Thursday, November 10, 2016

Southeastern Utah

Confession:  I had only been to Southeastern Utah once in my life. I traveled in the backseat of a our tiny 2 door car with my sister in laws best friend  to Blanding for my brother and sister in laws wedding open house.  That was 14 years ago.  And needless to say I didn't see much of the scenery.

Oh that's a lie.  Back in 1998 we went to Lake Powell.  But we drove through Arizona to get there... so I still didn't see much.

So when Jason said let's go somewhere last weekend I suggested Moab.  Moab is a mecca for BASE jumpers and rock climbs and dirt bikers so Jason has been many times.  So I was pretty lucky to go with an expert.

Since it is November and a rather cold weekend in south east Utah I figured we'd just stay in a hotel..... Silly Kristin.  When Jason saw how expensive a hotel was even in this almost "off season" Jason decided we should use the money that would go to a hotel to purchase a new (to us) tent off KSL and a tent heater.  By the time I got home from school Friday, Jason had loaded up the tent, sleeping stuff including Brad's pack n play, a cooler full of food, the rock climbing gear, the fire wood, and even laid out possible outfit options for Brad for me to pick from.

I have to say it is absolutely wonderful being married to a man that loves to work to have fun.

Anyway, we left around 4:30... which mean we got to Moab way after dark.  Of course there was no way we were going to pay to camp.  Jason had called the rock climbing store to make sure he knew of a place that you can camp for free outside of Moab.  (Moab is very very strict about where you can camp because there are so many dirtbag climbers)  Anyway, so we turned off some dirt road and drove and drove and drove looking for an area with fire pits.  (In the dark it was very difficult)  So finally we just pulled over and set up camp.

It wasn't until morning that I really had an idea what the place we were camping looked like.  (insert an image of the Arizona Strip here.)  (If you have never been to the Arizona Strip.  Let's just say you aren't missing out.)

Anyway, it was a fun adventure setting up camp in the dark.  Our new HUGE tent was awesome! It was super easy to set up and our queen sized air mattress and the pack n play easily fit with room to spare.
Brad slept like a champ until 3 am when I freaked out a little bit.  You see my mom has done a very good job of making me conscience of carbon monoxide poisoning.  I hadn't heard a peep from Brad so I jumped out of bed to make sure he was alive... (Of course he was.  And of course Jason had done a great job making sure our tent was ventilated so I logically had nothing to worry about but that doesn't stop me from worrying.)  So I probably woke up Brad... and so he joined us in our bed.  Eventually Brad and Jason went back to sleep... I wasn't so fortunate.

I ended up going for a little run out in the wilderness.  I came back to camp where Jason was cooking eggs on our stove in our tent.  And Brad was having a blast playing in his pack n play.  It was awesome.

After we cleaned up camp we headed into Moab for our second breakfast.  (When Jason camps all he wants is sugar.  So he brought Hostess Hohos, hot chocolate, and snack pack puddings to go with our eggs.)  I would feel horrible if I ate that for breakfast so we drove into Moab to get me a salad for breakfast and a packed lunch.

We didn't really have exact plans for the day.  It was not the most beautiful day.  It was cloudy and rainy.  But it didn't take us long to realize that was probably the best possible time to visit without crowds!  The temperature for the day was delightful!

We drove through Arches National Park and hiked to Delicate Arch.  You know how a lot of people love to bash on tourist or touristy things?  I have concluded I LOVE being a tourist.  And all things touristy are that way for a reason, because they are awesome!!!  Delicate Arch was so stinkin' cool!


We had our picnic lunch in the parking lot of Delicate Arch and then we went for a drive on Highway 128.  It was absolutely gorgeous!  It follows the Colorado River through a canyon with Arches on one side.  Jason showed me cool rock climbing areas and places he's BASE jumped.  We stopped at an area where he hopes to rock climb soon.
The kind of bummer thing is I've kind of turned into that mom.  You know who I am talking about.  The mom that stops having fun because of the chance that baby will be miserable.  We could have camped in Moab area another night.  We could have done more hiking or sightseeing or something.  But after we finished look at the area that Jason wants to climb next I saw that we were so far on Highway 128 it would be faster just continuing on that road to get home than to go back to Moab.  Brad had struggled in the car the night before.  I hadn't gotten a lot of sleep... and so I turned into that mom.  The fun sucker.  And I am kinda bummed about it.  But oh well right?  By this time it was like 4 pm.  So we headed for home.

We stopped in Price for dinner.  And you know what?  There is a huge part of me that love love loves small towns.  I was so happy when I went into a gas station and heard the cashier say to the customer, "How's your day going?"  and the customer really answered.  Or the cute little kid... couldn't have been more than 13 years old pull up to the gas station in a car to fill up with gas.... or the customer service we got at the pizza joint we went to.  It was all so refreshing.  But then I saw how ugly Price is.... and realized there is a reason only 7,000 people live there.

But it was the perfect ending to our delightful weekend getaway.

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