SO, when we last left off, J and I were exhausted from camping for just one night, because we're wimps, I guess. We found a terrific hotel and slept all afternoon.
When we woke up we decided we didn't have time for much, but we did have time for something, so we decided to drive along one of Moab's three scenic byways. We drove down Potash Road, because it was the shortest one, and we knew it was going to get dark pretty soon.
Potash Road is a special scenic byway for a lot of reasons:
1. It has "Wall Street" which is a stretch of the road where all the rock climbers go. As you drive by you get to see lots of people climbing.
2. It has pre-historic Native American rock paintings on some of the rock.*
3. It has two real, authentic, genuine dinosaur footprints. You can either trust that they're on the rock that the placard says, or you can hike up and see for yourself, which I did.
4. It has the...jug? arch? It's an arch on the side of a rock which makes it look like a handle.
5. It has an interesting potash collecting operation at the very end of the byway. Potash is used in gardens, or something like that.
6. Potash road goes along the Colorado river, which is sometimes pretty.
7. When you reach the end of the special scenic byway, you have to turn around and drive back, which gives you a chance to see all of the same things from a different angle!
We really liked Potash road. Way to go Utah, for maintaining that road!
So let's see, after Potash road it was dark, so we headed back to our hotel to not soak in the jacuzzi because everyone else was using it.
Then, on Sunday we hiked! We decided to hike along Negro Bill's trail, which is 2.2 miles long, and leads to the Morning Glory arch. We thought 4.4 miles would be long enough, for us. It was. It was supposed to have very little change in elevation compared to the other hikes we found, but I think the statistics were for the total change in elevation instead of like, the actual amount of feet that we went up and down and up and down and up and down. I messed up one of my knees when I hiked the Grand Canyon a couple years ago, and I've just started doing physical therapy for it, but inclines and declines make my knee hurt. Anyway, it made it so that 4.4 miles was plenty, thanks.
Pretty much everyone brought their dog on that hike. I don't know how they let us in because we didn't bring Chalcy. Somehow we got in.
I learned some Hiking Pro Tips:
1. Just because everyone in the parking lot is wearing heavy jackets does NOT mean you will actually need or want a heavy jacket on a hike. Use common sense. Everyone can be wrong. Although I hadn't planned on bringing my jacket, so many people we saw in the parking lot were wearing coats that J and I both grabbed ours. They must know something we don't, we thought. Actually, they didn't. We wore our coats for about 10 minutes, and then just carried them the whole way out and the whole way back. Dumb! I knew better.
2. If you think you kind of need to use the restroom at the beginning of your hike, you still will after several miles and more water.
3. If you wear shoes that "breathe" and you hike somewhere dusty, your shoes will "breathe" in dust. Lots of it.
There were tons of places where you have to cross the river. That kind of kept things exciting.
We ate a bunch of the eFoods Direct Tropical Fruit Medley, which is SO delicious. It's good too because the ingredients are basically just dried fruit (and coconut oil), so J can actually eat it! We both really like it. It was perfect for hiking and in the car.
The arch was pretty enough. It looked like an arch. Except, it sort of didn't. I was talking to J about it ("OH! There it is! That's the arch." *photo of J* *photo of J*) and he thought it wasn't the arch ("Noo, I don't think so. That can't be it, can it?"), and we kept hiking until we realized the bottom of the arch was actually a dead end. So it was the arch, for sure. We both had kind of expected the hike to open up out of the canyon to something flat. We saw no delicate arch; that was what we had kind of been expecting. The Morning Glory arch is more like, you're at the bottom of your shredder and you see a gap of light above you. Eh, oh well. You take what you get with these sorts of things. We liked it.
Something we had hoped was that it would open up so that we could get away from the riverbed and go shooting. That didn't happen. So instead we went back to downtown Moab for lunch (J had ice cream and I had pizza**) and then we decided to go out to Canyonlands to go shooting. Annnd we did.
By then it was really windy, so we didn't end up shooting much at all. Still, I got to shoot my new revolver (a Taurus 94..1?)...which has a tighter trigger than the one I had used before. And something about the ammo isn't quite right because the shell ejector thing doesn't work. So now I need to take it in and have someone look at it. Too bad.
We also shot our pistol (an LCP), which I like slightly better than I did the last time I used it. J liked it. The thing is, it's just really hard to shoot. It has a very long trigger pull (a safety feature!) so it's just tricky for my small hands. It's perfect for concealed carry, though.
Then it started getting dark and we went back to our Riverside Inn. The man at the front desk re-opened the jacuzzi for us, which felt GREAT because I was sore from our hikes. It was also very hot, so I think we only actually were out there for 15 minutes.
We went back inside and set Relationship Goals Made on Your Actual Anniversary for Working On Until Your Next Anniversary. Should be fun.
We thought we would go back to Canyonlands again on Monday but it was so windy that it was no fun. So I had pizza for lunch** again (!!!) and we went home a little early, which was fine.
Hooray! Happy anniversary to us. We're excited that we survived our first year of marriage and we're looking forward to another year of marriage [one that isn't our first year of marriage].***
In conclusion, here are my reviews for our Anniversary Trip to Moab, 2011:
1. Camping at Slickrock something: 3/5 stars
2. Riverside Inn: 5/5 stars
3. City Market grocery store: 4/5 stars****
4. Moab, as a city: 4.5/5 stars - Hotels are generally overpriced, and there is no Chipotle.
5. Gas mileage in a Yaris: 5/5 stars - Basically, about a tank and a half to get there and back.
6. Cellphone reception in Moab: 4.5/5 stars - Very impressive. High reception almost everywhere except when you're really really in the middle of nowhere. I didn't expect that.
7. Paradox Pizza: 5+/5 stars - They deliver, and it didn't say to where. How about Salt Lake?
8. Wind, in general: 2/5 stars - Windmills are really cool. I told J I'd like one. But other than that, wind blows. It ruins camping, hiking, and shooting, and makes driving less comfortable.
9. It's Sew Moab: 3/5 stars - Cute little fabric store*****, but the lady basically told us (right after we left our campsite) that we were no way going to find a hotel because of the race, and that made me feel like living life was hopeless.
10. Being married for an entire year: 5/5 stars
* It also has modern rock graffiti made to look like ancient paintings. Because something about really old graffiti gets people excited about creating new graffiti that looks old.
** SUCH good pizza. It tasted like pizza you would get in Italy. Man, oh man. The place is called Paradox Pizza, and it's amazing.
*** This is the first time I've ever been married, so I've been kind of new to this, but I think I'm getting the hang of it now.
**** CityMarket, you could have had 5/5 stars except that your selection of flashlights was pretty pitiful.
***** Every time we travel somewhere I get a piece of fabric to remind us of the trip. So, instead of buying stupid souvenirs to hang onto (or awkwardly display in our home), we will eventually have a quilt with something for each of the trips we take. We can be wrapped up in our memories together (awwww!). Also, this means it only costs us $1.50-$3 to remember each place we go. Perfect.