The next morning by the time Kelly and I got out of bed, the boys had headed out to take some sunrise photos. To stay warm in the morning chill we walked around the desert near the campground.
Eventually we headed back to camp just as the boys were returning. They’d hiked up a trail to the “Toadstools” and insisted that we check them out as we headed out of town. We said our goodbyes since they were headed back to SLC via Zion and we were continuing the desert adventure.
I’m so glad we took their advice. It was less than a mile up to the toadstools and it’s always fun to see unique desert formations:
As we approached Kayenta, we stopped at a flea market where I could not resist an Indian taco. I’d been craving one for weeks and I intended to make the most of the trip through the reservation:
From Kayenta, we cut north on US-163 through Monument Valley. We stopped to take a picture of this goat and then the following rez dog did NOT want to let us get going again.
Seriously, we played the “He’s in front of the car. … He’s next to the window! Go! Go! … Oh wait, he’s in front again” game for a long time. SO MUCH LAUGHTER.
We continued north through Mexican Hat and headed on to Goosenecks State Park. We enjoyed a nice walk along the canyon rim before heading out for free camping on BLM land adjacent to the State Park. I’ve camped at the park before and it can be spectacular but I didn’t feel like paying the $10 and as it turned out we found a spot that was also super amazing as you will see.
Here is our campsite for the night. It wasn’t the edge of the canyon but the sunset on the mesa behind camp combined with the silhouettes of Monument Valley in the distance were really tough to beat—especially for free.
We tried to sit on the tailgate of the car with our beers but it was too cold so Kelly and I retreated to the front seats of her car to escape the cold, shared a few beers and talked for a long time about anything and everything. Finally, Sprocket and I headed to bed. I was too cozy in my TurboDown to share so I gave him my Millenium Blur. He was happier about it than he looks. I promise.