Spring Break 2017: Moab, Utah

2017 has been more of the crazy busy that 2016 was. I did take off some time recently to hike Mt. Peale and Black Mesa but other than that, I’ve been head down working hard on making a house happen (and on that front, I’m waiting around on an “as built” appraisal right now…).

Last fall, my friend Kelly moved to California and left her van at my place until she could figure out how to get it moved out there with her. I volunteered to drive it out over Spring Break. My roommate, Katherine, was starting her break in Moab so I joined her and her friends for a couple of days.

On my way out to Moab from Ridgway, I discovered, when I was pulled over in Norwood, that the tags on the van were expired. This lead to some handwringing between Kelly and I as we tried to figure out what our best course of action was. Since the courthouse in Ouray was closed on Fridays, we decided I should just go for it and we’d deal with potential tickets when and if they came. Because of this delay, I reached Moab a little bit later than I’d hoped but it was Thursday night and I had more than a week of freedom ahead of me.

We’d hoped to get permits to hike Arches National Park‘s Fiery Furnace on Friday morning but alas, all of the permits were gone until Sunday but I’d need to head west before that. Since Katherine’s friend Brittney had never been to the park we hiked to Delicate Arch and then out to Sand Dune Arch. The weather was windy and cold so it wasn’t until we got out to Sand Dune Arch that I finally started to feel like it was break. Scrambling around sandstone makes me grin like a fool and that really helped kick off some vacation!

 

I mentioned that I really wanted to go to Back of Beyond Books and Katherine wanted to go to Gear Trader. Out of character for all of us, we went shopping. Much to Katherine’s surprise, I spent money: I bought books, a (super sweet) hat, and a new MSR pot since mine seems to have disappeared. The sun came out and the weather warmed up so walking around town felt awesome. Once we were done shopping, we started floating ideas about where to go next. I suggested Cable Arch but that wasn’t getting much response. Katherine suggested visiting Castle Valley so I suggested that we go out there and taste wine at Castle Creek. We caravaned out of town, pausing to get water at Matrimony Spring, and headed for the winery.

Tasting at Castle Creek is only $1 for 4 tastes (thanks Utah law, you can only do 4 tastes but if you plan with your friends you can taste them all). Since we’d stopped at Red Rocks, we visited the Utah Museum of Film and Western Heritage. I’d never stopped before but was pretty fascinated with all of the movies and commercials that had been filmed out there! I knew about a lot of them but there were several that were total surprises!

Back in Moab, we grabbed dinner at The Spoke and then headed to the brewery to pick up some beer and have a pint before heading back to camp. The blustery weather had returned so we were happy to not have to return to camp yet. It seemed to be outdoors social media weekend in Moab so I was able to finally meet Dave W. and catch up with Mike R.

After a couple of beers we headed back to camp, where much wine and beer were drunk and campfire smoke inhaled and we all headed off to sleep. It poured overnight making getting the van out of our sandy camp spot somewhat interesting but it was time for me to be heading off towards California!

Fellow Adventurers!: Hanging out with Simply Adventure

Last week, Simply Adventure passed through Moab. Katie mentioned that they were looking for things to do so I suggested that we meet up and take a quick hike into Hidden Valley. We ambled up the trail comparing notes about living on the road and the places we’d visited and were planning on visiting. It was so much fun to talk to people who truly get how we live—van life +adventure=awesomeness.

La Sals from Hidden Valley Pass

Forrest and Niko at Hidden Valley Pass

At the top of the valley, we set out to see the petroglyphs. In all my hikes up the canyon, I had never seen them. It’s one of the coolest petroglyph sites around Moab: they’re on a cliff overlooking Behind The Rocks, the river, and off towards Canyonlands & Deadhorse Point with the La Sals behind you.

Petroglyphs

After our seven and a half mile “quick hike,” we were all hungry and decided that this occasion called for a trip to the Moab Brewery (good burgers, expensive meh beer). We toasted to new vandwelling friends and had an excellent time.

Petroglyphs

Petroglyphs

Petroglyphs

View from petroglyphs

The next day, we’d hoped to go jeeping but the day started out cold and wet. I joined Katie and Niko on a trip to Arches. I hadn’t been since my first trip to Moab in spring 2009 so I was more than happy to go back. We visited Sand Dune and Broken Arches in the north part of the park before hiking to Delicate Arch.

Sand Dune Arch

Broken Arch

Broken Arch

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

A huge thank you to Simply Adventure for sharing some fun!

Simply Adventure is spending 2013 on the road in their yellow Sprinter climbing and emphasizing land stewardship and conservation. Katie blogs about their adventures at The Morning Fresh, tweets from @TheMorningFresh and @SimplyAdventure, and can be found on Facebook.