During our recent stay at Capitol Reef National Park, we found out that we weren't very far from Goblin Valley State Park in Utah. It was in the news about a year ago when someone was caught (via a video he posted and bragged about) causing damage in the park. The rangers said it was a huge deal around there and everyone was quite upset (as we were) when that happened. They think that the man was given a hefty fine. I'm glad to hear that. It's very upsetting when people cause damage to our precious, natural places that we know, love and want to have around forever.
The drive took about an hour and a half and took us through ever changing and incredible terrain and scenery. But, like wildflowers on the side of the road, it's not always possible to pull over for pictures. And, the things we saw were so immense that it would be impossible to capture the awesomeness of it all in a camera. So, we decided not to worry about photos but to just ooh, aaah and enjoy every mile of it and every new thing we saw.
Goblin Valley was quite hard to capture in photographs as well. Not only because it's so big but it was very bright and hazy that day and my good camera isn't doing well these days. That became very evident on this trip.
My camera has been taken on miles and miles of trails, to mountain tops, up and down rivers, canyoneering trips, deserts, the beach and so many places. I've gotten TONS of use out of it. I'm very careful with it and try to keep it clean but bits of dirt have somehow creeped into places that can't be cleaned (I've tried). We don't have any camera shops around to have it worked on. The last one I know of closed it's doors. And, I remember talking to a camera shop years ago about that and they said it's pretty hard to fix and best to get a new camera.
With technology constantly changing and improving, I think it's time to replace my almost 10 year old Canon Rebel. It's been great but a new one will take even better quality photos and have even more features (that I may never figure out...lol). I've been putting it off but I don't think I can anymore.
Anyway, here are my photos from Goblin Valley...some from my camera and some from my cell phone. I tried to edit out the dirt spots as best I could.
Goblin Valley State Park is literally in the middle of nowhere. In fact, it looks like flat, empty desert until you get almost right up to it and then, voila....a dip in the ground with this...
Thousands of sandstone "goblins" created over time by wind, water and erosion.
They might look small but they're actually quite large.
That's my hubby climbing that white mound near the center of this photo...
Smooth, sandstone rocks sit atop mounds of hardened sand/mud.
It was often like looking at clouds and seeing fun shapes. I kept seeing little creature shapes in these interesting formations. This looks like a cute little critter with a long pointy nose and a big eye...
This one made us think of a seal or a polar bear...
This one reminded us of those coffee tables that look like
a bear laying on it's back, holding the table up with its feet...
A big froggy...
It looks like a giant, chocolate Easter bunny in the center of this photo...
Oh...and it's probably 10 feet high or taller.
It's amazing how these huge rocks have balanced and stayed on top of these mounds of mud.
You guessed it...this one is really tall too.
We had a lot of fun wandering through!
We even found small slot canyon type areas out there.
And, I found this teenie, tiny thing formed in the sand...
It had recently rained and we found some water left over out there.
I'm sure the plants appreciated the rain.
And, so did the wildlife.
Such a pretty lizard.
It was pretty hot out there that day in the full sun.
But, we had fun exploring. I even tried a few creative and silly photos.
We found "windows" in a few of the big formations...
I had to get a shot of hubby peeking through one of the "windows"...
It was interesting how the "goblins" were concentrated in one area. These were some of the only other ones we saw and they were nearby in the park. Looks like a row of three characters...
As we headed out and back toward camp, I took a photo from a distance of a mound of rocks that we think is near the "goblins". It's fascinating how flat it is all around except for those few huge mounds/mountains of rock and that those goblins are all next to just one of them.
Here's a view of the road ahead of us (through the dirty windshield)
and how desolate it is for part of the drive.
On the way back, we stopped at a little restaurant we'd seen on the way out, in the tiny town of Hanksville. It's called, Duke's Slickrock Grill. It turned out to be really good! The restaurant was cute and very nice, the service was great and the food was fantastic! We raved about it to our waitress and we heard others doing the same thing. That lunch really hit the spot!
Much of that amazing terrain I'd mentioned earlier that we saw on the way was between Capitol Reef and Hanksville. We tried to get a few photos on the way back but they just didn't turn out. This one is interesting though. As I'd mentioned, it had rained earlier in the week...a lot! Rivers were flowing again and others flowing larger. This was in a deep ravine beside the road. Even though it may look small, that water fall is probably at least 15 feet tall or bigger. It was pretty far down there and sounded powerful. The rocks around it are interesting with how they've been sculpted by water.
The parking area normally used to hike down there was blocked off and there were warning signs of the danger. I took a photo of the wood stands used to block it off. They're pretty cool! They're much nicer looking than plastic cones or plastic tape.
I have one more post of something we did and saw while in Capitol Reef.