This week we are in Moab, Utah, land of the red rocks. We’ve been taking advantage of the warm weather and sunny days to hike some of our favorite trails and find new places to explore.
The Moab Libary, where I’ve been working, is full of digital nomads like myself. I’ve gotten so used to their company that I can now match the nomad to the van. We pulled in this morning and I looked around and said “Oh good, dreadlocked software project manager is here today.” I’ve noticed that most digital nomads are male. I can’t tell if this is a function of who chooses to live on the road, or who is risk-tolerant enough to convince their employers to let them.
But back to the hiking. We spent a day hiking around Arches National Park. I’ve been to Arches enough times to have hiked all the trails, but enjoyed another stroll down Park Avenue. An older man stopped me on the trail and asked me to take his picture for him. He handed over his Nikon DSLR, pointed at the shutter button and said “Press this and shit happens!” while waving his hands enthusiastically. I laughed the entire time I shot his picture while he danced around in front of the towering red spires.Mike and I also hiked to Jeep Arch, an off-the-beaten path hike on BLM land outside of Moab. The trail was quiet and pretty. The best part is where the trail climbs through the arch itself. Mike spotted actual Jeeps in the distance, driving on an off-road slick rock trail, and then I had to “Where’s Waldo” my way into finding them as well. It’s a lot of land, and Jeeps are pretty small!We spent a day hiking in the Islands of the Sky district of Canyonlands. This is the area where we found spectacular False Kiva back in the spring. This time we hiked Grand View Point and Murphy’s Overlook. Both skirted on the edge of steep cliffs with thousand foot-plus drop offs around each corner. Mike joked that east coast parks try to keep people alive, and west coast parks they go for a more Darwinian approach. The views were unreal.

Other than hiking we’ve been boondocking (camping off the grid) on the original road into Arches and have had the same neighbors pretty much the whole time. Over the weekend we met a group of friends from Carbondale, Colorado who came in two 1987 Tiger vans. While talking with them I was able to capture the full moon rising over the park.Over ten years ago I worked for the Montana Conservation Corps, leading trail crews on projects around Montana and Idaho. I have not been diligent in keeping up with my old colleagues, but one reached out to me when he saw on Facebook that I was in Moab. He, his wife, and their little newborn came into town for the Moab Folk Festival. Mike and I attended musical story hour at the library where my friends were performing (we sat in the back so we didn’t look creepy without kids!). We met up later in the day and cooked dinner together. It was so great to catch up after so many years, and to remember the shared history we have.This is the longest we’ve camped in one place and I have to say I don’t mind staying put for awhile. Maybe when we jump back on the road after our time in Idaho we’ll make a habit of sticking places for longer. It’s nice to get into a routine, especially when I’m always trying to carve out hours to work on my freelance projects.

We’ll be in Moab through the weekend and then will drive to Sun Valley to move into a house for a month. I’m going to continue posting once a week, as I’m sure we’ll be going on adventures and there will be plenty to share. After a month of re-grouping we’ll hit the road for another six to seven months of travel. Other than seeing friends, you know what I’m most excited about living in a house for a month? A desk! My neck is so over working with my computer on my lap.

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