It's a postcard moment

It’s a postcard moment

The past 3 nights we’ve been camping on the edge of a meandering chasm, 1000 feet above the San Juan River with 300 million year old rocks below us. The view outside our window stretches to infinity and the river snakes its way in bulging and dramatic curves deep into the valley below us. Best of all this entire area is free…completely gratis…a grand old payment of absolute zero to stay here. The combo makes you feel magnificently privileged and completely insignificant at the same time. We’ve made it to GoosenecksState Park, deep in the heart of SE Utah. We’re only ~30 miles from our last stop at MonumentValley yet it feels like a completely different world.

Self-panorama of the glorious curves at Goosenecks State Park

Self-panorama of the fabulous curves at Goosenecks State Park

A rare shot of BOTH of us!

A rare shot of BOTH of us!

Utah is something else. When I’m in this State I feel more remote than almost anywhere else I’ve been. So much of this place is so very barren and so little of it is inhabited. It looks like a giant Martian landscape with massive buttes stretching to the sky and large swathes of desert valley floor sweeping far into the horizon. There’s almost no-one on the roads and the complementary colors of deep red rock and bright blue sky ever-changing with the days’ light make it a photographer’s dream. It’s such an odd place, yet it feels spiritual and relaxing at the same time. Weird, huh?

Polly poses for YET another shot by the rim...patient girl that she is

Polly poses for YET another shot by the rim…patient girl that she is

And red views too

Red views in the Valley of the Gods

This jumble of emotions applies perfectly to the Valley Of The Gods, the “mini-MonumentValley” of SE Utah which just happens to be right next to us. It’s a short drive from our boondocking spot to the start of the 17-mile dirt road (San Juan County Road #242 -> in very good condition I might add) that takes you through a slew of interesting formations. The sandstone buttes in this area stand up to 1200 foot deep and date back to the Permian age 250 million years ago. Water, wind and ice have sculpted the shapes that the Navajo believe are living spirits -> warriors frozen in stone and guardians of the earth. In modern terms the buttes have less creative names like “Lady In a Tub”, “Sitting Hen” and “Seven Sailors”, but that doesn’t detract from their splendor. It’s a mega-cool drive and if you’re a small rig or truck camper there are some spec-tac-cu-lar boondocking sites along this stretch (no way we could get “the beast” in there unfortunately).

"The beast" parked on the rig. Can you see us?

“The beast” parked on the ridge. Can you see us?

Parked gloriously by the rim

Parked gloriously by the rim

Wild views in the Valley of the Gods

Wild views in the Valley of the Gods

We’ve really not done much since we’ve been here except gawk at the view, photograph panorama’s and enjoy the spectacular drive through the Valley. Given that we have almost zero internet (we’re talking a trickle of measly 1X) that’s only added to our outdoor time and limited our blogging. BUT there has been ONE incident….well, TWO if you look at everything in totality, but one in particular that’s caused an “eeeeek” moment and had us scrambling to take almost everything apart in the RV. It’s a helluva story and it’s not done yet but that, my friends, is best left for better internet and a later blog post. For now, just assume all is well in RV-land and the wild soothing view is the only thing on our minds. ‘Tis a pleasant fantasy and I hope you will linger a while J

P.S. Our new, new boondocking spot has even less than zero internet so it may be a while before you hear from me again unless I feel motivated to drive into town That’ll put me a tad behind on blog posts, but it’ll be worth the wait…I promise..

It's a different world here

It’s a different world here

In the Valley of the Gods

The CRV is dwarfed by the buttes

Ring sculptures by the rim

Ring sculptures by the rim

Pretty weeds

Pretty weeds

Fiery red flowers

Fiery red flowers

And pretty purple ones

And pretty purple ones

A gorgeous sunset

A gorgeous sunset

Our afternoon cocktail spot

Our afternoon cocktail spot

42 Responses to Boondocking With Curves & Gods – Goosenecks State Park, UT

  1. Ray Burr says:

    Loved that spot! Still have orange dust as fond memory in the rig from the wind that would appear in the afternoon as the canyon heat would rise up.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yeah, those Utah dust storms are something else. We “just” managed to avoid getting caught in the middle of a big one while we were in the area.
      Nina

  2. mnwool says:

    Your postcard moment has got to be one of the best shots I have ever seen!

  3. Ingrid says:

    We spent a night at Gooseneck SP in November and loved it. Unfortunately it was super cold and we were outrunning a snowstorm, thus only one night. We drove through Monument Valley the next morning…..awesome. Your last couple of posts captured the area beautifully and we WILL definitely return for a longer stay in EARLY fall. Can’t wait to hear what hidden treasures you discover. Enjoy :-)

    • libertatemamo says:

      The weather can really catch you out here. We ended up outrunning a wind-storm too so only stayed 4 nights at Goosenecks. Still, it was fabulous while it lasted!
      Nina

  4. Gerard says:

    Looking great!
    By the way, how long can you boondock on the average? Between the electricity, the water, the black tank, what is a realistic length of time before you would have to plug in somewhere?

    • libertatemamo says:

      On our tanks we can easily go for 2 weeks and can “stretch” to 3 weeks with extra conservation. Our water tank is 100 gallons, our black 40 gallons and our grey 60 gallons. 2 weeks is our typical time between dumps/re-fills.
      As for electricity we have solar panels and a generator so we can go indefinitely. Most of the time we run 100% on solar and only occasionally run the generator (e.g. if we have multiple grey days or are in a shaded spot).
      Nina

  5. Scott says:

    Wow, we leave May 3rd from Florida will be in Goosenecks sometime around the 14th, your pictures make me want to leave NOW! Funny because you are on the same route we will be traveling after Trailer Village at the South Rim.

  6. Simply spectacular! and great photos. We will be there for sure.

  7. Dave Follett says:

    Awesome photos! …We are in Prescott and last night I had been investigating Gooseneck for our next stop, which will be on Friday. Safe travels ;-)

    • libertatemamo says:

      Weather should be nice by Friday so ENJOY your stay. It’s a super-easy boondocking spot and really scenic.
      Nina

  8. jil mohr says:

    Love the photos and that spot is gorgeous…

  9. Mello Mike says:

    Great pics! One of my favorites areas, by far. We’ll be back there again next month.

  10. Sherry says:

    Yet another poetic post on a gorgeous spot. “Priviledged and insignificant” – I can’t wait to get there. I’m planning a trip using my favorite of your posts. I’m just going to link them together and call it The Nina Route.

  11. Janna says:

    My husband decided after dark fell the night we camped on the rim at Gooseneck State Park he really didn’t like it there–I don’t think the poor man slept at all–the wind rocking our rig didn’t help his fears either. We were out of there early the next morning. I, on the other hand, loved it there–such a strange landscape!

    • libertatemamo says:

      You know it’s funny. I’ve got a bit of “rim-fear” so I forced Paul to park the rig ~10 feet further back than he’d originally planned. He kept telling me I was a sissy, but without those 10 feet, I wouldn’t have made it haha.
      Nina

  12. Amanda says:

    Amazing! What a magical place. Utah is indeed a very special state. Gooseneck was on our potential route, but the slow Internet might deter us. Glad we got to experience it through your gorgeous photos.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yeah internet is reeeealy, reeeealy poor! But I’ve found some other spots for you with good 3G. I’ll tell you about them when we meet-up in Moab.
      Nina

  13. Smitty says:

    Nina – All come on. That ‘photo of two’ sure looks like a photo shop cut and paste:)!

    Janna – The winds are natures way of rocking you to sleep! I’m sure if you explain it this way to your DH, he’ll add Gooseneck back on his ‘redo’ list of places…

    Look forward to your next series of photos, and mixture of words…
    Smitty

    • libertatemamo says:

      LOL…yeah, photoshop does wonders :)
      And the wind sure did rock us out there, even on the “calm” days.
      Nina

  14. geogypsy2u says:

    What a fabulous place to boondock. I absolutely love your view. Guess you can survive a few days with low to no internet.

    • libertatemamo says:

      We managed without the internet LOL. It’s mostly a drag for my blogging…and Paul’s investing. Otherwise I could easily go without.
      Nina

  15. LuAnn says:

    With some of the blog posts I have been reading lately about Utah, I was to pack up and head out now! Your photography is stunning and this boondocking site has to be one of the best ever. Can’t wait to hear more.

  16. placestheygo says:

    What another wonderful location! Glad to see you are out hiking around and enjoying the surroundings. Sometimes no internet can be a blessing. Enjoy those gorgeous views and rocks!

  17. Sue says:

    Oooh, you’re so close to the edge! The views and solitude are fabulous, but I’d be scared to let Lewis out the door for fear his enthusiasm would carry him right off the cliff! And, lets not talk about Sasha following her nose…I’ll just have to be satisfied reading your blog and living vicariously.

    • libertatemamo says:

      There were several sites set well back from the rim where you’d be able to take Lewis. Polly was veeeery good about our site…even the cats did well. Me? I was the most nervous of all of us!! Took some doing to get those shots, I tell you.
      Nina

  18. I hope the wind isn’t as bad there as it is here in Lovely Ouray…some hundred or so miles east of where you are. Goosenecks is a Gorgeous area (pun intended). Batten the hatches…
    Box Canyon Mark

    • libertatemamo says:

      Oh we definitely got that wind, but managed to “escape” most of it by moving north. What a storm!! I can only imagine how much snow you got up in Ouray!
      Nina

  19. Steve says:

    Only a short distance north is Valley of the Gods which has some nice boondocking.
    However even better is Comb Ridge and Cedar Mesa. Lots of hiking and ruins in both areas (see: http://climb-utah.com/CM/index.htm), but Comb Ridge is more dog friendly (no dogs allowed in any of the tributaries of Grand Gulch). I believe that you will find good boondocking just on the west side of the ridge, south side of hwy 95, at a undeveloped BLM campground. Have fun.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Valley Of the Gods was amazing, but sadly too difficult to access for “the beast”. Great spot for smaller rigs, though. Totally enjoyed the ruins further north in Comb Ridge too. Good to know about the dog policy in Grand Gulch…did not know!
      Nina

  20. Utah has long been my favorite State but have not yet made it to Goosenecks. My kinda place for sure. I always appreciate the folks like yourselves who make that special photo effort & consistantly come up with quality stuff. Nice work……….AL:))

    • libertatemamo says:

      Thanks so much Al. It’s a big compliment coming from a good photographer like you. I always enjoy your shots!
      Nina

  21. […] San Juan River leading to 360-degree views all around. You are also a short drive from the amazing Valley Of the Gods with rock formations and even more views. There is undeveloped hiking along the rim-road by the […]

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