Friday, April 17, 2015

Moab Family Invasion

The following morning we went to Big Bend to boulder. I had delusions that maybe I could boulder a little bit but with no luck. The wrist wouldn't cooperate. Sigh. So I watched everyone else boulder instead. And moped. A little. For the afternoon we ventured back into Arches. The following morning Isaac and Jason hit the short Slickrock trail again. Aaron and I hiked to one of the highest points Aaron had picked out for us to summit. The top was littered with huge potholes which will, millions of years from now, become arches. Along the way we met up with our bikers and I watched in amazement as Isaac rode down a series of ledges known in our family as the infamous clunkety-clunk. It was so cool to see him in action. In the afternoon my parents and one of my brothers with his family arrived in Moab so we went spent the afternoon in the pool at their hotel before heading back to Mill Creek for an evening hike. The following morning we slipped out early to hike Gatherer Canyon before it got too hot out. Since the temperatures were forecast to hit 88 that day, we spent the afternoon, again, at the pool with my younger siblings. The following morning my dad and little brother joined us at our campsite to bike Slickrock with Jason and Isaac. Aaron had another, even higher, summit for us to conquer that day so we set out on foot at the same time as the bikers. Four hot hours later Aaron and I stumbled back in the nick of time so we could get Isaac back down to cell service to Skype into his computer programming class again. The next day we hiked Hunter Canyon again with my parents. My dad was totally blissed out on the red cliff views as we wandered up the canyon. We stopped at a gorgeous spot along the stream to let the kids play and explore. After spending the afternoon with my family at the pool we bid them farewell and headed back to our campground where we enjoyed a lovely sunset up on the red rocks behind our campsite. Thanks for meeting us in Moab. We're so glad the stars finally aligned and we were able to meet you in Slickrock paradise. The following morning we waved goodbye to Moab, crossed our fingers and hoped Sylvia would remain functional all the way home.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Moab 2015

So after the usual 2-3 visits to the mechanic and enduring questions about whether or not we were going to "try" to drive Sylvia to Moab, we hit the road. Destination? Moab. As we detected new taps and clacks along the way we spent the first driving day playing the "What's the Noise, Boys?" game. As the day progressed my anxiety rose and my throat intermittently tightened and began to close. Does that mean I suffer from PTSD from all of our random strandings and breakdowns along the road in the camper van? I wonder why all of our friends unbelievingly ask us if we're taking her on yet another long distance trip? What? Last trip was only a small fire, a flat tire, a dead battery and the beginning sounds of a failing CV joint. And the time before that it was a new engine....and the time before that the wheel almost fell off....and the time before that it was an engine rebuild....and....maybe I can see their point. But we love Sylvia and they way she makes us feel...when she's not acting up. So here we are again.

Happily, in spite of the new clacks, we made it to Moab without incident. After snagging the last campsite in the uber-busy Slickrock campground, we didn't waste any time and hit Slickrock the first afternoon in two parties, Isaac and Jason on bikes, and Aaron and I on foot. My wrist isn't healed enough to bike so it was hiking only for me this trip. The following morning was consumed by a work meeting and skyping into the boys' computer science class. In the afternoon we managed to squeeze in a hike up Moonflower canyon and then hiked Mill Creek Canyon where we witnessed drunk college students plunging off of cliffs into a pool of water below a waterfall. Scary. The next morning Isaac and Jason biked the whole Slickrock loop. It was Isaac's first time completing the whole loop and he totally rocked it. Yay Isaac! We spent the afternoon in Arches at Sand Dune Arch where the boys launched themselves repeatedly off of a giant boulder into the deep sand. We spent the following morning stuck at a gas station with our mechanic on the line trying to figure out why Sylvia wasn't starting. When she finally started running again we anxiously crept down the steep and winding Kane Creek road to Hunter Canyon where we enjoyed a lovely hike along the creek bottom among budding trees and the sounds of canyon wrens. The following morning we got stuck parked on the street outside the restaurant where we had eaten lunch when Sylvia, again, wouldn't start. There was another Westy parked in front of us so I compared stranding stories with its owner while Jason searched the Internet for a fix. Luckily he brilliantly found a fix and we were up and running again. This time we decided to stay on paths well-travelled since Sylvia was intermittently not starting so we headed to the Corona Arch hike.

Click here for photos.