The sky is blue, no clouds in sight, and the weather is semi-warm. Time to head south. Needing an adventure, Chef Comte and I set out toward the land of the goblins. We pack a light, healthy lunch, stow our current choice of books (just in case we want to relax and read in the warm, dessert heat), grab sunscreen, and set off.
The sky is blue, no clouds in sight, and the weather is semi-warm. Time to head south.
Needing an adventure, Chef Comte and I set out toward the land of the goblins. We pack a light, healthy lunch, stow our current choice of books (just in case we want to relax and read in the warm, dessert heat), grab sunscreen, and set off.
Chef Comte and I are all about adventures, since our first adventure day trip to Bear Lake. We can honestly say our Adventure Days don’t turn out as well as planned. Maybe we could have planned well. Maybe we should have checked the oil before we left. Maybe we could have taken sunscreen. There’s always something. But we always try to make the best of an unexpected situation. And later, because of the little detours, we have a good story to tell, or at least something good to show for it.
From where we live, the valley of the goblins, Goblin Valley, is only about three hours away. Our plan: To arrive by noon, have a quick lunch, and then start exploring the formations and small caves.
Since it’s early April, snow spots the landscape before, to the side, and behind our path. As we drive farther south, the sun seeps through the winter leftovers and shines warmth in our car windows.
To entertain ourselves, Chef Comte and I sing—not just any songs—these are the made-up musical lyrics to our creative works, such as “Road Rage,” featuring a love story that takes place on a long journey. We also play word games, talk of dreams, and stare out the windows, dreaming some more. We are happy and excited for this much needed escape from the everyday mundane.
Only 20 miles away from our destination, we hit our first “bump in the road” or little hiccup in our travels. As we focus on our intense conversation about politics or the economy or the nation’s education system, we miss our turn. My fault. I am the navigator and I have failed to navigate the driver in the right direction.
We continue driving, looking for a safe and legal turnaround.
Side note: Some of the best adventure days are adventures because of the little detours that lead to experiences you wouldn’t have had if you stayed only on the planned route.
Another five miles later, Chef Comte exits the highway and begins the trek back to the right turnoff.
And then, I have to pee.
Can I hold it? Do I really need to pee? Is there a rest stop close by? How long will our pitstop detain us from the valley of the goblins? I just want to get to Goblin Valley!
I don’t want to say anything because Chef Comte and I are both getting restless. We’ve been in this car for hours. Yes, we’ve had a good time. And the company makes everything better. But, should I really mention my full bladder now?
Chef Comte doesn’t seem perturbed by our missed turnoff. He seems happy enough. But is he getting tired?
Why in the world am I making such a big deal out of this? Either I mention my need to pee or I pee my pants. It’s that simple.
Reluctantly I say, “Um. I need to pee.”
“Really? I think I saw a rest stop up ahead. We’ll just stop there,” Chef Comte replies.
Whew. My bladder is about to explode. And my husband is amazing with his upbeat attitude.
The rest area is a scenic path, looking over the pass between two giant formations. Pretty cool. But the restroom is more appealing. I hop as best I can to the little shack and do my business.
When I get out, Chef Comte has a suggestion: “We’ve been in the car for a while. Let’s take a little walk.”
“Okay,” I’m usually up for anything, within reason, of course.
We hike along the edge of a cliff. The sandstone cliffs and formations in the distance measure up to their Utah heritage. The cliff along our hike has a character all its own with divots and a steep incline to the canyon below. Chef Comte throws a few small rocks to the empty pit, just to watch them fall.
As we get to the edge of the trail, I notice the edge of the cliff hanging on for dear life. The earth has cracked in places to reveal a crevice just big enough for a portal door.
“This is the perfect place for a scene in my story!” I exclaim to Chef Comte.
We take a few more minutes to examine the cliff’s edge and the portal entrance. This is the place I have been looking for. Imagine if Chef Comte and I had not taken our detour.
We head back to the car and back to the route of our original journey. After another detour we weren’t expecting—maybe we should have filled up our gas before we left—we get to Goblin Valley and have the day we planned. It is a day to remember.