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.
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:
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.
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.