Thursday, May 10, 2007

Goblin SP and Little Wild Horse Canyon

As I made my way towards Goblin I was eyeing a storm that was "hitched" to the Henry Mtn range (like that? Hanksville and Henry mtns :). I say hitched cause it was streaming north with the southern tip being held in place on the highest peak. It was amazing to watch this, the system should have been following the jetstream, but instead it was stationary, streaming off of the mountains. This was the case for hours on end, including my arrival at the park. It had looked as if it had torn loose and was moving over, so I stayed put for the time being. The wind storms kept a steady cloud of dust working through, and my googles are buried away and no dust masks, so...
I noticed a jeep in the parking lot with an internet site posted on the back window promoting a professional photographer. The driver returned and I approached him and asked if I might ask a couple of questions. He was killing time waiting out the storm for proper lighting, so was game. We talked for quite a while about entry level SLR's, and I am now in serious research mode to make that move up. He (James) was very generous in the trials and tribulations of going professional, and I am indebted to him for all the insight and info. He had finally eaten enough sand through his window, and I could barely see for the sand in my eyes, so I let him off the hook.
By the time the winds had subsided enough for me to venture into the valley, I had minimal time to explore it all. I did make time to snatch up a cache hidden in a side valley and get a few representitive pics of the Goblins before being chased out by the next wind/sand storm! Man, I had sand lodged into places I never thought imaginable (sorry for that thought), so I did the "bad" of hiking into the campgrounds and helping myself to their shower. Never had one feel better, for sure!
I made my way out to the trailhead for Little Wild Horse canyon and camp.
I made sure to park high above the wash as the weather was still around, but nothing critical happened overnight.
The Little Wild Horse cyn loop is one of the most popular hikes in the San Rafael Swell, and I found out why in the morning. Having camped at the trailhead, I had a leg up on everyone else, and was the first into the cyn.
With afternoon thunderstorm warnings and omninous clouds already in the sky, I decided to go for the "in and out" hike, rather then the 6 mile loop hike. An awesome hike through a wash and slot canyons. I stopped to do a cache in-between slots and turned backed after a short ways into the second slot. I'm just loving doing these canyons :). As I was making my way out, I started encountering more and more hikers coming in. I questioned some of them on the clouds overhead, and they indicated that the sky was clearing to the east. Oh well, I had mentally set an agenda for the remainder of the day, so I kept in my present direction... As I exited out of the last scramble and into the main wash I ran into what must have been 60 high school age girls and their chaperones, on their way in! I am SO glad I had made it out of the slots before encountering them :).
Escaping the frenzy of hikers at the trailhead, I made my way back out to the highway and pointed towards the town of Green River and Crystal Geyser...

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