Thurs. Oct. 10, 2013:
In the morning it was still raining, and there was now the added threat of a snowstorm. Brent still wanted to see Telluride, I was not having it: I did not have a waterproof jacket nor did I have a second pair of shoes, he was on his own. I stayed in the nice warm bed, wrapped up in blankets with a cup of coffee. I tried to watch TV alas there were only 5 channels and they all sucked. Another cup of coffee in hand, I whiled away my time playing Candy Crush on the iPad. Brent came back cold and with wet feet. He rode the gondola to the top of the mountain as well, to get a view of Telluride from the top. I did not regret my decision at all; apparently you could barely see anything thanks to the crappy weather. Out the window I could barely see the outlines of the mountains amidst the fog and the snow- it was snowing. The walk to the car from the hotel was terrible. As we left town I rolled down the window to try and get a better view of the mountains, but the snow was wet and lumpy and not pleasant at all.
Thankfully the night before I had forgotten my granola bar in the car and we were happily reunited. The hotel had no vending machines and Brent said that all the shops in town and on top of the mountain in the ski resort were all closed. Two hours later we were back in Utah, alas, it was still snowing and the car said it was 35F outside. Off in the distance we could see clear blue skies in the direction we were headed. But to the side I could still see the snow-capped mountains of Colorado- it felt like we had gotten nowhere.
We stopped at a tiny rural post office so I could (finally!) mail my postcards. Next door there was a shop, so we stocked up on breakfast and lunch: Reesesticks (which are highly underrated), Chicken & Waffles Lays (taste like what they promise, sort of weird but sort of good) and Salsa Verde Doritos with a raspberry iced tea chaser. Around this time the landscape had started changing from snow-capped mountains to red rock flat-topped mountains; it was finally starting to look like Utah.
We checked into our hotel in Moab early. We headed out on foot; there was no point in driving as we had the whole day to spend in Moab as our original plans of going to Canyonlands National Park had been derailed. Along the way we checked out two possible breakfast places for the next morning. The first one, EclectiCafe, was weird: they sold beads there as well. The second one, Love Muffin, had shut down. It looked like we’d be eating the free hotel breakfast instead.
On our way to Moab Brewery, for a pre-lunch beer, we passed a State Liquor Store. We went in to browse; alas Brent had forgotten his beergraphs.com print out of the best beers. There was a McDonald’s next door; naturally we went there for the free wi-fi. It was a bit weird to be sitting on a comfy leather couch, by a fake fireplace, watching Fox news while sipping really bad coffee. We weren’t alone either, there were other stranded tourists as well, all glued to the TV for any news of the government shut-down ending. Moab Brewery did not have the one beer on tap that Brent had wanted and so we bailed. Our next stop was back to the liquor store. Only during that one block of walking it poured rain- we returned soaking wet and with a list, the cashier must’ve thought we were nuts. What was nuts was that as we walked in the rain, in three directions we could see bright blue sun-filled skies. We had crossed over Mill Creek, a brown-red creek that was overflowing onto the sidewalk below.
With a paper bag full of highly-rated beers we set off for Milt’s Sit & Eat to finally have some lunch. It turned out that Milt’s was further from the hotel than the liquor store and we could have gone there without backtracking after lunch- oh, well we had nothing else to do that day anyway. There was no debate about what I was getting: Santa Fe burger won hands down, it had green chiles. There was the option to get various burger meats, including buffalo (delicious). The only downside was that the green chiles weren’t chopped up into bits. I had a sip of Brent’s Reese’s shake; it was good, but not enough to make me like milkshakes. We also ordered cheese fries- they were an epic fail. They were an abomination: it was a mix of shredded cheese AND processed cheese slices… most of which had NOT melted. It was really bad.
When we got back to the main street it turned out we had to backtrack anyways, to get to 7-Eleven for some afternoon snacks: Halloween Mike & Ikes (there were two types, Vampire and Mummy both of which inexplicably had grape flavoured candy in them, why?!) and an M&M’s chocolate bar. One block away from the hotel the sun decided to come out and it finally started warming up- so frustrating, where was this while we were out and about?!
In the hotel we found a handy print-out of alternate plans for those stuck in Moab with cancelled plans. Dead Horse Point State Park seemed like the best option: at least we would get to look down into Canyonlands. I was still rather out of it; I saw a billboard for skydiving and wondered why the place was located at the airport.
Even just driving in to the park there were gorgeous views. We stopped at a scenic overlook, looking down into the valley below. It was a gorgeous view- except for the cold rain and strong wind. And of course, as soon as we got in the car the rain stopped. We could see giant rain clouds off in the distance, threatening to rain on us. The only silver lining was that apparently grape Mike & Ikes are not that bad after all.
We drove through Dead Horse Point, stopping at the scenic overlooks. There was a trail from the visitor’s centre to the end point, but the weather was working against us. As we drove there was one narrow part, where wild mustangs were corralled, some of which fell of the cliff, hence the name. The overlooks didn’t have any guard rails, you could feasibly (were you crazy enough) climb down. It was both scary and beautiful. You could see down into the valley where the Colorado River ran through. In the sky there was a mix of rain clouds and far off in the distance clear blue skies. I wish it had been the other way around, by the time we got to the tip it was hailing and literally freezing cold. As we started driving away the rain really started pouring, it did let up when we got out at one final overlook but I was way too cold and ran back to the car. Every time I thought it was the last cold day, we would unexpectedly have another.
Driving back to Moab there were huge dark storm clouds on the horizon. All I could think of was our warm hotel room and the free tea on offer in the lobby. In the parking lot I saw a rainbow… and then another rainbow- IT WAS A DOUBLE RAINBOW. We stopped in the hotel lobby for a bottle opener as well, but apparently it had gone missing, the door jambs would have to do. My hand was really starting to hurt towards the end, but we did not spill too much beer.
On the way in I had found a brochure by the elevator for Hole n” The Rock. In looking it over it actually sounded kind of interesting, and I wanted to go there the more I read it. we planned for it the next day, as well as two natural arches listed on the hotel print-out for government shut-down alternatives. Two natural arches were almost the same as going to Arches National Park- not really, but it was better than nothing.
The M&M’s bar was good, you can’t really mess something like that up. The Big Hunk bar was gross it was just hard nougat with peanuts in it, the bar was hard to eat and hurt my teeth. We dipped into our stash; I was actually drinking beer, well sort of. The Honey Raspberry Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Company was about as close to beer as I got. The other drink was a ginger-cider from Angry Orchard. Both were really good, the cider was easily one of the best I had ever had.
Watching the Food Network was making us hungry, it was time to go out in search of food. We were so tired and lazy; we ended up just going down the street to Wendy’s. As we left I noticed that the lobby smelled of cookies but there were none to be seen- suspicious. The guy at Wendy’s was complaining about the government shut-down and threatening to move to Canada, he was so pre-occupied with this that he forgot to give me sauce for my chicken nuggets. On our way back in I spotted them: freshly baked cookies. We grabbed a bunch and I grabbed another tea. Our evening was set: fast food and the Food Network which was running a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives marathon… which they always are, they should change the name of the network really.