Pictures from Day 5
(Capitol Reef, Natural Bridges, and Monument Valley)

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Below

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah.
We had the interesting experience here of discovering that the wrong struts had been installed on the Outback, as we drove our first dirt road of the trip. Dampened our plans for more dirt road driving, although we didn't eliminate it. We hiked down the Capitol Gorge wash a ways to the tanks, and then cross-country up a side stream for a mile or so.
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Looking across Capitol Gorge at an amphitheatre, opposite the canyon with the 3 tanks (deep holes filled with water).

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The "Pioneer Registry". People have been scratching their names into the rocks here since the late 1870's. Some of the more recent ones are unfortunately more like vandalism, damaging the older ones.

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Above one of the tanks was a small free-standing arch. This is looking up the canyon through the arch, overlooking one of the larger tanks.

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Looking down the canyon at the same free-standing arch. A bit hard to see, look closely.

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Rocks in the same canyon.

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Looking down the canyon with the tanks, and across Capitol Gorge

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Looking up towards the head of the side canyon (Casey on rocks)

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Looking up towards the head of the side canyon (Dave on rocks)

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Leaving the trailhead for the Capitol Gorge wash, heading back towards the visitor's center.

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Leaving the trailhead for the Capitol Gorge wash, heading back towards the visitor's center (a bit further along)

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Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah.
We didn't do too much hiking here, although we scrambled around the edge of White Canyon on the way, and did hike down to the Sipapu bridge, the largest of the 3 in the monument.
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A view into White Canyon (same canyon that 2 of the 3 major bridges at Natural Bridges span).

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A view across the rock looking towards White Canyon.

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The next 10 pictures are of Sipapu bridge at Natural Bridges. The largest of the bridges. We hiked down to the creek running under it; there was a small amount of running water. Looks rather different from ground level than from the canyon rim.
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Looking across and down into the canyon at the Indian dwellings in White Canyon.

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Another view of the Indian dwellings in White Canyon.

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Monument Valley
We discovered, completely by accident, and right at sunset, that we were overlooking Monument Valley, from the point at which Highway (267?) from Natural Bridges turns into a gravel road, and descends 1100 feet in 3 miles before turning back to a paved road, ultimately leading to our stopping point in the metropolis of Mexican Hat (we stayed at "The home of the swinging steak"). The view of the valley was absolutely awesome, and one of the highlights of the whole trip. Even the locals were stopping to look! Hitting it at sunset made it even more spectacular. The pictures here, unfortunately, don't do it justice, but I highly recommend this approach, and timing!
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