Moab, UT was not on the radar.
For the past year and a half or so, we’ve been traveling with a ‘long term’ destination (like Disney World, or Kentucky Derby), but the route to get to that destination hasn’t been planned.
I mean, we generally know a direction, and weather patterns. But other than that, we’ve been going wherever seems interesting at the time and is within a hop’s distance – which is typically about 350 miles for us.
Moab, UT was not on the radar. It was about 100 miles off the radar.
But then a text thread with a blossoming internet friend who also happens to live nomadically and is in the ‘millennial’ subset took place on the evening before our wheels were set to hit lined pavement.
And suddenly, Moab happened.
We drove all day on Saturday and arrived dangerously close to sunset to a a boondock area outside of Moab where new friends were parked in their shiny Airstream. Amanda and Aaron (handle: whitegirlroadtrip) welcomed us to a chorus of ‘oh no, you can definitely get that thing (Dyna) up that hill!’
Because we didn’t want to be lame in front of our new friends, we quickly succumbed to the bullying session and rammed Dyna’s big a$$ (literally – I almost hit Aaron on the way) up a decently rutted, steepish dirt hill to where they had settled their tin can house on wheels.
We didn’t get stuck, and A&A (which is what I will call Amanda & Aaron from here on out in this blog post) totally should have pulled a ‘we told you so!’ session. Instead, they sat inside Dyna and drank beer and gin with us. Which was really cool of them, because during our air depletion, levelers down set-up session I totally forgot to engage the park brake and we started rolling while I had my back turned to the wheel. Cool, cool. Nothing to see here. I may have peaced out on a new friendship if my new friends had pulled that crap on me.
The spot that A&A had staked out was decently decent – in a red dust blowing constantly and occasional OHV rider ripping up the hill kind of way. It was free, the views were okay, it was only about 10 minutes outside of downtown Moab, and it was next to A&A – so overall, I’d say it was a ‘win’.
We got invaded by a mouse family though, so there was that. I think that maybe they decided to use Dyna as their ‘in-laws apartment’ because we only got one mouse. A&A had at least 7 last we heard. Yes, last we heard. The mice may have eaten them because we haven’t heard. (That’s an alternative truth – we’ve heard from them since leaving – but I forgot their mouse count total). The mice invasion ended up being a catalyst to haul out of our boondock on Yellow Circle Road – but that didn’t happen for several days.
Between the time A&A coerced us into driving up the janky hill and the time we got invaded by mice, we spent time getting to know A&A – aka, bombarding them with Beyoncé facts and interrogating them on their beliefs on the world. Totally normal interactions I’d say.
We shared cheese plates and guacamole and boxed mac-n-cheese and various varieties of alcohol. We shared candy and alcohol soaked candy. A few times we even got dressed enough to go downtown to Moab and eat together. That’s a lie – we didn’t change our clothes – we just went downtown like the lot of sorta homeless folk we are.
A&A took us wheeling in their truck – something neither Jake and I had ever done, but is a big thing to do (maybe the biggest?) in Moab. It was fantastically scary and exhilarating. Also slightly nauseating. I’d let A&A take us wheeling again, but I don’t foresee it being a hobby in our future. I think the goal of wheeling is to see how much stuff you can break on your vehicle without totally stranding yourself.
After spending our Sunday breakfasting, wheeling, eating candy, and napping, we had to return to the daily grind and work all day on Monday and Tuesday. We did hang out with A&A after work, and got to spend some time with their road pup, Kalie.
On Wednesday we decided to bugger off of work at 3pm (Jake works East Coast time – so 3pm was 5pm) and hit up the hike to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. We had missed this hike last time we were in the general Moab vicinity, which was sad then. But now it was happy because we got to hike to Delicate Arch (the arch on all of the Utah license plates) with our new friends A&A!
A&A are a real trip to hike with. If you ever meet them please go hiking with them. They are hilarious. Basically, Amanda spends her time claiming she is going to die, and Aaron spends his time reinforcing that fact that she is, in fact, not going to die.
Delicate Arch looked pretty much like the pictures of Delicate Arch look. So that was cool.
We were undecided as to when we would roll out of our neighborly spot next to A&A – but we were getting bombarded by red dust pretty hard, and knew we should be heading East soon to meet up with our long term destination. We figured we’d roll down the janky hill and hit the highway on Friday or Saturday. But then we got invaded by the mouse family. So, that was our hint: #boybye
Thursday morning we said goodbye to A&A and Kalie pup, successfully rolled down the janky hill, and aimed for somewhere South and East.
But anyways, Moab wasn’t on our radar.