I really think that one of the things that attract me to the South-West is the shapes in the landscape.  It’s a wonderful play of chaos theory over form and shape, in a vast variety of styles and colours.  The arches, mesas, buttes, canyons and hoodoos are a play of water and wind on strata of rock, with remarkable, beautiful results.

Nowhere is this more evident than in a small Utah state park called Goblin Valley.  We discovered it by mistake several trips ago, looking for a western entrance to Canyonlands.  Not finding it, we ended up at Goblin and were blown away.  And it’s not just the goblins; there are also some great, easy access slot canyons in the area.

Our goal was to spend the morning in Goblin Valley and to hike Kicking Horse Canyon in the afternoon.  The weather prevented the latter, but we got a second chance several days later when our route took us through the park again.

The goblins are small hoodoos which have a unique appearance.  The state park lets you hike through them, climb on them and jump from one to another.  It’s very interactive, and just great fun.  It’s kind of like a big playground.  I find it a paradise for shooting pictures, as did Greg when we brought him back on the second visit.

On our second visit we chanced Kicking Horse Canyon even though there was a chance of rain and flash floods.  It was a small chance and we knew we didn’t have time to venture very far.  Surprisingly we found sections of it flooded with sometimes knee and even waist deep water.  I’ve never seen that before on previous treks, so it slowed us down a bit.

These are Brandon’s pictures as I stupidly didn’t have a memory card in my camera.

The farther into this canyon you go, the more interesting it becomes.  At the end we (or at least some of us) found ourselves waist deep in a narrow slot.  That’s when we turned back but a hiker coming the other way told us that the best was ahead.

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