This is a map of Grand County, Utah.
And boy oh boy, do I have a story to tell.
Spring Break, 2011
The sky was still inky black when we set out. The only things in the car were three outfits for each of us, pajamas and two extra outfits, two bags of snacks including a small box of porridge, a paper map of the state of Utah, and two papers with directions printed the night before. Our destination was Moab, Utah.
We have wanted to visit Moab ever since we moved to Utah and this was our chance. From home, we ventured south on Interstate 15. We went through Salt Lake City and soon Draper and Lehi. “Where are we exiting again?” Mom asked occasionally.
“Highway 6 Eastbound,” I answered, “Spanish Fork, Exit 259.”
“Are you sure?” She asked.
“Yes,” I groaned for the hundredth time as I ate my porridge. Mom’s request. She was worried about my hunger and the porridge growing cold.
As we neared our exit, we encountered construction zone. The speed was reduced to 55 MPH. “Ugh, so slow.” Mom groaned.
“We’re almost at the exit.” I replied. We were about a few miles from our exit.
We encountered more construction after exiting the interstate. The signs to Highway 6 were all over the place and when this happens, I get nervous. “Are you sure we’re going the right way?”
“Just follow the sign to Highway 6 East.” I urged. So we did and were soon heading up the mountain.
“You didn’t tell me this is a mountain road.” Mom said.
“Because I didn’t know.”
“So curvy!” She complained and I rolled my eyes. We’ll soon get out of it, I thought but didn’t say out loud. That’s before we encountered a rude surprise. It was snowing! “What?!” Mom shrieked. “I thought you checked the weather.”
“I did! It didn’t say it’s going to snow.” I quickly pulled out the paper map and scoured for our current location. We were heading toward Soldier Summit, the highest point. “We’ll just have to get through the highest point and then maybe the snow will stop.” She wasn’t listening. Her temper was sky-rocketing. She looked like a ticking bomb about to explode. Meanwhile, I’m beginning to feel the effect of the porridge.
As we crawled upward, the snow got heavier and the speed of the car reduced as Mom got irritated and afraid. “This is all your fault!” She said with clenched teeth, “Why did you point me to this route? Why couldn’t we just go to Route 70?”
“I didn’t know,” I shrieked anxiously. My bladder was overfilled, I had to go. “Um, I’m beginning to feel the effects of the porridge.”
“Oh, come on. Hold it.” She ordered. Fortunately, when we reached Soldier Summit, there was a gas station with a restroom. “Ask the station’s attendant how much longer.” The attendant told me this was the top and that we’ll be in Price after we descend. She was right. When we reached Price, the snow had stopped and the weather had become glorious. “That’s weird,” Mom remarked.
“That’s Utah weather.” I responded.
Soon enough, we entered I-70 and reached Moab. On the way to the hotel, we decided to visit Canyonland National Park. The park was wonderful and we took a lot of pictures only to lose it all when my portable hard drive died and I accidentally burned the pictures onto a bad CD. The only ones I had were the ones I uploaded to Facebook.
It was still quite early in the afternoon after we completed our visit of Canyonland National Park that we decided to drop our bags at the hotel before venturing onto Arches National Park. “I think we might be finished with both parks tomorrow.” Mom said as we exited the park. “We’ll visit the other half of Canyonland and then go home tomorrow morning, okay?” I shrugged.
After checking into the hotel, we decided to feed our stomachs on the remaining snacks in the car as we drove to Arches National Park. Moab is a town very different from the others I’ve visited. I think the most incredible thing about Moab is how close the mountains are. It’s right across the street from the hotel!
Anyway, we spent the afternoon in Arches National Park and once again, Mom was shrieking with frustration as she drove slowly up the entrance to Arches National Park. She’s afraid of heights and to get to Arches National Park, there’s a winding road up the mountain. She’s afraid to look in the side mirror. Well, no one told her to look.
Anyway, we soon entered the park. “Where’s the Delicate Arch?” Mom asked.
I searched the map and led. “I think we have to walk like a mile.”
“That’s not too bad.” Okay, suit yourself.
After 90 minutes or so of walking, we finally arrived at the Delicate Arch. Along the way, we met a lot of misguided tourists and hiking enthusiasts who told us we had only 20 minutes left. Liars.
That night, we were both exhausted. “I think we had a lot of exercise today.” Mom said as she turned off the lights.
“I can’t feel my legs.” I whined, closing my eyes.
The next morning, Mom woke me up at the crack of dawn. We quickly, looked up the direction to the South part of Canyonland National Park and the way home. Then we exited the room with our bags. “You go to breakfast. I’ll put our bags in the car.” I nodded and proceeded to the lobby.
After breakfast, we drove southward through and out of Moab where we eventually entered another entrance of Canyonland National Park. It was a long drive and way out of our way but it was worth it.
After my portable drive stopped working, I felt awful for losing those pictures but at the same time, I wondered if it’s a sign. A sign I should visit those parks again. Alone, this time since Mom said, “Don’t ever ask me to go again. I don’t ever want to drive that road ever again.”