“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Hadley had just matured to the ripe old age of six months, and we realized it was high time we introduced him to one of our absolute favorite experiences in life… a roadtrip. There are a kaleidoscope of reasons why we love a good road trip, but I think JK’s quote above sums things up pretty succinctly.
Planning the route, as always, is half the fun of a roadtrip, and after a bit of deliberation, some motions to extend the timeline, and others to expand the scope, the trip planning committee settled on a comprehensive, yet not circuitous, tour of the southwest via an anticlockwise course through Western Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico- spreading our time between experiencing nature’s natural beauty at Arches NP, the Grand Canyon, and the Petrified Forest among other places, and catching up on our R&R at poolside cabanas and quaint B&Bs.
Our first destination was Moab- a beguiling place if there ever was one. We arrived late, with a screaming backseat travel companion, and totally taken by surprise at the lack of available camping spots, decided to can our maxim of never paying to pitch our tent (or at least never paying too much), and set up camp in a cookie-cutter sight, between two mini-vans, at the first RV park that had any vacancy. We paid an embarrassing amount for nine square feet of pea gravel, but when a third of your crew is about to mutiny, you do what you must, principles be damned.
Not wanting to repeat the humiliating exercise another night, we got out of their early the next morning, and snagged one of the many BLM campsites north of town along the river, that had been vacated by some traveler headed home due to it being the end of the weekend. With our fee paid, and a few nonessential camping items left to stake our claim, we headed off to see if Arches National Park had anything to captivate the attention of a six month old.