We left way later than I had originally planned.
If you read the previous blog you know it’s because we had to make some adjustments to our travel schedule. But that’s ok, we’ll make it work, it just means that we will be driving and arriving in the dark. (not lacie’s favorite thing to do btw, and this only added to her anxiety of driving with the trailer) I am fine with driving at night, in fact it’s a lot better as there is way less cars on the road.
when parker and i drove to pick up the airstream, we passed through Moab on the way there and back. We took the common route between SLC and Moab which is Highway 89. If you’ve ever driven this you know there is a rather STEEP mountain pass you have to drive over. I remembered hauling the Airstream back over it and how we could only go 35-45 mph on the uphill at times, and how scary the downhill was. And that was with a mostly empty trailer, i could not imagine it working with our current set up.
so, we took 15 down to 70 with a backroad connector in between. There still was some mountain passes to get over, and at times it sounded like our engine was going to explode... 😆
it was a little more up and down then i had expected so it added about 2 hours to our trip due to how slow we were going for so long trying to get up hills.
We finally rolled into Moab around 8pm
and i, having been there before could kinda recognize where we were even in the dark. You could just barely see giant figures of rock looming over us as we drove under. As we pass the sign for Arches National Park I hear lacie say, “What a surprise this will be when we wake up in the morning!”
Another 5 minutes down the road and we roll into Slick Rock RV park. It took a minute to get the trailer situated, let’s just say the darkness of night adds whole other layer to things 😅
After getting a good night’s sleep (driving with a trailer is exhausting) we woke up to the sunrising on glorious red walls of rock.
We were so excited to go explore that we quick got packed, ate breakfast, and headed off to...
Arches National Park.
Arriving at the park, we first stopped in to the visitor center. We had to get our National Park Passport book stamped and grab a magnet! We remembered we already had a magnet from when parker and i stopped in on the way back with the Airstream. Sadly, we didn’t actually make it into Arches as we were both too tired, but we did visit the Moab visitor center and he picked out an Arches magnet to remember that we had to come back. And now we were finally here, 2 years later!
The entrance into the park is already super impressive, it’s a 10 minute drive up and over a steep rock face that keep the park hidden from the highway. The first stop is Park Avenue viewpoint. There are no Arches here but that doesn’t mean it’s not impressive. It a beautiful little canyon with tall rock walls on either side, and sitting at the tops of those walls are these amazing “plates” of rock that seem like they should have fallen off, but they are just sitting there being giant rocks.
The next stop was Balanced Rock. This was about 10 miles from the park entrance. This is one Parker really wanted to see. I don’t think he could fathom how a giant rock could be balanced on such a narrow column.
Again, this area had no arches but balanced rock and the surrounding views were nothing short of astounding, and we could actually see an arch far off in the distance.
After that it was now time to go to our first arches!
The Windows Section
this was the first time any one of us had been anywhere near a geologic arch formation. These giant spectacles induce an incredible feeling of awe and wonder. parker recalls the experience and says “It made me feel that nature is more awesome than i thought.”
Standing under these massive arches, you really get the perspective of just how miraculous this whole universe is. And as massive as these suspended arches of sandstone are, they are just an infinitesimal speck of dust in the cosmos.
Not much can be verbalized about this place. it’s no wonder the natives hold it as sacred space. You feel it. It vibrates with high energy. It’s not something that you can understand until you have experienced it for yourself, you can enjoy these photos and get a small taste but i highly recommend you make it out here.
One of the things with visiting parks in the winter is that there is hardly anyone else there! Usually, arches is crowded with tourist, but since it was mid January we mostly had the park to ourselves, minus a group here and there. The other thing is, not everything is open or accessible. This was the case with the Delicate Arch. When we got there we were all ready to make the hike up to see it, but we got a report back from a couple who just came down and said it was pretty sketchy at some points with ice and cliffs.
Now, i wouldn’t have thought twice about it if it was just i, or just parker and i. But with emery and even Lacie, we made the decision to pass on this one, which was a bummer because this is the quintessential arch of Arches NP, and it’s the one on magnet parker got last time so he had been looking forward to see this arch for a long time.
So, we headed down to the viewing area which is a spot you can see it from pretty far away. But, we told the kids that it’s just one more excuse to come back here again.
A relaxing evening
It was about 3 in the afternoon already when we saw the Delicate arch from afar, so when we were done with that we slowly made our way out of the park and back into town.
It was a beautiful evening and we had to get our bunnies out to run around outside. Thankfully, there was a little fenced in dog area that we could take them to to have some fun. And boy did they love it!
FUEL YOUR ADVENTURES WITH HEART & SOIL
Throughout this whole trip we did our best to eat clean and stay animal-based. One of the key components in being able to do that was our Heart & Soil Supplements. They provide us with clean, nutrient-dense and bioavailable beef organs and fat from 100% grass-fed cows. One of our favorites is Firestarter, which is full of Vitamin A, E, D, K2 and Essential fatty acids that provide support for weight loss, healthy body composition, energy, exercise performance, mood, insulin sensitivity, and mitochondrial fat-burning.
Road trips are so demanding and physically taxing, and I have taken enough cross country road trips to know I usually feel like crap afterward. But it was night and day having our Heart & Soil supplements along for the ride, especially Firestarter providing plenty of energy to fuel all our adventures.
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Canyonlands National Park
One of my ideas when planning this road trip was to go to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. But when i was mapping it all out, i realized that it was 2 hours out of our way and would just not be feasible. But then I realized that the Grand Canyon pretty much starts right in Moab at Canyonlands National Park!
And what do you know, we are going to be there already! So, I added on an extra day in Moab to go explore this breathtaking landscape.
Canyonlands is not a National Park that gets a lot of attention for some reason. Mostly, i would say that’s good as it keeps the traffic down. But this park is definitely a must-see. It’s actually a really huge park with 4 separate districts within it, each with their own visitor center and entrance.
We were visiting the Island in the Sky district, but unfortunately, the visitor center was closed on the day we went but luckily we were able to get both our magnet and our passport stamp at the visitor center in Moab afterwards.
Right from the visitor center this park did not disappoint. we noticed a spot across the road and decided to take a look, and when we came out through the trees the ground immediately fell away into a giant canyon and we found ourselves right on the edge of a cliff. It was so amazing we ended up hanging out here for a minute to take it all in.
Yes, there’s even an arch in Canyonlands! This arch is actually pretty famous and you’ll probably recognize but maybe never realized it was not at Arches. This one is pretty cool though as it’s also on the edge of the cliffs of the canyons and frames up a pretty spectacular view.
we hung out here even longer, in fact, i think we saw 2 or 3 groups come and go before we left. 😆 we were in no rush. We were just so taken with this place we didn’t want to rush. Although, emery did keep saying “ok let’s go to the next place!” every where we went.
Grand View Point
there were a couple viewpoints we stopped at on the drive, but we were headed toward Grand View Point Overlook. It’s a stunning 1 mile hike out to this viewpoint. Every minute of it we were in complete awe. So much beautiful plant life and geology. So much detail and color and fascinating formations made by water and wind.
The trail follows along the rim of the canyon eventually leading out to the viewpoint at the end of the mesa where you can see both the green and colorado rivers.
We sat and ate lunch at the grand view point. There was complete silence out there and it was absolutely beautiful.
Enjoying the small town treats
After our big day at Canyonlands we headed back into Moab to make it to the Visitor Center before it closed. We had to get our passport book stamped and purchase a Canyonlands magnet. After that we found a great local ice cream/coffee shop and got a little ice cream treat.
It’s safe to say that Moab was our favorite stop of the whole trip and we do plan on going back at some point when we can. And who know’s... it might even be with Serenity! (how awesome would that be?!)
It’s been amazing Moab but it is time for us to move on, now we will be driving farther south to the border of Utah and Arizona for our next stop... Monument Valley!