Little Goblins and Big Swells

Remember my last rambling blog? I’m done tumbling through the world like a tumbleweed. I have found my voice again. It took several days of reading the Dalai Lama’s book, “How to Practice, The Way to a Meaningful Life” . And several late nights reading poems by Mary Oliver. Of course I’ve known all along that I’ve allowed some people who entered my life , for just moments, to divert me away from my striving to ‘be in the moment’, to live the moment as positively and joyously as I can. But I’m back . And I’m back to stay.

Now let me share with you an amazing place we discovered on our days off. The San Rafael Swell and Little Wild Horse Slot Canyon. Our original destination was Goblin Valley State Park when we discovered an amazing area outside of Goblin Valley.

The San Rafael Swell is breathtaking. 75 miles long and 40 miles wide. According to Wikipedia the San Rafael Swell is a large geologic feature located in south-central UTAH. USA about 16 miles (26 km) west of Green River. The San Rafael Swell, measuring approximately 75 by 40 miles (121 by 64 km), consists of a giant dome-shaped anticline of sandstone, shale, and limestone that was pushed up during the Paleocene Laramie Orogeny. 60–40 million years ago. Since that time, infrequent but powerful flash floods have eroded the sedimentary rocks into numerous valleys, canyons, gorges, mesas,buttes and badlands.

We spent our two days off exploring the area surrounding the mesa where camped . You don’t have to worry about looking for a boondocking site-they are all over the hills and tucked in among the canyons of the San Rafael Swell. The mesa overlooked the entrance to Little Wild Horse Slot Canyon. Since it was still early morning with that early morning coolness in the air, we decided to hike the slot canyon. We almost made it to the end, but I couldn’t complete the hike.

#1 I should have worn knit or stretchy type hiking pants, certainly not twill-no give or take and #2 I should have been about 6 ft tall, lol. Towards the end of the hike where the canyon hooks up with a circular trail we encountered a six foot dry waterfall with no hand or foot holds. Trying to stretch my legs in twill pants wasn’t giving me the height I needed to tackle the rocks and my short legs didn’t help at all. It was hard giving up-I started to feel like a quitter and then I realized I had accomplished quite a bit in just making it to that point in the trail. Squeezing thru narrow slots and scrambling over large rocks. I made a pledge to myself to come back and tackle that dry waterfall and make it over the wall. It’s on my bucket list now.

This is such a quiet peaceful place and for those of you who love dispersed camping-it’s perfect. Everywhere you look you can find a spot to camp without having neighbors ! The night brought the desert cool winds and it was wonderful sleeping with the windows and doors open. We would love to get back to this area and explore The Wedge and Temple Mountain but alas we were running out of time. We have one more weekend to enjoy this area-we shall see if it brings us back to the San Rafael Swell.

Goblins of Goblin Valley

The next morning we headed to Goblin Valley State Park. This place is jaw dropping. You pull into the park lot and at the bottom of the overlook is a valley filled with rock goblins-Jim kept calling them hobbits ! We took a hike around the area-what beauty Mother Nature presents to us.

We’ve seen so many beautiful areas during our time in Moab, I’m so grateful for the experience and will hold many sweet memories close to my heart.

Safe travels and happy trails my friends.

Oh and if you are hungry after hiking and heading towards Green River, UT-please stop for a burger at Ray’s Tavern. They have perfected the art of grilling until you get a little charcoal outside the burger and a juicy inside. And their fries are pretty good too !