Following my first Wyoming winter, I felt ready to thaw out. This season was a blast, but my Alabama upbringing didn’t adequately prepare me for the endless powder, frigid mornings, and short days of a western winter. So as soon as the ski resorts closed and the snow started to melt, Chris and I packed my car and headed south with plans to climb, run, and mountain bike in the adventure land that is Moab, Utah.
On the drive down we watched the landscape shift from snowcapped peaks to rolling green hills to flaky sandstone spires. Each time we got out of the car to fill up on gas or grab a bite to eat, I shed another jacket until finally we arrived at our campground ready to soak up the sun wearing shorts and my Give’r Solar Hoodie.
Our desert routine was simple: Eat breakfast, find adventure, eat snacks, find adventure, eat dinner, soak up the sunset, and sleep - occasionally. A few friends linked up with us for the first half of our trip and together we rose with the sun and settled for the night when the sky started to fade from blue to orange. Our fireside drink of choice this trip was a handle of Jagermeister… an impulse purchase made by our friend Devin who “saw that it was on sale and panicked.” Thanks Devin.
We did our best to cook mac n’ cheese most nights, but in Moab we’re always tempted to go to Milt's Stop N’ Eat – an infamous burger joint – instead. After an 18-mile mountain bike ride or a long day climbing in the sun, nothing revives the body like a breakfast burger with bacon, a Thin-Mint milkshake, and a side of tots. It is a glorious, dare I say spiritual, experience every time.
After an eight-month hiatus from rocks and warm weather, it felt so good to climb slopey sandstone and fly down bike trails and sleep under the stars. The more we explored Moab, the longer we wanted to stay, and I found myself planning our next desert trip before we had finished the drive back home.
Back in the shadow of the Tetons, I reflected on how navigating the cold and moving to a new place during Covid made for one heck of a challenging winter. I’m so grateful to call Jackson home for an infinite number of reasons, but it’s proximity to incredible places like Moab is high on the list.