Rocky Mountain National Park
Back on the road, the road trippers are headed to their first National Park of the trip, Rocky Mountain National Park! Rocky Mountain has been on Brownie’s bucket list. Cool Cat decides to venture with the girls, Smarty Pants drives with Cool Cat, and Brownie with Bootsie. B & B drive the whole way listening to the playlist “70’s Road Trip” on Spotify. First song is “dream” by Fleetwood mac, Brownie and Bootsie know every word, and Brownie educates Bootsie on how Stevie nicks was dating a guy in the band and wrote this song about their relationship. Next your so vain by Carly Simon again they know all the words and Brownie tells Bootsie how Carly wrote the song about James Taylor. As they come up to the Rocky Mountains they “rock” out to “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver... classic.
The drive is amazing getting a glimpse of the Flat irons in Boulder, Driving through Estes Park the gateway to the Rocky’s, cruising through winding roads with Mountain View’s and 1000 foot drops on the sides. It is majestic the elevation is rising!
They plan to hike the Ute trail with Panoramic views, as they are looking for the trail head driving through the park, they stop at many view points along the way, take many selfies. it takes them 3 hours to get to the trail head. They are feeling the altitude and moving slow so change their plans to hike just to the highest peak which is 12,005 ft elevation which kicks their butts. Sounds difficult but the trail is made of stone steps so it’s not really considered hiking but they are fine with that. As they start to go more and more west, the restroom options are sparing, Brownie and Boots drink a lot of water to stay hydrated, they both have to go very badly...no restroom insight for miles. Brownie freaks out and stops the car in the middle of the road and runs into the woods leaving Boots in the car! Boots yells “mom!” And she hops into the drivers seat to pull off the road and picks up Brownie up the road.
Arches National Park, Moab
They drive 5 1/2 hours to Moab, Brownie rides with Cool Cat in her Red Subaru, Bootsie and Smarty ride together. Another amazing drive, it’s amazing to watch the georgraphy change the rocks are starting to turn red and the pines are turning into shrubs, they are slowly moving into desert territory. The sun is starting to set, they arrive in Moab at 11pm and stay at the Days Inn run by the cutest Indian family, the entire family was behind the front desk, husband wife and two young children.
5am the crew wakes and heads to Arches National Park to hike and watch the sunrise over “Delicate Arch” . It’s a 3 mile hike, they bring their yoga mats and head up the trail. They are in awe, since they got to Moab in the dark they had know idea what it looked like as the sun started to rise they were able to see the red rock formations, huge red rock arches, the sky is a combination of purples, red and orange they hike up just in time to watch the sunrise over delicate arch one of the famous arches in the park. It’s breath taking.
Bootsie leads them in a yoga class facing the sun, more and more people show up to see the arch. Boots looks over and a little boy has joined in on the class. Kieran is about 8 years old and has really good yoga form. He informs them “don’t think this is my first yoga class, I have done this before” he takes the entire class his parents are watching and giggling at him from across the way. As the class comes to an end, he shakes Boots’ Hand and thanks her for the class. All 4 of them boots, Brownie, Smarty and Cool Cat are feeling grateful and centered.
They head on down back to the car and drive around Arches National Park for another 4 hours stopping at every hike and over look, Boots convinces everyone to take off their shoes and feel the sand in between their toes she is inspired by her boyfriend James, he is always taking off his shoes so he can feel the earth more. It does feel good, the terrain starts to change and they have to put there shoes back on. As they start moving along the trail, Brownie screams “ow, ouch, ah!!” She unties her hiking boots and takes her sock off and finds a red fire aunt stuck in her sock, it bit her 3 times and looks like a bee sting! They laugh but feel bad about it, they continue down the path to see another arch and another yelp from Brownie, this time she even cusses which is rare! She unties her left hiking boot and same thing a red fire aunt in her left sock bit her twice, we laugh even harder.
Its starting to get hot out, in the 100’s they head out wave goodbye to arches, part ways with Cool Cat and head on 6 hours down the scenic highway 24 in Utah on their way to Zion National Park!
ZION NATIONAL PARK Virgin, Utah
The drive to Zion is 6 hours they take the scenic route through slot canyons and mountains winding roads. Bootsie takes the wheel it’s her turn, not sure if it was the heat or just over thinking but she is driving terribly. Smarty always says Boots drives like a grandma, but bootsies palms start sweating as she comes up the narrow winding road she’s got 3 bikers behind her and driving a wopping 35 mph in a 65 mph speed limit. Brownie and Smarty hold their tongues for a while until they have had enough, they burst and tell bootsie to pull over, she loses her driving priveledges for the next two days.
Smarty and Boots have a surprise for Brownie. They booked 2 nights of Glamping at Zion Canyon National Park, yes glamorous camping! All the while they have the pleasure of tricking Brownie that they are really back country camping in a backyard they found on Airbnb, she is not pleased.
They roll up through the canyon, on another winding road with cliffs on both sides its beautiful the sun is setting, they spot the glamp site in the distance, white canvas tents nestled in the canyon. They pull up the dirt road, Brownie is confused she thinks we are in an Indian reservation and is getting freaked. They pull up to the reservation tent and tell her they are glamping for two nights! She starts crying for the millionth time, girls really do it right! The stars are aligning for them, they get upgraded to a tent with its own bathroom and best view of the canyon. There is live music by the fire, a yoga platform overlooking the canyon, beer wine and a restaurant it really is glamorous and they never want to leave, again they share a king bed it seems to be the theme of the trip. Bootsie cracks them all open a Utah apple crisp beer which sounded nice but actually tastes pretty bad they take a sip laugh and watch the stars on the front porch of the canvas tent, they see a shooting star together and all hold hands for a moment, feeling grateful to experience this together.
The next morning the three wake up for sunrise yoga, Bootsie leads the class it’s the most amazing place they have ever done yoga before. Up and at it they head to Zion for some hiking! So many things to see they start with the narrows hike, they didn’t get the memo to wear water shoes so they do it kramer style kick off there shoes and hike barefoot for a couple miles down the river through slot canyons they get some looks one man makes a comment and Bootsie replies back “that’s how jersey does it”.
Next they head to hike Angels landing, it’s the hottest time of day they make it half way up, Brownie gets spooked partly because Bootsie tells her all the stories of the hikers who have fallen off of the top. They turn around, it is 99 degrees so they jump in the river again. They find another hike that is more moderate and less on the edge of losing Brownie off the edge. Overall they spend 8 hours at Zion it’s the most amazing place so far, canyons, crystal clear water, waterfalls it’s a dream.