American Locations 22

The trip is from Lewis & Clark Monument, Illinois, to Kickapoo State Park, Illinois, by way of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

We drove east out of Goblin Valley State park back to Rte. 24, then turned south. Back to Hanksville, we continued west on Rte. 24 into Capital Reef National Park.

We parked for lunch, then hiked up to see Hickman Natural Bridge.

And here is Hickman Arch

We could get under it.

The hike back out could be just as nice.

And back to the parking lot.

We stopped at the visitor center and learned the campground was full. But a ranger told us of BLM land just outside the park were we could camp for free. So we continued west on Rte. 24 out of the park, and just beyond the park boundary was a field next to the road where dozens of units and tents were already set up. So we pulled in, staked our claim, and camped the night for free.

I still had too much energy, so I climbed the hills we were camped at the foot of. There wasn’t a trail, so I blazed my own.

From on high I could look down on the campers.

Our motor home was parked next to a green bush.

There was a nice view from up there.

I finally reached the top.

Then it was time to come back down. I had a bit of trouble. I thought I had marked my way well, but I couldn’t find the way I had come up. So I had to blaze another trail down. This wasn’t as good a way as how I had come up. It was steeper, and I had to do a lot of hand over hand scrambling and sliding.

But I made it.

We spent a pleasant night there. With this being unpoliced by rangers, I expected a lot of drunkenness and loud music, but everyone was respectful of each other. We spent hours that evening talking to several of the other campers. It was a good experience.

Next Location – Capitol Reef National Park 2

American Locations 21

The trip is from Lewis & Clark Monument, Illinois, to Kickapoo State Park, Illinois, by way of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona

Goblin Valley State Park, Utah

We drove northwest out of Glen Canyon on Rte. 95. This was flat desolate country with little sign of humanity. At the small one-diner town of Hanksville, Rte. 95 turned into Rte. 24, which we continued north on. We turned west off Rte. 24 onto a gravel road that led us to Goblin Valley State Park.

The park was filled with weirdly-shaped hoodoo pinnacles, where over the years soft sandstone had eroded underneath more solid rock. After setting up in the campground, I hiked the deep narrow winding Entrada Trail through some of these hoodoos that led from the campground to the Goblin Lair, an open field that contained thousands of hoodoos.

Reaching the Goblin Lair, I turned back the way I had come, wanting to save this for the next day.

Early that morning we drove from the campground to the parking lot at Goblin Lair, where we set out on foot to explore all these weird shapes. There were 3 separate fields of these, but we only walked through the nearest.

This one gives some perspective of size.

Some close-ups.

And others.

Some with us.

This was the wall at the back of the first field. Beyond it were two other fields like the one we explored.

There were trails leading all through and around the hoodoos.

It was late morning by the time we wore ourselves out and left the park.

Next Location – Capitol Reef National Park

American Locations 20

The trip is from Lewis & Clark Monument, Illinois, to Kickapoo State Park, Illinois, by way of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona

Hite & Glen Canyon, Utah

We left Blanding and retraced our route to Natural Bridges National Monument, but continued past the Rte. 275 cut-off. We continued on Rte. 95 through Fry Canyon. More beautiful scenery.

On to Hite, located at the northern edge of Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

We crossed the Colorado River.

And ascended Glen Canyon.

By the time we came up out of Glen Canyon we were in flat unremarkable scrubland.

Next Location – Goblin Valley State Park, Utah

American Locations 19

The trip is from Lewis & Clark Monument, Illinois, to Kickapoo State Park, Illinois, by way of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arizona

Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah

Early the next morning we drove back out east on Rte. 211 to Hwy. 191, where we turned south. We continued to Blanding, where we found a private campground with hookups. We refilled out water tank, then continued south on Hwy. 191 to Rte.95, where we turned west. Along Rte. 95 passing through Bear Ears National Monument was another beautiful drive.

We turned off onto Rte. 275 and continued west to Natural Bridges National Monument. At the visitor center we learned their campground was full. We continued on through the park, and parked several times to hike.

Ruins of Native American habitation were scattered throughout the park.

We found more blooming cactus.

After we’d hiked our fill, we drove back to Blanding and stayed at the same private campground as before. We weren’t having much luck in Utah with national and state campgrounds.

Next Location – Hite & Glen Canyon, Utah