A weekend of Goblins

I spent the weekend basking in the land of Goblins! A land with a lot of sand, sun, campers, 4-wheelers, and Memorial Weekend visitors. So many that, while reading in my tent, about five 4-wheelers in a row would come roaring past about four feet away. Repeatedly. I would also like to note that one driver had an infant strapped to her chest.

I have never, ever gone camping on Memorial Weekend before. It has always meant LOTS OF PEOPLE ALL CAMPING AT THE SAME TIME - and, for me, I love camping to, well, get away from lots of people.

This land of goblins is named, appropriately enough, Goblin Valley. And here's what it looks like:

It's beautiful. But without an air-conditioned car and water, I think I'd last about a day. This Valley is so neat. Camping in it gave me heat stroke because I'm a pale American of Welsh decent who isn't built for the desert - but, despite all of my desert-everyone-else-is-in-air-conditioned-campers-while-we're-actually-in-a-tent whining, the goblins are astounding.

These neat "Goblins" are actually short spires called hoodoos, which resulted from the erosion along joints and fractures in the rocks in the latest part of the middle Jurassic (around 165 million years ago), to my knowledge. Things were a'changin' in the American West back in those good ol' days, where a subduction zone formed off the coast of California, and a bunch of faulting and uplifting created a range of mountains across Nevada.

Then a shallow sea extended into the area I went camping in from the north, leaving vast deposits of mud, silt, and sand - while in other areas river floodplains and desert dunes predominated. The entire area has a distinctive red-brown color now, and is known as the Entrada Sandstone.

These Goblins now make up one of the most unusual and most isolated parks in the American Southwest and it's located smack dab in south-central Utah, miles from anywhere. Well, except for a little place called Hanksville where we spotted two gas stations, a little mart, a tiny school, some horses, and some metal/dinosaur looking art stuff.

But, above and beyond the neatest thing about Goblin Valley is that it was used in the movie GALAXY QUEST. I expected little cannibalistic space aliens to pop out or a big rock monster constructed of Goblins tearing Tim Allen's spandex shirt off.

It makes for a great alien planet setting, for sure. A lot of Utah does.

Funny, that.

This was the first time I'd gone camping since binding, and it was a bit tricky. First off, in the city I'm used to being able to stop by my home to take breaks from binding. But out camping, I was wearing a binder 24/7.

I also felt limited in my ability to hike, especially out in that brutal desert heat. And climbing around on rocks was also uncomfortable, as my movement and breathing in the binder is limited. I persevered, albeit with a sprinkle of heat stroke and a strained torso.


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