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There is a lot that goes into planning a trip, much less a road trip. When I originally planned this epic road trip, I did not consider that before I left, the world would be shutting down (damn virus).
That has made this trip a lot more exciting and more epic! Since leaving CA is on a modified lockdown, I can’t find drinking water anywhere, don’t get me started on TP, going out to eat has been impressive, and they’re a lot more people out here than I would have imagined. Below is a picture of my solution to using a bathroom when you are in the middle of nowhere. Totally worth it!
Then there are the fun stories, like the car fire on the side of the road. Or a few nights ago, a lady got her RV stuck in the mud. Long story short, a few of us helped her out, and she is okay. But it made me think, what if none of us were there? She would have just kept digging herself more in the mud. It took four of us, and two ropes to get the RV out.
But all of this is part of the adventure. Part of my plan was to write a few posts regarding my experience. But, coffee shops, libraries, and other areas to have WiFi are not available. Making it a bit more complicated, but better late than never. Well, see where this post goes, I make no promises.
This brings us to the first part that I’ve been thinking about.
Contact and Communication
Up to this point, I have done most of my camping on BLM and public lands. It’s been great up until last night when I saw a lot of the BLM land is being shut down due to the virus. WTF?!?! Everyone out there is nowhere near each other.
I am writing this about 20 miles outside of Arches National Park (and I have cell coverage)! The sun is setting behind me, and I’m looking at a beautiful mountain range in front of me. The only down part is typing this in my car because it’s about 30 MPH winds outside.
Anyway, I just wanted to get something out there that I’m alive and well. Thanks for those of you that have texted and checked in. It makes me laugh how many people think I’m crazy for going on a road trip with the current status of the nation. But life is an adventure, and we need to get out there. I think one of the best things we can do is get fresh air and be in the sun right now, but that’s just me.
Going back to cell coverage, it has been pretty terrible. That is until my current location in BLM land. The cool part is that most everyone is super friendly and cool. And this is even though I have CA license plates.
Yes, this happens. Or, like last night, I had a few options on what to do, and nothing was open. Then it was 10 pm, and I finally found a camping spot (same place I’m at right now).
I decided a changed mindset is a better way to go. Instead of I’m lost, which, if you think about it, you are truly never lost. You change your mindset and say that you are, just “Temporary Misplaced.” It’s all how you look at it.
Along with not no cell reception, I’m noticing my phone doesn’t always like to work as it should. I made sure I downloaded maps before leaving, but sometimes my phone just wants to act like it does not understand anything. Trying to select something on the phone and it does it’s own thing, for example. Technology can be super frustrating. I wonder if it has to do with everyone being online and on their cell phones, and maybe that bogs down the internet overall.
One application I downloaded that has proven to be one of the best, I think I’ve mentioned it before, is AllTrails. One of the best apps I have, and when I get on a hike, I haven’t gotten lost once. I even go off-trail to get a picture or two, and the app gets me right back on track. Today, at Arches, there were two paths to take. I started walking on one of them, looked at AllTrails, and realized I needed to go the other way. That was so cool and helped me know where I was. It’s nice knowing the app will tell me where to go and even has information on where the trailhead is. There are always some excellent comments others have left that are worth reading.
I have also found that being temporarily misplaced allows me to explore more of the areas I’m in. You can find some cool things off the beaten path. Even today, I sat down under one of the fantastic arches and didn’t do anything. I just listened to the crazy wind and looked at the tremendous views. It was perfect. It just reminded me that no matter your situation, sometimes you need just to stop and take a few breaths.
Where I Have Been So Far
The weather has been fun during this excursion. It was snowing when I was packing up my car, getting ready to leave. But I managed to get everything in, and I’m one of those over-packer folks. I then drove to the Grand Canyon, I have never been there before, and it was terrific. Not sure if I mentioned it was snowing! Yep, I even woke up in my car with a few fresh inches of snow on top (and the road covered on what I drove down, so that was fun too). I walked around and ended up driving to the other side of the park. The best part of not having any solid plans or payments anywhere to stay is I just kept driving.
I ended up going straight to Zion and stayed for a few days. I love it out there, and it’s defiantly one of my happy places. Zion was super cold, my second morning it got down to about 23 degrees. Then there was rain in the forecast. So I looked up a few places (hotels, motels, Airbnb, etc.) and found a nice hotel for a reasonable price. So the next day, as it was raining, I sat in a relaxing room, did my laundry in the sink, and got my batteries charged up.
My next day was going to a few National Parks, including Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef. Both of these parks are amazing and beautiful. There was still a lot of snow, but it was beautiful. I planned on camping near Capital Reef, but sometimes you can only do so much research. The spots I picked out were not the best. So I decided to move on and head to Moab and Arches National Park.
The sun was setting, and I was able to find a rest stop (another excellent place to crash for the night, helps that I have my Rav set up to sleep inside of it, with curtains). The downside of rest stops is that they can be loud. Someone decided to have their generator on for the entire time, so I ended up leaving. The sad thing is I have found out a lot of the BLM land has been closed. At least in Utah. I was happy to find one of the BLM roads did not have any postings. I also realized that everyone seemed to be there. I drove a few miles and found a place that I could barely see anyone and set up for the night. It was one of the best places I had found. The cherry on top is that I have cell reception! Game changer and score!
So I woke up very close to Moab last night. I played around today and think I will tomorrow as well. I was even able to order food at the Moab Brewery and have a tasty beverage. Their burgers are amazing!
Now, sadly to say, my laptop is about to die. I have a remarkable power station called Jackery in the back (I have the Explorer 240), but I think I will finish this up tomorrow.
I am so amazed at this world we live in. There are so many amazing things to get outside and see. Having this opportunity has been a blessing and treat (even though I can’t do everything I planned, damn virus). I am very thankful for this opportunity and want to thank everyone for their support, thoughts, and prayers.
Most importantly, thanks to my Mum. Thanks for all your support over the years and even more so during this crazy crossroads in my life. Having the ability to pack up and go is super exciting, and it’s nice to know I have the support.
I think the best part of the last week has been focused on the present. It’s crazy to me how many times we wish our lives away. Or if you happen to get a week or two off of work, you hurry and go on a vacation just to go back to the job. I think no matter what, we are always thinking about or helping out our employers. Having this time to just focus on the NOW has been amazing. It’s also the first trip that I can do what I want and go where I want. I just have to remember to head back to CA at some point.
There is always something for us to do. Even if we are stuck in our homes and not doing what we want, I have found when you are doing things solo, you can make all the decisions. There is also a lot of time to reflect and read. It has helped me to slow down and focus on the now. Not to mention reading is excellent, and I’ve wanted to do more of it.
That’s All For Now
Thanks for reading this post! At first, I was thinking about staying on one topic, but then it turned into this. I did say at the beginning I make no promises. I guess that happens.
If you have been to this area and want to let me know of some cool places, let me know in the comments below. Also, let me know if you want me to post or write about anything specific. I’m all ears (assuming I can get on my computer).
I will say writing this as the sunset (and now it’s dark) is pretty rad. I can see some stars are coming out what I would give to have a job working remotely. I think that might be what I’m truly made for. Then this could be every day!