Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park and Sunglow

Saturday, May 18 (continued)

It’s still early morning when the crew and I head up Goblin Valley Road.   After nine miles we turn right and go another nine miles or so across the sage plain.  We turn right again onto Highway 24 and approximately twenty miles later we reach the familiar Chevron station in Hanksville.  I take the opportunity to go online in the parking lot.

From Hanksville we take Highway 24 westward.

The crew goes to sleep while my anticipation grows.  We’re on the Capitol Reef Scenic Highway!  And scenic it is!  The highway follows the Fremont River, through gray rock formations at first and then the dramatic red cliffs we’ve all seen in photographs.


It’s hard to say what’s prettier, the rocks or my rig!

It being a Saturday, the turn-outs for photo-taking are filled with vehicles.

Ironically, the turn-outs for photos are no good for photos because they’re turn-outs and vehicles mess up the photos!  Ha!  Life is a trip.  Regardless, I do manage to snap a few good ones among many losers.


Tree trunks are cropped out as well as a line of cars.

I suggest you do a search for “Capitol Reef images” if you want to appreciate the magnificent beauty of the area.

At Fruita a sign announces that the park’s campground is full.

Just what I expect and I don’t care.  Not my style.  The crew still sleeps as we leave Capitol Reef National Park and enter the town of Torrey.  A cluster of motels, restaurants, and RV parks beckon.  We keep going.  I want to get us settled in and save any more sightseeing for another day.  A lovely, green valley opens up before us.

Buffalo graze in a field a short distance from the town limits.


See the sprinklers, Dorothy? We’re not in Arizona any more.

Right before the town of Bicknell, I find what I’m looking for!


The whole point of showing this photo full-size is so you’ll notice the little bird.

As I drive up the paved road to Sunglow Campground, it’s obvious how it got its name.


A few days later these rocks seem to glow from within as seen from across the valley during a very dark, cloudy day.


Pay envelopes are in the green box. You fill out an envelope, stick in your money, and drop it in the green cylinder.

Sunglow is a small campground.  The self-pay station states $10 for regular and 50% off with a senior pass.

Bridget and Spike wake up and want out, immediately, of course.  Those two can be sound asleep and automatically sense when we are on a campground road.

It’s uncanny.

The first five sites are filled.

Uh-oh.  Never travel on a weekend!  You know better.  I keep driving.  Interesting rock cliffs surround the campground.


What could be more Utah?

We pass the rest rooms and enter a cul-de-sac for group camping which is at the end of the campground.

I scan for a single site.  

Aha!  There’s a lovely campsite tucked in next to one of the group sites.  And it’s away from the filled campsites all squeezed together at the lower part of the campground near the entrance.  I get out of the PTV and read the reservation cards on the group site posts.  Hmm . . . the reservations are for next weekend!  Great!

“Looks like we found our new home, guys!”

I back the BLT into the campsite, let out the crew, and together we rejoice!


Obviously this photo was taken after I’d set up camp and unhitched the PTV.

Well, they pee first and then we rejoice.





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86 Responses to Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park and Sunglow

  1. WOW great pictures. Looks like you did it again, found a great site on the fly.
    Good to see you’re back up.

  2. Robert says:

    Hey Sue,
    Glad you got things up a running. I missed the blog and looking at my maps of your travel routes.
    Bet it’s windy again over there. It has been the last few days over here in Colo.
    Those mountains you saw on the way to Mesa Verde (locals sometimes say Verd) are the La Platas. That’s where I would have sent you and to the San Juans if you were coming this way.
    Give Spike and Bridget a ear scratch for me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Robert!

      I like to give a description of the roads we go on because I know there are readers like you who like to follow on maps. I love maps, so I understand. 🙂

      Oh yes, consider the ear scratches done. The crew loves that, of course.

      The wind comes and goes. We’ve only had one day of really strong wind since camped at Sunglow.

  3. Katy in NH says:

    Great post and pictures! So glad you are back on line. Your posts are so inspiring!

    Katy in NH

  4. Geri says:

    hahahaha! Your very last line says it all for those of us who travel with dogs! You are in one of my favorite areas of Utah…. well actually ALL of Utah is my favorite place! I have yet to find a place in Utah I didn’t like! Hope you get a chance to go back to explore Capitol Reef, so amazing! Radar and DoogieBowser say woof woof to the crew!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No rejoicing with a full bladder! First things first!

      It’s been fun stationed in one spot for close to two weeks now, making little day trips. Oh, I’d love to see Radar and the Doog right now!

  5. alison - pnw says:

    Your new blog page looks GREAT! You’ve got it just like the old one!
    Sunglow looks pretty nice too… enjoy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks! I’m still working on the blog to get it right. Unfortunately my widget for subscribing hasn’t transferred over yet.

  6. Marsha says:

    What gorgeous pictures of a beautiful place. I take lots of photos and when I worked I would load them on my digital picture frame and wish I was out camping again.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That reminds me… when I was working I stuck a picture of a Casita trailer on my computer monitor. Gotta’ keep the dream alive!

  7. Ron says:

    I will give you your laugh for the day, when your blog was down I guess I went into the Dt,s , I went back and reread your blog. Now that is getting pretty bad.

  8. Ed says:

    I spent a little time looking at your old pages as shown on .com and compared them to what is shown now on .net. You probably know this by now but the reason you have no slideshow and probably a number of other things that you had before is there was no JavaScript transferred over. I hope Hostgator is doing something about that since they did the move for you. What I said before in a Comment on your prior post might work but I don’t think you have to do it or re-build a slideshow from scratch. What does Hostgator have to say?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Gee, Ed, I would LOVE it if all I need is a little java! I’ll have to open up my email from Hostgator in order to let you know what they said, if you don’t mind checking back later.

      Very good of you to try to solve this for me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      After rereading the last email from Hostgator, I’m sending in a renewed request for the slideshow feature, including a comment about Java. I don’t understand why I can’t have a feature that comes with the paid WordPress as long as I keep paying. This tech stuff wears me out.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Ed… Here is the explanation from Hostgator. Sorry it took me so long to put it here.

      “You’ll need to find a slideshow plugin that you like and reconstruct them on your new rvsueandcrew.net site.

      Re-installing your WordPress here on HostGator would unfortunately not bring your slideshows back, as the data for the slideshows was stored in the database and files on WordPress.com that they do not allow access to and cannot be transferred through WordPress’s XML export function.”

  9. CT says:

    I’m with Spike & the Bridge – when you have the opportunity to pee, do so!! 🙂

  10. Gail Liming says:

    Reading your blog is a special part of my day so glad you are back!

  11. Chuck says:

    Love the area you’re in, beautiful! The Kids miss the Crew…they’re into chasing doves and ravens that sit on the electric wires…..bored with us ole folks! Oh I like the Amazon layout, gonna order in a minute! Chuckles

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I put the ads at the bottom so they won’t be in your face while you’re reading. It’s fun playing around with Amazon widgets.

  12. old fat man says:

    Sue, In 2007 when I was last there, the Bullfrog-Notum road had square miles of free boondocking just east of the NP.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m going to take a look at that area. I keep seeing signs “Camping in park campgrounds only.” I need to go further into the boonies, I guess.

      • old fat man says:

        The part I an talking about was not inside the NP at that time. It was just open BLM.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’ve said the magic words, Barney… er, the magic letters! Love BLM camping! I’m going today to scout it out. I’m tired of being tethered to technology problems!

  13. Ladybug says:

    Ahhh, just what I needed after arriving home from a long workday at the office. And I was like Ron while you were out of pocket…..I went back and read the entries for this time last year, when you were in Zion!

    As for the celebration tinkle……well, you might have an accident when you’re excited! 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I did the same thing. I went back and read the posts about our camp along the creek near Zion and laughed at the pics of Spike soaking with the sun in his eyes.

  14. Susan in Dallas says:

    That first photo of the red cliffs and your rig is unbelievable. What beauty! It has to be close to time for an edition of canine corner.

  15. AZ Jim says:

    I commented yesterday when I first saw your “return” but now I have my email and bookmarks straight. I missed ya but now you’re back… Looking forward to more adventure with you and the crew.

  16. SueMagoo says:

    Love your blog; you are living the life I wish I could, so look forward to reading you new adventure each day, and you were missed while it was down; I have a question, do we have to re-subscribe in order to receive your email? I received the one about you moving from .com to .net, but I didn’t get this one on Sunglow.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh dear. I don’t know if you can re-subscribe as I’ve never seen what you see when you attempt to log on to my blog. I’m trying to restore the subscribe button. I’m sorry you didn’t get the notice of a post. Maybe it won’t work until the original blog is terminated.

      • Geri says:

        I didn’t recieve a notice in my email either! But I have you posted as a shortcut on my desktop so I just click on that a couple of times a day. First click to see if there is a new post, next few clicks to read all the comments!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks, Geri.

          • Donna in CT says:

            Me too. But I can find you in other ways! bwaaa haaa haaa. Seriously, I do visit twice a day (and more) also. Once to read your post and another to read the comments. Reading the comments and your replies are another valuable source of information.

            • SueMagoo says:

              Thank you, I already had your blog added to my favorites bar so I can still get to you.

  17. Laurie from Southern Oregon in South Dakota :) says:

    Hi Sue, that one pic of the reddish cliff was spectacular. I Have got to go down Capitol Reef Scenic Highway. I just went through Spearfish canyon here in SD and it was pretty cool too. I love driving scenic roads and seeing the beauty it takes your breath away. Your really getting to see the west and all its glory and you have only seen a small part. It will keep you engaged for years to come. I don’t think it can ever get boring. Thanks for the great pics and details.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Laurie. I agree with you. The West will fascinate and surprise me for the rest of my life. Good to hear you’re enjoying South Dakota!

  18. rvsueandcrew says:

    Hi Jean! It’s funny how I don’t really plan where I’m going and yet the crew and I end up in places that inspire others to visit. We’ve hit the mother lode in Utah!

  19. Barbara B says:

    Hi Sue,
    I have a question for you. I was reading some of the earlier posts on the Casita Escapes blog and was wondering if you have had the condensation issues with your BLT that they have? Possible they just stay in colder climates and ramp up the heat? I have continued my research in hopes of RVing in the future. While my preference would be a Class B, common sense pushes toward a small trailer. Thank you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Barbara,

      I haven’t had a problem with condensation. I think I’ve wiped down the windows on the inside once or twice because of condensation since Aug. 2011.

      Several reasons . . . When it’s cold I dress warmly (For sleeping — three layers of tops, two layers of bottoms, two pairs of socks, quilts on top, dog-heaters in place!), and that preparation allows me to let the interior of the BLT get cold while we’re sleeping. I like to sleep in a cool room anyway.

      I don’t run the catalytic heater for long stretches of time, and when I do, the BLT is well ventilated. I try to stay out of 24/7 cold weather in the first place. Most of the time, where we camp, if it’s cold at night, it warms up during the day.

      I’m steaming up the windows right now with the percolator making my coffee. I’ll open the windows once the sun’s up higher and the windows will clear again.

      Remember, too, I’m in the dry West. I can’t speak for camping in high humidity areas.

      Best wishes in your decision-making!

  20. I have found that you can pee and rejoice at the same time! Love your little camp site.

  21. katydid says:

    I’m so glad to see your new blog up and running! Your pictures are amazing, (as always.) Just the name “Sunglow” sounds warm and inviting.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That name does set the mood when turning onto the campground road. And the cliffs do glow, especially at sunrise and sunset. I’m glad you like my photos. I’m particularly fond of the one of the PTV/BLT in front of the iconic Capitol Reef rock setting.

      I’m glad to be back, Katy. Thanks for dropping by.

  22. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    I see the rake in the BLT photo leaning on the tongue. You probably forgot to get a super duper trash picker upper at Quartzsite when you were there last? I just saw some at Harbor Freight store yesterday in Medford OR. These looked pretty sturdy with black rubber suction cups. I use mine all the time and it works great and can even pick up something as small as a toothpick. I think the price was around $10. You might be able to buy one from Amazon. All that raking is not good for you as out in the wild west there is Valley Fever and Haunta Virus that you might breath in while raking. You are a valuable national asset now that you are famous so you need to take good care of yourself. You’ll need a $3.00 5 gallon plastic bucket with a bail handle to use as a trash can. Mine fits under the trailer next to the rear tire and it won’t blow away if snugged in good.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Awww, Joe. You’re worried I’ll get Valley Fever.

      Not to worry! I rake like I’m petting a purring cat, and I never rake when mad. LOL Raking with vengence in mind will surely stir up the dust.

      A picker-upper tool would encourage my inner lazy. In fact I gave mine away when down-sizing, along with my neat little pecan picker-upper (I do miss the pecans from my yard!).

      The main reason I didn’t order a power jack for the BLT is I figured the arm exercise of cranking the hitch up and down would do me good. I guess I still have some Yankee Puritanism left in me.

      All kidding aside, thanks, Joe, for considering me of value to the nation. 🙂 Your advice has value.

      • AZ Jim says:

        Don’t underestimate Valley Fever but it usually comes in areas prone to blowing dirt. I just finished reading that 66% of the cases diagnosed are in Arizona (naturally I am here). But my theory is we are all on a clock anyway. “You can move out west where it’s sunny and dry, you might live to be a 100 but you’re still gonna die”. So goes the lyrics of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVmT6qkJEfg
        My best always…

  23. Kay says:

    Ugh, these Widgets are making me, um Crazy. I love the simplicity of Blogger. The neat things we can do with WP is cool, and as long as I have a large bottle of Tylenol at the side of the keyboard, I am good to go most of the time.

    I sort of thought before I pull out I would move my server to host gator. I called, the price would be almost $100 a month! Ugh.. I keep what I have for $14-$15 a month and unlimited bandwidth.

    So my conclusion is… if you want a headache…. (besides Rowdy and his OCD) there is WP that will give you one! Good Luck with Java. You may have to get new/different plug in to use for the slide show. After trying a few, I finally found one that works good and is EASY to use. I am all about trying to keep it easy, for the sake of saving money on Tylenol!!!!

    Love your camp – it looks so PEACEFUL and CUTE. Spike and Bridget have such a wonderful life with you.

    Thanks for sharing Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Kay,

      I don’t understand what you’re talking about regarding Hostgator. $100 a month? You must’ve asked for some super-duper plan. I’m paying $3.96 a month and the transfer is free.

      Various plug-ins can cause conflict with each other and cause problems. Ideally the WP slideshow feature would transfer. I’m still confident that once everything is set up properly, using WordPress will become simple again. This interim is a struggle.

  24. Dawn says:

    Love Capital Reef! Have been twice with my folks. Once when we were kids and later as an adult just before I got married 23 years ago. Probably love it partially because I have memories of my parents from there. Sigh.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      How fortunate you are, Dawn, to have those special memories of happy times with your parents. Will we ever get over the passing of beloved parents? Mine have been gone since 1992 and I still miss them and think of them often after more than twenty years. Yes . . . sigh.

      • Susan in Dallas says:

        I still remember that EVERY time my Mother saw an historical marker we would have to stop and read it – even if it meant turning the car around to do so. Good times and memories.

  25. Karen says:

    I am enjoying your wonderful pictures again. Sorry you are having such technical problems with your transition. But know your readers are just thrilled to have you back.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      And I’m thrilled to be back, Karen! I admit the blog-free days were like a vacation as I’ve been living with the blog commitment every day for over two years.

      I did miss the reflective moods I have when contemplating how to write, the satisfaction when an entry is posted, and the enjoyable interaction with good people like you.

      There is a wonderful collection of good folks here on this blog! I missed y’all!

  26. Beverly K says:

    Miss you! I even went to Nina’s sight, asking if she knew where you’d gone to. Thank goodness you are back. We all appreciate your travel logs, puppy tales and eyes to the USA.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Beverly,

      I like your last sentence . . . a great summation of my blog! I missed you, too. Thank goodness my readers didn’t abandon me and the crew.

  27. cinandjules says:

    You certainly have a knack of finding beautiful secluded spots. Your backyard is always gorgeous.

    Sprinklers in the middle of no where?? Note to Mr Spike….them dar are buffalo…not cows. 🙂 And how is Ms Bridget?

    Have a wonderful day….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You know, it’s not hard to find “beautiful secluded spots” in the West. I love the West so much I can’t believe I didn’t come out here until retirement! (Well, I made a few rushed gotta-get-back-to work type visits where I didn’t really experience it or absorb much.)

      Ah yes, lots of sprinklers around here! Stay tuned for more photos . . .

      Spike is in Spikey Wonderland at this campground because he can SOAK!!!!! (More about that in an upcoming post) . . . Bridget is happy, too. I’m forever thankful she hasn’t needed surgery on that leg. She’s skipping around and hopping over rocks like it was never injured. Thank God.

      You have a great day, too!

  28. rvsueandcrew says:

    Hi, Jool,

    I think I can correctly say that most National Forest campgrounds have a 14-day limit. A few very popular ones may be 7 days (or maybe that’s a state park campground I’m thinking of).

    I could easily stay here a month, too. It’s quiet, the weather is great (low 70s to 80 in the day, no need for a heater at night), town nearby for groceries, and lots of things to do and see around here. I’ll be sharing some of that soon.

    Ah, you are a dear reader . . . since Day 1. Wow, a lot has happened since then! Thank you for being a loyal follower of rvsue and her canine crew.

  29. Geri says:

    Good Morning Sue! We have been wondering if you have treated yourself to eating out at the Capitol Reef Cafe ??? Of the restaurants in Torrey, that one was by far the most affordable and best food available! There is one really good expensive restaurant there, gourmet food there but hang onto your wallet. As you go into Torrey from Bicknell, Capitol Reef Inn and Cafe is on your left!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve noticed several interesting eating places in Torrey. My time with you and Chuck in Bluff has satisfied my desire to eat out for a while. Funny, I was thinking about not caring about eating out as I drove by Capitol Reef Cafe this morning!

  30. Cherylyn says:

    Sue, if you are heading toward Montana, look up Lolo Pass and the Clearwater out of Missoula. I live in the Blue Mtns. and had always heard how beautiful the Clearwater/Lolo was and it is! Drove thru that area a couple falls ago.

    Enjoying your pics of Utah. Your blog keeps me going toward full-timing when there seems too much to do. Thank You.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m going to get out my map and look up Clearwater/Lolo right now! Thanks for the suggestion.

      Keep on keepin’ on… The preparation work toward full-timing is worth it!

  31. Kim says:

    Know what you mean about campgrounds. I’m staying at Rocky Mtn. National Park in my first campground of the trip. It’s a fantastic CG but …….. so many rules and regulations! It sure complicates life on the road.

  32. Donna in CT says:

    Sue, Another great spot and great photos. I love the shot with the buffalo. If it weren’t for the sprinklers, it could be right out of pioneer times.

    I’ve decided to reread all of your posts and have a notebook nearby. It will be separated into sections, RV Tips, Places to Visit (by state), Finances, and anything else I can think of. I’ve finally realized what it is I REALLY want to do (I have been waffling) but I’m still working on dealing with the fear and also the idea of the overwhelming job of cleaning up and out and all the details of selling the house and buying a rig to be worked out. Just as you, I’m a procrastinator which is not a good thing when it comes to this. I get overwhelmed and end up not doing what I could be doing. A friend told me I had to “figure out how to get from step A to step RV.” If someone else would do all that for me, I’d be gone tomorrow! I need a genie!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Donna,

      I get a heart-twinge when I hear someone is going back to reread old posts. You’re going to see the word “slideshow” where an actual slideshow used to be. Groan.

      You may have already done this…. Isolate what it is you fear and find a way to manage it until you can eliminate it. Fear will stand in the way of you getting the most out of the RV life, especially if you’ll be on the road by yourself.

      As a procrastinator I found I had to take the overwhelming task of downsizing and break it up into manageable chunks (mini-goals). I’d set a time limit (like “By the end of the day I will have …” or “By the end of the weekend I will have . . . “)

      Empty out a room. Put boxes in each corner. One corner for the thrift store. Another corner for your sister, brother, whomever. Another corner for the grandchildren. Whatever. Then fill those corners! Then send the stuff on its way!

      I found the greatest burden was sorting out memorabilia, sentimental gifts, and photos. Sorting into boxes for family members was the key. I kept reminding myself that I was doing the job often left for bereaved family members.

      • Donna D. (stickhouse in CT) says:

        Sue, thanks for the tips. I can see where the box approach can really help. I kept imagining needing my kids (who live in Chicago and Seattle) here and going through every item. I think I’m going to have boxes for each of them and separate the family items into the boxes. They can decide if they want to keep them, trade them or get rid of them at a later time.

        I’m sorry you “lost” the slide shows. Hopefully they will be able to fix it for you. Thanks again for your advice.

    • Ed says:

      Donna in CT,

      If you are overwhelmed with the job of cleaning up and out and all the details of selling the house and buying a rig then I suggest that you hire someone that settles estates. Tell him/her that you simply can not deal with it and for them to assume that you have died and for them to do their thing and get rid of everything. If you can not decide on what rig to buy then go to a RV lot and place your RV future in the hands of a salesman and JUST DO IT.
      If you can not bring yourself to do these two steps then in my not so humble opinion your fear is over riding everything else and perhaps you need some help with that first.

      • Donna D. (stickhouse in CT) says:

        Ed, you are right in that the fear has to be dealt with and I am working on it.

        Your suggestions sound good but they don’t feel right for me. I have things that I feel need to be passed on. It is nice to know there are options though.

        Sue, thanks for letting me take up space here to discuss this. It is much appreciated.

  33. Mindy Reed says:

    Love the photos, the one with the Bison in a sprinkler field had me laughing outloud not quite the “wild west” anymore.

    Looks like you’ve got a great spot!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Mindy,

      Look closely at the middle buffalo. She may be preggers. Since that photo was taken I’ve driven by and noticed a buffalo calf wobbling around.

  34. Donna in W. Texas says:

    No need to respond Sue, I just wanted to add my welcome back to the chorus. I missed checking in with you.

  35. Welcome back!

    Two things – First, as a follow up to an exchange we had some posts back I just put up a blog post about how to get involved in downloading free library eBooks in the event you are interested (just click on my name above). And second, I had to nod my head in agreement on a comment you made on your prior Goblin Valley post. I too avoid photos of places I intend to visit some day, preferring the surprise and delight of the unknown. I’ve gotten pretty skilled at reading your always-entertaining commentary here, while quickly skimming past the photos so that whatever area you are writing about remains un-illustrated. I think you get what I mean without my needing to elaborate further!

    We’ve only done S. Utah – from Escalante NM downward. I’m eager to explore more of this amazing state as I read about your recent adventures.

    Happy continued travels to you and the crew!

  36. Steve says:

    glad to see you are back….I know the hassle it is to set up a site on hostgator and get it to work….they are a great host, but still hard to get everything to work if not experienced.

    I reopened my blog but refused to pay GoDaddy $80 for a redemption fee for my old domain name.

    New blog domain name: http://www.bhounds.blogspot.com

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