A Capitol Holiday
Jason and I hit the eight year mark this month. Yes, we’ve had eight blissful years of marriage.
It was my turn to plan our celebration activities this year. After looking into a bunch of options I decided on a weekend getaway to Capitol Reef National Park.
We stayed in the little town of Torrey, just outside Capitol Reef, at the Red River Ranch Lodge, named one of the 25 best American lodges by Travel and Leisure magazine. The lodge was built on an old stagecoach stop, which explains the giant ancient trees that surround this roughly 15 year old building. Its spacious interior is decorated almost entirely with antiques, giving the impression that you just walked into a bygone era.
The balcony in our room overlooked a field with grazing bison, which added to the sense that somehow we had become lost in time. True to the atmosphere of the lodge, there weren’t any TVs in the rooms. While some would complain about this lack of ready entertainment, Jason and I found the change quite peaceful and relaxing.
We spent the weekend hiking, horseback riding, reading books sprawled out under the shady aged trees in Capitol Reef’s orchards, driving over scenic Boulder Mountain, and stuffing our faces.
Torrey, with a population of less than 200, isn’t exactly where you would expect to find fine cuisine, but believe me, we definitely found it. Café Diablo, located in an unassuming little building on the outskirts of Torrey, was just as good as our favorite restaurants in Salt Lake City or even San Diego. Yum! While the food at this southwest restaurant was presented flawlessly and tasted fantastic, the atmosphere was extremely relaxed. We came in straight from hiking all day in Capitol Reef, we were sweaty and sandy, but none of the restaurant staff seemed to mind at all. The owner, and I assume head chef, wandered from table to table greeting his customers while wearing his chef garb, shorts, and sandals.
We ordered everything from spicy appetizers to desserts topped with their freshly made ice cream, and ate until we could eat no more. It was an unexpectedly delicious and refreshing experience.
Another restaurant we sampled, which was also very tasty, was Hell’s Backbone Grill located in Boulder, 30 miles from Torrey. This charmingly serene little restaurant specializes in cuisine that utilizes locally grown produce. They have their own organic farm just three miles from the restaurant. Jason ordered chicken tumbleweed enchiladas; that may sound like something you would feed a cow rather than a person but it was actually quite flavorful and scrumptious.
We enjoyed our little weekend excursion: lots of sun, beautiful scenery, and surprisingly good food.