OK, traveling around in the west has convinced me that I am definitely going to take some courses in geology. We don’t have geology in the east. We have the Appalachian Mountains, but they’re nothing. Apologists for those mountains claim that millions of years ago the Appalachians were as tall and rugged as the Rockies, but I think they’re just embarrassed by the soft and flabby nature of the Appalachian Mountains so they try to explain away the mountains’ impotence by claiming that the mountains are old. Whatever.
Where was I? Oh yeah, geology. Out here, they have real geology. Manly geology. Capitol Reef National Park‘s claim to fame is a 100-mile long fold in the earth’s crust. Right. The earth’s crust just got all crinkled-up-like, lifted 7000 feet straight up, and now sticks up in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get the full effect of this phenomenon except in an aerial view, so I swiped a picture off the internet:
And the geology here is fascinating. As is our practice, we attended a ranger talk, this one on the geology of the area with the eroded cliffs of the Waterpocket Fold as a backdrop.
Most of the interesting areas of the park can be seen along a scenic drive:
OK, so the geology is fascinating, but unless you’re a geologist, I’m not sure Capitol Reef is a great vacation spot. We sort of felt like we saw all we wanted to see in a day-and-a-half of touring around. Worth it, but not in the same category as Arches and Canyonlands.
Next stop, Bryce Canyon National Park.