I took a hiking class when I was in college. My plan was to get an easy A. The main event of this class a backpacking trip where we hike out to a place unknown, camp, and hike back. While I preferred to skip all the hiking and sleep in my own bed, I had to go to pass the class. I borrowed my brothers Boy Scout pack, stuffed it with food and water, and tied on a sleeping bag. It weighed more than I did.
On the way to the
Cliffs of Insanity San Rafael Swell
we drove past a valley full of strange rock formations. It looked like an awesome place to
visit. My classmates told me the cool
place was Goblin Valley but we weren’t going there. We were going to hike
through the sandy desert and go up a cliff with ropes. No one mentioned ropes or climbing or hiking
with a pack that weighed more than me or camping in a place that didn’t
even have outhouses (which is difficult for people like me who are female.) By the end of the
trip I was content with being alive. (And yes, I passed the class.)
My husband goes through this thing every spring where he needs to get out of the house and DO something. (Yes, it’s necessary to put DO in all caps. If you know him, you’ll understand.) My idea of doing something involves a book and a comfy couch. His idea of doing something involves a lot of walking and places without bathrooms. As soon as he got that look in his eye I knew I had to hurry up with a suggestion before we ended up on a dirt road somewhere in the middle of nowhere. I suggested the first place that came to mind: Goblin Valley. He’d never heard of it (probably because it has bathrooms) but he agreed to try it out anyway.
I made some reservations for the only hotel nearby that still had vacancies and we made the 4 hour drive (plus a few hours to tour a museum in Price and potty breaks along the way) to Green River, Utah. But Green River wasn’t exactly what I pictured. I was thinking cute little tourist town. Instead we found this.
I didn’t take this picture. There wasn't anything in Green River that inspired me to figure out how to use my new camera. This is a picture I found on the Internet of one of the abandoned Green Valley businesses. I do remember driving past this place.
The hotel we stayed at was also half abandoned. One building was blocked off because the balcony was falling over. The floor inside the hall felt like it was about to collapse. My husband tried to plug in his lamp and got a shower of sparks from the plug. That was the only shower we got there since the water in the tub oozed from the faucet like mud. Now we know why they still had vacancies.
While the hotel left a lot to be desired (like clean water), Goblin Valley turned out to be the place of Awesomeness I’d always dreamed of. The most popular place was the bathrooms. You should have seen that line. Everyone wanted to use them.
Here are some shots of us in Goblin Valley.
|Here's me with the Goblins.|
|Laying down counts as doing something as long as it's outside and there aren't books involved.|
|A lot of people were playing hide and seek among the goblins. We played Where's Waldo.|
|My two youngest sporting their Jr. Ranger badges. |
The Jr. Ranger booklets were handy when we were in line for the bathrooms.
The kids loved climbing on the Goblins and exploring the area. It was like a giant playground. There is even sand for the kids to play in.
I would definitely recommend a trip to Goblin Valley, but read the reviews for the hotels before you stay in Green River. There were a few hotels that looked decent - just not the one where we stayed. There is also a campground (with bathrooms) next to Goblin Valley.