When we woke up on the Tuesday after Labor Day in Torrey, our plan was to spend the day hiking in Capitol Reef six miles down the road. We were in no hurry so I started making a nice strong pot of coffee to start the day. Sharon had picked up some freshly ground beans in Springdale at The Mean Bean, and this had become our morning routine. When it finished perking, I brought two steaming mugs back up to the room. We shared the carrot cake from Café Diablo with our coffee and watched the Weather Channel. We learned that there was a storm front moving in on Wednesday, and if it came far enough south, it could make travel on the 30+ miles of backroad to the Horseshoe Canyon trailhead impossible.
We reluctantly decided to change plans and attempt the Great Gallery hike today. From Torrey, it would take about two hours to the trailhead followed by about four hours to hike in and out of Horseshoe Canyon.
We showered and left as quickly as possible. Had we been following the original plan, we’d have made a much earlier start since we wouldn’t have been returning to Torrey but camping at Goblins State Park. Oh well. The Great Gallery hike was to be, for me, the highlight of our trip. We’d tried to go on our last trip, but a storm front had denied us the chance. I was determined to make it this time. We stopped at the Capitol Reef Visitor's Center long enough to learn that the rangers concurred with our opinion...go today...tomorrow may be a bad idea. It was almost 9am.