Monthly Archives: November 2023

Family Adventure: Zion & Capitol Reef National Park

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We made a trip south this Fall to Zion and Capitol Reef National Parks.  This completes our tour of the five national parks in Utah.

We camped in both parks.  Anytime we grab a camping spot in a national park, I feel privileged as that can be hard to find, especially in popular parks like Zion.

Here was our trip itinerary.

Day 1: Drove to Zion

Our first day was all about getting down to Zion.  It is about four and half hours for us, mostly down Interstate 15.

We did stop off at the park entrance on the northeast side, the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center, for about half an hour.

And then drove a short bit to the main entrance, near the town of Springdale, and to the South Campground.

Day 2: Zion Hiking

The main area of Zion is not that large.  During the main season, you have to take the trolley, which was easy and convenient, especially already staying in the park.  There are nine shuttle stops.  We did two stops – the Temple of Sinawava and the Grotto.

At the Temple of Sinawava, we hiked out the Riverside Walk to the start of the Narrows.  The ranger told us the flow rate was pretty high, to the point of not being fun, so we opted out of doing the Narrows.

At the Grotto, we hiked up to the Upper and Middle Emerald Pools, and then down the Sand Bench trail to the Court of the Patriarchs.  I might opt out of the last part, the Sand Bench trail.  It was a fine hike and all, but probably the least interesting.

Day 3:  More Zion Hiking

Sort of the same programming as Day 2.  We took the trolley up to the Grotto and hiked up to Scout Lookout via the West Rim trail.  We did not fight the people and the permitting process to do Angel’s Landing. 

 But we did see California Condors – which I consider a bigger win.

And after regrouping at camp for a bit, we hiked the Watchman trail – which was accessible and had some nice views.  And we saw Big Horn Sheep.

Day 5:  Driving Over To Capitol Reef

Not too much exciting here; about a four hour drive over to Capitol Reef.  We did drive out the east side of Zion on Route 9 – the Zion Mount Carmel highway and that was worth it.  We likely would not have ventured over to this part of the park otherwise.

Campsites at Capitol Reef were pretty domesticated.

Day 6:  Capitol Reef

We were fairly low key at Capitol Reef.  We caught a ranger session, did the Cohab Canyon hike to the lookouts, and ate pie.

Capitol Reef is not a super popular park, partly due to its location away from most other major sights.

Day 7:  Home

And then we drove home, which was about four hours from Fruita.

All in all, both parks were great. Glad we saw them. We covered a lot of ground in Zion and got the main feeling for Capitol Reef. I certainly would go back to either, but if we didn’t, would feel like we saw the main highlights of both.

Influential Reads – October 2023

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“Our obsession with being informed makes it hard to think long-term. We spend hours consuming news because we want to be informed. The problem is, the news doesn’t make us informed – quite the opposite. The more news we consume, the more misinformed we become.” – FS Blog

My reading goal of 30 books in 2023 has been achieved – in a large part due to the Slough House series from Mick Herron.

From time to time, I post some excel tools for folks to take advantage of.  In most cases, I am just making those available to save people some time.  But tips are always welcome.

Here are my most influential reads for the month – in no particular order:

  1. Can’t Escape the (Capital) Cycle – “Marathon Asset Management did not invent the framework, they just clearly articulated it in their letters and used it to navigate markets. “
  2.  The Tide Is Going Out – “While this will likely still take time to unfold in the private markets, it appears to already be well underway in the public markets with the average small-cap stock in the Russell 2000 down more than 33% from its 52-week high.”
  3. Can Economists Predict Recessions? – “Short answer: Maybe a quarter ahead (but not always). Beyond that short time frame, it’s simply too variable.”
  4. 6 Reasons Why a US Recession Is Likely — and Coming Soon – “… typically the US consumer keeps buying right up until the brink.”  SMS: This has been my view for awhile – the U.S. consumer will spend until stopped.
  5. What goes down must come up – “But more likely we are in a new regime, with more volatility at the very least.”
  6. Further Thoughts on Sea Change – “No one cites my candidate: the 2,000-basis-point decline in interest rates between 1980 and 2020. “
  7. Housing Market: 1981 Vs. 2009 – “Have people forgotten how bad the real estate market crashed in the early 1980s? Apparently so.”
  8. Weekend Thoughts – Inflation Hedges, Bonds & The “This is Fine” Economy – “The main reason I take it personally is because the Fed has broken a whole bunch of stuff and I don’t see how anyone can frame it any other way. “
  9. Something “Big & Stupid” Is Coming…– “So there are two ways to deal with excessive debt: fiscal discipline and inflation.”
  10. The Power of Morning Pages – “There really isn’t much to lose by sitting down and writing for twenty to thirty minutes every morning.”

Note: This is based on when I read the article, not necessarily when it was first published.  Unfortunately, my backlog of things I would like to read always seems to dwarf the amount of time I can devote to reading.

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Reminder: I learned way back in 2000 not to give investment advice, especially to people I know well.  So please do not take anything in any of these posts as financial or investment advice.

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