With my attention soon turning to snowier pursuits, I decided to take a road trip to Moab, Utah to get my last dose of warm weather. With my mom, step-dad and close friend Ellery Hollingsworth by my side, I trekked around the Moab desert in 85-degree temps and nothing to do but enjoy our surroundings.
The large fins of sandstone keep us from knowing which direction to hike. We started on a mellow two-hour hike and nearing the end, a trail in the distance captured our attention. With hours of daylight left and an ample amount of water in our Camelbacks we decided to venture off our designated route and explore new territory. The sandstone creates valleys, which trail off into the distance, and make it impossible for any hiker to decipher if it will end in a cliff or if one will be able to shimmy through a tiny crack and have it open up into a new valley. Feeling positive and having a Moab local with us, we started up our first ambiguous valley.
I stuck to the creek beds, while others chose to stay on higher land. Weaving under trees and climbing over large rocks we came to our first major obstacle. The fins of sandstone had come together to form a small wall that we needed to climb over in order to continue our journey. Looking around we spotted a large piece of wood and leaned it against the rock to use as a ladder. In this situation, we were lucky enough to have my step-dad with us who stands 6 foot 9 inches tall, sometimes we refer to him as the BFG (Big Friendly Giant), to help lift us and the two dogs that accompanied us up the ledge. Helping each other over the wall, we were not surprised to see a valley that looked just like the one we climbed up. Lewis and Clarke didn’t give up when they saw the same thing day in and day out so why should we? The journey continues!
More hiking and guessing of what will come over the next wall kept us putting one foot in front of the other. We were stunned to see that the next obstacle was not a wall at all but a skinny crack that we had to climb through. The two-foot crack had the most bizarre weathered holes and tiny arches within it and we were getting to see them first hand. Popping out on the other side we were again not surprised to see the same never-ending sandstone valleys. Checking our watches and not seeing an end in sight it was a unanimous decision to abort the mission and turn around to backtrack towards the road.
Though the adventure was a bust, it still seemed like the perfect way to round out the last weekend of warm weather. I couldn’t complain one bit. Moab, you’ve blown me away once again… thanks for sharing your beauty with me!