Ethan has a thing for the desert. He always loves to go to Moab. He feels at home there. Ethan and I had planned to visit Natalie and her family this weekend and then head to Moab. Poor Nat has that nasty head cold stuff going on, so we flipped our plans. We were going to get out of town by 6:00 a.m. so that we'd most of a day to play together. However, since we were going to Moab first, I decided to take our time getting out of town. After lounging with the DH and packing we finally left town around 10:30. We have a wonderful, eventless, blue sky drive to Moab. We checked out the town and then searched for a place to camp. We settled on the old Conservation Corps Camp Delton camp. There is not much left of the camp, but it has a lovely set of four trees that we used as a base camp. It was such a lovely night. We made a camp fire, set up shop to sleep in the van and spent the evening reading together. We loved the Inkheart books and welcome the opportunity to read Inkdeath, the last book in that series. After the fire died down we were off to sleeping in the van. We were surprised at how comfortable it was to sleep in the van. The sky was clear, the stars were bright and the night was mild.
The day dawned clear but there was a gathering of storm clouds off to the west. We spent most of the day in the car. First we wanted to check out some of the southern parts of Moab. We had gone by Ken's Lake yesterday so headed there first. Since we seemed to be the only ones in the area I let Ethan drive for a while. We began on old, paved roads which switeched to washboard dirt roads. The views were lovely. We figured out how to get to the mountains that had called to Ethan on Saturday. I took over a little later. We were going to head back into town, but followed Bike-laidened vans up a hill to Sand Flats Recreational Area, home of the famouns Slickrock. We had hoped to ride together, but we could not get the left pedal on my bike, so that was out. Instead, Ethan and I drove the entire course. It was such a lovely park. I can't wait to share the photos with you later. The amazing thing is that it is just shy of ten miles away from Arches, but the landscape was so different. I loved how the bright, light sage green of the plants contrasted to the deep red sandstone. The horizon sported a threatening sky so we headed back to town. I was not interested in getting stuck on single lane dirt roads on the side of a mountain. We hit a local thrift store, picked up some shorts for Ethan and settled at the local bookstore coffee shop for a while. We then checked out a few more shops, the ever favorite rock shop, Pagen Mountaineering and Gear Heads. On the way in we were excited to see special equipment on the railroad. It seemed like they were going through and replacing the railroad ties, the railroad track, the spikes, etc. We braved the intense winds to check it out. By the time we got there you could barely open the door to get out - that was how hard the wind was blowing. We have great photos we will share with you soon. Next up, we had to decide where to camp. The trouble was, it was getting much colder. Last night we were comfortable sitting around in our sweats. This afternoon we were cold in the car. We had dinner at Zax and decided to stay in a hotel. Finding a hotel was another story. Out the window of the restuarant we spied a lovely, Austrailian Shepard that was patiently waiting for his owner. We were taken in by his big brown eyes so we took turns going out to pet him. We finally settled into a Super 8 Motel. This seemed to be the right choice since it had begun to snow. It was refreshing to be warm and clean. It is amazing how having dirty hair was so distracting. We've indulged in a little Food Network and some warm showers. We are hoping for a sunny day tomorrow. We'd love to do a little hiking, sans the wind.