Thursday, November 12, 2009

are you in the market for a goblin hunt?

**this is a warning
**this is only a warning
**this post contains evidence of a photo junky.
that's right, i like to take pictures.
but, i like them to look good and a slide show just won't cut it this round.
and, i wasn't prepared to make a series of posts.
so brace yourself**

last week we took our final camping trip of the season.
we had such a fun time at goblin valley last spring, that we decided to go again.
we met up with our friends the haight's.

we hadn't decided where we were going to camp. but after we accidentally broke our black water pipe (our pipe sits very low-it was inevitable that it would happen) we decided on the main goblin valley campground.
facilities were a necessity for both families. and besides, the spot we dry camped in last spring was being overhauled by heavy machinery (i hope that it will be back to normal next time we venture that way).

we had a great site in the campground (#18 & #19). we had a backdrop of hills perfect for the kids to climb and take mini adventures within hearing distance.
chase took his first real climb on these hills (tink, wiping of tears).

**i must thank the aleve gods at this time. without you i would have been completely non-functional. head cold + hike= bad combination.

the first evening we were there, we took the kids to see the valley of the goblins.

we had a fun time climbing through the cave in the valley.
my butt was almost too big for the exit.

the kids got dirty bums.

and they had fun pretending to be little goblins.

elephant goblin

peek-a-boo goblin

cutest little pack goblin ever

night starts very early this time of year, especially when you are surrounded by hills. it was dark by 5:00 pm. the kids were crabby earlier than normal (thank-you daylight savings). every evening was a struggle. not to mention the desert gets pretty chilly at night. our only relief in trying to stay up late was the fire.

the next morning, we enjoyed a gorgeous sunrise.

then we were off to hike little wild horse canyon.
it has some very neat slots that the kids loved running through it.

we split from the haight's just over halfway up little wild horse.

we decided to be crazy and try to complete the loop from little wild horse to bell canyon.
and we are proud to say that we did it!
bayli completed her first 8 miler!
pretty good for a 4 (and a big half) year old. she is proclaiming that her reward is a visit to the hello kitty store.
chase was wonderful on the nearly 5 hour hike.

there were some amazing views on the way. we soaked up some beautiful sun. and i think that i might have had a bit too much excitement about the fall leaves in the desert.

when we hit this spot up little wild horse, we thought that it was the end of the trail. we were wondering how we were going to scale the cliffs with two kiddos.

we were happy to find that the trail was just being sneaky and had a hidden tunnel for us to safely make our way. little wild horse winds for quite a ways. you find yourself going from slot canyons to rolling mountainsides of rock. the views were simply breathtaking. each corner of the canyon reveals something new and enchanting.

once out of little wild horse canyon, you travel up a dirt road. you walk on the road for a good 2-3 miles at least. we were glad that the majority of our travels were down hill. if we had started at bell canyon, the story would have been very different.

there were more amazing views to be seen. not to mention more plants for me to covet for my yard.

this is the trail head to bell canyon off the dirt road. we had a nice little break here while jed checked the path ahead. chase was sleeping pretty well by this point.

bell canyon wasn't quite as neat as it's predecessor. but it still had some amazing views and fun slots to run through.

bayli was getting pretty tired by this point. she decided to take a break in the middle of the trail.

the advantage of hiking downhill, you get to relish the views for a lot longer.

bayli caught her second wind (more like her tenth) and had fun running down the canyon.

i must say, keeping a kid focused on a long hike is more exhausting than the hike itself.

unless you are playing the part of pack horse, as jed did.

a beautiful ending to a very long hike.

we only had to pack bayli about a 1/2 mile of the whole trek. and she only had a few meltdowns.
i must say that our adventure was a success!!!

that night we were so exhausted that we turned in at 7:30 pm- yikes!

the next day we decided to hike crack canyon. we wanted to see how the kids would do in a slot canyon with more obstacles. not to mention, bayli likes to say crack and was begging us to hike it. we were shocked. i don't think i would have been up for it if i had hiked 8 miles the day prior with tiny legs like hers.

after you wind down a riverbed wash, you come to this amazing entrance.

bayli was feeling extra adventurous this day. we would turn a corner in the canyon to find her halfway up the wall. some of the spots she climbed were pretty steep and technical for a little gal her size.
such proud parents (tink. sniff. tink. tink. sniff. sniff.)

again there were amazing views to be seen.

and i got to relish in fall leaves a bit more. this cottonwood tree, in particular, was one of my favorites.

"mom, i just climbed up here so you better take my picture!"

i was pretty impressed by some of the paths jed picked with little chase on his back.

i love these sections in a more technical hike. they make me feel cool.

this canyon had so much variation in light. it was fun to capture it with the camera.

jed was pretty excited, he hadn't gone this far the last time he hiked crack. he would have hiked clear to the wash at the end if the kids could have handled it.

this is the entrance to one of the neatest slots i have been through. it is a wind tunnel and gets pretty gusty. it also has more color variation-very pretty.

as sad as we were to turn around and hike back out, we got to see some pretty cool views from a different angle.

that evening, jed stayed back at camp with chase. (chase was fed up with the backpack and needed some serious wiggle time) bayli and i tagged along with the haight's to visit the valley of the goblins one last time.

it was fun having some girl time.

bayli was excited to be in the spotlight and get her picture taken in the setting sun amongst her favorite goblins.

bayli with the plant i covet

sitting on her thrown

taking a siesta

"mom look, i am on a cloud"

riding her camel

catching every ounce of the sun on her long neck

the sun was setting over the valley.
i decided to try and catch me some sun flare with my coveted plant.
i must say, i am very happy with the results.

the setting sun was beautiful. i had a blast catching it's last rays as it magically danced across the valley.

the drive back to camp showed a different view.

i love the desert!!! i can't wait to go back!


  1. Wow!! Those were some amazing pictures. You guys got a lot of hiking in! Very impressed, especially with what Bayli accomplished! Some of those slot hikes gave me the willeys. I would not have been as cool as you! Loved the tinks and the sniffs. I swear you make me laugh every day! -Suzanne

  2. Good job on your post! A lot longer than mine! (I'm just luck mine is up!) We had so much fun! It will be fun when we go back next year huh! Oh, and thanks for keeping our secrets safe. I totally blabbed all of yours already. :)

  3. That is the same species of plant I "covet" for my yard. I love the fall colors it gives! Great picts. Glad you guys had so much fun (and I hope the old site is back up soon).


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