Week 20: More Exciting Adventures in Moab, Utah
No matter how many days I spend outside exploring, Mother Earth still surprises me and offers me moments of awe.
A life without awe is bleak and empty.
He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed. Albert Einstein
It’s with awe that we can fill up our souls with joy, wonder, love and curiosity. It’s our connection to life.
When I’m traveling and constantly finding reasons to feel awe, I feel as if I am completely alive and there is no other way for me to live.
This week it was the moon suddenly appearing behind the snow capped mountain. It peaked out as a sliver of luminosity which bought exclaims as to, “what is that? is that the moon rising.”
We all watched in awe as it very quickly appeared in full over the peaks.
Then the next night, the same awe appeared, this time leading to curiosity for us.
How come it is appearing now an hour or so after it did last night?
Proving to us that we still have so much to learn and to not worry too much about the science behind it, just appreciate the magic it carries.
Our group of about 30 people chatting around the fires stopped to watch and for five minutes there was silence as we watched that full moon peak out to let us know it was watching and happy that we saw her brilliance.
I will take care of you tonight.
These simple moments are what keep me exploring.
The ones that allow us to secretly connect with something so magnificent, yet really is never secretly hiding from us.
Create experiences that leave you in awe, for these will be the highlights of your life.
This week 20 wrap up of our USA road trip shares our adventures from Saturday to Friday.
I publish the posts on Sunday (I need a few days to prepare it!) More in-depth posts on each region with loads of tips and suggestions will be coming soon.
What we did this week in Moab
Of course, we maintained a good sense of balance this week between exploring and enjoying camp life.
Bike Riding the Colorado River
Is there anything more freeing and enjoyable than a bike ride beside a river through a beautiful canyon?
It was blissful to jump back on the bike for a little exploration down the scenic highway UT 128. There’s a 4 mile return paved bike path along the way.
So pretty and serene.
Oh, and we had Tim Tams as a snack break!! Bought off Amazon in preparation for our ANZAC Day party!!
Canyonlands National Park – Islands in the Sky
Canyonlands National Park is divided into three sections naturally by the Green and Colorado Rivers.
You can’t get to one section from the other from within the park. This week we explored the Islands in the Sky section, which is a plateau that feels like is in the sky.
It’s an easy place to explore.
There is a 34 mile round trip scenic drive that branches off into two roads. We only had time to explore one of the drives.
There are plenty of gorgeous viewpoints overlooking the canyon.
Across from the visitor center
Shafer Drive Overlook
We are now talking about taking the Beast down on those switchbacks. Well worth taking a gaze!
Green River Overlook
I was expecting a bit more wow here, especially as it’s considered a great sunset spot. I can see how it can be. The Green River was just a small sliver in the distance though.
I was hoping to see it more up close.
Buck Canyon Overlook
This offers quite an expansive view out over the canyon. It’s worth a look.
This is a 2 mile return hike along the rim of the canyon.
From here, you can see the White Rim, features in The Maze and The Needles, and distant mountains.
You can’t see both rivers at the end point as they are still far out in the distance but you can see the path they have carved.
Mesa Arch Trail
The best thing to do at Canyonlands Islands in the Sky is the Mesa Arch trail.
It’s an easy 0.5 loop trail. You’ll have gorgeous views the entire way and it’s fun getting your photo taken with the arch and peering over the edge of it.
Make sure you do it lying down on the outcropping of rocks so they protect you from falling and be safe about it!
Sunset at Dead Horse State Park
One of my favorite experiences in the USA is sunset at Dead Horse State Park.
While it was busier than when Craig and I did this in 2006, it’s still quite a hidden secret with few people around.
Pack a picnic, find a spot on the rim, pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy one of nature’s greatest gifts.
It’s an experience to remember.
Arches National Park – Delicate Arch Hike
We’re spending a couple of days in Arches National Park so this week we focused on the famous Delicate Arch.
It was a mildly challenging 3 mile return walk – challenging because it is uphill most of the way and it was our first real hot day in a long time and we were in high altitude.
We were all a little knackered after it, but it was well worth it.
Just look at this view:
I loved how you can get various perspectives from Delicate Arch from up close to far away and many different angles.
We also enjoyed the beautiful scenic drive to Delicate and several viewpoints.
We had a couple of days at the swimming pool, getting work done and working out at base camp while the kids played with many new friends that kept rolling on in for the Fulltime-Families Easter hangout.
There were plenty of campfires, s’mores, yoga, movies and games of dominoes.
We even enjoyed a couple of nice restaurant meals without kids!!
The benefits of traveling with friends is that we have a village helping to raise the kids. It meant Craig and I could go out for a delicious meal at Desert Bistro, the number 1 rated restaurant in Moab.
Although on the pricey side, the quality and ambiance was worth it, especially for a special occasion.
The girls went out for a equally delicious Thai meal at Thai Bella in Moab.
I was shocked this restaurant has only been open for three months, it was very well run, and the Thai was authentic. (Speaking from having lived in Thailand).
RV and Road Trip Lessons
- We have our four 125w solar panels working and fixed permanently on our roof!! It’s so awesome to now be energy efficient and have our batteries naturally charging all day long and when we tow. We still have two dead batteries we need to exchange so they can stay full for longer as we still have to run the generator for an hour or so each day to top them up. Thanks again to Craig Royal from Crazy Family Adventure all his solar help!
- Our 18 gallon portable waste tank (Thetford Smart Tote) we bought has been a lifesaver for helping us dump our grey and black tanks so we don’t have to pack up Goldie and move her. We’re learning how long we can last before they get full and are getting better each day at reducing our grey waste.
- Our two Igloo 6 gallon water jugs have also been a lifesaver for helping our water stay topped up. Every time we go into town we fill them up and all of our drinking bottles.
- We have two other small plastic jugs that we can easily fill up at drinking stations and then we use that water to fill up our Berkey water filter each day. That water we use for all our drinking. It’s quite a good system we have set up. The more water you can leave in your faucet and tanks the easier life is.
- The scrap yard can be a good place to find a fire pit. Jake found a cool fire pit so we could switch from the propane fires for wood ones here at the airport strip as you can’t build a wood fire on the ground.
Where we Stayed in Moab
For two weeks of the year, the old airport just south of Moab opens up for free camping.
RVs of all shapes and sizes line the sides of the airport strip. We arrived as a group of Escapers were finishing their meet up, and the Fulltime-Families were starting theirs AND the jeepers came in with all their models of jeeps and friends.
It’s Jeep Week in Moab, the biggest week of the year.
I think every jeep in the world is in town enjoying the incredible off-roading you can do here. They don’t mind parading them up and down the strip.
While the strip is nothing to get excited about, the surrounding mountain views are gorgeous. And those moon rises are something else.
Of course we are boondocking so no real amenities.
Each week, I include our travel related costs for the week.
I don’t include things like business costs, insurance, and souvenirs etc. That’s so personal that whatever I told you wouldn’t necessarily be true for you and your budget.
The following, apart from perhaps our groceries, will give you a reasonable estimate of costs related to travel.
If you are new to our weekly wrap, our costs each week are usually around $1,000 – $1,300. We’re really trying to stay under $1,000
- Fuel: $109
- Parking: $
- Uber: $
- Camping: $0 (yay)
- Park Fees: $20 (Dead Horse State Park)
- Tours: $
- Tickets: $
- Tips: $
Arches and Canyonlands would have cost us $30 each for a 7-day pass. We have a National Parks Pass which gives unlimited access to federal lands. It costs $80 a year.
It’s absolutely worth it for a trip like ours and saves us hundreds of dollars.
- Restaurants: $206
- Coffee: $22
- Groceries: $470
- Take out/ snacks: $22
- Alcohol: $30
We eat a mostly whole foods, organic diet, which means our grocery bills are higher than what would be typical.
Don’t forget with eating out costs, tip will be included in the prices and the odd glass of wine or two.
RV supplies and living
- Laundry: $15
- Firewood: $ 10
- Propane: $
- Supplies: $1
- Dump: $
- Postage: $43
Total paid by us: $1022
Where to Next?
We’re staying in Moab for another week.
There is so much to do in this area and we want to soak up a little sun and relax a little more. And there are loads of kids here for this Fulltime-Families Rally so the girls are having fun.
This week we’ll be exploring more of Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, and possibly doing a 4×4 jeep tour and canyoneering!
Videos of the trip coming out soon. Subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss it. We’re now releasing our road trip videos.
Check out our latest video of the incredible Verde Canyon Railroad journey in Sedona