It was the big drive day.
After all, USA is pretty huge I mean, it stretches from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic. Granted we would only be staying in southwest USA but it’s still pretty huge and we had many miles to rack up before we reached our next destination of Moab.
We wouldn’t be doing a big activity like horseback riding in the Bryce Canyon or even hiking to Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park during the day. It was going to be one of the easiest days on the trip and yes, it included delicious pies that almost exploded the yumminess scale. (More on that later)
Today, it would just be in the minibus staring at the desert lands of Utah go by.
It was just what I needed. I wanted to stare out and appreciate America’s scenery while we played American country music or perhaps ‘Uptown Funk’ (oh, yes) whilst stopping at various key destinations in this Mormon state.
But first, we needed stirring music to get us on the road, inspired about this proud country thanks to an American football team who decided to see us off from our fast-food breakfast place:
A video posted by Ed Rex (@rexyedventures) on
Hitting the road, I could finally get a sense of how big America thanks to the highways that carved across the desert plains in Utah. And Highway 19 could give us that wonder.
So the Trek America tour guides decided to fly the flag on the side of the car, still buoyant on the spirit of ‘Merica’ and drawing enthusiastic beeps of the horn from passing cars. If I did it in the UK today, I would be treated with disdain and incredulous looks. We aren’t outwardly proud of our country as American’s are for theirs.
Capitol Reef Park
A few hours later, nose pressed to the window (I may have been napping at times) watching the world go by, we reached our first stop of the day to grab some lunch and this was Capitol Reef National Park.
With colourful canyons, monoliths and overpowering ridges, you could be hard pressed to see why it’s called Capitol Reef. The white domes and cliffs somehow looks like the United States Capitol Building and the word reef means to any rocky barrier to travel. Yeah, I kinda scratched my head too.
But if anything, I thought the area was pretty impressive to the naked eye.
But we didn’t undertake any hiking because you simply had to go up the road, after lunch, to a little house on the prairie called the Gifford Homestead…
Those Delicious American Pies
‘Ohhh, this is so good!’
I watched the others moan with delight as they tucked into their American pies on the green grass at the foot of the Gifford Homestead. Breaking the crust with just a fork, different flavours wafted under nose, tantalising my decision on which fruit to have in mine. Apple? Sweet Cherry or Blueberry? I was stuck. But luckily for me, waiting until the last minute was perfect as I got to taste a sweet sample from each offering to ultimately decide that the Sweet Cherry was for me. I was buzzing to have a whole pie to myself.
I may have groaned with delight loudly, ran to the rest of the group to greedily chomp it down in front of them, they bereft of not taking the opportunity to have their own sweet delicious American pie. Now I understood why the fabled pie is high up on people’s foodie wish lists.
It was just enough to send me into a food nap to sleep the journey to our accommodation for the next couple of days in Moab.
Moab is the adventure capital of Southwest USA. It’s no surprise seeing as it has got two National Parks right on its doorstep: Arches National Park and Dead Horse Point National Park. Offering an array of adrenaline spiking activities ranging from mountain biking to paragliding, it’s the perfect base for anyone looking to connect with the great outdoors.
We stayed at the Redstone Inn and promptly became delighted at the log cabin vibe of the place.
Arches National Park Sunset Hike
Shortly after arriving in Moab, it was back on the bus again to head to Arches National Park, only two minutes drive away. We would be undertaking a sunset hike to the infamous Delicate Arch and watch the warm rays strike the beautiful land as we tuck into a late picnic. Check out the pics.
Walking back in the dark was one of the highlights of the iTrekHere trip. Why? You only had to look up. Stars and galaxies streamed across the sky making you feel part of a bigger universe. That was pretty special.
Arches National Park
After a few drinks back in Moab that night, we slept rather soundly, so much so that I completely slept through my alarm and had a wake up call from Tommy, the tour guide himself! But luckily, the scrumptious breakfast at Wake and Bake Cafe round the corner had a zingy smoothie to wake me up.
But there was no time to lose as we would be checking out the best of Arches National Park and Dead Horse Point National Park. Remember the film ‘127 Hours’? That real story actually happened in Dead Horse Point National Park. So, you could appreciate it from the ground that safety is paramount whichever National Park you go. Tell people where you are going if you are on your own and get them to send out a search party if you’re not back in time.
We checked out various landmarks within the two parks and it was just really nice to relax within them. My favourite definitely has to be the Windows Arches where as you sit from within, you’ll be given great iews of the valleys that stretch out before you.
When I Lost My Partners of 13 Years in Moab
Okay, a rather traumatic experience happened while I was climbing down from the Windows Arches.
I lost my partners of 13 years.
With deep and profound regret, my walking shoes fell apart on me.
They have been round the world with me for the last four years. They have seen me undertake my first geography field trip at the tender age of 16. They have stood with me in great stead, battling the elements that would slowly grind down the tough defences of these amazing shoes.
But it was that fateful day as they walked on the ground on their sixth continent that one of them simply sheared in half as I pushed myself from one rock to another.
I was pretty shocked and I do confess that I nearly fell into a deep spiralling depression that one of my favourite things that I take with me was lost to me forever.
Trudging back to the minibus with the broken shoe flapping before me, I headed back into Moab where the best outdoor stores would be.
I bought new walking shoes during my free time in Moab. But would it be as faithful as my last pair? Who knows.
iTrekHere Video – Sand Flat Hummer Tour
So, it’s time to see another video from Trek America and Travizeo, this time excelling themselves with footage of a fantastic adrenaline activity – the Off-road Hummer Tour on the Sand Flats. Check it out below.
After the Hummer Tour, we were treated to a fabulous Pizza Party at a Pizza Restaurant in Moab. Now, this is America, people. They don’t do things by half. So, when my pizza arrived, my eyes positively bulged. It was GI-NORMOUS! And guess what, guys? I couldn’t eat it all. That’s a pretty awesome feat on the restaurant’s part if they have presented me with a meal I couldn’t finish!
I’m already feeling full, just looking at the picture!
So, my time in Moab has come to an end. I’m glad I came here. Looking at the itinerary beforehand, I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it as much. But I did. It’s a cracking corker of a place and I just wished I had another day here so I can dive into another adrenaline activity… perhaps base jumping?!
Check out more of my iTrekHere Trip Articles: