DAY 23-24 – UTAH (CANYONLANDS, ZION)
By the time we entered Utah it was already pitch dark. Our destination was Moab, a cool little town located very close to our next destination: Canyonlands. I was driving about 80 miles an hour when I saw a cute little bunny run out from the side of the road. I was convinced he wasn’t going to go for it, but he did. I heard a small bump come from underneath my car, probably his little head, and that was it. I’d never hit an animal on the road before, and that experience still haunts me. We got into town around 10 at night looking for a cheap hotel (didn’t exist) and starving. We went to the one place we knew we could power up at this time and figure it out: Denny’s. As we ate eggs and whatever, we knew we would probably be sleeping in the car again that night. I asked our waiter if he knew of a place we could park the car and sleep. He said cops around there loved to harass tourists but said if we wanted to we could just sleep in the Denny’s parking lot and if any cops came snooping around he would just ask them to leave, seeing as it was private property. That guy ruled. So we slept in the Denny’s parking lot.
We awoke in the morning to find ourselves surrounded by beautiful rocks. We couldn’t see anything at night when we got into town, so it was a pleasant surprise. We headed down to a coffee shop and I put some content up on the site and then we were off to Canyonlands. After a quick stop at a gas station that definitely knew they were the only place for miles, we entered the park. The place was absolutely stunning. There weren’t many people and it was so quiet and vast. We found a place to pull over once we got a little deeper, walked through a field and climbed this giant rock. We could see everything and it was so peaceful. I took some time to meditate up there.
After spending a couple hours hanging out in Canyonlands we began the drive over to Zion, which was actually quite far. Along the way the natural beauty almost made me sick. I never thought I would get tired of breathtaking scenery but congratulations Utah. It almost became a running joke between Josh and I. By the time we got to Zion right before dusk we were kind of jaded, kind of. Zion really is a wonderful place, although it is very overcrowded by American families and European tourists. We managed to find a hotel which was nice since we needed showers, but it only had one bed. Since Josh passed out early as usual I ended up sleeping on the floor that night. During the night there did happen to be a situation while he slept. It was late at night and we had gotten some sandwich materials earlier at the one grocery store in town that knew they were the only grocery store in town, but I really needed some caffeine and some sort of sugary drink. I just really really had to have one. So after a quick excursion to the edge of the park, where I stared at the Milky Way, I drove around town trying to find a place that I could buy a drink. All the gas stations were closed, many of the hotels were gated and the one that I stopped at that was open air and had a visible soda machine was out of soda. After about an hour of driving around I pulled into the Hampton Inn parking lot and walked into the lobby. A woman greeted me. I told her I didn’t need a room or anything but would she sell me some drinks. Sure enough they had one of those little snack closets that hotels have and 10 bucks later I was on my way with a few drinks. I worked on the site, and passed out, on the floor.
In the morning we packed up our shit like we always do, turned in the key, and drove towards the entrance of the park. It was very crowded but I managed to pull off an amazing parallel park job. The park was beautiful and we hiked one of the trails that had water pools, but lots of tourists, which made it feel impure. I wasn’t impressed. It was pretty and all but maybe it was something else. Something overshadowed the entire experience, and maybe it started the day before. We both knew we would be home soon and that this journey would be over. This sense of melancholy was at times overwhelming and at times it wasn’t there at all, it was a strange experience. Josh really wanted to get all the way back home and completely skip Flagstaff. I said no fucking way. After hiking we stopped at a coffee shop and I did some work then we drove on, to Arizona. We stopped at the Navajo Bridge and snapped pictures of some other rocks near the far reaches of the Grand Canyon and continued south, into the pines.