Getting to Moab is a 4.5 hour drive from Salt Lake City. I made the journey in a Nissan Versa with a scratched Flaming Lips CD that only played two songs all the way through. As I drove I noticed I was surrounded by the desert and the mountains… I had my nifty GPS with me that took me all the way to the Castle Valley Inn. Jeannette, the Inn Keeper made this AMAZING breakfast quiche the following morning and I was off to find a campsite (out of many) where the wedding was going to take place.
Moab is unlike any place I’ve ever been to… this little spot on earth looks as if red paint was dropped on this one special place… the roads swirl around massive canyons separated by the Colorado River. It certainly makes you feel insignificant.
After the wedding I drove to the reception, from what the bride AND the inn keeper told me, ” Just go straight on this road, and don’t give up hope!” Well… after about 40 minutes of climbing a mountain in my new friend, the Versa, the scenery changed from desert to a forest of birch wood, with snowy mountains as a backdrop. Unreal.
As I approached the top, a cow was crossing the road with it’s calf! I’ve seen this only in films… there was nothing else in site, no humans.
Finally, signs of life! I found a woman on the side of the road in her truck and asked her if she had heard of Whispering Oaks Ranch and she pointed straight up the road. Just as everyone had said… The beautiful cabins were situated on top of these mountains that looked like “Heidi” could live there. It’s just shocking to me how people have found a way to “conquer” the land and use it and build all of these roads everywhere.
So the reception takes place and even though the sun had just set it was already 9:30pm so I figured I needed to head back to my place. Afterall, the drive was about an hour long, and now with no street lights. Instead, I decide to get gas, the GPS informs me that there’s a chevron ten miles away. Cool, I can use a longer drive, I love driving at night.
I make the turn and the road starts off as a gravel road. Hmmm… should I keep going? Why not. A bit bumpy but doable. Well ten miles magically turns into 18 miles on the gps and the road got worse. I was already 30 mins into it and if I turned around I would still have to add another hour to the drive. So what the heck. I began to really lose hope after a while, not a single light was in site except for the stars. The swirly and bumpy road seemed to never stop and the gas was getting low. I put the car in neutral and coasted down a mountain.
I went over a huge ditch and thought that I had just busted a tire. I stopped and looked at it with my tiny light on the keychain and it looked good to me…. then I turned up the radio and stood outside. Listening to “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate” for the 1000th time relaxed me. I wasn’t scared or worried. The chaos of the car jerking up and down had stopped and then it was just me with the stars swimming in the sky. Then after about ten minutes I remembered that I was unfamiliar with the wildlife of Utah, so I jumped back in the car. 🙂
Finally, about an hour and a half later I reached the actual town of Moab and I felt as if I could kiss the paved road. Filled up my tank and went back to the Inn, the other way around, which was of course easy!
What I realized is that Cami and Alex wanted for their wedding was an experience. Not an event but an impression on your soul that would forever be kept inside of you and for that I am thankful.
Would I do this all over again? In a heartbeat.