GROUP HIKE! -- One Week In The San Rafael Swell
On Wednesday morning we headed to Goblin Valley--one of my favorite spots in Utah. 
The Losees and I with our goats, descending into the Valley of Goblins. 

Our group fanned out, and Phil and I ended up going our own way in search of good photo ops. 

I love packgoat shadows...


Great diving board... if only there was some water!





Sputnik is so boss.



B-i-i-i-g gobins.


Hot dog!


Is that a duck?
Robert and Connie surrounded by Goblins.

Shelby GT strikes a regal pose. 

Story time with Nan! 

Desert wanderers. 

The Nomads

The support is almost gone from this one. 

Onward to the next adventure!
Wonderful photos and narrative from everyone!  I feel so fortunate that, with all our diverse backgrounds and the distance the separates many of us, we are connected by our love of nature and goat-packing.  Taffy, I am so glad you were able to make the hike to Wild Horse Window!  And Herb, it was great seeing you out there proudly showing everyone your own back yard.  Thank your for sharing your adventures with the rest of us & hope to see everyone again sometime!--Saph
We got back from Goblin Valley, had a little lunch, and then set off up the long and winding road to Crack Canyon. The Losees were brave souls--they drove their camper truck with the livestock trailer up there and it was a very rough road! Next time maybe they'll take my offer to let their goats ride in the bed of our pickup--scary as that looks! ;Wink

Elliot found a delicious tree at the entrance to the canyon. 

While everyone else went around the long way, Finn and I took the shortcut. 

And here he comes, in a flash of black and white! 


I appears the walls are melting. 

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why it's called "Crack" Canyon. 

Walls made of cheese?




My husband is not silly... no, not one bit silly at all. 


Regal Finn. 
On Thursday morning our group hiked out from camp to find the Wild Horse Window. 

Eldon and his two faithful companions. 

"Finn! Cut it out!"

Our rock collection. I wonder if any have been found yet? 

We had a wonderful view throughout the entire hike. 

Now this is just too much!

Hi Eldon!

As he's matured, Sputnik has learned to pose too, but as always, Finn steals the show. 
I love the bond between Taffy and Bourbon. Taffy couldn't go quite as fast as the rest of us, but Bourbon stayed right back with her the whole time and even helped pull her up the slope on a couple of occasions.

I love this dead tree.

And I love my Sputnik!

The Window!

Robert and Connie found a nice spot to sit with Blackie and Sprite. 

Elliot and Hobbes made a beeline for the only piece of green they could find in the cave. 

As soon as they were done with their snack, they promptly laid down for a break in front of the cave paintings while we all commented on their extreme cuteness.  

Phil and Elliot made friends. 

I think the Losees were ready for a break in the shade.  

Eldon and Debbie are in a serious frame of mind. 
Shelby GT shows off his beautiful silhouette and the stylish curl to his beard. 

I love the curve of the alcove rim. 

Last time I was here, I took photos of Cuzco and Sputnik's heads framed against the Window and I tried to replicate those old photos with Finn and Sputnik. Mostly I just made Taffy laugh as I rolled around on my back in the dust and tried to coax the goats into cooperating. They never really cooperated.


Cuteness overload! 

Sputnik and I climbed up to view the cave paintings up close like we did last time. 

This time I found a goat-headed man demon! 

It even has horizontal pupils!

Finn always likes to explore to the outer reaches. I love how massive the rock looks from this angle. 

The rock was slippery with powdery dirt, so Sputnik gave me an anchor while I climbed down. 
Our hike down was scattered. Eldon, Debbie, and Phil took off ahead of everybody else, then came me, then the Losees and Herb, and finally Taffy. Herb went back to help Taffy down the last bit. Eldon struck off on his own path straight toward camp across the rock rather than winding down through the wash the way he'd come up. Phil went back with Debbie, but Finn and Sputnik, who were with me, saw where Phil went. I tried to follow Eldon across the rock but Finn and Sputnik would have none of it. They wanted to go back the familiar way they'd come up, especially since that's where Phil and most everyone else was going. They stood between everyone and refused to budge until I climbed back up to get them.   

"Stop it Finn! Stop being prettier than me!"

After leading the boys across the rock for a ways, they finally reluctantly agreed to follow me... at a distance. I came upon an interesting rock formation with some small, strangely-shaped chunks lying around it. I wanted some good photos of the goats standing among the odd rocks, but they weren't in the mood for photos and kept wandering back the way we'd come and scanning the far horizon for Phil. This was the best I got before they wandered away.   

"Lookie here guys! Over here!"

"Huh? We're busy!" (And then they disappeared behind the rock.)

With a cool rock formation and a cool dead tree, I hoped to get a lot more photos like this. It was the only one.  

If I stayed close to the rock formation, the boys disappeared behind it so they could look for Phil. I had to climb way up the next ridge before they agreed to follow, and by then I was too far away to get decent photos. Little stinkers! 

But I found some other rock formations that were cool to photograph. These took a lot of effort. When Finn and Sputnik finally realized we were not going to follow Phil and he was not going to follow us, they stuck to me like glue and wouldn't stand far enough away for me to take pictures. I had to do a bit of shouting, dancing, stomping, waving my hands, and repeating the word "Whoa!" in a loud, commanding voice. It actually worked a few times! 



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