An oasis within the Utah desert

Random camping and travel image #61

Fruita Campground, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, March 29, 2016 - NPS: Hannah Taylor

Fruita Campground, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, March 29, 20161

Fruita Campground2

The 71-site Fruita Campground is often described as an oasis within the desert. Adjacent to the Fremont River and surrounded by historic orchards, this developed campground has 64 RV/tent sites and 7 walk-in tent sites. Each site has a picnic table and firepit (walk-in sites have a grill instead of a firepit), but no individual water, sewage, or electrical hookups. There is a RV dump and potable water fill station near the entrance to Loops A and B. Restrooms feature running water and flush toilets, but no showers. Accessible sites are located adjacent to restrooms.

Open year-round, the Fruita Campground is the only developed campground in Capitol Reef National Park and as a result often fills by early to mid-morning during the spring and fall seasons. Sites are first-come, first-served. Site saving is prohibited.


  1. Hannah Taylor, photographer; Image retrieved from National Park Service. (Accessed August 30, 2016.)
  2. Camping, Capitol Reef National Park. Text retrieved from National Park Service (Accessed October 21, 2016)

References:

Capitol Reef National Park

campground, camping, desert, landscape, mountains, parks, photography, Utah
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1965 Labor Day Camping

Vintage Travel and Camping Image #4

Glacier Ranger District, Mount Baker National Forest. Heather Meadows during Labor Day weekend 1965.

Heather Meadows during Labor Day weekend, 1965.
Glacier Ranger District, Mount Baker National Forest, Washington.1

This couple has traveled to most of the National Parks and many of the Forests west of the Mississippi with this tent trailer unit.


  1. Robert J. De Wits, US Forest Service photographer; National Archives photo; catalog.archives.gov/id/7052157 (accessed 9/9/2016)
camping, forest, mountains, photography, recreation areas, RV, tent trailers, vintage image, Vintage Travel and Camping Images, Washington
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Mitchell Pass at Scotts Bluff

Three from the Road #20 – 2010 trip1

Historical Interpreters in Period Dress, Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska, July 9, 2010.

Historical Interpreters in Period Dress, Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska, July 9, 2010.

In the early years of travel on the Emigrant Trails (Oregon, California, and Mormon), Scotts Bluff in western Nebraska blocked wagon travel along the south bank of the North Platte River, forcing early travelers to swing south and go through Robidoux Pass, a natural gateway in the great bluffs. In 1850, a shorter route was opened through Mitchell Pass, just south of the monument itself and much closer to the Platte River and eliminated the eight-mile swing south.2

Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska , July 9, 2010

A portion of Scotts Bluff  viewed from the remnant traces of the Emigrant Trails in Mitchell Pass

Mitchell Pass is a gap in the bluffs flanked by two large cliffs. Although the route through Mitchell Pass was tortuous and hazardous, many emigrants preferred this route to following the North Platte river bottom on the north side of the bluff. Passage through Mitchell Pass became a significant milestone for many wagon trains on their way westward.3

View from top of Scotts Bluff, Nebraska

View from top of Scotts Bluff

Today’s Scotts Bluff County Road K – Old Hwy 92 – passes through historic Mitchell Pass.  The straight modern road in the photo, it parallels remaining traces of emigrant trails through the pass.


  1. Three from the Road is a series sharing images from places we’ve visited.  Initially, each post included thee images, related by a randomly selected location or topic. Posts now may be random choices or pre-planned sequences.  This post is in a series sequentially sharing images from our 2010 trip west.
  2. Robidoux Pass – Wikipedia
  3. Scotts Bluff National Monument – Wikipedia

Additional References:

3 from the road, landscape, Nebraska, parks, photography
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Middle Bay Light

21st Century Digital #7

Highsmith, Carol M, photographer. Middle Bay or Mobile Bay Lighthouse, Mobile Bay, Alabama. 2010

Middle Bay or Mobile Bay Lighthouse, Mobile Bay, Alabama. 2010.1

Due to high labor costs in the post-Civil-War South, the lighthouse was prefabricated in the North and then shipped to Mobile Point, where it arrived in 1885. The screwpile lighthouse consists of a wooden hexagonal dwelling with a roof that sloped upwards to a centrally located lantern room. The lighthouse is supported by seven legs-one in the middle, and a single leg extending from each corner of the superstructure.2

The light was automated in 1935 and deactivated in 1967.  In 2003, a real-time weather station was added to the lighthouse by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program. Still running, the weather station, one of seven in Mobile Bay, samples precipitation, total and quantum solar radiation, air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, water temperature, salinity, water depth, and dissolved oxygen. These data can be seen in real-time at www.mymobilebay.com.3


End Notes:

  1. Highsmith, Carol M, photographer. Image retrieved from the Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010637365/. (Accessed October 16, 2016.); Medium: 1 photograph : digital, TIFF file, color;  Credit line: The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
  2. Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010637365/
  3. Middle Bay Light – Wikipedia
21st Century Digital, Alabama, boats, ocean, photography, weather
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Next Time Try The Train

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign #8

Camped in the rain behind billboard: three families, fourteen children. On U.S. 99. Near Famosa, Kern County, California. Nov, 1939. Sign for Southern Pacific says, "Next Time Try The Train."

Camped in the rain behind billboard: three families, fourteen children. On U.S. 99. Near Famosa, Kern County, California. Nov, 19391

A rather ironic photo by Dorothea Lange juxtaposes the extreme poverty of migrant workers with the relative luxury offered by passenger trains of the 1930s.


  1. Lange, Dorothea, photographer. Image retrieved from the Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/item/fsa2000004591/PP/. (Accessed October 16, 2016.)
California, camping, great depression, history, people, photography, Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign, vintage image
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