Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: USA Road Trip 2011

Goblins, red rivers and pastoral greenery

It was time to move on again. I had briefly toyed with the idea of going south then west, rather than north then west, but it meant adding another 100 miles or so to an already long day. Sense prevailed and I headed north back up to the I-70 and travelled west for a while, before taking Route 24 towards Hanksville. Given that I'd taken the sensible option earlier, I decided that I could afford to make a short diversion into Goblin Valley State Park, especially now that I had lost any misgivings about state parks.

It was an interesting place: the 'goblins' turned out to be curious geological features resembling giant mushrooms. But there was too much human intervention for my liking compared to the other parks that I had seen so far: campsites, picnic tables, toilets etc are all very well, but it was difficult to frame a shot without including such undesirable content!
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I back-tracked to the main road and resumed my journey south towards Hanksville where I continued with recent practice and bought a sandwich for lunch. I was determined not to fall into the usual trap of eating too much on this trip! I then continued westwards on Route 24 towards my next national park, Capitol Reef. Even before reaching the park, the landscape had started to turn that characteristic, rusty red colour again. This time, however, it wasn't just the rocks; the river flowing alongside the highway was also bright red!

A little strangely, there was no entry station for Capitol Reef - perhaps because it had a major route running right through it. It was an interesting and enjoyable drive, with lots of places to stop. The highlight was a breathtaking panoramic viewpoint.

My planned route then took me through Torrey and Bicknell, where I opted to take a scenic diversion along the Fish Lake road. This brought about a complete change of character in the landscape, with the scenery having a more European feel. There was no sense of the vastness and wide open spaces that were so characteristic of the USA.

Once back on the main road, I was soon in Richfield and had no trouble at all locating the Hampton Inn. I chose Steve's Steakhouse for dinner and it proved to be an excellent decision - and such good value too!

Wed 31 Aug

Miles driven: 283

Trip to date: 784

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