We woke to a beautiful morning and decided to do the Historic Fruita Area today.
But first, here is our site ($5.00/night) – :
Fruita is situated in a valley at the confluence of Sulphur Creek and Fremont River. The Fremont Culture people lived here by the year 700 until sometime after 1250, growing corn, beans, and squash, and also hunting and gathering food. Explorers, Mormon pioneers, and others began coming to the Fremont River valley in the late 1800’s.
The first bona fide settler in Fruita is believed to have been Nels Johnson who arrived in 1880. He recognized that the mild temperatures in the area and the continuous water supply made this location ideal for growing fruit and nut trees. From 1880 until 1937, when the area became part of a new national monument, between eight and ten families lived here. By the time Capitol Reef National Park was created in 1971, all of the Fruita residents had sold their land to the federal government and moved on. The last to leave were Dewey and Nell Gifford who moved away in 1969.
The path from the campground went along the Fremont River:
Past huge cottonwood trees:
The campground from the trail:
The Gifford farmhouse:
The farmhouse has been renovated to depict a typical rural Utah farm home of the early 1900’s. Every day there are freshly baked fruit pies and breads that are delivered. Sooooo, we had to have one of their cinnamon rolls – YUMMY! We may go back for a fruit pie before we leave here.
The barn – still in use today.
The Blacksmith Shop:
There are fifteen orchards in the park containing cherry, apricot, peach, pear, apple, plum, mulberry, almond and walnut trees. The National Park Service maintains these orchards that were originally planted by the early residents of Fruita. Park visitors are welcome to walk through any unlocked orchard and sample the fruit (nothing was ripe – Bummer). Fruit from the orchards is also used in the freshly baked pies available in the store at the Gifford Homestead.
This is the Mail Tree. According to tradition, the mail carrier delivered the mail to boxes that were attached to the tree nearest the road, and the tree became known as the “mail tree.”
We made our way to the Visitor Center where we went thru the museum, watched a great film on the park, and made a few purchases at the store.
Our last stop of the day was Panorama Point:
We were able to get iffy cell service so we make a few phone calls and picked up our messages.
More views back at the campground. As the sun sets, it just lights up the mountains:
We had a visitor:
First time they saw a turkey – :
The turkey visiting Andy:
We enjoyed the rest of the evening with our neighbors at the campfire.
Another wonderful day!