Dirty Hairstrands

Sitting in one of the busier cafes in Moab due to both it's popularity and overall awesomeness, I've managed to fill my belly, charge the camera battery, edit photos, and start the new hire process from the desert.

April 1st, Easter Sunday...April Fool's Day; the drive out from the campsite today was matched with the loudest volume of jazz music my car will emit without sounding cheap. Where to begin here....

Arriving in the desert feels like coming home a little bit every time; as I drove into town towards my turnoff for the planned hike, I was reminded of how nice it can be to lose cell service.  The windows can go down comfortably once you get off the highway, the warm and dirt filled breeze starts to fill the car, Zuke's head always makes its way out of the window once we hit 40 mph. We love it. 

Our first hike was a ton of fun; right off the bat we met a couple who was visiting from Wisconsin, got complimented on having a beer in my hand (twice), and had an in-depth conversation about Zuke's breeds. This specific hike offers an interesting route with a dog in tow and as I was lifting Zuke up onto some rocks, I heard my camera lens cap disconnect and start to bounce. Wide-eyed and gasping as I watched it finally come to a stop, I was able to retrieve it without Zuke following me back down (thank GOD). Zuke was almost more popular than the arch for some folks up there; there are definitely some tourists from Ohio that have posed photos with him. But here comes the best part: as we are turning around to hike down, the couple that we had met in the beginning, from Wisconsin, had stopped us. The mom went on to basically more or less set me up with her son, who is currently single and living in Colorado and definitely not present for this hike. It was the most hilarious yet genuinely cute thing that has ever happened to me as I couldn't help but joke with myself, "hell I won't meet someone in a bar...it's going to be me meeting his parents on a hike FIRST". Needless to say, I adopted two (more) parents over the weekend! 

We camped in a familiar spot and awaited the arrival of a long-term friend coming from Northern Utah. The beautiful thing about camping is that you pretty much always wake up with the sun...aka no time wasted. Rising early but enjoying our morning, we got back on the road headed for our next stop near Castle Valley. We hiked around Fisher Towers, mainly marveling at the climbers taking risks larger than life. Soaking in the sun, that was the main attraction. 

Our campsite that night was unplanned and a complete treat; we were nestled at the base of the mountains while overlooking one of the most graceful views I have seen in this area. The sunrise the next morning was unworthy of words, dripping in reds, so astoundingly alive. It was a little hard to leave that spot behind, I will admit. 

Stopping to catch up on life, at the same cafe as I am in now, we scoured the map and dug through Google Earth looking for our next place: we wanted water. Taking a risk due to never being down the road we decided to take, the ten miles of dirt that brought us to a jaw-dropping location. We could not have been blessed with a better spot to spend the next two nights and two days. Trees to hang the hammock and slack-line, we had access to the river and little company to share it with. Camping with dirt roads all around, we took to the bikes and wandered down to the boat ramp where we met a small group just completing their river trip. Drunk on life and beer, the conversation flowed like lava between us and them, chatting more with the 8 year old while their parents strapped down the gear to the car. It was in conversation with this 8 year old that I learned about his fascination with gun power and through a series of questions and inquires from myself, I came to learn something even more profound: he wanted to build them one day. He was more interested in designing them, than shooting them, however his father had taken the time to really pass down that knowledge of usage to his boy to a point that the 8 year old knew how to respect the matter. I laid my head to rest that night thinking about this boy and what he had expressed to me and why it had not bothered me. And then it came to me: this boy had other things to occupy his time with, he was spending time outdoors, he had a way to release energy. My point is that I believe that guns are not the problem, people not having proper outlets, not taking the time to recreate in some way, that is where the problems are being bred. But anyways.... 

On our second day there, waiting for the sun to reach it's hottest point, I took to the river and bathed for my first time in one. This was a huge experience for me; it took me about five minutes of poking around with a stick in the water (from the shore) to make sure there would be no unexpected drops once in the water and then I creeped into it in the most uncomfortable manner. After finding my footing and telling myself over and over again that it was OKAY (even though I couldn't see my feet at all), I bathed. It was magical, in the most relaxed sense, and it forced me to love what I was being offered. The water was ice cold and yet so refreshing. It made it hard to keep clothes on for the rest of our time there as the freedom had become almost addicting. 

This is a sorry excuse for a post, it's more of a scattered-brain recap to keep everyone in the loop of life without cell service. To add and to finish though, the dirty days continue as I plan my trip up North. Stay tuned....