MOAB UTAH, Round Two

One of the perks of being married to a teacher, are the breaks that he gets throughout the year. Anyone who knows my husband, knows that he cannot sit still and is always planning our next trip.

Living in Michigan, where winter seems to run forever (from October 1 through May 1,) we are always itching to get to the heat by the time Spring Break arrives. With this in mind most people (Including the Morris Clan) flock to the south, seeking out the sun and warm temperatures!

So, where to go?

MOAB, UTAH!

If you’ve never been before, let me try and paint a picture of what Moab is like. Red Cliffs. Snow covered mountains in the distance. The Colorado river flowing through town. TWO National Parks just outside of town- Canyonlands and Arches. An Infinite amount of mountain biking and hiking trails….basically an active individual’s dream!

It was a no brainer that Moab was going to be our destination for spring break. Kwin and I went out to Moab two years ago (plus Kwin has been to it three times before that too,) we just love it. The road trip out there is long….but exciting (yes its about 25 hours straight…but road trips are fun with your best friend!) 

Going into any vacation, we try to have a “skeleton plan” of things that we want to do. But it’s also important to us to be spontaneous…because spontaneousity is what makes life fun, am I right? With this being said, I’d like to share some of our favorite things to do while in Moab!

  • Sunrise and Sunset Hiking– With the two hour time difference, it’s pretty easy for us to be awake in-time for a good sunrise!
    • Some of our favorite sunrises are in Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park (beware, that A LOT of people also like to see the sunrise at these parks, so it’s definitely busy…GET THERE EARLY.) My advise would be to see the sunrise at Delicate Arch and Mesa Arch at least once in your life, because the view really is incredible! But after that, there are plenty of other secret spots to watch the sunrise that would be a little more intimate and less crowded too!

Some of our favorite sunsets are Corona Arch, Moab Rim Trail, or really hiking up on of any cliff you can find! You’re in the middle of the desert so the sunsets are pretty epic from anywhere.

Mountain Biking– Moab is one of the best mountain biking places we’ve ever been too! Honestly, while driving through town I don’t think you drive past a car without a bike on it. They have biking for all levels…but mostly moderate-to-advanced trails! I remember when we were there two years ago I was terrified to do any of the trails because of how “technical” they can be; But this year (with the encouragement of Kwin) I went past my fears and just DID IT! I’m glad I did because the trails were HARD but SO MUCH FUN!

    • Slickrock Trail– Yup, I DIDN’T do this…but I did hike this one. Kwin and our friend Joe crushed this trail, and had so much fun! It’s an advanced trail with some pretty crazy descents and climbs all on sandstone rock.
    • Canyonlands– The drive to the national park from the town of Moab (which is about 30 miles) is littered with trails! A combination of sandstone cliffs and desert riding. These trails range from moderate to advanced and were a blast.

Klondike Trails– Something unique about these trails is that you are riding near or on dinosaur tracks! Thats right, I said dinosaur tracks! Something unique about Moab and it’s terrain is that the sandstone is actually petrified sand dunes, so the geographical history behind the land is pretty awesome! Kwin and I really enjoyed these trails-note they are definitely more on the advanced side, but walking part of the trail is not too bad because of the views!

    • Porcupine Rim Trails– Again, a trail that I DIDN’T do…but Kwin and Joe absolutely killed it. The crazy thing about this trail is that you descend DOWN a mountain about 4000ft. I’ve hiked part of this trail, and it blows my mind that people can bike down it…crazy people!
  • Petroglyphs– The Native American’s- believed to be the Pueblo People- who use to live off the land in Moab left behind some pretty cool pieces of artwork (rock carvings made by hammer and chisel.) Petroglyphs are believed to be a way of communicating and/or celebrating achievements. You can’t see them everywhere, but always be on the look out for the cool pieces of artwork while hiking!

Camping– Kwin and I have created a pretty cool rig that we live in while traveling. With our Aliner camper, an EZ-up Canopy, Solar Panel’s to help keep our camper battery charged, Solar heated shower bags, and all the water and food one could need, we are able to be completely unplugged and off the grid! Camping can be so fun when you have a good set up(:

Being with friends– This year we were lucky to have another family join us…the Shorts! Trips are always so much fun when you’re with other people, and able to make memories with them too. Joe, Leah, Simon and Elmer thanks for making this trip a great one!

As much as we love Michigan, it’s always so sad when vacations are coming to an end (yes, the dogs were sad to be returning to snow again too.) The freedom and spontaneousity of life that vacations bring about are the best! Trips like this one are rejuvenating and make getting back into daily routines exciting. It also excites us for all the upcoming trips that we’ve got planned!

So, can anyone guess where we will be going for next years Spring Break?

If you guessed Moab…YOU’RE RIGHT!

Advertisement

Moab Adventures, Part 2

It has been a crazy couple of weeks since I last posted a blog..but jeez wedding planning is a lot of work!

I cannot believe it has almost been a month already since our trip to Moab, Utah. I miss the desert hot days, the scenic red rocks, and the sporadic nature of being on a road trip vacation. In fact, I’m already counting down the days until we are back out there next year for spring break!

Moab is most known for the National Parks that are found in town, but I would have to say that my favorite part of the trip was all the other adventures we did while out there!

SlickRock Mountain Bike Trail 

This bike trail is no joke. The whole terrain is slick rock, which means you grip to it so easily and can ride super fast. However, due to the “grippy” nature of the rocks the trail consists of lots of intense drops and climbs, riding along the mountain edge, sandpits, and other extreme obstacles. Slick rock was hands down one of the hardest trails that I have ever ridden, note I am a mediocre mountain biker. I did absolutely love the scenic views that the trail provided through out the entire 11 mile loop though. If you are a mountain biker I would highly recommend riding this trail!

Stand up Paddle Boarding the Colorado River 

As most of you may know, the Colorado river is not your typical calm and slow river. It is full of class 1-2+ rapids and travels at an average speed of 6mph. So, who in their right mind would want to SUP down that?

Kwin tells me that we need to scare ourselves once a day to feel alive; Well let me tell ya, this day was full of that! We pumped up our Tahoe SUP inflatable paddle boards about 12miles upstream from camp (which are super easy to travel with!) and hit the rapids.

IMG_1324.JPGAC2ED4D3-E418-4680-9190-86A8B4D29E9BIMG_1553

Other Great things about Moab 

Corona Arch 

5F4FDA07-CB68-42CC-B16C-E9870B9A24E1

This Arch was probably one of my favorites in Moab. I wish is was a little more sunny for an epic sunset, but the view and hike was still amazing.

Fischer Towers! 

 IMG_1415.JPGIMG_1396.JPG

Fischer Towers is just a little bit outside of Moab, but is beautiful (Especially at sunset). We stayed out and star gazed for awhile before heading back to camp.

Petroglyphs 

IMG_1438.JPG

You can find ancient Petroglyphs on almost every trail! Some of them dating back to the 1600’s.

Road Bike Trail 

IMG_1449.JPG

In Moab, they have bike trails everywhere. Really, you can bike to almost any destination you want which Kwin and I absolutely loved. Plus, can you beat the view of the La Sal Mountains in the background?

 Our Awesome Campsite, right on the Colorado River!

IMG_1190.JPG

Base camp was something hard to beat, especially being right on the colorado river and in the mountains!

FullSizeRender.jpg

IMG_1163.JPG

Canyon Lands and Arches National Parks-Moab, Utah!

We just returned home from our week long trip in Moab, Utah…and let me tell you, it was amazing! The Red Rocky mountains, warm desert air, La Sal Mountains in the horizon and just the environment was so awesome. Every day was exhausting and filled with lots of hiking, mountain biking, and just enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

In this blog I want to tell you about two of our days, which we spent in the National Parks in Moab. Theses are called Arches National Park, and Canyon Lands National Park.

Arches National Park 

Arches is known for its more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches; most commonly Delicate Arch and Landscape Arch!

We arrived to Arches just before sunrise and made our way back to Delicate Arch, guided by our headlamps, to catch sunrise. It is rated one of the best sunrise spots due to the way the sun hits the arch and the light glowing off the red rocks. It really was a breathtaking view and great way to start the day.

17629920_10104896025777012_456423466712079052_n

We then made our way to Devils Garden! This was my favorite part of Arches because of how beautiful the scenery was. We hiked the Primitive Loop Trail finding multiple Arches and making our way through a maze of red rock mountains (or Fins as they call them).

DSC02362

IMG_1133.JPG

Arches was full of great views, easy and extreme hiking and is definitely a place I will visit again in the future.

Canyon Lands National Park

Canyon Lands started out very similar to Arches with a headlamp guided sunrise hike. This time we made our way to Mesa Arch. This is National Geographically rated as one of the best sunrise locations in Moab! It definitely was beautiful, but because of its high ranking everyone seemed to be there.

DSC02370.jpg

From there we went to Grand Overlook Point where we hiked right along the cliffside. This trail is commonly known as “Island in the Sky” because how the cliff extends over a huge canyon, you could seriously see for miles!

17545201_10104879363368612_5695762629683964388_o

(Yes, Kwin is a bit of a dare devil and likes to hang off ledges that have a 400ft drop!)

Next on our list was a road bike to Dead Horse Point. We parked out car about 7 miles out from the main entrance and then rode in through the desert planes. The views were breath taking. From there we decided to do a trail run the rest of the way to the actual hairpin overlook of Dead Horse Point.

IMG_1185.JPG.jpeg

Spending a day in Canyon Lands is definitely not enough because of how large it is. I hope to be back there next year and can explore even more territory that we weren’t able to see!

Moab is lucky enough to not only have two National Parks within a couple miles from each other, but also some of the top ranked Mountain bike trails in the nation and infinite other hiking trails.  I can easily say that Moab now has a piece of my heart and I cannot wait to go back again!

Next Adventure in the Making, Utah!

Kwin and I are always scheming what our next adventure is going to be. Whether it be a quick weekend trip or something big, we’re always on the go.

“Take every chance you get in life, because somethings only happen once.”

IMG_0151.jpg

Our next adventure is going to be a road trip out to Moab, Utah!  There is something about the red rocks, sunny skies, mountainous terrain, and vast open spaces that we are both drawn to. Moab is one of Kwin’s favorite travel locations and I’m so excited to finally be getting out there. Being that Kwin has been to Moab so many times already he’s created a pretty great itinerary of must go places (but always leaving room for additions/new places we find!)

Itinerary

-Slick Rock    -Corona Arch     -Moab Rim Trail    -Canyon Lands     -Arches

-Fischer Towers      -Horse Shoe Rim    -Dinosaur Tracks    -Porcupine Rim

While in Moab we plan on setting up camp in our little camper along the Colorado River. We don’t let a second go to waste while traveling so our days will be filled with hiking, mountain biking, paddling/white water rafting on our Stand Up Paddle boards and eating good food at all the local places!

12973390_10103799836688732_3441287805079886705_o

Getting Ready

We are two and a half weeks out from leaving and have officially started prepping for the big trip. The adventure will start with a 24 hour road trip in our tightly packed truck, while pulling our camper along behind. It will be exhausting, especially the treacherous flat planes of Nebraska and Iowa, but worth it none the less.13782075_10207287638849001_3749703708066992300_n

 Kwin has been working on the camper all winter, making improvements so that everything runs smoothly.  We absolutely love our pop-up camper, as it is perfect for traveling and quick set up!

As a couple, Kwin and I are able to easily delegate tasks based on each others strengths and weaknesses. While Kwin is in charge of maintenance and itinerary planning, I usually take care of the little detail planning and getting everything else together .

What we will be bringing:

-Tahoe SUP inflatable paddle boards: http://www.tahoesup.com

-Mountain and Road Bikes

-Cooking utensils: portable grill, portable stove, pots, pans, eating utensils,

-Hiking gear

-Tent for backcountry camping under the stars one night

-Lots of other safety equipment: headlamps, bear spray, portable shower

-Dog gear: food, leash and collar, booties

-Electronics: power cords, camera, GoPro, Drone, portable charger, solar panels

-GROCERIES: must have lots of snacks (or usual plan is quick easy breakfast, lots of snacks during the day, BIG dinner)

The emotions that traveling brings about is something hard to describe. The butterfly’s in my stomach, difficulty sleeping, and only being able to focus on what is to come are only a few to list. As the time gets closer to leaving I can’t help but think about all the beautiful things we are going to experience and how lucky I am to be able to travel as often as I do. MOAB, HERE WE COME!