Recently, Shanna and I went camping near Goblin Valley State Park in the Utah desert. Goblin Valley itself was very impressive and interesting. I can't say that I've seen anything like it before. There are so many goblins, it's hard to believe that it was all formed naturally. And actually, in my thinking, it wasn't all nature. There had to be some divine artist behind this beautiful valley. Very neat. Aside from Goblin Valley though, we did a lot of hiking in some canyons in the area. This was my favorite part of the trip.
Despite staying overnight only Thursday night, we hiked 3 canyons: Crack Canyon and Ding and Dang Canyons. Ding and Dang form a loop that connects two larger washes and features extremely narrow portions as well as impressive vertical walls on both sides. Especially in Dang Canyon(the canyon we descended through), there were a few very high vertical drops which we had to navigate. One or two were a little bit creepy, but all of them were really fun and exciting to climb down.
Crack Canyon was also mucho fantastico. While the climbing and hiking wasn't as challenging as Ding and Dang, there were a lot of fun portions. The best part of the hike was the huge crack towards the end of the canyon. Very narrow, it rises the entire height of the canyon walls. I would guess that it was only about 3-4 feet wide. Once inside of it, we could shimmy up and down pretty much at will. About 15 feet up (I would guess, because I didn't go that high) the walls close in and get very narrow. The cool thing was that you could look straight up and see the sky outside.
At night, we camped in a wash which is generaly not a smart idea. Another camper decided to point out the obvious to us as he was passing. We thought "duh!" but since the sky was clear and chance of rain was nil, we took our chances. We had some delicious boiled hot dogs for dinner and breakfast burritos boiled in ziplock bags for breakfast. The rest of the trip we ate granola bars and my personal favorite, Finding Nemo fruit snacks.
All of the pictures from the trip are located on my brother in law's(Bruce's) picture album website at: http://picasaweb.google.com/bruckie There are four albums. Each begins with "San Rafael Swell" and were posted on April 24th or 25th. Enjoy glancing through them.