tldr; we love Utah and our friends.
Stop number two on our Utah-friend-family adventure was Moab. We arrived on Saturday evening and headed straight to a burger restaurant to meet our friends. Brooke, Paulo, Frankie, and Dan had spent the last two days driving from Austin through rough weather and were ready for a good meal and rest from the road.
After a couple hours of laughing, catching up, and good food, we parted ways with plans to meet up the next morning for our first hike together in Arches National Park. Us van-dwellers (Frankie, Dan, Choi and I) spent the night at Willow Springs, a free BLM spot not far from Arches while Brooke and Paulo stayed in a hotel. The next morning, we all piled into Paulo’s car and drove to Arches National Park. It was a cold, misty morning, with snow dusting the spires and arches around us.
Our first stop of the day was Devils Garden, an ~8 mile hike with views of 6 or 7 arches! That evening, we headed back to our shared Airbnb. The great thing about having two of us three couples staying in vans is that we were able to turn what would have been a very tight 1-bedroom Airbnb into a cozy 3-bedroom with our van and Dan’s van serving as bedrooms 2 and 3.
Choi and Dan had to work the first part of the week so the rest of us went on a long hike while they worked and then meet up all together after work for another, shorter hike. We visited Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Dead Horse State Park, back to Arches for Delicate Arch, and Corona and Bowtie Arches. Rather than write about each one of these adventures, here’s a little photo tour –
One of my favorite parts of many of our hikes in Utah was how unmarked the paths were. We often found ourselves scrambling over boulders and sliding down sandstone slopes, keeping our eyes peeled for cairns to lead our way. The fact that we couldn’t see a defined path much of the time made the hikes feel remote and exciting.
We also spent a lot of time this week sharing meals together and playing games. We went out to get pizza at a restaurant in town and each couple took a turn cooking dinner. We got delicious gelato at Moab Coffee Roasters. We played 20 questions and answered riddles on our hikes. We played Code Names and Catan in the evenings.
We had such a blast with Brooke, Paulo, Frankie, and Dan our first week in Moab. We laughed lots, hiked lots, and ate lots. What more could we ask for? We can’t wait to meet more friends over the next few months and hopefully these four will come back to see us again soon! We’ll be in Moab for one more week and can’t wait to see what else it has in store for us.
Moab, we loved your easily accessible yet also remote hikes, your tasty gelato, and what a perfect spot you make to meet our dear friends. Along We Go!