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Castles in the Snow

The Castle, Capitol Reef National Park, copyright Holly Mills
Holly Mills
Sunday, February 28, 2010

Perhaps the most overlooked of Utah's five national parks, Capitol Reef National Park nevertheless is a gem. A slice of raw redrock beauty and incredible solitude, the 241,000-acre park lures most visitors during the summer months, but it's definitely worthy of a winter visit.

Holly, a ranger at Capitol Reef, has this to say about a winter visit:

"Winter in Capitol Reef is a time of unrivaled beauty and often you'll have the park to yourself. At time the snow can impede travel into the Catherdral or Waterpocket Districts, but there is plenty is to do in the Historic District right off of Highway 24. Taking a leisurely trip down the Scenic Drive places you into a world of contrast. The pure white snow glistens against the deep red of the sandstone cliffs which are outlined against a sky so blue it doesn't seem real. Often the snow doesn't last long so take the drive in the morning after a fresh snowfall and after the afternoon sun melts you can head off on one of the trails in the Historic District for more photographic opportunities. The trail may be muddy due to the melting snow, but a little mud on the boots is worth it for a chance to experience a Capitol Reef winter."

We visited Capitol Reef National Park this past October. We made a one day trip from Escalante, UT. This park is too big for a one-day drive through. Too many rocks, too little time.

Hey, thanks for sharing the photo. I went to your website last week but couldn't get your pics. of Capitol Reef to display.

Thanks to Kurt for wanting to put my photo up! I'm sorry the webpage didn't work. The pictures are very large (I have no idea how to compress) and some systems can't handle it. I think I need to d some purging so maybe in the future it'll work.

I envy you, Holly, for your work place and particularly for the view from your work place. For those who have not been in Capitol Reef NP, the picture shows a rock formation called "The Castle", which is just across the road from the Visitor Center and the employee housing.

RangerLady, there is a handy little Windows tool that will resize photos. I use it all the time and it's great! But I can't remember exactly how you get it. Try Googling something like Windows picture resize and see if you can find it to download. When you are working with a photo, you go to the FILE option and it will show as RESIZE PHOTOS. Click there and it pops up an option set. Pick the size you want and Voila! Maybe someone out there with more computer knowledge than I have can add something here.

There are a lot of different tools that will resize images. I'm sure PhotoShop will do it, although that's probably overkill. When I'm at home I use a Mac based donation ware tool that works great and even gives me the option of different resizing algorithms that can trade off perceptible sharpness for smoothness. Some choices leave diagonal lines looking jagged.

In a pinch I've used the "stretch" feature in Microsoft's Paint, although the results may not have been ideal.

A lot of my photos I upload to ImageShack to make them publicly viewable. When I upload, there's an option to resize the final results, although the width selections are fixed to maybe 4 different pixel widths.

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