Capitol Reef NP, Goblin Valley SP, and Arches NP

Trip Start Sep 04, 2007
Trip End Sep 29, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Monday, September 24, 2007

Whew!  We've had an interesting 24 hours.  After spending the morning hiking in Capitol Reef, we headed for Goblin Valley SP, an interesting hoodoo area used in the movie "Galaxy Quest".  The drive on 12 and 89 through Utah was absolutely desolate-- we were glad to get to the sage brush plains heading north toward I-70.  Rain threatened, so we decided to go on to Moab and a hotel rather than camp at Goblin as originally planned.  Little did we know...

We arrived in Moab, UT about 5:30, without a reservation...during an off-road vehicle rally... our first mistake.  All hotels posted no vacancy, the thunderheads are getting worse, we stop at the town's information center and are directed to a pair of campgrounds that still have vacancies.  There is a reason for this.

The first place is miles down a gravel road on the banks of the Colorado River, with no one apparently in charge, but a slew of army tents and soliders milling about .  Have we stumbled apon a secret mission?  It's beginning to sprinkle -- we decide to try the next location.

7 miles south of town we drive into Ken's Lake, a national (?) forest area popular with people who park their RVs and head into the hills with ATVs---definitely not tree-hugger types.  There are pit toilets and no water.  It is beginning to rain.  We decide to stay.
Our second mistake.

Peter talks me into sleeping in the car with a window cracked for ventilation.  We have not showered in 24 hours and it is now raining.  Did I mention that we crossed a dry wash on the way in?  Fast forward to 7 am.  Peter needs a shower -- soon. I need a bathroom and coffee sooner.  We start down the road and stop at the edge of a sand dyke on either side of a fast stream full of rocks that was not there last night.  We turn around and try the other exit, near the Campground host's RV, also  blocked by a vigorously flowing wash and quicksand like dunes.  The host, complete with dreadlocks and earlobe plugs, steps out to suggest that we wait out the morning -- maybe it will dry out. Or the county will show up in a couple of days to plow because we are 50 miles from the county seat. Peter and I borrow a couple of his shovels.  We are on a beach vacation, playing in the sand.  After an hour, the major part of the sand dunes have been drained, Peter has removed the larger rocks from the wash, and I am at the wheel of my trusty Su.  A quick trip in 2nd gear and we're out!

This could have been a disaster-- instead Peter had great fun and no damage done.  We stopped at Archway Inn and made reservations for 2 nights.  Today we hiked the Devil's Garden area of Arches, and are off to the Fiery Furnace tomorrow. 
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