Thursday, August 9, 2012

An Other-Worldly Quest in the Valley of the Goblins

          The crew of the starship "Protector” is on a mission to procure a new source of Beryllium spheres to power their ship’s damaged reactor.  Finding the spheres involves a seemingly simple trip to a nearby planet but alas, the planet is inhabited with unfriendly aliens and the mission is not as straightforward as it seems.  

          Take a close look at the alien terrain below.  Do you recognize the movie?  How about the planet?  Is this a Hollywood set or a true-to-life place?

The aliens are coming!

          "Galaxy Quest", the entertaining Science Fiction/Star Trek spoof starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver and Alan Richman, is the movie.  And that nearby planet containing those fictional Beryllium spheres?   It’s none other than Goblin Valley State Park in Utah.

          The Valley of the Goblins is filled with fantastical eroded sandstone formations which reminded early explorers of spooky creatures.  The creators of “Galaxy Quest” saw the potential in these humanoid rocks—during the movie a group of goblins assembles and animates into a monster, threatening Tim Allen’s character, Jason Nesmith. 

"Jason", on the run from the sandstone monster.

         Computer generated images (CGIs) have been superimposed on the above DreamWorks studio photos from Goblin Valley.  Below, see pictures from the Valley of the Goblins as it actually appears, without CGIs.

          Next week’s post will detail a visit to Goblin Valley State Park by a group of earthlings on vacation—no aliens or spaceship crews included.
          This weekend, if you’re a fan of Star Trek or if you enjoy—as I do—watching the great Alan Richman perform, rent or stream “Galaxy Quest” for your viewing pleasure.


  1. Rita, just for curiosity, I did a Google Map search to determine the mileage between your location in Price, UT and the Goblin Valley State Park. By my standards, you're only a "hop, skip and a jump" away, i.e. just about 100 miles by road. I also noticed (for the first time) just how strategically you're located in terms of access to so many National Forest lands! Wow! I'm truly impressed!

    Okay, I've gotten slightly off-topic. Your post has definitely piqued my interest, and I'm looking forward to your post next week when a group of vacationing earthlings pay a visit to the Goblin Valley State Park.


    1. Our small town is superbly located to take advantage of multiple outdoor opportunities. We're one to two hours from several National Forests and three National Parks. BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land is close by as well. It's one of the reasons we chose to relocate here!

      Thanks for your comments, John! I'm glad your interest in Goblin Valley has been piqued; more pictures from the State Park are coming next week.

  2. We visited Goblin Valley State Park on a trip out west several years ago and LOVED IT!! Those are some seriously unique geological formations!! I think it is a place worth visiting again sometime!! Enjoyed your post!

    Hiking Lady from NH!

    1. Hi HIking Lady,

      Isn't Goblin Valley grand? I'm so glad you included it on your "out west" trip itinerary. It's definitely a place worth re-visiting and it's great in every season. We've been there in summer and fall—I would like to visit the goblins in winter and spring too.

      Nice to hear you enjoyed the post. I appreciate your comments!

  3. Hi Rita,

    By Grabthar's hammer, "Galaxy Quest" is one of my all-time favorite movies! How funny to see one of your favorite hiking places pop up in the film.

    I can imagine - especially for a photographer - that the play of light and how it changes by season must be fascinating in a place like this.

    Does Goblin Valley have a variety of sandstone colors? Or will I just have to wait till next week to find out?! ;-)

  4. Vickie, why did I have a sneaking suspicion you would share my enthusiasm for "Galaxy Quest"?!

    Serious photographers from all over the country travel to Goblin Valley to document the play of light across the rocks at sunrise and sunset. It's a photographers dream.

    And yes, you'll have to wait until next week for the answer to the question in your final comment!

  5. Replies
    1. Agreed. I appreciate your comments, Manikchand!