Brian woke up as the sun was rising and decided to get up and take pictures. The belts in his car squealed because they had sand in them and I think he woke up most of the campground! But he did get good pictures.
Here's our campsite as sunrise. What a picturesque place to camp!
I love how this one kind of looks like an alligator snout.
Brian hiked into one of the other valleys so he had different views than what the rest of us saw.
You can see in this picture how the goblins like crumbly and they are. If you pull at it, you can scrap pieces off.
We returned to Goblin Valley right before sunset and we rushed over to the valley so I could take pictures. It probably would have been better to get there about 20 minutes before but I still got good pictures. I really booked it across the valley to the back wall. I was chasing the sunlight! This post will be all pictures.
While we were at Goblin Valley we asked N2 to give us their best goblin faces. Not sure they had any idea what a goblin was!
We decided to drive to Capitol Reef on this day instead of hanging out at Goblin Valley. The drive was so beautiful! The rock formations were amazing because they looked so soft like they could be sand dunes.
Plus there were beautiful colors in the hills as we got closer to Capitol Reef.
We were going to stop and walk the trail to see a natural bridge in the park but the trail was closed due to a landslide. They are unsure when the trail will be open again. So then we went to see the petroglyphs and part of the trail was closed because a tree fell on the boardwalk. We were still able to see some petroglyphs but not all of them.
We learned that Capitol Reef was named because they have rock formations that look like capitol buildings-the domes at the top and also that the long rock barriers are like reefs. The park is quite spectacular with the rock formations and the colors. There are some hiking trails that are not too strenuous or long but most of the trails were longer than what we wanted to do. Here is an example of the reef (it was kind of hazy).
Here's an example of a dome.
We hiked in one of the washes. It was an easy hike but probably one of the most annoying. There were gnats all over the place that just swarmed you as you hiked. They got in your mouth and nose. So annoying! Here are our hikers. Dad was able to walk part ways with us.
Along the wash were names carved into rocks by pioneers who came through there a long time ago. Some of them were quite high up!
We, of course found cubby holes along the way. They were not right on the ground as you can see in the pictures.
We also found holes in the rocks which N2 had to stick their fingers into. They started singing along and pretending that it was like a piano.
We were hiking to go see waterholes that have formed in the rocks and water animals live there. They failed to mention that you would have to climb up rocks to get there. Mom and I decided not to continue but Brian and N2 went to see them. They only found one but they did find tadpoles.
The views of the domes and rock formations was really amazing along the hike and the sun cooperated right at the end. There were dark clouds that we were wondering about but we got no rain and the sun came out.
Pioneers had planted orchards in this area and they still have orchards there today that you can go to and pick fruit for a nominal fee during harvest season. Alas, it was not harvest season. They make pies with the fruit that they grow they. We picked up some pies to try them out-apple, peach, cherry, and blackberry. The peach was AMAZING!
We stopped at the visitor's center so N2 could get their junior ranger badges and then we drove a little further down on the highway to see more of the park before we returned to Hanksville to have our last dinner with Mom and Dad. Here are a few more pictures from the park.
Natalie wanted to take pictures and at the last minute, dad hijacked her picture!
We decided that it was getting too hot at Goblin Valley and that we needed some shade. There's a slot canyon not too far away called Little Wild Horse Canyon. Dad stayed at our campsite and read a book while the rest of us went exploring. There was a little hike before you got to the slot canyon and there was a part that was a teensy bit treacherous. On the way back we figured that you could go a less treacherous way if you didn't have kids. N2 LOVED exploring the slot canyon and they got quite a ways ahead of Grandma and I at times. Brian made sure to keep up with them. They found some cubby holes to sit in.
It took us a while be we finally got into the narrowness of the canyon. It starts pretty wide and then narrows. This canyon is not a really red canyon like the really amazing slot canyon photos you see. Maybe we weren't there in the best light but I don't know what light would have been better. I still had a great time taking pictures and trying different settings on my camera. I think a tripod would have been nice and perhaps having both my lenses. But that's a lot to hike with! Here are some of my best pictures of the slot canyon.
The rock itself was so interesting to look at. The striations and wave patterns in the rock walls were amazing! There were tons of little holes carved into the rock. There were things that looked like bubbles. Take a look.
Here's our hiking crew.
Did you notice how dirty Natalie's bottom is in the above picture? There's a hole in the seam that I need to fix which we didn't notice until we got home.
We definitely made the right call to come to the canyon to escape the heat. By the time we got back to the car it was kind of breezy and a little chillier. It looked liked maybe a storm cloud was coming in. But there was no rain. I guess we should have come here first and then done Goblin Valley after diner. Live and learn!