Mar 292014

One of our favorite destinations in Utah is this 170 million year old Jurassic playground, the Goblin Valley State Park.  Families, hikers and tourists can walk and climb among the hoodoos that resemble goblins or mushrooms. Goblin Valley Panorama
Unfortunately, some Boy Scout leaders became part of the 9,000 cases of park vandalism documented since 2009.  They decided “in a spirit of public safety, they had some fun and maybe saved a life” by toppling a goblin rock off its delicate perch.
Goblin Valley Park HooDoo
Instead of becoming heroes for showing their video that quickly went viral, they began receiving death threats and hate mail.  The embarrassing publicity reflected on the Boy Scouts of America, forced the removal of their Scout Leader titles.
goblin_valley_state_park-As part of their legal agreement, they each paid a $925 court-mandated plea in abeyance fee.  This means that during their one year probation, they must behave like normal people.  How difficult this may be for them remains to be seen.

The state is still determining how much they will need to pay for adding signs around the park.  Apparently park visitors need to see in writing, that becoming famous for causing destruction and then paying an expensive fine isn’t very smart.

Do you think the Goblin Topplers should have spent time in prison for their destruction?  Must the state park build fences, to save historical sites from future vandalism?

The Boy Scouts of America teach the “Leave No Trace” principle of leaving areas as you found them. The Goblin Valley Topplers want to be reinstated as Scout Leaders.  Please share your thoughts.

Nov 142013

Goblin Valley State Park is a Jurassic playground, that’s over 170 million years old.
Goblin Valley Scenes Goblin Valley State Park Tourist Goblin Valley State Park playgroundGoblin Valley State Park Families, hikers and tourists can walk and climb among the hoodoos, that resemble goblins or mushrooms.

These unusual spherical stone shapes resulted from weathering of the Entrada Sandstone.

Hoodoo pedestals are produced  when a harder rock sits atop softer rock.

The Entrada Sandstone was deposited from ebbs and tides that directed currents back to an ancient sea and coastal sand dunes.

Watching the grandkids run around and explore this ancient land of goblins is like playing with them on the moon.

Recently, some Boy Scout leaders decided an ancient rock could possibly fall and injure someone, so they pushed it off its delicate perch.

They then posted a video online of their prowess, which included cheering and celebrating with high-fives.

They’ve since been removed from scout leadership and the law is still determining an applicable fine for this destruction.

Can we continue to enjoy the freedom of hiking among these ancient formations?

Or are they just a bunch of old rocks to be knocked over or fenced in, so our children and grandchildren are “protected” from potential injury?

May 222013

Almost 100 years ago, Albert Christensen began carving a home for his family out of this rock near Moab, Utah.  No, that’s not our Jeep in the upper left hand corner.  Just above the “C” is a 65 foot chimney for the fireplace.  The only natural light coming into the home, is from the windows in the three front rock openings.
Front view, Hole in the Rock
We had driven past this place many times and thought it was just a tourist trap.  Well it is, but we were also impressed to see how people actually lived in this big rock.

view of rooms, Hole in the RockWhat’s described as an “engineering marvel”, took 20 years to make this 5,000 square foot home.  Albert excavated 50,000 cubic feet of sandstone with his hand tools.

Fourteen rooms are arranged around these huge pillars.  The summer temperature never varies from a comfortable 72 degrees.

view of the artist's work, Hole in the Rock When Albert wasn’t carving rooms out of this sandstone rock, he painted religious and historic pictures.  He also taught himself taxidermy, when he found animals that didn’t survive the harsh winters.  We considered Albert to be very talented, but his mounted animals were weird.  His wife must’ve really loved him a lot, to allow these grotesque looking animals in her home.   view of the wife's doll collection, Hole in the Rock

After raising two boys, Gladys indulged in her feminine side by collecting dolls.  She displayed them in her pink carpeted bedroom.  At least her dolls could enjoy the elegant dresses she couldn’t wear in this desert environment.

To supplement their income, a large kitchen was carved out of the sandstone to serve dinners to travelers.  To make a deep fryer, Albert carved that out of sandstone too.

view of two rooms, Hole in the RockWe enjoyed our walking tour through the furnishings and tool displays of their life, as it would have been in the early 1900’s.

The Hole N’ The Rock was named by the National Geographic Traveler’s Magazine as one of the top 10 roadside attractions in the USA.  To encourage people to stop, the new owners added a gift shop and small zoo.  If you have ever wondered what living in a rock would be like, this is the place.  Also, visit this website: for more information.

%d bloggers like this: