The theme of November was friends. We spent most of the month with people and a lot of them we haven’t seen since we moved into the van in April. We started the month around Salt Lake City but quickly moved south to a bouldering area called Joe’s Valley. There we met our friend Thomas who was on his own road trip. Thomas was there with his friends Kyle, Robert and Corinne. Then three more friends from Atlanta joined us, Dana, Silas and Sarah. In Joe’s we got to climb some great boulders, catch up with friends, and eat some really good donuts! We celebrated Dana’s 50th birthday with some of those donuts!
From Joe’s, the entire crew migrated to Moab, UT. We even added one more as Austin (another Atlanta friend) hopped in Thomas’ car. Moab is a huge spot for all sorts of outdoor activities so it was a great place for us all to be. We spent a few days climbing at Wall Street and got to do our first trad leads where we got to place our gear. This sparked something and now I’m looking forward to us getting our own trad rack so we can go out on our own. Mak teamed up with Robert and Corinne for a day and climbed up one of the amazing sandstone towers that Moab has. They didn’t quite make it to the top, but I still love her. When we weren’t climbing we did some great hikes in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.
In Arches we did the Devil's Garden hike that goes by something like 8 major arches. We also managed to get permits for the Fiery Furnace. The Fiery Furnace is an area in Arches where there are no trails so you get to wander around in a maze of huge sandstone fins that create some amazing features. We stemmed our way through some slot canyons and scrambled up some pretty intimidating rocks. It was an incredible experience (almost as incredible as Mak). While in Canyonlands we did the Syncline Loop trail and caught sunset at the Green River Overlook (it’s as beautiful as Mak’s eyes). We ended up spending two weeks in Moab and honestly, it could have been twice as long but we had to get moving for some Thanksgiving plans.
When we left Moab, only Robert and Corinne remained of our massive crew that peaked at 18 people. We started making our way to Zion where we planned to have Thanksgiving. On the way we stopped in Bryce and got to see it’s amazing dribble castles. We then headed to Kanab, UT in search of permits to hike the Wave. That process is nuts. They give out 20 permits per day, 10 online and 10 in person. They award them on a lottery system. We were there on a Monday morning and there were well over 100 people trying to get the 10 in person permits. Unfortunately we did not win the permits. Luckily there is a lot to see in that area other than the wave. We drove over to check out Horseshoe Bend. It lives up to all the amazing pictures of it. The next day we moved on to Zion and did some general bopping around the park. The next 3 or 4 days we were there camping as our Thanksgiving group grew. Thomas, his girlfriend Hanna, Austin, Robert, Corinne and our friend Zack all joined. Thanksgiving morning we work up super early to hike Angel’s Landing for sunrise. It was pretty cool to do it in the dark and see the first bits of light coming into the valley. I will say we probably got there an hour early though because we had to wait for a while for the sun to come up. For Thanksgiving dinner everyone chose their own entree and prepared a side to share. Mak crushed it with our steaks and Texas caviar for the side. Mak will be writing more about this in another blog post so I will leave it at that. After Zion we moved to St. George to check out Snow Canyon State Park. Zack and I did a climb up one of the walls in the park and Mak, Thomas, and Hanna did a hike. After that we parted ways with Thomas and Hanna heading home to Tucson and Zack back to LA.
We head to Vegas because Mak has a serious gambling problem. I mean, it’s really bad. She once lost $25,000 at the roulette table. (JK) There we met up with Robert and Corinne who had been there climbing at Red Rock Canyon. We hung out there, worked and did a little bouldering before we had made our way to Tucson to see Thomas and Hanna one more time before heading home for the holidays. We will definitely be back to Red Rock again.
That’s it for now, here are some of our photos from the month. Enjoy!