About ten years ago, Nancy and I did two publications for Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park, and they were both illustrated throughout with lots of my ink drawings. They looked good, but this time around, we upgraded it all with watercolor and ink sketches, and if you’ve been reading my blogs, you’ll know why. I was just in the mood to do more of these colorful images, so the wonderful folks at Cap Reef let me do it. One is about Cathedral Valley (above), the big road loop north of the visitor center, and the other is for the Waterpocket Fold loop, that famous road that loops down into the Staircase-Escalante and up the Burr Trail. They’re both wild rides, and very exciting to to drive – true American West stuff. Here’s a page from the second guide. The images should enlarge with a click. I think there are about 40 of these little watercolors scattered throughout.
But there’s a little more to this story.When Nancy and I were down there a decade ago researching this, we had just been officially married, and the wonderful folks at the park put us up in a little honeymoon cabin complete with a gift basket (and where you’d even get a gift basket in that very remote park of Utah, I still don’t know). We had Nancy’s almost-new BLACK 4-runner (black is so great for desert off-road driving, isn’t it?), and the very first day of research, and the very first few feet of the Cathedral Valley road, we were required to ‘ford’ the 100′-wide Fremont River. We could see the road going into it, and see it coming out the other side – so what the heck, we went for it. Water OVER THE HOOD – and by the time we reached the far shore, we had it coming in the doors too. It was a ‘family’ moment for sure, but we all got calmed down and continued the 60-mile heavily rutted dirt road in somewhat strained but peaceful silence. After 60 miles, the car was NOT black, but more a muddy brown. Oh, and amazingly, we’re still married.
Thanks, Shirley and Diana -the Elegant CapReef Ladies, for letting me whack away at this.
And, thanks for reading this week.
Click here to go to the online blog this was to.
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Click here to check out what Nancy’s currently working on with her photography.