Hiking, Art, and Music

July 17, 2015 Categories Camper Van, Hiking, Road Trips, Travel, USA

We began today by heading out to a local hike called the Adams Canyon Trail shortly after breakfast. We had a quick drive over to the town of Layton after getting directions to the trailhead, which is located in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. The hike started off pretty sandy and gradually progressed more into rock as we got further up the mountain. Although it was described as fairly steep, I didn’t think it was that difficult of a climb. We were also told it would take a few hours, but we reached the waterfall at the end within an hour. Granted, I may have been a little amped and didn’t stop the entire way up. The waterfall was pretty cool, both to look at and to the touch. Off to the right was a small, rocky area that I climbed up to enjoy the view more. To the left was a much taller rock area that looked pretty steep, but some guy climbed up to the top. I was not inclined to follow.

After the hike we took a couple hours to walk around some stores and then found a Flying J truck stop to shower at before meeting up with Carolyn and her friends to head into Salt Lake City. There was a small art showing for a local artist that was being held by some of Carolyn’s friends. And by small, I mean it was a tent. And by tent, I mean a canopy. Most of his work was African safari type stuff; elephants, a giraffe, all that. There were a couple abstract pieces, also. We didn’t stay there long, maybe 15 minutes at most.

From there, we headed to a nearby town called Draper to attend a music event that was part of their Draper Days celebration. It was packed and looked like it was part flea market and part fairground. We settled in at the far side, away from the majority of people and spent the evening talking about nonsense. My stubbornness was pointed out a couple of times in the difficulty of answering a simple question, like “what did you want to be when you were younger?” Apparently “nothing” was not a normal response, but that’s seriously how I’ve always felt. I’ve never wanted to be just one thing. I’d be just as happy building furniture as I would doing electrical or programming computers. As long as I can find creativity in what I do, that’s all I need. So much of what happens in my head is difficult for me to explain. As someone once told me several years ago, I am a contradiction. If I like something, then I probably also like its opposite, but expect to find both in one thing… which is almost impossible, except when dealing with people and even then it’s quite rare. Now I’m rambling.

It was a pretty good day. I enjoyed getting to do what I felt was a real hike for the first time in this trip and spending the evening with interesting people.

Oh, and I may have gotten bored and wrote something in the dirt on the back of the van…

Northern Utah

July 16, 2015 Categories Camper Van, Hiking, Road Trips, Travel, USA

I woke up this morning undecided on the plan for today. The original plan was to just drive down to Grand Teton National Park after doing Yellowstone, but I really didn’t want to have to drive back into Yellowstone to get there, as the South exit for Yellowstone is the primary way to get to Grand Teton from where we were. Instead of thinking about the plan for the day, I read an amazing article about the Last True Hermit a friend had sent me. It’s honestly an amazing story and you should read it. Yes, YOU. Stop reading this garble and go read that story. It’s way cooler. The dude lived for 27 years in the woods, undetected!

Anywho, after I finished the article, I had decided it was time to leave the Yellowstone area and we headed South towards Utah. We stopped off in Rexburg, Idaho, and watched the Minions movie and then continued on our way. I think we arrived in Northern Utah right around 6:30pm.

Once in town, we met up with the lovely Carolyn and her roommate Camie to do a hike. I “met” Carolyn maybe a month or so ago after I messaged random people on a travel website about doing some hikes in Utah, since this was the state I planned on spending the most time in. We met up at a local coffee shop here, then headed off for the trail.

They called the hike Waterfall Canyon, but that’s not the actual name. I can’t remember the actual name, but it’s a hike part way up a mountain that leads to a pretty tall (easily a couple hundred feet high), but pretty dry waterfall (more of a trickle). I guess the winter was pretty mild here, so there’s not as much water on the mountain as usual. It was still a really nice view. The hike was fairly short, maybe around 20 to 30 minutes to get to the top. We all sat up there for a few hours just talking about random nonsense, waiting for the sun to go down before hiking back to the cars.

While talking with Carolyn and Camie, we got some good tips on places to see and things to do in the area so we’re probably gonna hang out here for a few days. There’s supposed to be a Farmer’s Market on Saturday we’ll be checking out and some concert on Sunday. We’ll hopefully get some more hikes squeezed in there, too.

It was pretty awesome meeting up with Carolyn and Camie. They’re both really young, but are quite outgoing and motivated people. I was really intrigued by Carolyn, who I spoke to the most, as she seems highly driven to live life outside of the box and I think that’s the most fantastic thing ever. It’s hard for me to even imagine myself at age 21, because of how different I was. I definitely never imagined myself gallivanting across the country in a van. The main thing I was thinking about back then was getting out of the military and getting a contracting job in Maryland to make the big bucks. It took me almost a decade after that before I finally did get out. It’s amazing how things change.

We’re camping out at another Walmart again tonight. Tomorrow should be a good day.

Moki Dugway (Hwy 261), Utah

May 16, 2009 Categories Road Trips, Travel, USA

The Moki Dugway is an unpaved, 3 mile long, steeply graded switchback road that traverses up the side of Cedar Mesa in Utah. It’s part of Highway 261, which is a paved road, however this 3 mile section of road is just gravel. It was built in 1958 by a mining company to transport uranium! Unfortunately, I didn’t get any super powers by driving on it, but with an elevation of 6,425 ft at the top, you are able to get a wide view into the Valley of the Gods.

Did I mention that it’s narrow? And has no guard rails to stop you from going over the edge? It gets pretty freaky being on the edge side when a larger vehicle is coming at you. This is a cool road with some awesome views. It’s one of the many things I loved about Utah.