Today I went riding in Captiol Reef National Park with Pat Kearney, who has been leading riders for over 30 years in this part of Utah. Pat has great horses and is super knowledgeable on the area and its history. I rode Sawdust, an 8-year-old buckskin Quarter Horse Thoroughbred mix. Sawdust was an angel on our ride, especially considering it was her first ride since winter! We actually drove through a snowstorm down scenic Hwy 12 to get to Capitol Reef. The scenery changed a lot along 12, which is classified as a Scenic Byway, and a great road to meander along, stopping at the scenic lookouts along the way.
As we rode, Pat told me all about the Native Americans, outlaws and Morman pioneers who rode through and settled Capitol Reef, called “Land of the Sleeping Rainbow.” The colors of the rocks and cliffs here are striking. We rode to petroglyphs created by the Fremont people, ancient Native Americans who lived in the area. Pioneers saw it fit to sign in here too and Pat told some stories from their journals. Surrounded by tall canyons on each ride of us, we were riding through a spot where people still move cattle. This park has a lot of history. Butch Cassidy is thought to have hidden out here, Native Americans, pioneers and now we have the chance to see it all on horseback.