Goblin Valley

Most days (actually, pretty much everyday) I identify as a girly-girl. I like to be able to wash my face and brush my hair and I typically make sure I look and feel clean. Camping sort of goes against these general feelings of cleanliness and girliness, but my boyfriend grew up going camping with his family, so he's dragged me a couple times.

In March, we went to Goblin Valley in Utah, about 6 hours west of Boulder. We stayed at a campsite that he named Vader Rock, because the big rock formation next to it looks like Darth Vader's helmet (see pictures above). While we were there, we did some hiking (up Vader Rock and in Little Wild Horse Canyon), shot some guns, and had some nice big campfires.

The Little Wild Horse hike is a pretty good one. It's not too technical, but you either need to wear shoes that can handle getting wet (like Teva's or Chaco's) or be willing to take off your shoes and socks at a certain point because there is usually a bit of water in the narrowest part of the crack canyon. I ended up taking off my sneakers, but I think I might invest in some Chaco's for next time. Climbing Vader Rock was not my cup of tea at all. Because Utah is a lot of sandstone, most of the steps you take end up breaking a little (or a lot) beneath your feet. Having to be cautious of the way my knees twist, this type of hike freaks me out a bit. We did get to a nice overlook, though, and I was able to unwind with a nice cold Woodchuck Cider once we got down.

I was impressed with the level of food we ate. We had mac and cheese, hot dogs, fajitas, gumbo and sausage! Not a bad menu considering there was no electricity or running water. Just coolers and a nice camping stove. For breakfast I had fruit and instant coffee, and for lunch, snack foods and sandwiches.

We also explored Goblin Valley itself. It looks like a bunch of stacks of rocks, and I guess someone thought that they looked like goblins, and the name stuck. They are pretty huge - I wouldn't want one to fall on me - and there are just so many! I think an epic game of hide and seek might be in order someday. I heard that a Boy Scout Troop knocked one formation over and got in trouble. I can't imagine ruining something so naturally beautiful! This park is also other-worldly - some of Galaxy Quest was filmed here!

Another thing about being a girly-girl: I don't like guns. However, a bunch of the men we went with do, so we went far from camp and shot at a pile of dirt. I suppose it was kind of exhilarating, but I don't think it's ever something I would choose to do on my own.

1911 .45 Auto in slow motion, shot by my guy, Nathaniel

I am glad I went, but I look forward to my next vacation being somewhere less dusty (maybe Disney World).

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