One year ago tonight, we celebrated New Year’s Eve in Malaysia with our Mulu-caving friends, Annette and Peter. After indulging (?!) in a taste of durian, we set off for the Petronas Towers, a destination we shared with a few thousand of our closest friends.
As we say goodbye to 2012, let’s remember when this year was just a newborn.
Our travels in Malaysia famously included me spending a few days in a Malaysian hospital, about which I’ve written at length.
Reviewing photos and video on the hard drive, I realized that my medical misadventures occurred this time last year. Here’s some never-before-seen video footage from exactly one year ago today. Ah, the memories.
The most direct route from Bryce Canyon to Monument Valley is far from direct. And we didn’t take it. We had something else in mind: finding goblins.
Our starting point was Bybee’s Steppingstone Motel in tiny (and curiously-named) Tropic, Utah. It’s what a motel would be like if your grandma was in charge and didn’t have much of a budget. The Book of Mormon is readily available for anyone seeking a diversion from, say, a presidential debate.
Monument Valley is southeast of here, so of course we headed northeast on Highway 12, past thriving establishments like Nelson’s gas station.
Cruising through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (hey, haven’t we been here before?), we stopped off and explored a slot canyon. Happily, no 127 Hours-style incidents befell us.
Next, we found ourselves at Capitol Reef National Park. We really just stopped there because it’s on the way to the goblins, and we were rewarded with views of spectacularly-chunky rock formations.
Finally, as the golden sun drifted toward the horizon, we arrived at Goblin Valley State Park. These goblins are not of the Lord of the Rings variety; rather, softer areas of sandstone erode away, and windblown dust smooths what remains: the goblins.
Hazy horizon as we hit the road
Rolling in to Capitol Reef with our trusty dog, Stinky
In the bad old days, thieves actually stole petroglyphs by cutting out large sections of rock and carting them away (doesn’t sound like a quick getaway)
Surprise! You’re surrounded by goblins!
Before long, you start seeing animals everywhere. Hey, there’s a dinosaur with its mouth open!
Inspiration for Planet of the Apes?
The E.T. goblin. Or, for the current generation, would it be the WALL-E goblin?