Zen On Dirt

Saying Goodbye to Moab

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We’d never planned on staying in Moab for six weeks. I guess we never really plan far past our next meal or ride, but whenever we were asked if we’d stay in Moab through Memorial Day, we said, ‘No way, it gets way too hot by then.’ But it didn’t.

Until it did.

But, not wanting to fight the traffic of Memorial Day weekend, we stayed put, getting one last chance to say goodbye on Monday.

It was a pretty typical town day. Wake up. Eat breakfast and sip coffee while watching the sun rise over Arches National park. De-rig from the last ride, in this case, start to re-rig for departure the next day. Head to town, find some internet and work for a few hours. Eat a sandwich lunch and drop off recycling at the park. Laundry. Fill up some water for he night.

Even with tired, legs, we motivated for one last visit to Amasa that evening. I ran, Scott rode. The trails were empty, and we stopped often to take in our surroundings. One last Moab play-date.

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Moab really is one of the last places that seems to accept, maybe even embrace, the dirtbag culture. Where it’s perfectly normal to live out of a 13-foot trailer parked on a piece of BLM land so that you can keep your costs low, allowing you to ride, run, climb, boat, or follow whatever passion you choose more freely. It’s been the one place in our travels so far where, as a pair of 30-somethings living in a trailer, we felt completely normal.

And as two people who tend to do life a little differently, that was pretty cool.

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It was great to spend copious amounts of time with people who understood what we were doing. Other trailer-dwellers, van-dwellers, travelers, seekers, all bound together by the belief that you don’t need a lot to get by and be happy and there was a lot of life to live and places to explore.

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Sometimes I feel a little crazy doing what we’re doing. Sometimes there’s a little bit of doubt that creeps into my brain. But after six weeks in Moab, living side-by-side with others who’ve made similar choices, it feels completely normal.

It’s been fascinating to see different executions of the same idea, all revolving around the philosophy of living simply, refusing to get caught up in the idea that we have to be busy at all times. We’ve spent countless nights with camp chairs spread out in our campsite with various people, watching the sunset light up the Klondike Bluffs, talking about anything and everything.

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In the past, I’ve lamented the loss of the gatherings of our early to mid-20’s, where groups of friends would converge at various houses and BBQ or just hang out multiple evenings a week, just for the sake of spending time together. Human interaction. Human connection. In this case, happening in the middle of the desert.

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I would have loved to have a picture of every combination of people we camped with. We had such a diverse group from such different backgrounds, new friends and old, everyone bringing in a new and different view point on how to do this human experience. I haven’t spent that much time just sitting and talking and eating with people in a long time. And it felt good.

Out of our houses. Out in the open. Is this what they call community?

I don’t know. But it was something special.

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Easier on a bike than on foot.

We spent our last night camped with Julie and Heather, who’d just come off of her three-day Kokopelli bikepack. In the morning, we ate breakfast, we watched the sun rise over Arches National Park one last time, and we loaded up the Scamp, hooked it up for the first time in 6.5 weeks, and hit the road.

We’ll be back in the fall. We can’t wait.

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