I don’t usually hike off trail, alone. I love off trail hiking, but I just don’t think it is safe or smart to wander off trail on my own. Even though I’ve hiked some of the most remote places, I figure, as long as I am on trail, that within a day (or two, if I am so unlucky), that someone will find me if I am in trouble. Well, if I am off trail, I could be stuck there, forever, without anyone ever finding me there. Or at least it would take more than a day or two.
That’s why I was surprised when the ranger told me to go off trail in Goblin Valley State Park. “To tell you the truth, the trails don’t have the best view. Just walk down the valley.” He probably figured I am a crazy hiker, being the first one showed up bright early in the morning before sunrise.
“I won’t get lost?” I was cautious.
“No, you will see the observation area, even from far.”
So, I did, wandered without any trail, amongst all kinds of shapes and sizes of goblins. It was an amazing area! Once again, I was like a little girl lost in the rocky wonderland. With early sunlight, I was able to capture a few pictures I like.
I did hike a trail in the afternoon, just curious. The ranger was right. It was so much more fun to walk down the valley. You could see the rock formations much better. However, one does need to be careful. Although it is not hard to see the general direction, it doesn’t always mean it is easy to find your way back. I did scramble up a few areas, wandered too far to back track and had to find another way out. As we all know or learned our lesson one way or another, it is so much easier to go up than get down. I did get my heart pounding, and my breath panting a couple of times. 🙂
In fact, I did wonder, how long would take them to find me, if I were in real trouble. Perhaps a couple of weeks? Or it might take longer! There were so many places one can go, being hurt and then getting stuck!
Well, I am still here, safe and sound, even after wandering off trail in the park for almost 10 hours. I was going to stay for the sunset, but by last afternoon, I was too tired to walk any longer. Too bad I missed the best sunlight, but a girl got her limit. 🙂