Wednesday, June 7, 2017

RV Trip to Moab

For Memorial Day Weekend, we rented an RV from Cruise America and headed out for Moab. We picked up our RV on Friday from a way far north location. Traffic was a beast, but we made it. We spent the evening loading supplies and provisions. The next morning we were off! We listened to Willie Nelson while we passed from sunny Colorado foothills into gorgeous green canyons, into a snowy, dark pass, down through sleety, icy hills and into bright red, hot rock canyons. The entire road trip took about 6 hours.
Our campground was cute and right near the entrance to Arches National park. We settled in and then took a walk across the road to the river and climbed some rocks until the Danielsons arrived. We were visiting at their campsite when a dog attacked Holly and knocked me off my feet. I fell over sideways and crashed in the gravel. I was not broken, but I was bruised and banged and spent the rest of the trip ignoring it.
The next day we loaded all the kids into the back of the pick-up and drove into Arches. We took a training class and got our permits to hike the Fiery Furnace on Wednesday. Then we continued exploring Arches. We stop and saw balancing rock and then went further into hike up and get some incredible photos of some arches. Sam slowly overcame his fear of heights as we went on through the day and the other kids leapt from rock to rock with great joy. We were lucky with the weather as a "cold front" had brought the daytime desert temps into the low eighties that day and it was very pleasant. We pushed on to the Devil's Garden and hiked a bit more and then drove back down into the canyon and campsite for R&R. We played some games and ate dinner and the kids swam in the pool.
On Monday, we had our mountain bike excursion. We drove into Moab and met our outfitters. It was our party plus one other family. They drove us out past Arches and we all got assigned a beautiful mountain bike and we were off. It was tricky and terrifying and super fun. Being me, I tripped over my feet before we began and scraped my palms, but luckily, Michael had some gloves and so I wore those for the ride and it was fine. It was so exciting and challenging to ride up and down the rock, but everyone did great and seemed to really enjoy it. The views in and around Moab are extraordinary. It is the most beautiful desert I have ever been in. The reds of the rocks and the greens of the trees and the copper in the soil make each vista colorful and unique.
After our ride, we had lunch at a brewpub in Moab which had terrible service and not great food, unfortunately. But we were starving so we ate it. We finished our lunch and went to get the RC cars and then drove out into the desert to watch some four wheeling. We didn't find much of that, but we did find some more amazing areas to climb and look around and I really enjoyed it. It was off the beaten path and it was so peaceful. It reminded me a little of Big Bend national park, with the river running through the canyon and the cottonwood trees hugging the banks.
On Wednesday, we finally got to do our fiery furnace hike and it was the highlight of the trip for me. We hiked into the canyon and it felt like we were in some new magical place. There are a few small arrows stuck into rocks to help you navigate, but they are almost hidden and far and few. They encourage you to follow dead ends and to explore. We did. We silently padded across sand in-between giant, phallic pillars of red rock. Sometimes the paths were so narrow we walked through with our hands and feet on the rocks on either side of us, not even touching the ground. It was cool inside the birth canals of the rocks and blazing hot on the surface. We climbed and scrambled and explored. Sometimes we got lost and sometimes we got too high up and had to inch down the rocks on our bottoms to a safer perch. We found a shaded ledge over looking the desert as far as the eye could see and sat down and had a picnic. We hiked in there for three hours and no one ever complained or wished it would end. We all, from the youngest to the oldest, just wanted to keep exploring. It was truly the best hike of my life and I would go back there in a minute just to do it again.
The Danielson's headed back that evening and we had a quiet evening in. The next morning, we loaded up and drove leisurely back to Colorado, stopping in Vail for a long lunch and a bit of a walk around. Vail was completely deserted, but it was neat to see it and enjoy the cold crisp air after four days in the desert.
I enjoyed the RV life very much. I loved Moab and the Canyons. I am having a good time exploring new places around our new home. There are so many national parks we can drive to now and new places to see. This was a wonderful trip and a great way to kick off the summer.

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