Gooseneck State Park

December 20-21, 2018

I’m starting to wonder if someone should revoke Joe’s internet privileges.  He has a talent for finding off-the-beaten-track campsites. Our final destination of the day was Goose Neck State Park.  As we followed the directions broadcast by our good friend, Ms. Google, Joe turned to me and said, “Does it seem like we’re about to drive off the edge of the world?”

 Looking out into an empty landscape painted only by moonlit, I answered, “Yes!”

 “There’s nothing out here,” said Joe.

 “I think the road ends at the state park,” I answered. 

 The campground hugs the edge of a deep canyon cut into the rock formations by the San Juan River.  Tonight, all the sites were empty.   Spotting a picnic table a few feet from the canyon’s edge, Joe asked, “What about here?”

 I wanted to say, “Are you out of your mind? What if we forget where we are and walk off the edge?”  But instead I said, “I’m not sure that’s a good choice for Molly.”

 Joe agreed and we opted for a spot on the far side of the parking lot, giving us about 200 feet of breathing room.  We both voted to hold off on exploring and hiking in the park until daylight. 

 The next morning both Joe and Molly got up to catch the sunrise over the canyon.   Not in hurry to acquaint myself with our new surroundings, I waited until the sun was over the horizon to venture outside. With the campground to ourselves, Joe opted to brew our morning coffee and cook breakfast at a canyon side picnic table. He handed me my steaming bowl of oatmeal with a big grin on his face and said, “It’s this the coolest?”

 I had to admit he was right.  From an information sign in the park we learned that the goosenecks are “entrenched meanders” cut by the river now situated 1000 feet below the campground.  At the park entrance there was a small warning notice added to welcome sign that announced: Uneven terrain and steep long drops ahead.  USE CAUTION! 

 Perhaps an understatement?

Jenny Hohner