Leaving Moab, our plan was to drive through the heat of the day and make it to Capitol Reef State Park in time for sleep, but a few people had suggested we keep an eye out for Goblin Valley, so when we spied a sign for it on a long stretch of empty Utah highway, we made a snap decision to detour.
Goblin Valley is just plain weird, unlike any topography we’ve seen, more like Mars than a terrestrial landscape. Best of all, the whole valley was an “open climb” area. While the ranger noted that we weren’t supposed to knock down the hoodoos, we were free to otherwise go, climb and explore as we wished.
The campground had showers, there were kids for Zevin to play with, the night sky was crystal clear. On impluse, we signed on for a second night, no regrets.