Dancing with Goblins

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December 13, 2012

The most direct route from Bryce Canyon to Monument Valley is far from direct. And we didn’t take it. We had something else in mind: finding goblins.

Our starting point was Bybee’s Steppingstone Motel in tiny (and curiously-named) Tropic, Utah. It’s what a motel would be like if your grandma was in charge and didn’t have much of a budget. The Book of Mormon is readily available for anyone seeking a diversion from, say, a presidential debate.

Monument Valley is southeast of here, so of course we headed northeast on Highway 12, past thriving establishments like Nelson’s gas station.

Cruising through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (hey, haven’t we been here before?), we stopped off and explored a slot canyon. Happily, no 127 Hours-style incidents befell us.

Next, we found ourselves at Capitol Reef National Park. We really just stopped there because it’s on the way to the goblins, and we were rewarded with views of spectacularly-chunky rock formations.

Finally, as the golden sun drifted toward the horizon, we arrived at Goblin Valley State Park. These goblins are not of the Lord of the Rings variety; rather, softer areas of sandstone erode away, and windblown dust smooths what remains: the goblins.