Utah 2008: The Big Wind

And now for one of the colorful events that made our trip memorable.

We were fortunate enough to get to camp in Goblin Valley State Park. The campground runs next to amazing rock formations and our spot was tucked away a bit, fairly close to a rock wall.

Rock outcropping behind Goblin Valley State Park Campground

Kurt brought our brand-new car camping tent. It’s huge. It can sleep 8 adults and Kurt, who is 6’4”, can stand up in it. I think it may have been an omen that the only picture we have of the tent standing is blurry.

In case you missed it, that was foreshadowing. Three days later, we were down in Goblin Valley proper when the wind began. As it got faster and harder, we began to wonder how our campsite was doing. Once we were out of the valley, we drove back to the campground (which was nearby). This is what we found:

The tent is the gray and black blob in the back

A group of campers who were eating lunch saw our tent blow into their van. They saved our tent, and a lot of our camping gear, by putting things where they wouldn’t blow away. We were still surprised that the wind had been hard enough to move the tent, because we had several suitcases worth of stuff weighing it down. I think the tent stakes tell the whole story.

The rain fly was shredded and the tent was ripped. Digging everything out of the tent took some time.

Rescuing our belongings
Rescuing our belongings

We agonized about pitching other tents we had with us, but I think we were all too tired to face putting up a camp we would just have to take down again in the morning. We decided instead to give up our last night at the campground and stay at a hotel.

This apparent disaster paled in light of later events.  More about that later.


Published by

Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

2 thoughts on “Utah 2008: The Big Wind”

  1. That’s not the greatest ground to be pitching a tent in/on, either. I got spoiled by early camping experiences in the midwest. And old-style tents. They weren’t as easy to pitch or transport, but I think hanging on to them might have been less of a trial.

    I’d have voted for the hotel, too.


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