Sunday, March 23 (Easter)
We had grand plans for throwing a few last things into the van and heading off on our road trip even before the sun came up. We have the same plan and wish, but it rarely (if ever) goes the way we planned it. This time we had most of the stuff packed. The new Thule rocket shaped box was packed with camping gear. The food boxes and cooler were in the back of the van. We had lights, chairs, some clothes, biking gear and climbing gear packed. The morning started off well enough, until we found that we could not find the cotter pin for the bike rack. That posed a problem. We scoured the house and garage looking for it. Larr sped off on his bike and retraced how we had gone to Grandma Gay’s house for the Easter party yesterday. It was not found. The hardware store were closed, so we improvised. We used a bolt from another part of the rack. It would have to do, for now.
Once we were on the road the kids were happy. We had wrapped the seats and handlebars of the bikes in preparation for a winter storm as we went over the mountain passes. Instead we were greeted with clear, bright indigo skies. The roads were clear of snow and traffic. We had hoped to stop in Grand Junction to see friends but the schedules did not mix so that did not happen. We pulled into Green River at around 2:00, way before we had expected to arrive. We could see the amazing Utah geology calling to us from the south so we passed by where we were going to camp and went straight to Goblin Valley State Park instead.
To our amazement, we found that all of the camp sites were taken. That seemed amazing to us as we saw so many fifth wheels and campers headed for the highway. The park ranger said that it is usually their busiest weekend of the year. Figures. It is lovely and warm enough to offer respite from the cold we have been experiencing. We decided to camp on BLM land. From the road we could see that people had nestled in the crevices of the rock. We found a large, nice area to set up camp in, until we saw the dead cow. We could not stomach that, so we moved on. We ended up near another group of people with a place where we could enjoy the sunset. Ethan said this was like a dream come true. Ellie thought this place was heavenly. We set up camp and then explored a bit on foot, as well as on bike, as the last bits of sunshine glittered on the rock. I think all or most of us had hoped to stay up and admire the stars, but we were soon fast asleep. The stars would have to wait.