Welcome to the second part of my family's travel journey. If you missed out of the first part, I share our experience visiting Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. You can read more about that here. Let's get on with this story!
After the elopement in Jackson Hole, WY, we drove to Salt Lake City, UT. We got in pretty late so once we got to our hotel we crashed! We just had a few hours left to Moab so we decided to take a slow morning in Salt Lake. Although we did not see much of the city, I would love to go back! Gorgeous area!
What was an odd coincidence what that day happened to be my husband and I's wedding anniversary. We like going somewhere every year around our anniversary because we love to travel and we first met while traveling. The last time either of us had been in Salt Lake City, was many many moons ago when we were traveling to Australia, where we officially met. Both grew up in the same town but it took a trip halfway across the world to meet each other! Life is funny like that.
Anyways, we messed around, got some food then hit the road to Moab! We first discovered Moab during the summer of 2020. We felt like our family needed to get away for a bit, and what better way to social distance than in nature? That year we took our Expedition and pulled our old 4 Runner on a trailer. My husband rigged up the 4 Runner so it was ready for rock crawling. We had never gone rock crawling before but after that trip we were hooked!
So we decided to return to Moab in 2021. Unfortunately we did not bring the 4 Runner this trip, so our rock crawling was limited.
If you are not familiar with rock crawling, it is off roading. There are designated trails. All vary in difficulty. Word of advice....DO YOUR RESEARCH. Have a vehicle that can withstand off roading (4 wheel drive). There are lots of guides that break down the trails and their difficulty levels. Drive at your own risk. If it's your main vehicle that you don't want getting torn up, don't do the hard trails. Also keep in mind, almost all of these trails are in back country. There is usually no cell service, no help, most times, no other people. Prepare for conditions.
This time around we got to try out Puckers Pass. An easy trail just outside of Canyonland National Park. Absolutely gorgeous drive! It takes maybe 10minutes. You can start at the top and work your way down or vise versa.
In this picture above, we are at the top of the trail. You can see the trail winding it's way in the center of the image. That is at the bottom. The trail will gradually go down on the canyon off to the left.
Due to Covid restrictions, it was fairly hard to get into Arches National Park, unless you went around sunset and there's just not that much time for hiking. Thankfully we got to see Arches the first time we went. So this trip we decided to do something different. I'm glad we did because it was one of my favorite experiences to date! Just right outside the park are several hiking trails. It is all backcountry hiking so again, if you go, go prepared!
Now I have been hiking many times in my life. Usually there is some sort of trail to follow. This particular trail was the next level up. There was not a designated trail, you really had to pay attention to your surroundings and look for the worn paths from other hikers. There were times when we were crossing through water.
Times when we made our way through tall shrubs.
Times we when had to climb large rocks and even squeeze through small openings.
I really appreciated the lessons it gave us. There was no cell service out here. There were no maps, trail markers, things that told us what to do. We had to be full present in our surroundings. I absolutely loved that. Think about how much is handed to us in our day to day lives. We go on in a day and not really have to think, not really have to noticed what's even a foot next to us. On this trail we did. We were human again. Oh did my soul need that!
In such a busy season, I got to just be. To immerge into the world around me and notice things I probably wouldn't have had otherwise. I still remember the gentle warming of my skin as that late September sun hit it. The way the air smelled of dirt and fresh water. I remember the bright glow the leaves gave as they bathed in the sunlight.
I remember noticing that the Earth too is an artist.
I remember the soft trickle of the water as it made it's way down the rocks. The happy laughter from my kids as they cooled off in it.
I also remember the humble reminder that there is something much greater than us all.
If you ever go to Moab, you must visit the petroglyphs. I have seen them twice now and each time I just stand in awe. These date back as far as 3500bc. So long ago yet humans then felt compelled to tell their story. Here we are today, so much ha changed and yet so much hasn't. We still feel compelled to tell our stories.
Like most trips, it ended too quickly. My kids are already begging to go back this year! Here are a few more images from our trip.
Curious to see Moab in action? Check out my travel video I made during out very first trip to Moab in July of 2020.