In which we learn to fly...
I woke the next morning to the rustling of the boys. Both of them were up and hopeful that the zip line would 1. let Weebeast go and 2. have room for us. I secretly hoped they were booked, but felt bad about that because Weebeast was VERY excited about the possibility of going. Husbeast got on the phone and called Raven's Rim Zip Line Tours. He asked about availability for that day...there were 3 spots left. Just 3. No refunds. No backing out.
"We'll take it!" He said.
Weebeast jumped up and down and I swallowed hard. Crap. I was entered.
We had time to get breakfast and headed to the Pancake Haus. We strolled around in Moab for a while and explored some of the stores and book shop. Husbeast and Weebeast updated their hiking shoes, because when in Moab...
As the check in hour approached, we wrapped up the down town tour and headed to the zip line place. We were a bit early so we looked at the merchandise and waited outside in the sun. We watched a previous group roll in and they seemed happy-ish. Some said we would have a good time and others simply took off their gear and headed out.
Another family arrived and the dad looked how I felt. He had been conned into the trip by his daughter because she wanted to do the zip line tour for her birthday.
We laughed about our nervousness and waited for the guides to lay gear out.
They lined things up from largest to smallest and had us take our place in line based on where we thought we fit. A helmet and a 5-point harness sat on the concrete in front of us along with the metal wheel thing and the clips that would hook us to the line.
The guides were very friendly but very matter of fact about putting the harness on and they gave us specific steps to follow so we would be hooked in properly. The last piece to go on was the helmet. Once those were adjusted they came around and hooked our ropes to us with the instruction "don't touch the shiny things." That would be their job.
We would start the trip with an off-road 4x4 tour up a steep switch back trail that follows suit of all other off-road trails in Moab...rough, bumpy, tippy and...fun!
Our first line was the shortest and the one that would be a nice warm up to the rest of the lines. There were 6 total, all of differing lengths with two being over 1400 feet long. We got up to 40MPH on the two longest lines. There was also a 100Ft suspension bridge that we walked across on the route. The zip lines were organized on 300 acres of private ground with some pretty awesome views of Moab and the surrounding areas.
The Weebeast basically had no fear. After the first zip line, he was in the lead for the rest of the tour and took a couple of the trips without holding on to the handle bars or the ropes. Husbeast loved it of course and I finally had to admit after the first run, that it was pretty exhilarating and fun!
I tried to video while I was on the line, but that was hard to do and still appreciate what I was looking at. The long runs were my favorite and we definitely got up to some higher speeds. My eyes watered as I zipped along over the bike trails and canyons below.
The trip ended with a short walk back to the road and we loaded up in the side by side again to take the rough road back down the hill. It was even more fun on the way down!
Would I do that trip again? Heck yes!
We really were lucky that those three spots were open. Weebeast checked an item off his bucket list and was grinning from ear to ear for the rest of the day. We had to get shirts after that trip and he wore his for two days! I had to put my foot down on day three when the same shirt came out of the luggage!
We headed out of Moab with the advice from our guide to go to Cortez and see the cliff dwellings. He told us that if this was our one shot it was worth the detour to see them even if the guided tours weren't going on yet.
Husbeast got out the map and we talked about our plan over lunch. He picked out a stop on the way in to Cortez that would take us to some ruins that we could hike around.
We headed south looking at more arches, more towering rocks and red dirt desert landscapes along the way. Things flattened out when we headed east and crossed in to Colorado. Weebeast added another state to his list of places he'd been and we saw farm ground, some cattle and pinion/juniper trees along the way.
It was getting late in the afternoon when we found the first site of ruins. We walked around the adobe structure puzzling about the size of the rooms, the lack of doors and the circular patterns that were in the walls.
We had a lot of questions that just couldn't be answered by the signs that were there.
Husbeast had found a similar point of interest and a dirt road that would take us to a few others along the route to Cortez where we would stay the night. We no longer had a detailed map like we did for Utah and the outdated atlas wasn't helping much any more. We headed further along the dirt road we had come in on, but nothing seemed to be right about our path. The road got muddier and we were headed in the wrong direction from where the next stop should be. I stopped at the top of the hill and pulled up my map app to see where we were. Our route was definitely not the right one and we turned around, just slightly confused about how to find those next viewing areas.
Because of the time of day we decided we would scrap that part of the trip and find a place to stay. At the Best Western Turquoise Inn, we walked through the doors with Weebeast leading the way. The lady at the counter looked up and he smiled at her. "You just totally made my day. I was having a 'moment' and you walked in and I saw that big old smile and you just totally made my day."
We all smiled back at her and I asked about available rooms. Once again, our luck held. There were rooms available, but because Weebeast had elevated her day a notch or two she upgraded us to a suite at a discounted price. She gave us info about the cliff dwellings and told us that even though the tours weren't yet open, it was worth it to be in the presence of those amazing sites.
She pointed us in the direction of a sushi restaurant where we discovered Happy Buddha beer and green tea ice cream and pretty decent sushi for being in Colorado.
We headed off to bed with a new plan and Mesa Verde National Park as the next day's destination.
Pictures in the guide books had us wondering just how amazing these sites would be...