Sunday, September 18, 2011

What I Did Last Summer (Hwy 12 Reprise Part Four: Capital Reef and Cafe Diabolo)

In my eternal race to beat the setting sun, I declined a kind invitation for coffee by the Ducati Instigator to head to my next destination.  Even though it was too early in the season to harvest apples, plums, pears, quince, and cherries, wouldn't it be a lovely "Eating of Two Wheels" activity to camp beside an orchard of heritage fruit trees? I must have not been the only one to think so, because there was no vacancy at Capital Reef National Park.  Nada. Still, I couldn’t leave without a short tour of a that glorious place.

This orchard is right next to the campground.  Self serve!

Although just on the other end of Highway 12 from Bryce Canyon  and its hoodoos that remind me of the muddy sand castles I made as a child, Capital Reef looks entirely different. Surely these cliffs are the product of God's giant chisel? And Zion National Park, also just a short ride away, with its swirling waves frozen in time - how is it that these three parks be so close on the map, yet so utterly unique?

I set up an alternative camp at Sunglow Campground,  not far from Cafe Diabolo in Torrey, UT, kitchen of Honda riding chef Gary Pankow, and home of some seriously tall food.

I pilfered this shot from across the dining patio.  A towering skyscraper of... lamb?

Rattlesnake cakes with three sauces?  Delicious!

The pumpkin seed trout had entirely too much going on for one plate.  If you could eat plaid, this was it.

Next time I’m in the neighborhood, I look forward to trying  Hell’s Backbone Grill, delightfully located on Highway 12 in Boulder, UT.  I’ve ridden by it at least four times over the years and have been mysteriously oblivious to its existence each time.  I only recently just heard of it, and it looks very promising.   My “Next Year, Next Year" list continues to grow faster than my backlog of blog posts.

Back to camp, where I chatted with quirky postcard photographer Mark Smith, and on home the next morning.

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