We've talked all winter about taking a trip "somewhere." As it is when one owns cows, that can be quite a task. There has to be someone to take care of the cows. We had an idea for our destination in mind...we wanted to make it to the Grand Canyon.
We watched the weather for a few days while the heifers were calving. We talked about our timing and why it wasn't a great idea to leave. We discussed the fact that by April and May it would be an even harder time to go.
Finally on a Friday, Husbeast said "let's just go."
I was sitting next to him on the couch and almost thought I was dreaming it. I turned slowly toward him and said "where?" I was certain I had imagined it and I was afraid he'd reply with "what are you talking about??"
Instead, he said, "to the Grand Canyon. Let's just go."
The wheels were in motion. I brought our bags out of storage, but didn't pack them because I was afraid that if I did it would get canceled. I'm a wee bit superstitious....
We had planned to leave Saturday and had our friends/neighbors lined out to chore for us. Then of course, a heifer had trouble calving and had to come in for some help with the calf puller. Dread settled in and I thought for sure the gig was up.
But Husbeast held his ground and on Sunday morning I began to pack our bags while he did our chores for the day.
We had maps and clothes and no clue where we would stay the night. No reservations would be made and no plans other than the points of interest Husbeast could find on the map along the route we would be taking. Our first destination was Moab.
The only other request I had was that we didn't drive through anything new in the dark. I wanted to see everything by daylight. Our first stop was Provo, Utah.
Not knowing the area and not using MapQuest to find our favorite place to stay meant we wound up in the downtown area at a Marriott. None of the restaurants were open because it was Sunday, 9PM in Utah...
There was a room available and the hotel restaurant was still serving so we took the opportunity. The clearance for the parking garage was six inches lower than the top of my truck so we parked on the street in a tow zone with plans to leave before the local parking cops started their ticketing duties the next morning.
For the record, the Marriott may be a nice place, but the one in Provo doesn't do any favors to the beef industry....it's over priced and the steaks were cooked to "beyond well done" even on a medium rare request.
Anyway! We were up early and on the road headed to Moab for the next stop.
Husbeast pulled out the Utah detail map and looked for points of interest along our route. The first one was near Helper, Utah where the coal mines had been. We read the stories of mine collapses and coal miners that had worked in the area and pulled in to Helper to get coffee and breakfast.
We headed out again with full bellies and stopped in Price, UT to see the Prehistoric Museum. We learned a lot about the area and how the coal came about. There were dinosaur tracks found in the coal mines, fossils and information about the geology of the region.
The next point of interest was the petroglyphs and pictographs that were in Thompson Springs. We were able to drive up the canyon to see them. Most were up high, and we laughed a bit about the fact that the pictographs were carved over by the "newer" petroglyphs. We were also interested in the fact that the painted pictures hadn't washed away in all the years they have been here.
Our final event for the day was to head into the Arches National Park. Husbeast picked a dirt road path into the park that was popular with Jeep lovers, off road vehicles and rock crawlers. Most of it reminded me of our own two track roads, but there were a few places where he had to get out and guide me over rocks and through draws so I wouldn't leave parts of my bumper behind. I was not thrilled about that part of the adventure until we were safely on the main road. Husbeast laughs at me and I laugh (a little) about it now, but I was pretty uncertain about our choice! It was worth it because the view of the park was beautiful from that off road route. We headed to the view points on the park map and were able to walk to many of the arches. Their size is hard to imagine until someone walks up to the arch. There were a lot of people there and at first we weren't too excited about it! However, having them in the photo gives us an idea of how big these arches are. We spent a few hours there and walked about 5 miles on our tour of the arches.
We wrapped up day 1 by heading to Moab to find a room. I pulled into the Best Western and crossed my fingers. I walked to the front desk and asked about a room and there happened to be one available. No. Like, the last one. Evidently we were there on the front end of a huge Jeep event that has it's own catalog and the entire town fills up. We asked about places to eat and were directed to a place called Jax. The place was packed and the food was good!
We were relaxing in the hotel when Husbeast saw an ad on TV for a zip line company in Moab.
"We're here. We should do this. Look it up..."
Weebeast paced the room, begging and hoping and telling me that it was on his wish list of things to do. I didn't really want to go, but they were both excited. We looked up the information about weight requirements and reservations and made the decision to call them in the morning...