From a Reef to the home of Goblins

Trip Start Jun 01, 2011
Trip End Jul 31, 2011

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Where I stayed
Goblin Valley State Park
What I did
Drive from Capital Reef to a valley of Goblins

Flag of United States  , Utah
Sunday, July 10, 2011

Just can't shake this sleeping habit. Slept 9 hours last night and it was still hard to get up. Yes, I’m doing some hikes everyday but not that strenuous to make me sleep so much. I’ll blame the dog, who can sleep 23 hours a day. Beautiful morning in Fruita with the smell of the orchard next door permeating the air. The campground wants us out by 11. This is only place where I could easily spend an extra day or two just chilling out. Oh, yes, there are a few trails left in Capital Reef, but this little green heaven called Fruita is the place to be. I took Quique on another walk around the Fremont River trail. Nothing crazy like yesterday evening running through a flooded orchard. But she did scare off a few deer, including two small ones. A few deer stood their ground. I can back to the RV and got Pooh and we took a 10 min. walk to the Gifford Homestead and picked up our morning breakfast of multi-berry pie. I think this one was better than yesterdays. I also found a Key Lime soda. What a great breakfast. We walked a little farther down the road and checked out these two ancient looking trees that came straight out of Sleepy Hollow.

Soon we had to walk back and get ready to go. I did take my time as I did not really want to leave this piece of tranquility. Mark this down as a place to come back too. Today’s drive just took about an hour and a half and nothing really hard. We headed mostly north on Utah 24 and only went through one town of any size. Other than that it was a typical SW road with river valleys, mesas, and buttes all over the place with an added dose of endless sky. Our destination, Goblin Valley State Park, did not have a road connecting it on the GPS. So this time we had to follow the sign’s that I hoped would be up. Finally, in the middle of nowhere there was a sign to turn left. We went down that small two lane road for 7 miles. Then there was another sign to turn left again for 7 miles. I just hope no one is playing a joke on us with these signs. Finally, in the distance, I saw a building – very rare in these parts – with a US flag. Had to be the state park. For a building in the middle of nowhere, it was stocked with some souvenirs, snacks, and a nice 3-D map of the area with exhibits. I got my site number and took off for the campground. The campground only had 24 sites so it was not a big one. It sat inside this cirque at the base of a mesa. We are only staying here one night since there are just a few trails to check out. There are no hook-ups for the 5th straight night so we had to fill up the tank with about 10 min. of water and use the gen to get some power. The good news is that we can use the gen from 7am to 10 pm – which really means as much as we want.

First we had a little lunch where Pooh had her leftover cabbage and black bean wrap and I had a can of roast beef hash. Then we got our gear and took off for our first trail – the Carmel Canyon Trail. It was now around 2:30 and it was pretty hot – around 90 degrees. Many parts of the trail felt like they were carved out of mud and spanned the narrow ridges of mud hills. Soon, it took us down a steep decline into the ravine which again felt like caked mud that broke off every time we took a step. Soon, we were on the valley floor walking around a dry wash. It took us to a point to look at this mesa in the background called Molly’s Castle. If you looked hard enough it really looked like a castle. Then we took the loop back. By this time the trail was pretty boring compared to most of the trails we had over these past several weeks. But gradually, it turned interesting, and then challenging. Now we were going up this twisty mud canyon. The distance was short if it was a straight trail, but it felt like we were walking a spaghetti noodle trail. Soon, the canyon became so thin I had to walk sideways and hope I did not twist an ankle. Unfortunately, it was so hot that Quique was not having a fun time. I never saw her drink so much water. At one point, she found a little shade and just plopped down and did not want to move. Then she hurt her front paw thumb going up a rock – so we had to carry her the rest of the way. Being Quique, she played the drama part very well. Eventually we squeezed out of this tight canyon and came back to a road close to our truck.

Back at the RV we turned on the Gen and just relaxed the rest of the afternoon. We tried to nurse Quique’s sore paw back to health. Pooh took her afternoon nap while I read. Eventually some storm clouds came by and I had to wait an extra hour to take our 2nd hike of the day. Around 7 we made it out of the RV and onto the trail. We wanted to keep Quique back to heal but all the sudden she got better so she could go too. This time we took the Entrad Canyon trail which again took us through these small mud canyons that snaked around endlessly. This took us from the campground to the Goblin Overlook. All the sudden, Quique was healed and running all over the place and climbing every hill. Sometimes it was hard to make out the trail when other washed combined with our wash that we were walking on mainly. Luckily there were stacks of rocks, call cairns that led the way through the zigzags. At the end of the trail we looked over the valley of Goblins and the massive storms that were too our south. I just hope they don’t come our way or the dry valleys will be flooded. So we quickly walked back through the mud canyon. This time Quique was really running up and down the small hills having the time of her life. And just a few hours ago she was in pain – or at least acting like it. We did have a few drops of rain but nothing to where we had to put on our rain jackets. At the end of the trail we looked back and saw the biggest rainbow ever. It stretched for miles across the horizon from one mesa to another. It was so huge I could not take a single pic of it. I tried a video and a panorama to get some of it. Then, as we walked a little farther, we could make out a double rainbow. Really cool way to end our hiking day.

Back at the RV we kicked on the gen and made a Chinese frozen dinner that was pretty good. Then we bummed around on this half moon night with perfect weather before we hit the sack.
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