Wednesday, September 9, 2020

flying solo // UT, AZ & NM road trip

I'm done waiting for someone to go places with. Time to get out and fly solo.

My entire trip was about arriving at sunset. The end of the day. The perfect time. No matter what I planned I always arrived in my destination at the end of the day. Witnessing the most gorgeous endings. Thinking about my ending and ending this trip with a new beginning.


The 6 hour drive from Denver to Moab ended up being 7 due to a detour. But what a detour! I’ve never been through Loveland pass and I’m glad I got to see it and really want to go back. I passed by the Continental Divide and there looked like a fun hike! Adding that to the Google Map!

I arrived at Under Canvas Moab 7 hours after departure. It really was camping! There is just a bed in the tent! I was told to watch out for rattlesnakes and scorpions! The tent was cozy and equipped with misters! Much needed since it was 100 degrees. I was not prepared for that. I quickly changed into shorts. 

Under Canvas Moab gave me a great local guide. I knew I wanted to see Arches but it was a nice perk to have some local things to see too. I tried to adventure off to see dinosaur tracks, but that hike was too intimidating + it was almost 5:30PM and I wanted to get into Arches. The guide said allow at least 3 hours. So I hustled over. 

I stopped at a few places quickly. Realized I was rushing and slowed down to hike up to Windows. That was worth it. Then I headed over to the famous Delicate Arch. There was a viewing point that was an easy hike so I decided to start there. Once at the viewing point, I could see it was so pretty and crowded, I was worried about going all the way up there. But with an hour left until sunset I decided to do it! This is what I came for right?!

Wow was this a hike! It starts off easy enough then is full incline on rocks for about 2 miles. I am very happy that I live in Denver and have run and hiked there. Otherwise I don’t think I would have made it. I got to the top right at sunset and it was pure magic. I quickly took some pictures. But made myself sit there and enjoy the accomplishment. This is what I had come to do. A difficult hike that pushed me physically. A view that was awe inspiring. A time to do it alone, surrounded by people. 

Happy to have made the trek. I’m so glad that my friend Jess gave me a headlamp to use during my adventure. Because I needed it on the way down. Round trip was probably about 1 1/2 hours. I really hustled up and down. Starting an hour before sunset was the perfect timing! For weather and peak viewing.

I made it back to my tent by 9pm and it was time to try the bathroom situation. I survived!! The shower was actually warm, heated by the sun all day. Boy did I need it after all those hikes. Refreshed I hopped into bed and offloaded my heart. I really wanted to spend some time on this trip reflecting on my past and what I learned so I can move forward. This trip for me is all about doing it alone, seeing what I want to see and coming out at the end ready for my new life.


Time to head to the Grand Canyon!! 

I think that my experience in Moab was so perfect, nothing was going to live up. Driving to the Grand Canyon I stopped at Mexican Hat, that was a fun thing to see! I love being able to stop wherever I want!

Then I drove down the wrong way and made my drive about an hour longer. I had to drive through Flagstaff where Ocean Eyes went to school. My maintenance light came on, even though I JUST got a ton of work done on the car and I COULD NOT find Under Canvas Grand Canyon. Worst signage ever.

All that and I was a bit hangry. The front desk didn’t golf cart me to my tent like in Moab, so I got lost finding parking. I had to carry all my stuff to the tent and finally was able to eat. Wow. What a day. But I was still glad I came. 

After lunch I drove up to the Grand Canyon. Wow did it feel commercialized driving up to the gate. There was a huge line to get in. 

But the moment that I walked up and saw it for the first time. Everything else that happened prior melted away. 

I started right and there was hardly anyone there. I turned back left and there were a lot of people but I didn’t feel too overwhelmed. I took my time. Took my pictures and sat taking it all in. 

What a site. 

I was there for sunset again and that was magical. I am so glad I was able to see. If I would have arrived through my miss-turn, I wouldn’t have seen the sunset. Meant to be.

Under Canvas Grand Canyon has a better lobby than Moab. It was definitely a bigger camp site. But other than that Moab was miles away better. Their bathrooms were better, the grounds were cleaner, they were more helpful, more COVID friendly. I’m ready to move on. Off to the Crater and Taos! 


Quick stop at Arrows. BTS, my car bummer and water bottle made for great tripods!

Walking up to the Crater entrance and my heart beat faster. I was excited for the entire trip but this was something otherworldly. Making you realize how insignificant it all is. I stood there in awe for about 30 minutes. Then it was too hot. Gotta run!

Noon thirty driving my last leg to Taos, cue the tears. I’ve been a huge fan of Gavin Degraw since his first single. I remember where I was when I heard it for the first time and it hit me in my heart. I was driving into Washington DC for sightseeing and I just needed to know who this was.

I finally got to see him in 2015 live and it was worth the wait. I didn’t need him again until just recently. And on this road trip he was my spirit guide. His new to me 2016 album became my soundtrack, along with all his other songs. 

Hyped up from my viewing of the crater and listening to his live album. I’m not sure the last time I listened to it, if ever? It came to his song Follow Through. He had some amazing words prior and it struck me like a ton of bricks “People who do, just do.” Proceeding into the song, my heart felt it and this was my boundary breakthrough. You have to follow through. 

From then on,  I only listened to him and his words. Purely healing to my soul.

I arrived in Taos at sunset. 

I immediately sat down and wrote. My cups are overflowing and I couldn’t wait to share. My inspiration has returned and I’m embracing it.

This is it. What I came to do. Be alone. Discover my heart, soul. Be at peace. 


I slept in. Brewed a french press. Packed up. Sat on the deck with my cup. Thinking about how far I’ve come. In 2020 and since 2015. 5 years later and I’m ready to embrace the journey. Consciously.


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