Because of a girl’s weekend in Michigan with my college besties, I only stayed at Cave Creek Regional Park for one day. Therefore, Mitch should write this post. But he prefers photography. So this short interview is all I got:
For years, when we traveled out west, we completely avoided the Phoenix area. Sprawl, traffic, crowds, pollution – not our idea of great camping opportunities. But then we heard from other RVers about a county park near Scottsdale called McDowell Mountain. Nearly impossible to get into but well worth the effort, everyone said. It is now our all-time favorite park. Just outside Phoenix. Who knew??
Wind and water are the insane artists that created the unique canvas of the Moab region. In our previous travels here we had experienced the wind part of the duo. One time a camper in the same RV park as us was blown sideways on its jack stands and four telephone-pole-sized poles supporting a billboard were snapped in half like toothpicks. We’ve been on bike rides here where we had to dodge tumbleweeds flying at us from all directions and even passing us like we weren’t moving. The grit in these wind blasts becomes part of you – it’s in your hair, eyes, teeth, and water bottle.
And although we’d heard stories of waterfalls cascading off of every cliff face and seen the evidence of violent and not-so-violent water events, we’d never actually seen it rain here – until this year. And now it won’t stop!
Like the rest of the country, Moab has had a bizarre winter. Locals say they’ve been covered in snow since November and have had more snow than even the old-timers can remember. The combination of the snowmelt and the hit-or-miss downpours has made many of the trails here very messy. Biking through wet clay is like riding through crunchy peanut butter. We made that mistake once and will always try to avoid it now!
Road biking is still good, just a little cold and damp. And the upside is that now we have seen what a little bit of water can do when it lands on a huge hunk of rock!
Ahhh!! We’re back in Moab. My wish for everyone is that they have at least one place that makes them breath a sign of relief every time they return to it. We are lucky to have a few locations that just seem to click internally and Moab is definitely one of them.
We left San Francisco the day after Mitch’s symposium. The thing about towing your home behind you is that you have to be vigilant about weather and road conditions ahead of you. We had to get across the Sierra Nevadas and, although we have enough chains for both our truck and our trailer, we prefer not to have to use them. So we had to get out before the storms started rolling in.
Many people dread the drive on I-80 across Nevada and Utah but I think it is fascinating. It is as if, without the watchful eyes of all of the millions of people in California, the earth and sky are finally free to do whatever crazy thing they feel like doing. Clouds reach to the ground and set off dust devils with every patch of sunshine. Barren mountains jut up a couple of thousand feet and then disappear abruptly into the flattest, sagebrush covered ground you can imagine. Water becomes salt and salt becomes water indistinguishably. One day when we have our 4wd self-contained, heavy duty RV we will return to this area and explore it thoroughly.
Moab is Mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. Almost anything you could ever think of doing to raise your heart rate is possible here. It is best known for mountain biking. We didn’t bring our clunky, old mountain bikes with us so we’ll get to rent the new models with all the bells and whistles. I have no doubt that it will be overkill for my abilities but it will be fun anyway!