Moab in the time of Coronavirus

When schools shut down, and before we actually knew how bad this pandemic was going to be, Natalie and I hightailed it to Moab for a few days of hiking and R&R in the sun.  Looking back, it probably wasn’t the most responsible choice, but at the time it seemed like a great idea.  We made sure to bring all of our own food so that we wouldn’t have to shop or eat out while we were in Moab.

We arrived on a Tuesday and headed straight for the most ironic hike in the world–Corona Arch.  It was a beautiful, 70 degree day.  The sky was blue and the contrast with with the red rocks was stunning.  Dash turned out to be the best little hiker!  He’d just scramble along, and seemed to have a great time.  We always love to spend time with our cousins, and it makes hiking so much more fun!  Because of all the recent restrictions, the trail was not crowded at all.  2020-03-17 14.23.522020-03-17 16.09.42-12020-03-17 16.00.462020-03-17 16.19.38The hike had some fun and challenging parts–like hanging on to this handrail while hiking straight down a rock face.  2020-03-17 16.54.45It was about 6pm when we got done hiking and starting heading toward our Airbnb.  I hadn’t had any cell service while hiking and had a few messages from Rusty.  I called and he told me that Moab was shutting down to visitors starting at 10pm that night.  After that, no one would be allowed to check into a hotel or Airbnb.  We slid in right under the deadline!

The next day we headed into Arches (Which was open with no fee!) to hike Delicate Arch.  It was stunning.  I bet there aren’t many times when you can get a totally clear shot without a million other people in it.  2020-03-18 11.44.42Blake said he was too scared to hike out under the arch.  Watch how his tune changes as the trip progresses.  2020-03-18 11.48.342020-03-18 11.53.28-12020-03-18 11.55.46

Then onto the Fan Favorite: Sand Dune Arch. The boys would have stayed here all day.

2020-03-18 14.20.28-1-12020-03-18 14.38.532020-03-18 14.22.02Halle got bored before the boys were done, so she came back to the car. Much to her delight, there was a tour bus parked behind us and she could leech off of their wifi . 2020-03-18 14.47.12

We explored lots and lots of places throughout the day, like this one that I can’t remember it’s name. 2020-03-18 15.34.122020-03-18 15.24.56but in the interest of not posting 1000 pictures, here’s our other favorite.  Double Arch.  2020-03-18 16.02.17-2As you can see, Blake conquered his fear of heights.  Now I was the one having anxiety! He and Leo scrambled and climbed and had the best time.  2020-03-18 16.14.18And the craziest thing that happened today–Utah had an earthquake!  We were too far south to feel it, but it was a 5.7 magnitude with several aftershocks.  Coronavirus and an earthquake.  Wow.  Because of the quake most of SLC shut down and so Michael came to join us.  We watched Independence Day with the kids–we wanted an end-of-days story, but it was a bit too scary for Blake.  I was sharing a room with Halle and Blake wanted to sleep on the floor because he was scared of the aliens from the movie.  Halle was having none of that. I woke up at 11:30 to her trying to pull him by his feet out of the bedroom.  She said he was snoring.  So….I got to sleep on the pull out couch with Leo while Blake slept on the floor next to us.  Rough night.

The next day we headed to Goblin Valley.  This place is kid paradise!  So many things to climb!  So many places to hide!  Rain threatened most of the day, but it held off until just before we were leaving.  We had to make a mad dash to the car as rain and hail came pelting down.  2020-03-19 14.55.482020-03-19 14.41.152020-03-19 14.02.06IMG_5478in our conversation in the car Halle said the funniest thing. She said, “I had a dream last night that I swore, and now I legit have second hand guilt.” We all got a good kick out of that and discussing the merits of dream swears.

It rained for a lot of the drive back to Moab, but cleared up enough that we decided to stop at Canyonlands.  And we’re sooo glad we did.  We made the short hike to Mesa arch and we had it completely to ourselves.  What a view!  Josh didn’t want to leave.  He kept saying, “We might never have this experience again!  Let’s stay!”  When we woke up again it was Leo’s 8th birthday! How fun to get to spend it in Moab with cousins.  We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and blew out the candles. The kids had really been wanting to stop at Lop’s Pop Shop, so I treated everyone for Leo’s birthday.  On our way into Arches the kids were trying to come up with a way to get more than 3 wishes from a Genie. Blake came up with the winning idea. Since you can just wish for more wishes he would say, “I WISH I could wish for more wishes.” We spent probably 30 min discussing if this would work it not. Opinions were very divided. Then one last hike before we had to hit the road home.  And this might have been my favorite!  First stop, Landscape arch.  So. So. So. Beautiful. Then we continued up the trail where we had to boulder scramble and jump over water to reach our destination.  And of course, I don’t remember the name of this one.  Let’s call it, Arch above Landscape.  Dash was such a trooper, but there was one spot on the way down where his tiny little legs just couldn’t make it.  Michael to the rescue!  Dash was so happy.  Then it was time to say goodbye and drive back to CO in a snowstorm.  Yipee.  I’m so glad we did this.  It was a bright spot to look back on in the coming weeks when we were quarantined at home.

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