By M.C. O’Bryant
For The Transcript
Capitol Reef National Park, located 175 miles or so south of Salt Lake City, Utah, has been labeled by many National Park aficionados as a “Best kept secret.” It is isolated, but, loyalists see the miles of harsh terrain surrounding its boundaries simply as nature’s bridal veil hiding the face of the park’s awe inspiring beauty. It is one of the most spectacular, yet, one of the least visited of the National Parks.
Those relatively few intrepid adventurous enthusiasts who arrive at the park are gloriously rewarded with a vast assortment of cascading colors and fantasyland rock formations. The park’s delightful array of hoodoos and stunning vermillion cliffs has made it a must see, when touring Utah’s much ballyhooed, Standing up country, which encompasses two other National Parks, Zion and Bryce canyon. Hoodoos, stone formations found in abundance throughout the region, have been shaped by the forces of nature to look to the imaginative mind like caricatures of both man and beast.
A ‘young’ park
One of the lesser-known national parks not only because of its remoteness but, also because of its relatively young age (not having been designated as a national park until 1971), Capitol Reef abounds with storied accounts of its early inhabitants ranging from early Mormon pioneers who envisioned building exalted communities where angels might abide, to an impenetrable hideaway for what could well be America’s most romanticized outlaws, Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid.
In the late 1800s a vein of uranium (the stuff of which atomic bombs are made), was discovered in a mountainside near what is today the north end of the park. Three quarters of a century before Einstein’s formula E-MC2 led to the use of radioactive uranium, from other sources, to build atomic bombs that ultimately ended World War II, local entrepreneurs were busy selling tonics laced with uranium taken from the Capitol Reef mines as a cure for rheumatism. The practice, long since recognized as a very bad idea, was halted and today, access to the mineshafts is barred by iron grating welded into place at the mine entrances. What happened to the arthritic sufferers who imbibed the uranium cocktails remains a mystery.
By M.C. O’Bryant
Norman resident honored as volunteer of the week
Each week, we recognize a volunteer who is making a difference in the lives of veterans and surviving spouses in the area. This week’s volunteer has been making the trip each week to Goldsby for the last five years. I’m proud to say that ...
Air travel tips for seniors with special needs
Dear Savvy Senior, I would like to fly my elderly parents across the country next month for my daughter’s wedding but have some concerns about the flight. My mom has trouble walking long distances and my dad has COPD and needs an oxygen ...
Couple with autistic children lead Thorn Bush Autism group
For Leah and Christian Eisenbeis raising two children with Autism is not only a challenge but it’s been a blessing, too....
Free pressure canner checks offered
With warmer weather trying to get a grip on April’s temperatures, it’s time to get the dial on your pressure canner checked. This is a free service provided by the Cleveland County Extension Office, 601 E. Robinson St. in Norman....
Norman artist pledges to continue painting until colors fade
About five or six months ago, I came across an article in The Norman Transcript about local artist Almira Hill Grammer, who had a display of her work at the State Capitol....
‘Blood moon’ rising
I guess we all have one thing in common right now. We survived a “blood moon.” What a whirlwind of a week. It seemed that, like Hillary Clinton, the universe was just tossing shoes at me left and right. Maybe it was a sign I need to slow ...
What to know about use of BVO
Q: I’ve heard about Brominated vegetable oil recently. Could you provide some more information? A: Brominated vegetable oil, also called BVO, is a food additive that is often used to keep citrus flavor emulsified in sodas and sports ...
Blessing opens demo garden
A blustery, gray day didn’t mute enthusiasm for the first Saturday of the spring season April 12 at the Cleveland County Master Gardeners demo gardens and the Norman Farm Market....
OHCE members receive awards
Cleveland County’s Oklahoma Home and Community Education members Carol Doner and Megan Doner were award winners at a recent OHCE District meeting in Mustang....
Book signing set
Author Jerry Webster, of Edmond, will sign copies of his book, “What Brings a Soldier to His Knees,” from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Hastings Books, 2300 W. Main St....
- More Features Headlines
- Norman resident honored as volunteer of the week