Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ode to the Subbie

**this was written while still on the road, so the timeline is off**

As I lay here in a pool of gear in the back of my Subaru Outback waiting on Josh to get a few runs in on Loveland Pass, I must reflect on my vehicle's performance over the last week.

This is the first true road trip I've been on in my wagon. She's been to a couple of festivals, plenty of car camping trips and 100+ mile trips, but not until this week has she provided transportation, shelter, gear tote and overall comfort for an entire week.

Josh and I set off for an intented loop from Jackson, to Moab to Loveland Pass to Boulder and back home. We left Sunday (19th) evening with bikes, climbing gear, backpacking gear, skis, snowboard, boots, camping chairs, a cooler, clothes and a crash pad. We had the seats down and put as much gear as we could fit into the Sky Box. We left Jackson after dark and drove as far as we could. We eventually found some BLM land in Southern Wyoming and found an out-of the way spot to camp- in the car. See, as much as we love camping: setting up a tent just to sleep in, then take it down, repack it into it's tiny little bag and stuffing it back into the car can be a pain. SO, instead we just took the Backpacks and cooler out of the car, and set up camp in the back of the Subbie. With two inflated Thermarests and sleeping bags that zip together and a couple of fluffy pillows, the back is rather comfortable. Josh and I have it dialed in. In the morning, at the crack of dawn, we were semi-ready to get on the road. I had a lot more motivation to get to Salt Lake City than Josh did, so I drove while he slept in the back. After lunch in SLC, I was pooped, so Josh drove and I took a nap in the back. I woke up just as we were getting into the interesting part of Utah.

The landscape went from flat and vast to spiny, rocky and ancient. It looked like we were driving into the Jurassic period. Southern Utah is beautiful. Unfortunately we were pulling into the desert as the sun was setting, so we pulled off the Interstate on exit 131 and drove through the San Rafael Swell towards Goblin Valley. We were deep in BLM land, so it was quite simple for us to find a nice camp site and catch some shut eye. We were able to find an actual camp site with a fire pit and what seemed to be a pretty nice view, but it was dark, and we were lazy, so car camping won out again. This time around, we discovered that if we set the cooler just outside the door, we could use it as a "bedside table" and enjoy a coldbeer before going to sleep.

We woke up early the next morning, to realize that we were about to get rained on. Quicky-packed the Subaru and headed out just before the rain hit. We high-tailed it to Moab, with the Subaru all disheveled and starting to smell a little like feet. The rain slacked off when we got to Moab, so we decided to put my All-parks pass to work (For $80 a year, you can visit every National Park in the Country- a Teton-Yellowstone is $50, so it's a pretty good deal) and go to Arches. The rain held off long enough for us to see one "gaper" set of arches and explore two off the beaten path.

The bottom dropped off on us so we raced to the Subaru for shelter. Once in the haven of our campsite on wheels, we were able to dry off a tad before heading into Moab. We ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant, where the power went out on us. (Apparently Moab is not built for rain.)

While in Moab, we went to a gear shop to find out some insider information about the area. We bought a harness for Josh and a book on slot canyon exploration. We headed back up the interstate towards Robber's Roost. Just outside of Moab, but before you get into the cast Robber's Roost area, there is a little town called Green River. Green River had quite a selection of hotels, and although the Subbie has proven herself comfy and functional, the idea of being able to spread out a bit and dip in a hot tub was awfully appealing. So we stayed at the best Best Western I've ever stayed in!

After an overnight re-coop Josh and I headed out for the desert! Robber's Roost is an area located between the Colorado River, Green River and the Dirty Devil River about an hour north-west of Moab, Utah. We turned off I-80 onto Hwy 24 and drove about 20 miles west. We turned off on a ranch road and headed 55 miles back into the plateau. As we were driving, we consulted the map over and over again because it just didn't seem that there would be any kind of canyons in this vast open space. Finally, the guide book lead us to a spring, and we were supposed to look for some signatures on a wall, then we would find the mouth of the canyon.

Our first Canyoneering experience was a good one.

We got back to the car with plenty of time to travel 70 miles to the San Rafael Swell before we slept. Again, we slept in the car and woke up to a beautiful day in the desert...

We set off for Music Canyon. After traveling about two miles down Music Canyon, we realized that this canyon was not nearly as interesting as the one we had found the day before, so we turned around and headed for another spot just a few miles away. We still never found the one in the book, but we did stumble across a pretty cool drainage that we followed for about three miles before we had to turn around at 5:30 (did NOT want to get stuck in the desert away from the car after dark).

Josh was pretty upset when I made him turn around...

But when we got back to the car just in time to crack a PBR at sunset, he was pretty happy

From the San Rafael Swell we headed back to civilization. I drove well into the night while Josh slept. I pulled over at a rest stop in Rifle, CO around midnight, slept for a few hours then got up and drove to Loveland Pass.

All-in-All the Subaru has been WONDERFUL to us! She never complained when we drove her through treacherous terrain, she sipped gas when we needed her to conserve and kept up when we needed to trek on! She deserves a bath and a good detailing after her trip to the dessert!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Can any girl really claim to be low-maintenance?

Lying in bed this morning, hitting snooze a time or five. Watching the snow fall on the aspens outside my bedroom window, I truly treasured the simplicity of my life. I had to be in town at 9:45, after a 25-30 minute commute (9:15 departure time) I safely concluded that I could lie in bed until 9:08, thus leaving me seven minutes to get ready for the day. I LOVE that I can be ready for the day in just a mere seven minutes. My job does not require me took look pretty, the town I live in does not require me to wear couture, so the wardrobe is quite simple. My choices include: fitted jeans vs. baggy jeans, long sleeved tee shirt in black, white, green or brown, under tank top in white, black, stripped, purple, green or blue(the one on top of the drawer usually wins) and Merells vs. Evolve shoes. Dress, brush teeth, face lotion, quick run of the comb, scarf and jacket and bam! I'm ready! I dread the day that I no longer can do this.

Not that I ever look glamorous from day to day. I always just look like this:
(taken after two days in the desert)

But this got me to thinking, am I really what someone would consider low maintenance? I wouldn't be so quick to say so. I definitely have my "fetishes" just like any woman.

Some women like to spend their "me money," on fashion and beauty items, I just like to spend my "me money" on toys!

Some women have a desire to line their closets with delicate shoes, heels and such. I have 3 pair of Chacos, four pair of snow boots and a pair of hiking shoes.

Lots of women I know have a purse fetish, I have a backpack collection. (one purse, many have told me it's actually a camera case)

Women nickle and dime themselves to death on new tubes of lip stick, nice perfume and fancy shampoos. I prefer to spend my money on chalk for climbing, wax for my snow board, ad chap stick.

Josh would argue that although I am simple that I am still quite high maintenance, just in a less girly kinda way. But he doesn't complain, because the things I buy for "me" end up benefiting both of us and our travels.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Moderate Creativity.

Randomly I have the need to write down my thoughts. I'm going to try it on a blog. We'll see what happens. 

I'm watching HGTV in the condo by myself.  It's the first time I've gotten to actually control the remote and watch EXACTLY what I want to watch on TV. Sigh, so while flipping for the cheesiest prime-time television I could find on a Wednesday night, I get stuck in cable-land.  You know, the upper stations that never have gripping, steamy, McDready style television (what I was hoping to watch) and instead I got sucked into HGTV.  I stop because I heard "his and her two house compound" and was intrigued.  This couple built their houses(s) on two adjoining lots.  They share a yard, but little else.  They each had their own space.  This show was, of course, not about their relationship so I can only speculate from here: What a cool idea!! She can have her place to put her "smelly candles" and have a bathtub the size of the bathtub in the Peewee Herman movie, while he has his house for the ridiculously large flat screen television and hibatchi grill in lieu of oven and stove... two bathrooms. two kitchens. two bedrooms (or more!) two living rooms.  He could have all the sports parties in his house and she could have the dinner parties in hers! I'm sure they alternate bedrooms to sleep.  I cannot imagine a couple in love that wouldn't want to sleep next to eachother everynight.  But then again, I guess there are tons of people that have done that.  But sleeping is the best part of being in a relationship.  I just don't understand how people can not like at lest being able to touch your love in the middle of the night. Just reach the big toe back ever so slighty and touch his leg- just know that he's there. But that's just me... Two houses though, that would be awesome! Even better- one house, two wings One bedroom.  Work with me now. You start in the middle with a shared bedroom.  Just like any couple's bedroom it's slightly void of too much personality- neutral.  The bed is large, preferably a California King, with beige in color, and high in thread-count linens.  The television is centered across from the bed.  From there the house splits.  Her side leads to her walk-in closet.  To the right is her bathroom.  Her bathroom has a large jacouzi tub and a multi-head shower with a bench for shaving her legs. Her vanity is somewhat girly with a place to sit and put on make-up. Back through the closet and straight ahead is a door leading to "her" house.  She has a full set up with a kitchen, dining room, living room and a powder room and a couple of guest rooms.  If you step outside on her front porch, it looks like a duplex.  If you go out "her" front door, you step a mear ten feet and you are knocking on "his" door. "His" house opens up to a large great room, the living area in the front and the kitchen off the back. He has a couple of extra bed rooms, that could be used as guest rooms- if the guest didn't mind a recording studio or gear closet.  The door to the shared bedroom is through is bathroom.  His house had little need for a closet and a bathroom, so he just opted for twice the bathroom.  In his bathroom, there is another large television, a steam room and a large multi-headed shower. Back full circle to the shared bedroom.  She would invite him over to her house for dinner and a movie.  He would woo her in his bachelor pad from time to time and they would always go home together. It would be pretty cool. *end stream of consciousness* 

Do not judge for grammar, as I have not edited for more than spelling. My imagination lies deep in the middle of "my own little world" and in my world, there is not much structure, thus, no grammar.  

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Nesting and Waiting...

The off season is officially upon us.  It's the time of year when the town clears out: the summer residents are moving south for the winter, the ski bums haven't quite gotten here yet and the gapers (tourists) have stopped flooding town square.  The off season is a time to slow down and shift gears.  Summer was amazing! It was a world wind of sun, water, mountains and tons of activities... The winter will be jammed packed full of skiing and snowshoeing.  But October and November's weather forces you to put the breaks on.  Today, for instance we woke up to wind howling, snow flurries and chilly weather.  The idea of going on a hike was less than appealing.  So for the first time in a long while, I am staying in and doing NOTHING.  
The catch is, I'm very bad at doing nothing. So instead, I have been organizing, doing laundry and in general "nesting." I almost have the house dialed in and comfortable.  Josh's mom is in town and she's been making lasagna all day for us to freeze! The boys have been keeping the fire ablaze all day, it's just been a delightful day! I love the off season! 

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The new digs!

This is my roommate Steven showing off the kitchen/laundry room

Our bedroom...
The dining room
The living room! 
the other half of the living room, and my sweet boyfriend showing it off