Volunteering in Capitol Reef National Park

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Last week I was introduced to the evil that is Russian Thistle. We started our Capitol Reef volunteer project pruning shrubs that were blocking the trail from the visitors center to the campground. image

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When we knocked that out in a little over 2 hours we were rewarded with an assignment that has no end: pulling up Russian Thistle. This invasive weed is covered with prickly thorns and it has deep roots that are tricky to dislodge. At least there is the satisfaction of clearing a large swath of ground and seeing the little native plants finally visible. Of course it only takes a small rotation to the left or right to realize that the thistle is winning the war.
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<Most of the morning, just looking up at the amazing rock formations were sufficient reward for hard work, but as morning turned into afternoon, I started dreaming of pie.

Capitol Reef used to be home to mormon pioneers, who herded cattle and planted orchards through the valley. These days, tourists can pick their own apples. Better yet, you can sit down on a picnic table overlooking the fremont river and colorful canyon walls for some pie, delivered fresh daily. After about 6 hours of hard work on a sunny day, strawberry rhubarb pie with locally made vanilla ice cream on top was sublime.
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Thanks to Kirstin for connecting us with Lori to make this project possible. We appreciated the opportunity.

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5 responses to “Volunteering in Capitol Reef National Park

  1. Wow! That stuff seems harsh. Hey what if there was a Russian Thistle type pie, would you try it? You know you’re so adventurous and all hahaha. I think what you guys are doing is great have fun.

  2. Srawberry Rhubarb? Sounds like that place where all the women are strong and the men are good lookin’!

  3. Where did the Russian thistle come from? Is it an invasive, non-native plant?

    • It is invasive and non native and it out competes the native plants, which is one reason why they are trying to get rid of it. It was introduced to the area hundreds of years ago and they are not exactly sure how.

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