholla near Tucson, Arizona.

Spiced Apple Yogurt Pancakes

In the late 1800s, Mormon settlers planted fruit trees in the small community of Fruita along the Fremont River. Now part of Capitol Reef National Park, the orchards are still maintained by the park service and the abundant fruit is available for picking. We stayed at the Fruita Campground and picked a few pounds of these small heirloom Red Delicious apples, which were absolutely nothing like the mealy bright red version found in grocery stores. We had some company while we picked, too!

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