First, I should warn you that there are a million pictures from our short stop in Goblin Valley. And although Goblin Valley is a whole lot of fun to visit...there's not really a big variety of things to do there. You just kind of...run around in the desert...and climb on hoodoos and things.
This means that pictures will very likely outweigh my text. This happens routinely with my Goblin Valley posts.
Even though Goblin Valley is an interesting place to hike around and explore it's apparently not a very interesting place to write about—I believe I ran into the same problem while discussing Goblin Valley last year [when I said "the trip could be summed up as: we climbed on rocks—a lot"].
In short, we climbed on things, we jumped off of things, we played in the dirt, and we got hot and sweaty.
This year was no exception. We hiked around. We climbed on things. We had a blast. And...yup.
There are, however, a few important stories to share...
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Rachel and I both made the drive from Grover to Goblin Valley. We were pretty proud of ourselves, even though it was a drive through the middle of nowhere and we saw like two other vehicles. Still, it was the longest stretch either of us have ever driven and it's technically a highway or freeway or something.
Now, I personally remember the entrance to Goblin Valley being a gravel road, but apparently it's paved now (or it always was paved and my memory is wonky; we haven't been since 2012 (we had planned to go in 2018 but could not because the roads home from Goblin Valley were closed due to wildfires that year). Having expected a gravel road, I was pleasantly surprised by the lovely even-surfaced asphalt.
Had Phoebe known to expect a gravel road, she probably would have been disappointed because she loved when we drove on gravel roads in Capitol Reef and Grover. She'd take a deep breath, open her mouth, and let a sing-song, "Ahhhhhhhhhhh!" jostle out of her body as the car jerked around. She thought it was great!
Anyway, I was expecting the entrance to Goblin Valley to be gravel. It was paved. It was fine.
We got up to the ticket booth and Rachel paid through the window, took the parking pass, and drove on into the park. We got up to the booth right behind her and the employee kind of chuckled as he greeted us. We didn't know why. We just paid the entrance fee, took the parking pass, listened to his instructions, and headed to the parking lot.
The parking pass was just a receipt that we had to tape to the windshield—nothing too fancy.
I found a parking spot and Andrew stuck the parking pass on the window.
We unloaded the kids in our car and convened with the kids in the other car. Rachel could not stop laughing. Here is what happened when she drove through the entrance:
The attendant could tell that she was rather nervous and remarked on it, saying something like, "Is your dad making you drive?"
Rachel giggled out a little, "Yeah."
She already thought this was funny because it was her grandpa making her drive, not her father. She was a little agitated about having to conduct this transaction, but she managed to pay the entrance fee, and took the parking pass from the attendant. She was listening intently to the instructions she was being told.
"This parking pass needs to be taped to the inside of your windshield," the attendant told her.
Rachel took the parking pass and immediately taped it to the windshield...right in front of her face!
"Are you a little nervous?" the attendant asked.
"What?" Rachel asked, and then—realizing her blunder and quickly snatching the pass back off the window and thrusting it at her grandpa—squeaked out, "Oh."
Rachel is an excellent sport, though. She recovered from her embarrassment (laughed about it with us a whole lot because it was hilarious) and had a wonderful time climbing around.
Miriam, on the other hand, was in a bit of a sour mood because Benjamin, Zoë, and Alexander kept following her around asking, "What are you eating? What are you eating? What are you eating?" And she didn't think she should have to pay penance for a mistake she made when she was two!
She sampled some mud at Grover when she was two and I just happened to catch it on video and asked her what she was eating. In response she mewled out the most delicate little, "Mud!"
That story has become—as the children are fond of saying—"family lore."
It's true that the little kids were, perhaps, bringing it up a bit much. I hadn't even noticed, truthfully, until Miriam felt over-badgered and shrieked at her siblings to "STOP ASKING THAT!"
But we managed to soothe all feathers. When the teasers claimed "family lore," I explained that it's wonderful to remember family lore, and it's wonderful to share laughter (and/or tears, when necessary) about family lore, but it's not wonderful to tease someone to the point of tears. They need to be aware of people's cues and recognize when they're crossing the line...which evidently they had crossed. Therefore they owed Miriam an apology and needed to change their behaviour.
I also assured Miriam that no one thought she was in danger of eating any mud today. Rather, they were bringing up the story because she was so adorable as a toddler and even though none of them were even there (part of her argument about why they should "STOP IT ALREADY!") they just loved little baby Miriam. How could they not?! She was so sweet!
But they also love today-Miriam, and because she found having three little kids trailing her and asking, "What are you eating?" on repeat annoying (again I ask—how could she not?!), it was only right that they knock it off for a while.
But seriously though—wasn't Miriam just the cutest little mud-eater?
The last little story that I'll mention at the get-go is of Phoebe proclaiming the very formulaic sentence of "Wa-wa, dirt...mud!" after watching Andrew pour some water onto the ground so the kids could watch how quickly the sun-baked soil would slurp it up.
Here are Phoebe, Alexander, and Zoë gathered around the mud Andrew manufactured:
Here's Phoebe carrying a rock around, happy as a...little kid carrying a rock around.
She loved Goblin Valley, of course, but she also probably would have been just as happy to carry a rock around our front yard. That's just how little kids are (and perhaps how we all should be).
Here's Zoë up on a rock:
Here's Alexander attempting to scale to the top of this hoodoo:
We ended up directing him to a shorter rock:
Benjamin was a tricky one for me to catch on camera. He was bound and determined to climb the highest hoodoo he could find. Ultimately he ended up being out-climbed by Miriam, but he was running all around climbing up and down and jumping all over the place.
He was often more of a speck than anything...