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!
Having lived my whole life either on the West Coast or in Minnesota, I’m familiar with scenery painted in greens, blues and browns — pine-filled mountains, lakes, meadows rimmed with leafy trees. Utah was a contrast to all of that. Created with a completely different palette of deep red and terra-cotta, the steep-walled canyons, graceful arches and arid desert were impressively beautiful in a way I’d never experienced before. We spent two and a half weeks exploring all five of Utah’s National Parks and part of the Grand Staircase area, doing some of the best hikes of the trip and discovering a burgeoning new love for canyoneering.
No one believes us when we say this, but we’ve been busy. Really. Sure, we’re not working, but we’re intent on getting as much out of this trip as possible, and the daily hikes, bike rides, plans, hunts for campsites and 26-point turns to get the RV out of dead-end forest service roads can be a bit tiring. Continue reading