So we are 7 days into this road trip, and after four days of camping in the desert, we decided it was time to book a hotel and regroup. I’ve posted a lot of what I feel are reviews of the places we have been. In this post, I would like to express my thoughts through this trip so far.
Nic and I left on a Saturday and I was truly nervous about this trip. Seriously!?!? We were going to be gone for two months. No home base. No 100% fixed plans. No shelter from a tornado. No Jake to keep us safe from the bad guys. That is very scary.
But alas, this was going to be one helluva adventure, and 7 days in, I can tell you, it certainly has been an adventure. Nic and I started by going to Denver, and then we headed down to Albuquerque. Both of these were easy to wrap my head around. We had a place to stay, solid plans in place, and people to spend time with. It wasn’t until we left Albuquerque that we would be on our own. Just two people in a Jeep, taking on the US of A.
We had a packed day when we left ABQ, complete with visits to the Aztec National Monument, Mesa Verde, and Four Corners. Our final destination was a campsite called Ken’s Lake, where there are no reservations. We relied on the reviews online when picking this place – I think we all know how reliable those can be. Considering this would only be our second night in a tent together, and I have a fear of being murdered by a tent serial killer, this could be a pretty interesting evening. It did start on a positive note with this lovely sunset:
I was pleasantly surprised by how well the night. Minus the kid who woke me up screaming from another campsite (I’m about 97% positive it was an animal encounter and not Frankenstein’s creation), I slept well and was ready to take on Arches National Park.
Nic and I even decided to spend a second night at this campsite. After spending an afternoon hiking in the desert (Arches is gorgeous, but it is still the desert), we did a little swimming in the shockingly freezing lake, cooked up some hot dogs over a fire, and had another, even more restful, night.
The next morning we took off towards the direction of Zion National Park. We had no campsite figured out for this evening, and Nic sort of left it in my hands to figure it out. I hate figuring it out. Like the stereotypical girl, I don’t like to make decisions for Nic and I out of fear that I will let him down. This is stupid because Nic loves me and will still love me even if I pick a campsite next to the town dump. He would never let me forget it, but he would still love me.
I surprised both of us by picking a spot that was right next to the spot we ending up camping at. Nic gave me credit because the campsite I lead us to was actually pretty great (secluded, pretty, clean), it was just freaking hot as heck and there was no shade. There is NO SHADE ANYWHERE IN THE DESERT. There was a state park nearby, that I did in fact suggest we check out, and we set up camp there. Quail Creek State Park had a nice lake and Nic and I rented a double kayak for a couple hours. It was nice to be on he water and it was really beautiful on the lake.
At this particular campsite we had drinking water. This was awesome because we were able to refill our empty gallons and there was never really any worry about running out of water. At this point on our trip (a Thursday, June 9th) I really started falling in love with nature more than I ever have. I was feeling so content with the isolation Nic and I were experiencing from real life and society. I was also feeling a huge desire to purge everything I owned once we got back (except my Jazzercise clothes). Simplicity is something I have never been very good at, but it has become very appealing in just a few short days. The next two months are now not as scary for me.
The next destination for us was Zion National Park, followed by camping at Wahweep Campground at Lake Powell. Nic and I had some high hopes for Lake Powell, so much so that we planned on staying two nights. Oh my goodness, but you guys, the desert!! I am now convinced we will never escape it! Also, is this what Mars is like? No matter where we drive, it appears to be completely barren. We got to our campsite, and we couldn’t even set up without going to the beach first to cool off. I just kept hoping my swimsuit and hair would stay wet long enough to keep me cool so that I would not pass out while the air mattress was inflating. I officially stopped caring about wearing clothes at this moment. The “no shoes, no shirt, no service,” policy really shouldn’t apply in the Southwest. Everyone should be allowed to wear their swimsuits, everywhere they go, without judgement. I don’t know. Am I taking this too far? Am I being too dramatic?
Anyway, we dipped in the water, set up our tent, and then paid $2 each for a shower. It was necessary at this point, but we were also desperate. Following this we took a quick spin through Page, the nearby town, and then we went back to camp for tuna packets, bread, peanut butter… basically what we had left after realizing water from our cooler seeped into all our food. I cried. It’s fine. Other than the heat, and the ruined food situation, this view made for a pretty decent evening:
Then we went to bed. Then the wind started. That’s when everything changed. I don’t think I slept more than two hours Friday night at Lake Powell. I swear, I thought the tent was ripping because of the gusts. It also rained which I thought was a sign the wind would die down. I welcomed the rain, it made a nice pitter patter on the tent, and it was cool. When the wind did not stop, though, I wanted the rain to go away too. It was now annoying to me, but not as much as the generator that our neighbors started using halfway through the night. Um, hello? Quiet hours? How rude.
Needless to say, Nic and I woke up, looked at each other once, and agreed it was time to check into a hotel. Don’t get me wrong, camping is great. I love waking up to the birds (when they aren’t annoying as heck), and the sunrise. It just smells good when you are surrounded by nothing but the beautiful Earth. This is probably so cheesy, but we really do have a beautiful America… it is gorgeous and has so much to offer us. Why more people aren’t going out to explore our incredible country is now astonishing to me although I know, had it not been for Nic, I would have never dreamt of doing something like this. So now we will recoup, we will reorganize, and continue to take on this amazing country. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our trip has to offer, what we will learn, how we will grow, and in what ways we will be amazed.
*Dates covered: June 7-11