Southwest 2021:
Day 9 - Goblin Valley


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Southwest 2021: [Day 1 - Missouri] [Day 2 - Kansas] [Day 3 - Kansas] [Day 4 - Ft. Collins] [Day 5 - Perry] [Day 6 - Salt Lake City] [Day 7 - Salt Lake City] [Day 8 - Salt Lake City] [Day 9 - Goblin Valley] [Day 10 - Torrey] [Day 11 - Kodachrome Basin] [Day 12 - Coral Pink Sand Dunes] [Day 13 - Lees Ferry] [Day 14 - Grand Canyon] [Day 15 - Grand Canyon] [Day 16 - Lyman Lake] [Day 17 - Carlsbad] [Day 18 - Davis Mountains] [Day 19 - Marathon] [Day 20 - Arlington] [Day 21 - Hot Springs] [Day 22 - Bowling Green] [Day 23 - Heading Home]

Wednesday, February 24, 2021: When the sun rose, we got a look at the campground we were in.
We were able to confirm that it was deserted, except for three other rigs. Nice!
Our first stop of the day was right across the street at the John Wesley Powell Museum.
But first, there were some sights to see in the parking lot, such as this impressive bank of Tesla charging stations, ...
... a statue of the man himself, JWP, ...
... and this giant watermelon, which looks like it gets to take a ride each year around Green River's annual Melon Days festival.
The museum exterior has a cool bas relief sculpture on the exterior.
The museum had just opened, so we were first inside and the only visitors the entire time, which is always nice during a pandemic. Oooh, there's the Grand Canyon, ...
... and there's the river! Sure, we were in Green River, but this was referring to the Colorado River, which is the best river ever.
This picture shows the confluence of the Colorado River (left) with the Green River (right). The Colorado River continues downstream from here, which is toward the top of this photo. We had been on the river in this very location less than two years earlier.
Throughout the museum are plaques for the River Runners Hall of Fame inductees. Here is Jack Currey, credited with creating the baloney boat, AKA the modern motorized Grand Canyon rafting expedition boat we know and love.
Here's Georgie White Clark, one of the first prominent women river runners.
This is a model of the boat John Wesley Powell rode in during one of his famous Colorado River runs.
Here's a cool sculpture of it in action.
The lower level contained some vintage river boats.
U Can't Touch This
Another Hall of Fame inductee is Bill Belknap, creator of the river guidebooks that we've used on all of our Colorado River trips.
There was also a room with a display of dinosaur skeletons.
Whoa, that's a long one.
We did a little shopping in the gift shop, ...
... then spent some time looking at the displays outside.
We got some pictures of routes we might need to travel someday, including U.S. Route 6 (which we were on very briefly yesterday), ...
... and U.S. Route 50.
There was a nice view of the Green River from the display area.
We were on our way by 10:00 AM, passing a melon stand on our way to ...
... this dirt road, the first one our beautiful Thor Sequence 20A had been on since its lift, springs, and tire upgrades the day before.
So far, so good! Nice scenery and The Ocho was handling the road like a champ.
Let's follow that sign that says "Geyser."
We arrived at Crystal Geyser on the banks of the Green River.
The geyser was bubbling, ...
... and bubbling, ...
... and bubbling.
We walked all around the geyser, ...
... seeing where the mineral-rich water had transformed the landscape.
Crystal Geyser must get its name from the crystal-like rock deposited on the river's bank.
We walked to the river bank on the other side of the geyser.
Here's the view from there looking downstream.
We could see melted water running under the thin film of ice.
Check out these tiny terraces!
It was too beautiful to leave, but we did. We were hoping to see the geyser erupt, but had been warned that it may bubble for hours before finally erupting, so we gave up after 45 minutes.
We returned to Green River, ...
... and crossed the Green River.
As we drove through town, we passed a tank painted to look like a watermelon, ...
... a replica Athena research rocket in O. K. Anderson City Park, ...
... an old house on blocks, ...
... and a sculpture made of blocks called "Golden Ratio."
We headed into the part of Utah called the San Rafael Swell.
We headed south on UT-24, a road we had been on when we returned from our Cataract Canyon river trip two years earlier.
The San Rafael Swell is filled with lovely scenery.
There are the Henry Mountains in the distance. Gilson Butte and Little Gilson Butte are on the left.
As we headed toward Goblin Valley State Park, we were reminded to look out for cows.
That's Temple Mountain ahead on the right.
That's Goblin Valley State Park ahead on the far left of that crescent ridge ahead. That's Wild Horse Butte on the right, and we'll be seeing a lot of it over the next few hours.
Here we are!
We pulled up to the visitor center and got our campground reservation, ...
... headed to the campground, ...
... then went to check it out. Gorgeous! Our site had a covered pavilion and a tent site, neither of which we used.
Here's the view to our right.
We headed to the Valley of the Goblins next.
We took a picture from the overlook but couldn't do it justice.
Here's a closer look to the left ...
... and the right.
We headed down the steps into the valley to do some exploring.
This place is so cool!
It goes on for quite a distance that way.
We spent 20 minutes walking through the valley, looking for some of the locations we had seen the night before in "Galaxy Quest." Debbie was disappointed to not find the exact location, but we got pretty close.
Here's her photo, ...
... and here's the shot from the movie.
We didn't try to line up this shot, ...
... but we could easily see how the area we were in would have been flat enough to support a film set and production crew.
We did some more exploring. Here's Debbie on the opposite side of the valley from the overlook, ...
... which you can see in the distance behind Tom.
Debbie has to photograph everything, ...
... including interesting canyon walls.
Where's Tom?
There he is.
Where's Debbie?
There she is.
So many cool goblins. Technically, these are called hoodoos, but for today, they are all goblins.
We headed back to the overlook and drove out, slowing down to get a photo of Molly's Castle ...
... and the Three SIsters.
We drove around Wild Horse Butte, ...
... and passed more lovely scenery, ...
... and more.
We arrived at Little Wild Horse Canyon around 2:30 PM ...
... and headed out for a short hike.
It was a pretty hike.
We passed this tree ...
... with incredibly thick bark. Debbie's hand provided for scale.
More hiking ...
... with a brief stop to sit at an angle.
After 15 minutes, we finally reached the slot canyon portion of our hike. This canyon is recommended for families because the canyon is so easy to reach.
We went in a little ways, ...
... scrambled around a couple of narrow passages, ...
... and admired the nearly blue streaks in the slot canyon wall.
Then we decided that was far enough and headed back.
Thirty minutes after we started, we were headed back to Wild Horse Butte.
Check out the cool white layers on the butte, ...
... and the even cooler layers in the top of the butte.
We went into the Visitor Center ...
... to do some visiting and ...
... some shopping.
We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening enjoying our beautiful, deserted campground.
There was a group of people camping at a tent site hidden behind these rocks. It was very windy and it was going to get very cold, so they spent a lot of time going back to their car which was parked near us.
The campground bathrooms were closed for the winter, so hooray for having a Class B RV!
As we checked out the scenery all around us, we noticed a disc golf target, ...
... and another one, ...
... and another.
With clear skies and full sun, our solar panels were keeping our batteries absolutely full.
What we ate for dinner is lost to time, but it was probably leftovers of some sort.
This cute little guy hung out around our campsite with his buddies. Despite buying a bird identification guide this very afternoon, we couldn't determine what he was.
After having this Elmaro Winery Mystery Tasting game for nearly a year, we finally gave it a go.
All of Elmaro's wines were described on individual pieces of paper, and five wine samples had their labels covered up. We had to sample each and determine which wine it was.
We failed miserably on four of the five. For people who don't like red wine, we sure were good at identifying the one red wine in the sampler.
We played some rounds of gin with the official card deck of The Ocho, which turned into a regular activity in the evenings.

Day 10 >


Southwest 2021: [Day 1 - Missouri] [Day 2 - Kansas] [Day 3 - Kansas] [Day 4 - Ft. Collins] [Day 5 - Perry] [Day 6 - Salt Lake City] [Day 7 - Salt Lake City] [Day 8 - Salt Lake City] [Day 9 - Goblin Valley] [Day 10 - Torrey] [Day 11 - Kodachrome Basin] [Day 12 - Coral Pink Sand Dunes] [Day 13 - Lees Ferry] [Day 14 - Grand Canyon] [Day 15 - Grand Canyon] [Day 16 - Lyman Lake] [Day 17 - Carlsbad] [Day 18 - Davis Mountains] [Day 19 - Marathon] [Day 20 - Arlington] [Day 21 - Hot Springs] [Day 22 - Bowling Green] [Day 23 - Heading Home]

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