Day 126: 11/27/17  Capitol Reef National Park!

Miles: 26 Steps: 55,280 Vertical gain: Strava Knows! Liquid consumed: 138 oz. Wildlife: Several deer, birds, cattle, mountain lion prints for a long way Faith in Humanity: Saw two vehicles, both waved at me! I made it through my 9th National Park of the trip today: Capitol Reef! I was on the trail at 6:30 today and it was a bit dark. A beautiful sunrise of pink and purple and blue unfolded and I couldn’t help but take a few photos. After a few miles the scenic, remote dirt road I was walking went through a narrow canyon. Of course, there were a ton of cattle in the narrow canyon. I don’t think many of these cows are used to seeing walkers, so it was easy to kind of herd them along through the canyon. One problem though: there was a fence and cattle guard at the far end of the canyon! I laughed a bit and weighed my options. I climbed up the steep side of the canyon, went through a barbed wire fence, then carefully climbed down the steep canyon and back to the road. Not too crazy, but always an adventure! Beautiful scenery all day today! Honestly: what the hell happened here in Utah? I saw a video in Arches National Park talking about how this area has been under water a total of 26 times or something like that! So, maybe that explains it? Towering buttes, castles of red rocks, sandstone dunes, narrow canyons, and awesomeness generally abounded! I also saw a ton of mountain lion paw prints all day long! And the prints were by far the freshest in the deep sand I walked through miles of today. Just hope I don’t see one at camp! I walked the Oak Creek “Trail” through Capitol Reef National Park. It was an extremely obscure trip down a small side canyon to start, followed by a long trudge through very deep sand along Oak Creek canyon. Really pretty and kind of cool to have a sort of non trail to go through the park. Cool scenery and certainly an area I’ve never visited before and I’m sure that not many people do get to visit ever. Deep sand continued for much of the afternoon but I persisted as much as possible. I made it until around 4:45pm before selecting a campsite and setting up my tarp. I ate food, relaxed, studied maps, read and of course wrote this journal entry. I keep debating what to do tomorrow. I haven’t had cell service in over a week now so I don’t know the weather forecast. I haven’t had a shower in 11 days either and my socks are nasty! I’m thinking I’ll go into Boulder tomorrow for some rest, but we shall see!

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