November Journal – Month 3 On the Road

/November Journal – Month 3 On the Road

November Journal – Month 3 On the Road

November 2017

Lake Mead > Las Vegas > Valley of Fire > Gooseberry Mesa > Zion National Park > St George > Bryce National Park > Torrey > Capital Reef National Park > Little Wild Horse Canyon > Cannyonlands National Park > Moab > Arches National Park

In Summary: 

Holy cow it’s been 3 months!? 
 
We are getting to explore so many awesome places. Southern Utah is everything it’s hyped up to be and more. We’ve now spent more time in Utah (24 days) than any other state so far and I don’t feel like we’ve even seen half of it. All of the National Parks here are gems – Zion, Bryce and Arches finding their way onto our favorite’s list for NPs (can you believe we’ve now hit 11 national Parks in the last 90 days!). And we haven’t even gotten to any of the National Monuments yet. State parks like Dead Horse and Goblin Valley are also worth a visit. November marked the first month where we felt like we had more control over our route, schedule and plans. We learned to take it a little slower – stay in one place for more than a night and enjoy a few days here and there we we don’t have to go ‘see’ or ‘do’ anything. Just because we CAN be in a different place everyday, doesn’t mean that we should be.  We did start Harry Potter audio book 5 though so we’re still doing our fair share of driving despite only being in one state for a majority of the month. Note that we started the first HP book around mid-October. 
 
Matt had his last official day at CreativeLive and I’m still working about 40 hours a month. 
 
We’re both feeling a little lost understanding what we want to do and what our purpose is.  I want to fully enjoy and take in all of these wonderful places we’ve been visiting. But I feel like there is something holding me back. 
 
Something I’ve learned about (my) writing… It’s a lot easier for me to write about the hard stuff. I’m starting to feel like I’m making our journey sound like a trip through the sewers. It’s not. It’s wonderful, I choose this, and I can not complain. We spend a lot of time exploring really awesome places and getting to see things that most people will never see in their lifetime. It’s very surreal taking your ‘life’ on the road. It’s a weird mix of doing your daily chores and still working my normal job but then spending my free time in a new spot every other day exploring. I’m still waiting for life on the road to feel like the new ‘normal’.  Not that I’ve ever wanted my life to be ’normal’ – but in a matter of speaking I’m still waiting to feel like I know what I’m doing.  
 
I want to be able to feel productive, get work done, fuel creative interests in a new place every day. I also want to do simple things like take a run in an unfamiliar neighborhood, relax while drinking my coffee in the morning while reading a blog or book, listen to my favorite podcasts, shop online and have nights where I don’t feel pressure to do anything but lay in bed and watch Stranger Things.    
I want to have routine despite the location changing often. The perk of this lifestyle is that I can still do all of this and wake up in a new place everyday.  I might never figure it all out – but I can make sure that I wake up every day with a positive attitude to make the most of this day and this place. 
 
I hear a quote today that I really liked, so I will leave you with this… “You can’t write your own story, but you can write your character in it.”

November 1, 2017 – Day 62

Lake Mead, Nevada
Woke up at the campgrounds on Lake Mead. Early in the morning, we drove down to the lake where Megan had good enough service to work for the day and Matt bummed around. He even went on a run!!!
It felt really good to lay low after a crazy busy weekend in NYC. 
Lake Mead run complete.
Daily Journal, November 2017

November 2, 2017

Lake Mead > Las Vegas
Woke up feeling extra boring at a huge RV park in Lake Mead. The bike rack fell on Matt’s face again so he tried, unsuccessfully to fix it. 
We drove out to Vegas, walked around the strip a bit, had the buffet at The Bellagio and BOY IT WAS BOMB. We ended the night in awe at the Blue Man Group show. 
Slept at The Oasis apartments, just across the street from the Luxor, where the Blue Man Group show was. Score. 
Daily Journal, November 2017
Winning big in Las Vegas

November 3-4, 2017

Vegas Baby!!
Got the alignment done on Vanna, worked from a coffee shop and then had really surprisingly great Mediterranean food. 
We picked up John from the airport after doing some shopping (found Matt the perfect swimming trunks… finally)
Hung with John, his mom Susan and her husband Dave and their former NFL footballer Morlon Greenwood.
John and I went out to Red Rocks Casino and I lost plenty of money Friday Night. 
Saturday, we did Valley of Fire and then went to Fremont Street to see what the fuss is all about. I love it there. We had a blast with the stage shows, the sidewalk shows and surprisingly found a lot of fun in the container park’s children’s park.
Freemont Street, Las Vegas

November 5-7, 2017

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Met up with Matt’s parents in Valley of Fire State Park to lay low, shoot some shots for Edgevale, and explore the wonder of Mars.

Valley of Fire with Matt's parents
Valley of Fire, November 2017

November 8-10, 2017

Gooseberry Mesa, Utah
Gooseberry Mesa is our home now. Matt’s resting his bum hip and Megan is working. 
Matt’s enjoying making fires, shitting in the desert and appreciating the boredom that comes with not moving much..
We started playing Pusoy Dos (card game from Jenny & Kevin). Megan LOVES cards and would get Matt to play this with him every night if he was interested… he’s starting to win everytime so he’s a little more interested than he used to be. 
Matt wrote about The Dangers of Vanlife
Working from Gooseberry Mesa, Utah
Daily Journal, November 2017
Card games at Gooseberry Mesa, Utah.

November 11, 2017

Gooseberry Mesa > Zion National Park
Last morning at “home” near gooseberry mesa. Got the bikes down and did a bit of the Windmill trail on the north side. 
Matt’s hip was slowing Megan down so we headed back. Felt good to move again.
Drove to Zion for our first half day there! Since cars weren’t allowed up the scenic drive, we drove the route to the east to the top of the mesa and it was well worth it. 
Drove back out through Springdale to find camp. 
MTB Gooseberry Mesa Windmill Trail - amazing views!
Gooseberry Mesa, Utah, November 2017

November 12-14, 2017

Zion National Park

Day 1 in Zion: 

Took the bus into the scenic byway, hiked Hidden Canyon.  Rode bikes near visitor center and was thoroughly disappointed by a lunch at the Brew Pub. The beer was great. The food was meh or less. Burgers aren’t difficult! Do it right!  Matt took a dip in the Virgin River to clean off and Megan cleaned her feet. Overall, great first taste of Zion.  Drove out to the boondocks to find sleeping. 

Day 2 in Zion: 
Woke up next door neighbors to some trashy hoarders North east of Zion
Drove for an hour and a half to find good enough cell service for Megan’s work call. Got coffee from the Rock Stop (very nice guy!)
Drove into Zion, hiked Canyon Overlook Trail. great view
First day allowed to drive into the scenic drive! Did the riverside walk to The Narrows (did not hike the narrows…)
 
Day 3 in Zion: 
Woke up at Watchman Campground after a successful night of charging
Bit and Spur – most excellent rib eye. Seriously. 
Hidden Canyon Hike, Zion National Park
Making my claim on Hidden Canyon Trail in Zion National Park
A bath in Virgin River, Zion National Park
Zion National Park
Zion National Park
Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park - unreal view of the valley.
Angel's Landing, Zion National Park

November 15, 2017

Virgin > Kolob Canyon > St. George, Utah

Woke up outside of Virgin
Worked in the morning. Saw a Big Sur-esque sunrise
Drove up to Kolob Canyons for the Taylor Creek Trail hike
Planet Fitness in St George
Dinner and sleepy time in West Canyon View St George, Utah. GPS: 37.092933, -113.632132
Matt finished and posted his 2018 Calendar for sale!

November 16-17, 2017

St George, Utah

Spent a few days doing errands around St. George. 

I worked at Starbucks while Matt went for a mountain bike ride (where he took his first big spill on the bike)

We found a ‘1stop’ where we did laundry, a car wash and also sat on our computers for a few hours while the laundry was running. We were waiting for a few packages to be delivered to the local UPS store, so while matt constantly refreshed the delivery update screen on his phone we went about busying ourselves with other things until we saw a confirmation. We got lunch at a local taqueria (Matt’s dreams were made true with a delicious breakfast burrito).  We went to Home Depot, where Matt made a small fix to our sink.   We went to the levi’s outlet searching for a new pair of jeans for Matt (strikeout).  We went to Old Navy searching for some new comfy soft clothes for me (strikeout, because i actually don’t need any new clothes…) but Matt found a pair of jeans (and cheap!). We treated ourselves to some very delicious Blizzards at DQ. We finally decided to head to UPS despite no delivery confirmation where Matt found the packages had been delivered hours ago but the one man show running the counter was a complete idiot. He also shipped his CreativeLive laptop back – all ties have officially been severed. 
We started heading north with the intention of hitting Bryce NP the next day. As we headed into the Dixie Wilderness, we found fresh snow on the roads and a significant drop in temperatures. We departed the possibilities of our sleep spot being covered in snow, possibilities of getting stuck on a dirt road and ultimately turned back to Cedar City when we ended up stopped with police car lights at an accident on the road ahead of us.
So we curled up in Walmart, picking up some easy dinner supplies that didn’t require turning the heat on and watched some Harry Potter (which I almost immediately fell asleep to, for the 2nd night in a row). 
Sleeping on BLM Land just outside of St George, Utah.

November 18-21, 2017

Bryce Canyon National Park
Woke up at Walmart in Cedar City, Utah. Yes this happens sometimes (in this case thanks to the snow). 
 
Matt has officially fallen in love with Bryce Canyon. I think I’m going to have to leave him here and continue on to the other 42 states alone. But he will probably have a pretty good hoodoo photo collection by the end of it. 
 
Day 1 in Bryce: Hiked peekaboo trail. We quibbled about the appropriate hiking pace. Megan wanted exercise, I wanted to soak in the beauty of our surroundings. 
 
Met Sante and Sitka and spent the sunset with them at Sunset Point. Megan and I both agreed that it was really nice to hit the social reset button by meeting new people, even if it’s not for a few hours. 
 

Day 2 in Bryce: 

Woke up in our second campsite in the forest service land just outside of Bryce. Another super cold night, down to 14 degrees. We slept in to about 7:30 before Matt got out of bed, taking a timelapse of the moving clouds and saying good morning to a fellow free camper with crazy blue eyes and two deer with totally normal eyes. 
 
Drove into the park where Megan wanted to get some work done and Matt went for a solo hike. AMAZING solo hike! Started at sunset point and headed towards the queens garden, taken timelapses along the way. Absolutely enjoyable day. 
 
Got back to Megan’s sweet embrace and we decided to head out of the park early. We found a decent camp spot on an unshaded hill that helped us charge our batteries and then went on a bike ride indo Bruce canyon town to get some groceries. While there matt solidified a work arrangement (bringing in the bacon!) before riding back to our site and cooking up some grub. 
 
We were blessed with an INCREDIBLE sunset, that Megan says was the highlight of her day. Matt took Astro timelapses into the night. 
 
Day 3 in Bryce: 
Woke up at our last day in Bryce Canyon. Neither meg nor I slept well last night but woke up well before the sunrise to take full advantage of our last morning at Bryce. 
 
We drove through the dark to Sunrise Point to catch the early bird with the other 10 or so eager beavers. Took some photos, watched the sun rose, then made plans to head to Valhalla pizzeria and coffee shop to get some WiFi time. Thwarted by the offseason. On to Bryce Canyon coffee as a Plan B. Thwarted by the off season. We ended up sitting in the parking lot of the gas station/grocery store/closed restaurant tethering Internet off our phones. We realized today that what took us 30 days past month of Megan’s unlimited data plan took us only five days this month. Uh oh. 
 
After working we started heading towards Torrey and Capitol Reef National Park. The drive up highway 12 was Amazing. Matt had a migraine and didn’t fully appreciate it photographically, and even handed the driving reigns over to Megan, but it was an awesome drive nonetheless. One we hope to do again. 
 
We popped through Torrey per Tays recommendation and then headed to our campsite at Bea’s Lewis Flat Road outside Torrey. Incredible views, an awesome starry night sky, and Megan cooked us up a great dinner of vegetables and kielbasa that we enjoyed with wine around the campfire. 
 
Goodnight. 
Bryce National Park
Bryce National Park
Bryce National Park - his new #1 National Park in ranking.
Free camping on forrest Service roads just outside of Bryce National Park

November 22, 2017

Torrey > Capital Reef National Park
After taking some morning photos and timelapses we headed into Torrey to get some work done, do grocery shopping, and shower before making our way towards capitol reef. 
 
We mostly just did a drive through of Capitol reef, not getting out of the van to hike or explore too far off the road. We did stop to do a couple of Vanna photo shoots. These small windy backroads with incredible backdrops are pretty great for pictures. 
 
We decided to drive towards the burr trail loop which brought us to a pretty rad, free campsite in the park. The best thing about the site was the campfire pit. They put down a concrete slab around the ring, ensuring that the clever ring grate would stay level. There was also a picnic table, which is quite the added bonus. 
Capital Reef National Park

November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving! Capital Reef National Park > Goblin Valley 

Morning campfire to burn the remainder of our illegally sourced wood. 
Drove the Burr Trail which was one of the coolest dirt roads every. The burr trail switchbacks were incredible looking. 
After driving through Capitol Reef, we made it to Goblin Valley and found a pretty rad BLM site just outside the park towards little wild horse canyon. 
Our thanksgiving dinner was delicious but modest, and altogether a pretty normal night for us. We did drink the wine Uncle Doug and Teresa gave us which was delicious!
Capital Reef National Park
Daily Journal, November 2017

November 24, 2017

Little Wild Horse Canyon BLM Land (near Goblin Valley State Park)

Matt stayed in sweatpants all day and worked on his photos for 10 hours, editing, culling, and finally getting caught up. Megan went for bike rides, crafting projects, and enjoyed the sun.

November 25, 2017

Goblin Valley > Cannyonlands National Park

Left our new home outside Goblin Valley and drove to Canyonlands National Park. We kicked ourselves for not realizing that we were camping right by Little Wild Horse Canyon (slot canyon hike) that would have been an awesome daytime activity while we were there. 
We hiked to the ‘false kiva’ and drove the main loop around Canyonlands stopping at all the viewpoints. 
Had an awesome sunset on the cliff as we drove out of the park. 
Slept on BLM land just outside the park on the road past Horsetheif Campground. There were several other campers out there but we found a good spot, unfortunately without much cell service to catch up on stuff after already being off the grid for 4 days. 
False Kiva trail in Canyonlands National Park
Sunset in Canyonlands National Park

November 26, 2017

Cannyonlands National Park > Moab, Utah

Hiked to the Mesa Arch in the morning. 
Matt took a freezing cold dip in Mill Creek outside of Moab. 
We’d planned to do some more activity in the afternoon (like an mtb ride) but were both struggling to feel motivated or make decisions. 
We sat on a hill angled towards the sun for several hours (trying to catch the right angle o f sun to charge the batteries). Megan was still feeling extremely grumpy and didn’t want to do anything. 
Matt pushed for a driving tour through Arches National Park which thankfully brought him back to life while Megan still pouted in the drivers seat. 
Megan had a really bad day and it’s difficult to explain why. 
Skyline Arch, Arches National Park

November 27, 2017

Moab, Utah

Woke up in Moab, UT. 
Got some work done at Red Rock Bakery  in town. Great coffee and a good place to get work done.
We hit our first mtb trail in Moab on the “MOAB Brand” trails. We did the Mbar loop to the North 40. The Bar M trail was more of a dirt road than a single track trail which we didn’t realize until we were already on it. However, I felt extremely shaky on the bike getting started so this was a good warm up to get comfortable again before we hit the more advanced North 40 loop to finish the ride off where I felt like it was a good challenge to push my limits for improvement (despite still getting off and walking several rocky parts). The Moab Brand area is close to town and a great spot for a shorter ride. Has trails for all levels. 
We finished the night with hot showers at the Moab Rec Center (for $5) before heading out to BLM land to camp and make dinner. The showers were both needed and felt amazing! 
MOAB brand trails in Moab, Utah

November 28, 2017

Moab, Utah

Woke up on Willow Springs Road outside Moab, UT. 
Ditched our plans to go mountain biking and opted for a hike around Devil’s Garden in Arches National Park instead. It did not disappoint – it was a great way to start off the day being active and had great views of many different arches. An awesome trail that follows along the top and through large rocks and arches. 
We finished the afternoon at The Spoke in Moab where we grubbed on beers and got several hours of work done sitting at the bar using the restaurant’s wifi. Great spot, we enjoyed our burgers, very friendly staff (that let us sit at the bar for 4 hours) and refreshing beers and ice cream at your fingertips. 
STRANGER THINGS IS BACK! After watching Season 2, episode 1… we decided that we needed to go back and watch Season 1 again. 
Devil's Garden, Arches National Park

November 29, 2017

Moab, Utah

Woke up at the RV Park/Campground in Moab. 
Megan worked all day. 
Matt did chores (dishes, filled water, laundry) and struggled with some frustrating technology dilemmas and health insurance inquiries. 
Night 2 at the Pack Creek Campground & RV Park. We went to the office to pay for our stay around 3pm and realized that we probably could have easily stayed for a week without paying and they never would have known the difference. But we paid our share and went on our merry way. The cheapest RV park in town allowing us to fill water, charge our batteries, get a few hot showers, use wifi and laundry onsite (extra fee). Everything is pretty quite this time of year around Moab. 

November 30, 2017

Moab, Utah

Did a little scenic driving around Moab, UT and even checked out some real estate. 
Picked up Amazon packages from the Moab mailing center. 
Went back to The Spoke in Moab for lunch and spent a little time on our computers. 
Settled down off Willow Springs Road BLM land for the evening. Megan spent a little time working, catching up with Julie and her parents on the phone while Matt collected wood and sat around the campfire. 
Tacos for dinner around the campfire and FINISHED Harry Potter book 5! 
By | 2018-01-15T01:03:46+00:00 December 12th, 2017|All, Daily Journal|0 Comments

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