The mega-hyped storm arrived at Fruita, Utah, in the middle of the night leaving behind perhaps a couple of hundreths of an inch of rain and a lot of wind.
The wind is really confusing the leaves. They don't know which way to blow. First they race across north across the campground. Then they change their leaf minds and race back south. Such behavior makes them very interesting to watch. Fruita's stately old growth cottonwood trees were at their peak when we arrived early Monday afternoon.
Now their slightly past their peak because the wind has stripped off lotsa leaves. But there's still plenty of color, so much so that the campground has an odd but pleasing yellow tint.
The NPS put signs at the Visitor Center saying "Campground FULL" but it actually wasn't completely full. Close but not quite.
As usual the Capitol Reef Campground fills out Hearts & Spirits full with Joy & Delight. Site 30 in the B Loop is arguably the best site in the whole campground.
After our Spring 2021 Northbound trip and factoring in this Fall's Southbound route so far, we've decided it's our new South-North Route. Plus, we're going to experiment with repeating our Fall 2019 leg via Hanksville-Blanding-Bluff to Arizona. It might actually be equal or even shorter distance to go that way rather than to go back through Loa and then to Koosharem, etc. to get to US 89.
You can't make something from nothing. Cell signal boosters only work if they have a weak signal to boost. There is absolutely ZERO cell signal here in Fruita and the NPS intends to keep it that way. So, our hoop-dee-doo cell signal booster is useless in such a situation.
However, it "might" work its magic at a viewpoint where we know there is a weak signal. The nice thing about the unit we purchased is that it came with two external antennas. One works great on a tall mast. The other is magnetic and can simply be attached to the roof of the truck. The amplifier plugs into the 12 volt port. Those ports used to be called cigarette lighters but that seems such an archaic name now.
Today promises to be cooler than normal. It was 68 degrees when we pulled into this campground yesterday. At 10 AM it's 44 degrees and the wind makes it feel even cooler than that.
Anyway, it will be a good day to spend time at the Visitor Center trying to find more information about The Bird Ripple Rock Mine and also the location of the 1937 National Monument Dedication Ceremony.
We're thinking of delivering a short Eulogy to E.P. Pectol at that Dedication Site but, as this point, we have no clue where it is located.
We have VERY low expeectations for working with the NPS Staff today. In fact, it will be no surprise if we come up empty-handed on all of our inquiries.
This might be a large National Park in physical area but it's a very small park in terms of Staffing and so-called "resources." I'd be quite surprised if they actually even had archival records located on site here. I'd be willing to bet real money the Capitol Reef archives are located at the Denver Regional Office.
But whatever...at least we will give it a good ol' college try and see wot hoppens.
Theoretically, the weather is supposed to improve this week. With four more nights remaining, we have plenty of time to explore and do all the stuff people do when they visit Capitol Reef.
Capitol Reef National Park was created from Capitol Reef National Monument on December 18, 1971, when President Nixon signed it into law. So the Park is turning 50. Efforts to designate this area as a National Park actually began over 100 years ago through the relentless efforts of E.P. Pectol. Pectol coined the name "Wayne Wonderland" well over 100 years ago. He and his pards began a concerted promotional campaign in 1921.
Back in 1925, people here actually thought that a "Wayne Wonderland" State Park had been created. A couple thousand folks showed up at a Dedication and the Governor was keynote speaker. Interestingly, there never was a Wayne Wonderland State Park here or anywhere else. But people "thought" there was. President Franklin Roosevelt actually signed the law creating Capitol Reef National Monument in August 1937. It was supposed to be called Wayne Wonderland National Monument but some NPS bureaucrat co-opted the name at the last minute in the legislative process. Local folks wer\\\e very upset about the name change.
Guess who actually named the area Capitol Reef? None other than that famous river runner, Major John Wesley Powell!
All-in-all, it's a minor miracle that Capitol Reef National Monument became a Nation Park 50 years ago. Such a thing would NEVER happen in today's political climate. Utah has five headliner National Parks. It's doubtful ANY of them would stand a snowball's chance of becoming National Parks in today's contentious culture.
We're very happy to be tucked into the Capitol Reef campground at Fruita. It's one of our favorite places to be. We Love It Here.