100/100/100: Day 5 – Gifford Homestead Barn, Capitol Reef National Park

Gifford Homestead Barn

Located near the main campground in the heart of the Fruita district of Capitol Reef National Park, the Gifford homestead is one of the best preserved reminders of the early 1900’s Mormon settlement that once thrived along the banks of the Fremont River. Compared to the other National Parks in Southern Utah, Capitol Reef seems almost like the forgotten fifth wheel, the more out-of-the-way, less frequented cousin to Zion, Bryce, Arches, and Canyonlands. It is one of the most captivating places I’ve ever been though, with its lush orchards and towering sandstone cliffs, it’s definitely not to be missed.

The Gifford homestead itself was originally built by Calvin Pendleton in 1908, before transferring its ownership eventually to the eponymous Gifford family who lived there and farmed the land until selling to the National Park Service in 1969. The house itself, seen in the background of this photo, now serves as a museum and gift shop, as well as the place to buy the most amazing pies and cinnamon rolls you could ever ask for, perfect after long weeks hiking and exploring the southwest, I can attest. I took this photo in October of 2015, toward the tail end of a week-long, rain-drenched road trip with my erstwhile traveling companion, and was thrilled at the peace and quiet the park had to offer. The Cottonwoods had just started to turn, their yellowing leaves standing in stark contrast to the red of the canyon walls, and with the extensive rain that had pounded the entire state all week, we felt like we had the park to ourselves.

Capitol Reef is quickly becoming one of my favorites, and I can’t wait to get back there sometime soon, for the pies if nothing else…

Gifford Homestead Barn

Gifford Homestead Barn

Located near the main campground in the heart of the Fruita district of Capitol Reef National Park, the Gifford homestead is one of the best preserved reminders of the early 1900’s Mormon settlement that once thrived along the banks of the Fremont River.  Compared to the other National Parks in Southern Utah, Capitol Reef seems almost like the forgotten fifth wheel, the more out-of-the-way, less frequented cousin to Zion, Bryce, Arches, and Canyonlands.  It is one of the most captivating places I’ve ever been though, with its lush orchards and towering sandstone cliffs, it’s definitely not to be missed.

The Gifford homestead itself was originally built by Calvin Pendleton in 1908, before transferring its ownership eventually to the eponymous Gifford family who lived there and farmed the land until selling to the National Park Service in 1969.  The house itself, seen in the background of this photo, now serves as a museum and gift shop, as well as the place to buy the most amazing pies and cinnamon rolls you could ever ask for, perfect after long weeks hiking and exploring the southwest, I can attest.  I took this photo in October of 2015, toward the tail end of a week-long, rain-drenched road trip with my erstwhile traveling companion, and was thrilled at the peace and quiet the park had to offer.  The Cottonwoods had just started to turn, their yellowing leaves standing in stark contrast to the red of the canyon walls, and with the extensive rain that had pounded the entire state all week, we felt like we had the park to ourselves.

Capitol Reef is quickly becoming one of my favorites, and I can’t wait to get back there sometime soon, for the pies if nothing else…

Sandstone Cathedral

The American Southwest has always inspired me, visually and creatively, in a way unlike any other part of the country. I’ve never been a religious man, but if ever I’ve found a place that made me feel more spiritually connected to it, I surely don’t remember it. Every year I try and get out to explore and wander through the red-rock deserts of the Colorado Plateau, each time trying to find something new, some place where I can reconnect, recharge, and respark my creative engine.

The American Southwest has always inspired me, visually and creatively, in a way unlike any other part of the country.  I’ve never been a religious man, but if ever I’ve found a place that made me feel more spiritually connected to it, I surely don’t remember it.  Every year I try and get out to explore and wander through the red-rock deserts of the Colorado Plateau, each time trying to find something new, some place where I can reconnect, recharge, and respark my creative engine.

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A Taste of the Trinity Alps

At 10 hours from my previous home in Los Angeles, and tucked far enough away from I-5 to not even pass my radar, the Trinity Alps were a place I knew absolutely nothing about going into my hike on the PCT this past summer. When my thru-hike got derailed and I started looking at places I wanted to pick up before the summer ended, this section of Northern California wasn’t one I really looked too hard at, which turned out to be a huge mistake.

Trinity Alps

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In recently relocating to the Pacific Northwest, I find myself looking at new places for future explorations and wanderings.  I’ve spent a lot of time hiking the Olympics and Cascades in Washington and love them, have an insatiable desire to really explore the Columbia Gorge and Mt. Hood area, and know for a fact I need to spend like a week around Mt. Jefferson.  Above all of these places however, is the intrigue of the Trinity Alps in Northern California.

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