West Trip: Getting to Moab

Somehow the summer got away from me and I never got around to posting more about our vacation out west. Well, I mentioned it, and then I told you about visiting family in Cute W’s family hometown and hiking around the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. But that was all just the first week of a two week extravaganza, so there’s much more.

Part of the reason why I never got around to posting is that I wrote quite a bit about the particulars in a bunch of articles for KidsOutAndAbout. I was super-fortunate to work with the Discover Moab folks who helped me score some great experiences to review, and I wanted to make sure all of those folks were represented first. You can see general information and links to a bunch of my reviews over on KidsOutAndAbout.

When we planned our vacation, we knew that we were spending a week with Cute W’s family, and then Cute W said, “As long as we’re spending all this money to go out west, we should check out some national parks or do the Grand Canyon or something.” Which, okay, yes. So we ended up booking our flights so that we had a week-long space on the calendar between saying good-bye to family in Colorado and catching a plane in Las Vegas a week later, and we set about figuring out what to do where. We figured that the Grand Canyon was a must-see, and then we just looked on the map to try to come up with what to do in between Colorado and the Grand Canyon. All of which I’m explaining because it wasn’t like either of us started out saying, “I’m dying to visit Moab, Utah.” But, you guys? Moab, Utah, turned out to be completely awesome. We spent four days there, and we’d totally go back for a week.

We started our visit with a big ol’ drive to get there. We’d rented a car and it pretty much barely fit all four of us and all of our stuff. Along with your usual clothes and shampoo and such, we had a bunch of camping equipment with us. Plus, we’d just finished hiking and camping with family, so they loaded us down with a bunch of their leftovers. And we were in, I guess you’d call it a sedan? It wasn’t super-spacious. We were trying to be thrifty. The girls were not super-psyched. The drive was excellent, though, because there was so much to see as we drove. Before we even made it out of Colorado, we made a stop at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. I’d never even heard of the place before we started researching our trip, but it was almost exactly halfway along our drive, which made the timing excellent. And then it turned out to be surprisingly cool.

Colorado 2015-07413

We didn’t do any major hiking–just parked alongside and checked out the overlooks–but you could walk right up to the edge of the canyon, and the view was amazing. It completely freaked M out, though. At one point, Cute W was leaning forward to take some pictures and M practically yelped, “Dad, watch out! You have a family!” We have some pictures of the three girls, J and I grinning and M between us, grimacing and cringing in fear. She’s usually such a bad-ass, so seeing her like that was pretty hilarious.

It was a fun spot, and we enjoyed exploring along the edge.

1Katie peeking black canyon

And by “we” I mean, three out of four of us enjoyed exploring along the edge.

The craziest part was that there were two climbers who were in the middle of practically-vertical canyon wall. It looked like a girl and a guy, with the girl either injured or panicking. All of which was happening across a yawning chasm while a bunch of us tourists were pointing and wondering how it would go. And I have no idea, because we left before they made substantial progress.

As we explored, J was very excited about taking plenty of photographs.

1girls looking over black canyon

Cute W and M were literally back in the car, ready to go, when J found a bunny. And of course, she needed to take many, many pictures of the bunny

1bunny at Black Canyonand she kept taking pictures in the car, too.

1car view

We still had hours to go to get to Moab.

It was nighttime when we finally arrived at Moab, and we were immediately excited when we found the spot where we were staying. The location was awesome, and it was pretty dang cute inside the house and in the garden, too. I wrote a review for KidsOutAndAbout, which you can see here, but here’s one of the pictures that didn’t appear in the review:

1Moab cottage interior

It was actually quite awesome to have the little desk/dataport set-up in the living room, although I pretty much tripped on the edge of the tile for the entire stay. But the hands-down best part was that it was a quick walk to the main street. We dropped our stuff off and headed to a nearby frozen yogurt place, then ate it outside while watching lightning in the distance. It was a great start.




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