Arches, Canyons, and Quesadillas

Some people go to Moab to visit nearby national parks. Others go to Moab to ride their mountain bikes and off-road vehicles. We went to Moab to eat quesadillas. True story.

When Suzanne drove from Durango to Grand Junction to see a Chris Pureka concert, she was able to take the Million Dollar Highway up and over the mountains to get there. The road was a little snowy and icy, but manageable. The next morning, however, there was a snow chain requirement. Suzanne didn’t have chains for her little rental car, so she went the long way around and ended up driving through Moab. Thanks to Yelp and the universe, she stopped for lunch at Quesadilla Mobilla. And that’s where she had a quesadilla that changed her life. When Kevin heard about this life-changing quesadilla, he agreed that Moab should be our next stop.

Quesadilla Mobilla

Of course we didn’t have reservations before we rolled into Moab, and the place we thought we wanted to stay was full. But we drove just a few miles back down the road to our back-up option, Ken’s Lake BLM Campground, and it ended up being so much better than the place we thought we wanted to stay. We love when that happens. We picked a spot with a beautiful view and settled in for the week.

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As long as we were in the area, we decided to visit Arches National Park, which is just a few miles north of Moab. I mean, we couldn’t eat quesadillas all day, could we? So we figured some tourist activities and a little hiking would be a good way to fill the time between meals.

Arches did not disappoint. Well, we were disappointed that it was so crowded, but we can understand why there were so many tour buses and other RVs there. The landscape is incredibly unique. We did a few short hikes, took a lot of pictures, and tried not to get run over by the novices driving the rental RVs.

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We also visited Canyonlands National Park, which was actually our favorite of the two parks. It’s only 25 miles further away from Moab, but it was much less crowded than Arches. And the views are amazing. Our word for the day was “vast”.

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The Green River and the Colorado River split Canyonlands National Park into a few different sections, and not all sections are accessible from the same entrance points. We visited Island in the Sky, which is the northernmost section of the park, and we would love to come back and do some multi-day backpacking trips here. Even Noah preferred Canyonlands over Arches.

Suz and Noah

During another one of our quesadilla breaks, we rented an off highway vehicle (OHV) and headed along the Colorado River into Kane Creek Canyon. Kevin was kind enough to keep the stunts to a minimum while Suzanne was inside the vehicle, and Suzanne was then kind enough to hop out for a few minutes and let Kevin have some fun. We both drove it, although one of us was a more conservative driver than the other.

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We also had fun exploring the area around our campground. There was plenty to do right at home. Suzanne went for a trail run around the lake one morning and almost stepped on a snake. She and the snake were both happy that she saw him at the last minute and they managed to avoid making contact. Kevin did some mountain biking on a different trail but didn’t see any snakes. And then we both went on a hike to the waterfall that was right above where we were parked. It was a little surreal to feel like we were in the middle of the desert and then see this water gushing toward us.

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We ended up in Moab for an extra day because there were multiple high-wind advisories the morning we decided to leave. But we didn’t mind, it gave us an extra day to enjoy the area and eat quesadillas. The next day was still windy but slightly better, so we decided to pack up and head out. (Thankfully Kevin was willing to drive—if you’ve never driven a high-profile vehicle in high winds, let’s just say it’s not very fun). But we survived the wind and made it safely to Bryce Canyon National Park, where we will pick up with our next blog post.

For now, we will leave you with this awesome bathroom sign from the Maverick Gas Station in Moab. This is so much better than the stick figure woman wearing a dress, isn’t it? We’ll see you on down the road!

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Additional photos from our time in Moab. And seriously, if you’re ever in the area, go to Quesadilla Mobilla:

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Arches, Canyons, and Quesadillas

  1. Omg, I’ve so wanted to take my bike to Moab, but instead, I’m going to get out my paints and practice doing skies. Do you know how hard it is to paint f*cking clouds? Well, trust me it’s difficult especially in watercolor. All I can say is, Suzanne, your photographs inspire me to tackle clouds!

    Kim and I start back to bootcamp Monday. We’ve both had almost two months off. We miss you!

  2. Beautiful pictures. I regret I didn’t get to the Utah Parks when I was out West. Zion is the only one we visited.

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