Solo Road Trip - Day 3: Utah & Colorado
On the third day of my solo road trip, I woke to the Utah sun shining through the curtains after a short sleep eager to get on the road by 6:30AM. I was staying in a historic hotel from the 1930s in Thompson Springs, Utah. Arches national park was about a 30 minute drive and I wanted to get on the road before it would be too hot to hike in the park. Summers in the desert can get up to 100 degrees farenheight by noon almost every day.
I spent the morning hiking around the park and going on many mini-hikes to visit various arches throughout the park. Some you could drive right up to, others were miles of hiking just go get to the arch. I stuck to the short hikes to see as much as I could.
Perhaps the best part about traveling solo in national parks is that the parks have many other travelers & hikers that you encounter quite often. This allows you to feel one with nature but never too unsafe or alone. It also allows for lots of photo-ops and awkwardly asking someone to take a photo of you for your blog.
My favorite hike was to an Arch called the Sand Arch. It was a flat trail through fine golden sand. People were walking barefoot and kids were playing in the sand like it was a beach. There were many rock formations around the arch and I went for a climb.
The rock throughout the park was very easy to climb. There were many natural groves to put your hands and feet in and scale up to get to better view points of some of the taller arches.
After the park, it was a 4 hour drive to Aspen, Colorado. Playing Rocky Mountain High by John Denver too many times to count, I arrived in Colorado for the first time and just had to get a photo under the sign at the state line.
Colorado was the 34th US state that I have visited in my life. My goal is to make it to all of them by the time that I’m 30.
After my photo stop; I drove straight through to Aspen.
Right as I was getting into this beautiful ski town and the white capped mountains surrounded my view- the peaks of the mountains became clouded with dark clouds. It was snowing at the tops of the mountains and it soon became freezing rain when the storm moved on to hit lower ground.
I had drove to Aspen specifically to get a run in in the trails. So I intended to do just that despite the coming storm. Right as I started to run it downpoured and was much colder than I expected.
Despite all of this, I truly believe this run was what I had been searching for this whole trip. A way to feel complete again. I left this part of me in New York when I moved to California. The pure simplicity and peacefulness of running in the rain and the misty smell of the rainwater in the the forests of pine trees.
Having been a cross country runner in high school, these rainy runs came to define some of the best and proudest moments of my life. When I’m running in the rain the world stands still. Nothing matters but my breath and my own two feet. I am taken back to a time where things were simpler and all that mattered was running in the rain.
After my run I felt accomplished and decided to get myself a slice of pizza and a beer at a cute pizza joint in the town.
It turns out that the pizza place only accepted cash so I had to run next door to where they told me there was an ATM machine. It turns out the ATM machine was in a Marijuana Dispensary, and since I was in Colorado- I had to buy an edible. When in Rome right?
I went back to the Pizza place and the man working gave me my beer for free and I only paid for my pizza. I’m going to hate not being a young pretty girl someday.
After my dinner I drove a half hour to Basalt, Colorado where my Airb&b was. It was a loft apartment with a modern feel and a gorgeous view of the woodsy hills.
I really think the woman who owns the place and me would have gotten along quite nicely if I had met her. Her decorations were on point and the styling of the place was too cute to not snap a million pictures of.
I started to write my blog and time flew by before I knew it. It was 8pm and everything was closed in this small mountain town except for Wendy’s. I had a chocolate frosty for the first time since I was a kid and damn it was delicious. I headed back to the apartment and had the THC infused lollipop, tried continuing my blog but my mind was a bit too loopy to write serious sentances. I called it a night and actually got a healthy amount of sleep once on the trip.
I woke up the next day and drove to Vail, Colorado. This ski town was one of the places that at least ten different people had insisted that I needed to visit- they did not disappoint.
I went for a run alongside a creek and had gorgeous Mountain Views the entire time.
Running in the trails here connected me to my hometown and made me feel excited to be moving to Oregon in a couple of weeks. There is some magical feeling about running in forest trails that Southern California just can’t give me in the way that these places can.
After my run I explored the town. I could only imagine how cute and full of life it would be during the peak season in the winter when all of the tourists come in to ski.
Naturally, the first restaurant that caught my eye was a pizza place. So I went in and had two slices of pizza for lunch. I deserved from running right before. Pizza just might complete my life just as much as running does.
I got back on the road to make it to Grand Junction by 6pm. I had a Skype interview with a social media company regarding potential collaboration and employment as a content creator so I had to make it to a place that would have good service to make the call. I feel so fortunate to have many platforms and niches that I have found myself in that I am able to work remotely and make a living that sustains my travel and nomadic lifestyle. Find what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. I feel like this past year I have been creating that and that I am just getting started with my career in this wonderful industry of social media.
After the interview, I drove back to the historic desert moon hotel in Thompson Springs. I stopped through the ghost town of Cisco, Utah.
When I got to Thompson Springs, I was greeted by my friend, Judi who I had talked about in my last post. We drank a glass of tea together outside as the sunset and she told me more stories about the adventure that has been her life. She told me that she wrote a book about her life and sent it in to a publisher with hopes that it will become a novel.
I firmly believe that this woman was just an older version of myself and she told me I am now her adopted grandchild.
Sometimes being on the road isn't about just the places you’ll see or the places you’ll go. Perhaps the most important moments of travel are those unexpected moments that make you feel complete- while I intended on going to Utah and Colorado I had no idea that this journey could bring me to meet Judi or to run in the rain.
Whatever weather, keep on running. Keep on driving. The road is long but it’s always worth traveling. The value of the unexpected experiences you have will always outweigh the beauty of the destination.