Sh*t got real during my first tent camping experience on the road.
After making the executive decision to forego Rocky Mountain National Park (to give me more time in Canada) I headed to Arches National Park in Moab, Utah from Taos, New Mexico.
Getting my tent pitching experience started off on the wrong foot, I arrived later than planned, which you smart people know is a tent camping “no-no” because you’re then left pitching your tent in the dark. Setting up in the dark proved to be challenging but evermore simplified with the help of my very fashionable head lamp.
To make matters worse, my companion, YETI, began leaking wonderful chicken/pork/steak smelling water in my trunk. I ended up unloading my whole trunk, which mind you, housed the majority of my now wet belongings, onto a picnic table to remain there for the night.
Then the storm hit. That evening (and into the following evening) Utah received the first of their winter storm warnings that brought high winds, rain, and snow (to northern Utah). That evening I learned camping in the Texas heat is hard, but camping in high winds and rain is much harder.
All the challenges said, I had the time of my life! I’m finding I enjoy the challenges, even thrive attempting to problem solve them. At the end of these past days I feel like I have a thousand little victories that give me a huge sense of accomplishment. I know the coming experiences will be tougher than the ones I faced in Utah, including cold weather, but I’ll do my best and in the end I feel like I got this!
Reflecting on my time at Arches National Park, I enjoyed a full day of hiking and the beauty and strangeness of the park. It’s so amazing to me that water can create such unusual creations on the Earth and that the outcome looks like something from another planet.
And while my nights were tough, with constant wind (I literally woke up with a rock stuck in my nose – hole in one!) and hard rain, I learned my sleeping bag is my sanctuary. My bag is so warm and cozy it feels like I’m being rocked to slumber by a mama bear. I can’t wait to snuggle up in my now dusty, sleeping bag again!