Winter Journey – Leaving Bryce Canyon – April 2017 (5)

Wednesday, April 5th – Only 19 degrees this morning… brrr! We start packing as soon as Clifford gets up and are ready to leave by 10:15, but the electric brakes are not working. The Suburban starts, however, and we are glad for that.

We are ready to leave our campground at Bryce Canyon

We stop at the Sinclair station in Bryce Canyon City for gas, and while we are there, I ask the mechanic if he has time to take a quick look at the electric brakes. He does have time; it needs a new plug and he has one in stock, hooray, and we are soon on our way with everything working.

On our way; formations can be seen from outside the Park.
Rich-colored mesas are seen as we head north

The drive is very scenic and I am so glad the electric brakes are working, as there are many steep ups and even steeper downs… almost makes Lookout Pass on the Montana/Idaho border feel like a stroll in the park.

Steep down and a curve, like a roller-coaster

We stop at the small town of Escalante to check out the post office, as we plan to camp a couple weeks at the Calf Creek BLM Recreation Area about 10 miles down the road. There is a Wells Fargo here and I get fresh spinach at the little organic food store next door. Nice little town.

As we approach our intended destination, I am excited about the gorgeous red rock cliffs that surround us, thinking this will be a great place to camp, but when we get there, the campground is full. We are disappointed, but continue on, with Capitol Reef National Park being our next destination. We head on up and over Boulder Mountain…. lots of snow, but fortunately the highway is clear.

Heading up Boulder Mountain, Utah
Snow on Boulder Mountain, Utah
Near the top of Boulder Mountain, Utah
View from Boulder Mountain

It is quite steep in spots, but very scenic, as we are paralleling the formations of Capitol Reef, with the snow-capped Henry Mountains on the far side of the park.

Rock formations of Capitol Reef National Park seen in the distance with Henry Mountains in the background
Down from Boulder Mountain
Scenic drive toward Capitol Reef NP
Heading toward Capitol Reef NP

When we finally arrive at Capitol Reef NP, I am super-disappointed that the one little campground here is full.

On to Hanksville for gas, an odd place with the station being built right into the cliff.

Utah formations

It is getting late in the afternoon and the next destination is Goblin State Park. The landscape is less colorful here, having left the red rock formations behind, but there are still impressive formations.

Utah formations

We have heard that Goblin SP is unique. However, it is also pricey, seeing as how we are getting in too late to take advantage of the hikes. After we leave the highway, we see a BLM dispersed camping area and decide this makes more sense for us tonight.

As we begin to situate ourselves on a bluff, a young man comes up from where he is parked nearby.

A spot on a bluff overlooking a ravine near Goblin State Park

He is quite friendly and hangs out chatting. After a bit, I get a campfire going while we continue to chat and eventually I invite him to have dinner with us – nachos at the campfire.

Campfire for warmth as we share stories and a meal with the neighbor

He usually travels by sailboat and is new at land-based camping. He enjoys meeting people and is eager to learn, so we stay up quite late talking until he finally wends his way back down the hill to his own spot. After so many miles on the road, Clifford and I are ready to call it a day. I put out the campfire and we head to bed.

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