We Always Turn Left...

The name A Local Wander did not come by me lightly.  I think it's important to get out, explore, and find new things in the areas we call home.  The challenge sometimes comes when I realize we've moved to the land where my husband was born and raised-he's pretty much seen and done everything.  He lives for those days when we find ourselves on a road he's never been on before, and last weekend's drive home from Goblin Valley did NOT disappoint!

Otherwise known as the middle of nowhere!
Let me take you on our journey...

Goblin Valley Map
Starting at our house, we drive on the interstate,
 a dangerous mountain road,
another interstate,
and then the road to Hanksville.
We rarely ever go to Hanksville, but when we do it's fun to stop in at the Hollow Mountain Gas Station, literally built into a hollowed out rock...
Goblin Valley

This time we forgot diapers (I guess the babies thought they were kind of important) so we did go to Hanksville and came across this historic church building...


Now back to the map. This is the road to Goblin Valley...

Southern Utah Map

And this is where we always turn left...

Southern Utah Map

We don't turn there because that's where the road ends, but just because that's always the way we go.  As we turned this time, though, my husband noticed a sign indicating that if we went straight it would, indeed, get us back to the interstate for our drive home in only 29 miles.  It was a road he'd never taken before, and so OF COURSE I decided this was the day that we were going to do it.  This time we went straight!


There's a whole amazing world back there!  Free camping (which is something VALUABLE that I'll address another day), restrooms, historic mining claims, and hiking...

Utah BLM camping

We now know a couple of things:
  1. This is Temple Mountain Road.  It is only 29 miles to the interstate, but that 29 miles is rough.  My good mid-western roots would call this Level B at best. 
  2.  It is BEAUTIFUL!  After the first 5 miles there is literally no one and no thing out there with you.  
  3. Just when you decide you must have gotten lost, there comes a fork in the road with a sign meant to reassure you...
Interstate Sign

10 more miles on that dusty gravel road and you pop out of the barren desert and back on to the populated interstate highway.  From experience we know at that moment that the drivers around us are confused to all extremes wondering where in the world we just came from. But because we didn't turn left, we've now found a whole new world to wander through.

Tell me something you've found after turning a different way!