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The public is welcome to attend a meeting about an upcoming trip to Utah’s Capitol Reef, hosted by the Los Alamos Mountaineers.
The meeting, explaining the trip and event announcements will be at 7:30 p.m., May 15 in the Great Room at Fuller Lodge. Happy Canyon, in the Robbers Roost country, will also be one of the wild places covered.
The May program of the Mountaineers will follow the meeting.
Between Utah’s more famous and most visited national parks lies a spectacular array of natural features that invite adventure and appreciation.
Centered on the less known Capitol Reef National Park, this area offers challenging slot canyons, high mountains, intriguing rock art; and the ideal antidote for stress, traffic jams, and 24/7 communication: true solitude.
Public land and minimal bureaucracy due to low visitation pressure combine to encourage backcountry exploration.
The May program of the Los Alamos Mountaineers, by Rick and Lynne Stinchfield, will cover this remote region.
Because slot canyons and narrows offer the best mix of beauty, physical tests and the unknown, the program will cover several, including at least one in Capitol Reef, the San Rafael Swell, the Dirty Devil River region, the Little Rockies area and perhaps in the Circle Cliffs.
Looking up from the canyons, they will touch upon the Henry Mountains and the high plateaus west of Capitol Reef. In south central Utah, evidence of ancient cultures permeates much of the backcountry, adding to the sense of place and wonder. Desert Archaic and Fremont Culture rock art will be included, though specific locations may be protected.
The Stinchfields will briefly discuss such logistical matters as the best times to visit, permits, travel and camping. Cattle and ATVs are part of the fabric of rural Utah, and need to be addressed as well.
The frosting will be the occasional geological sidebars that are irresistible to red rock lovers.
“There are easterners who took too much time moving incrementally west until settling in Pagosa Springs, Colo.,” Rick Stinchfield said.
Much of Rick’s career in higher education administration was at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, while Lynne operated an antiques business.
During that time they traveled extensively in the west, eventually leading university classes on field experiences in Colorado and the northwest.
Upon early retirement they worked for the concessioner at the Grand Canyon, solely for the purpose of spending as many days as possible below the rim.
In 2004, they began volunteering in interpretation at Capitol Reef for six weeks each spring and fall.
Their guide to Capitol Reef hiking and touring was published by Westcliffe Publishers in 2010, and a second guide to south central Utah beyond Capitol Reef is nearing completion.