Friday, June 5, 2015

Exploring from Green River - Part I

Green River, Geyser, and Goblins

The Green River KOA had handouts of various things to do in the area. I discarded the ones that said anything about canyoning of moderate difficulty. No getting stuck and cutting off appendages for this girl. We were still left with more than we had time to do.

We selected first the trip to Crystal Geyser.  It turned out to be way larger and more interesting than we expected.

This is one of only a few cold water geysers in the world, powered by CO2. A research team was setup testing for organisms which might be living in the geyser with the high carbon dioxide concentration.

According to Wiki the geyser sometimes erupts in a column up to 40 meters tall. It was just quietly bubbling away during our visit.

The upper layer is almost flat with the water falling over terraces of deposit as it flows toward the river.

Orange travertine covers the area below the geyser, deposited over the centuries.

The water flows into the Green River.

In some of the older dry areas layers have broken off.

Leaving the geyser we followed a dirt road heading south along the river.

We eventually reached a ranch gate with a "No Trespassing" sign so turned and retraced our steps.

This white cone is on the mesa above the Crystal Geyser, likely from a predecessor.

Then we thought that we would go around to the east side of the river and a half hour or so south to the Horseshoe Canyon unit of Canyonlands National Park where there is "some of the most significant rock art in North America."

The 30+ miles of dirt road was a lot slower than we expected and storm clouds were gathering.

We gave up at a formation called "Little Flattop".


Just before turning off on the dirt road we had passed the sign to Goblin Valley State Park. We had heard positive reviews of it - except for the fact that there was no Verizon coverage. We decided to check it out anyway.

Sometimes when you tell the attendant at the booth that you just want to drive through the campground to check it out for later they let you do it without paying a day-use fee. Not so here at Goblin Valley. I guess that I know why: they know that once you see what is there you are going to have to get out and explore.

These three sentries guard the road on the way to the day-use area.

Looking down into the valley.

 The lighting changes are due to intermittent cloud cover.

This goblin let me touch his mouth.

The guy on the right has a nice beret.

Pointy-headed dude has something in his hands ready to throw.

Umph. Sometimes I feel like that too.

Some goblins are friendly and allow kids to climb on them.

And this guy let me pet his snout.

A little crowd of goblins assembled here.

Nice uh . . . pair?

And this was only the first valley of three full of Goblins.

Even better than the campground: there is free BLM camping nearby where there is at least some cell coverage. We went ahead and bought an annual Utah state park pass so we can visit the goblins again (if by next May).