With the help of my co-pilot, we made some changes en route to Bryce Canyon National Park, We noticed a sign for Goblin Valley State Park, That kinda rang a bell for all of us. We had seen an episode of Wild America a few months ago and remarked that we need to see that place. Unexpectedly we were handed our chance on a platter so we took it. When we arrived at the campground we were shocked at just how nice it was. It was a small campground that had room for about 30 campers. Each site was nestled between crazy rock formations affectionately know as Goblins. These rock formations were found throughout this small park. They were different from other formations we had seen because of their relativity small size. and accessibility. You could hike through them, touch them, and even climb them.  What you don’t want to do is what this Boy Scout leader did a few years ago.  This tool actually destroyed one of these formations in front of his troop of boys!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/18/goblin-valley-boy-scout-leaders-destroy-rock_n_4122488.htmlThis was a great little side trip.

goblin valleyIf you ever find yourself in this area, it is definitely a place to stop and check out.  They even rent fully furnished and air conditioned Yurts for those pampered campers.

The following day we headed out early to Bryce. Along the way we made a quick trip through Capital Reef National Park.  I was kind of expecting a bunch of red rock formations like we had seen in Moab in the past.  Unfortunately I was wrong. This place had plenty of red rock, but also lush meadows, orchards, and tons of wildlife. I regret not scheduling enough time here. It goes on the list for a place to return to in the future. While there we grabbed a few fresh pies made from the fruit from the Orchards in the park that were planted by the Mormon settlers 125 years ago.  Maybe it was the back story or the whole setting of the small pie shop nestled among this historic orchard, but damn if these were not the best pies we had ever eaten!

Before getting back on the road to Bryce, we stopped and asked for a little advice at the Visitors center. There seemed to be two roads  from here to Bryce.  One was a scenic byway and the other a more commercial highway.  I asked the ranger which route that I should take. She said that the scenic highway will add hours onto your trip, be very winding and slow

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. She said that it also climbs to over 10,000 feet and  has precarious cliffs on either side in many spots. She also told me that I would be a fool to take any other route. She said it was one of the most scenic drives in the world and I absolutely had to do it.  How could I disobey a Park Ranger? So we pointed Roxy west down scenic Byway 12 and took in the sights.  It was everything that she said that it was.  At one point near the summit at over 10,000 feet we came around a turn at close to 55 MPH to find a herd of cattle in the middle of the road.  It was here that I discovered that my horn was no longer working so  Roxy needed to gently nudge them from the highway.  There are not too many pics of this road because we were moving along pretty well, but you may see some pics of some of the wildlife we saw along the way.  We even encountered the illusive honey badger! If you are not familiar with the honey badger here is a link to an informative video.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg  Also be sure not to miss the video below of one section of the road that was particularly hairy.  Goblin Valley to Capital reach to Bryce via Scenic Bi-Way 12 is definitely a great route for anyone who appreciates nature.