Day 2 in Capital Reef National Park brought about an amazing hike early in the morning on the Chimney Rock Trail. This trail is challenging at the beginning because of the climb but stick with it because you end up on top of the world. After hiking in washes with loose, sandy soil and on miles and miles of rock, I was thrilled to note that the surface of this trail is hard-packed dirt. Much easier to walk on. I would put out there that Chimney Rock itself is not the most spectacular feature of this hike. You can see it from the road. Once on the trail, if you bear to the right instead of first heading to Spring Canyon the trail takes you higher than Chimney Rock and you literally and truly have a birdseye view of the park. Continue on and you loop around and drop down into the canyon with its spectacular cliffs and vistas. Breathtaking. Don't let the steep beginning hold you back. Stop. Catch your breath. Look around. Then continue. You'll be so glad you did.
Once we finished up the Chimney Rock Trail, it was time to start heading north back towards Park City. However, on the way we had two awesome discoveries. The first one was just in time for lunch. We came upon Duke's Slickrock Grill (www.dukesslickrock.com) in Hanksville, Utah. Let me explain what Hanksville is all about. If you blink once you will find yourself on the other end of town. We gathered up our courage and headed into the restaurant that had probably 20 motorcycles parked out front. Now, I am not opposed to motorcycles, but doesn't that just conjure up a vision in your head of walking into a dark bar and every head turns and looks at you when you walk in? This restaurant was a big surprise. It pays homage to John Wayne, aka The Duke. There are cardboard cut-outs of him all around. The best part of this restaurant though is it's cheeseburgers. Yes, cheeseburgers. It tasted like it was straight from field to table. The Conqueror is a 1/2 pound of seriously tasty, pure ground beef patty with cheddar cheese, served on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle. It did not disappoint. Along with the great food was the great staff. They really were attentive and truly friendly.
Once we filled our tummies again (noticing a theme on this trip?), we stopped off in Goblin Valley State Park. Goblin Valley is out in the middle of nowhere just south of I-70 near Green River, UT. What a cool, funky little place complete with hiking trails and a campground. It's really hard to describe just what this place looks like but for lack of better words, you feel like you are on Mars surrounded by giant aliens. Perhaps the pictures can explain better than I. My kid had a blast running all around the rock formations, playing hide and seek. One thing is for sure, I completely have to come back and camp here on Halloween. Just the name itself promises a good time during that time of year.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. - Lao Tzu
Until My Next Adventure,
P. A. Walker