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Journal Entries for 2009-09b RV Canyon de Chelly ER
Summary: We went to Goblin State Park.

Sunday, Sept 20th: We were the very last ones to leave Moab (EarthRoamer Owner's Rally). We headed for Goblin State Park (115 miles). We went north on Hwy 191, west on Hwy 70, through Green River and then south on Hwy 24, to Goblin Valley State Park ($16/night, no hookups, flush toilets & showers). As we were looking for our assigtned campsite, we saw another Roamer. It turned out to be Jerry and Becky. They were also fascinated by the Goblins. We didn't know they were going to be here.

We discovered Goblin State Park during our RV trip in the Summer of 2006. We just loved looking at the Goblins. Goblin Valley is a unique environment of spectacular erosion; a geologic masterpiece in stone. The scenes of Goblin Valley State Park are the consequence of millions of years of geologic history. We had the Jeep with us on that trip and we had a great time following the map, driving several 4WD trails.

We were tired, so we rested some and visited with Jerry and Becky some. The campground was a distance from the Goblins, so we decided to go by and get pictures the next day.

Monday, Sept 21st: We didn't walk around the Goblins on this trip, but we got some great pictures from Jerry & Becky. Our pictures didn't turn out very good.

After we enjoyed the Goblins for awhile, we went exploring. The last time we were in this area we got a great map of the San Rafael Swells. The San Rafael Swell rises above the desert in an elongated dome-like structure, or anticline. This anticline was formed roughly 60 million years ago, when forces beneath the earth's surface caused horizontal rock layers to arch upwards. Since the uplift, erosion has exposed older rock layers in the center of the Swell, leaving newer layers exposed around the edges. River and washes cut through the Swell, leaving colorful sculpted canyons with towering walls.

This time we took the Roamer to the Little Wild Horse Canyon so we could hike into a beautiful slot canyon. We met Nicholas, from Salt Lake City, at the EarthRoamer Owner's Rally in Moab. He recommended this 4WD trail. This was a short 5.4 mile dirt road that goes to the Little Wild HOrse/Bell Canyon loop hike which is 8 miles, but there's a great slot canyon that isn't far into the hike. We started out OK, but then the trail took us up onto a ledge and the going got tough. We decided to head back to the Roamer. There was another road we wanted to explore and we got a late start out of Goblin State Park.

Then we went to Behind-the-Reef Road. This was a 6-mile dirt road back into the canyons. We had some fantastic scenery. Cheese Rock or Rafoni is common through out the San Rafael swell., It is caused by differential erosion causing the pockets on the face of the rock. The origin of Tafoni is not well understood. We had lunch in a beautiful spot, then turned around and left San Rafael Swells. There is lots more to explore, but we think we'll use the Jeep next time.

Then it was time to move on. We headed for Capitol Reef National Park. The term "reef" was used by traveling settlers to describe the difficulties in traveling through this rugged landscape, much like navigating oceanic reefs.

We knew Jerry and Becky were heading for the campground at Capitol Reef, but when we got there, it was full. Becky highly recommended we get some pie and homemade ice cream next to the campground, but when we learned the campground was full, we didn't stop at the store. So...we camped just outside Capitol Reef National Park (100 miles), in the Dixie National Forest. No campground, no hookups, just beautiful scenery overlooking Capital Reef National Park.

021-Goblins in Goblin SP.jpg

030-Nancy in Little Wild Horse Canyon, San Rafael Swells.jpg

036-View from Behind-the-Reef Rd, San Rafael Swells.jpg

048-Cheese Rock or Tafoni, Behind-the-Reef Road, San Rafael Swell.jpg

059-Twin Rocks, Capital Reef NP.jpg
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