Day 10: Goblin Valley State Park, Utah
In the morning we enter Utah’s nearby Goblin Valley State Park, the centerpiece of which is a 20-acre shallow valley inhabited by thousands of eerie, vaguely humanoid sandstone forms called ‘hoodoos’, silent and motionless. Perhaps merely the result of a missed breakfast and resulting low blood-sugar, a walk through this strange valley–seemingly suspended in time–instills in us a sense of great, impending activity, as though dark magic has frozen this army of warriors in the midst of heated battle. But for how long? We hurry out of that place, before these legions of silent soldiers can spring to life, to defend the walls of their stony fortress.
We return to the highway and continue our journey westward. Entering Dixie National Forest, we climb a beautiful, steep ascent to 9200’ASL through golden aspen-covered hills and mountains, then descend into Boulder, UT. Another 75 miles of spectacular canyon and mesa-top driving brings us to the gates of Bryce Canyon National Park.
Another benefit of travelling by Westy is all the wonderful people one meets on such a roadtrip. We will see a total of 27 other Westies during our 14-day sojourn—from old air-cooled Busses to the latest EuroVans—and most drivers happily greet us with a beep or a wave or a flash of the lights. Today we find a campsite next to a wonderful couple from nearby St. George, camped in their 1983 Vanagon Westfalia—the last of the air-cooled—and accompany them to Bryce Lodge for a presentation on forest fires before retiring for the night.