Granted, this was a biking trip. But riding the Whole Enchilada trail the day before had exhausted what little horsepower we had left in our legs.
As a result, we voted unanimously to celebrate our final day in Moab by renting some high horsepower instead.
Ben, Nate, Phillip and I ponied up our credit cards and our bodily safety to strap into a Polaris Razor. This four-wheel drive vehicle must’ve been designed specifically to suit the adventuring needs of little boys who never grew up. I suspect that little boys who never grew up make up the majority of the tourist population of Moab. Thankfully this trumped-up ATV could handle the fact that four of us weren’t exactly little anymore when measured in girth units.
So when the Razor came off the trailer our 4-hour rental clock began, the pressure to carpe diem was on. We launched off on to a trail, cryptically called “Fins n’ Things”—presumably because of some of the landmarks you’ll see below:
We handed back the keys to our Razor with smiles plastered over our dusty faces. In the same way that we had surprised ourselves with the past few days of biking challenges, we had conquered some challenging terrain without giving our roll cage a workout. As far as I could tell, none of us died on our four-wheel drive adventure. So we celebrated with a brief stop back in Moab at a local, semi-famous roadside attraction.
We picked up some impressive fossilized and polished gifts for the kids back home (10 kids between our four families) while laughing at the minor spectacle of the place. Though I shouldn’t have been all that surprised. Moab is the sometimes awkward intersection of hippie art, geo-science, environmentalism, adventure sports, and great milkshakes. And yet we had not yet explored one of Moab’s crown jewels: Arches National Park.
As our last act in Moab, we set off into the park to see the world-famous red rock arches that we’d seen plastered on every advertisement for Utah, not to mention on every Utah license plate. My goal was to capture a sunset photograph of the most famous arch of all, the Delicate Arch. My phone informed me that just 90 minutes of sun remained, so we pushed onward just slightly over the speed limit.
We had made it to the Delicate Arch despite the darkness, narrow Lord of the Rings-style mountain ledges, and the threat of missteps all over the place. Whew. It was a great time to slow down and soak in the beauty of the strange world around us. The Delicate Arch offered a great opportunity to sit behind the camera enjoy the view. It was soothing to just talk and share a slow-paced final adventure with the boys, and reminisce about the days we had lived out. A month before, this trip wasn’t even on my radar and yet there we were. I was out of my element, and absolutely loving it.
We returned to our car at 10:30pm with only the stars and a flashlight or two to light our way. We had tired of the protein bars and jerky we had in our packs, and made plans on our late night drive to load up on calories at the Denny’s in our hotel parking lot. Before long our plates and then bellies were filled with chicken fried steaks, cheeseburgers with fried eggs, mozzarella sticks and the like. We boys who had never grown up were enjoying our final supper, in one final late-night act of celebration before leaving for home at 5:00am…just four hours later.
What a day! What a place! What a trip! Thanks to our families for the gift of time and space. Thanks to the boys for far too much fun, and for the encouragement to keep going when the going got ridiculous. Thanks to God for the most incredible playground.
So, uh, when are we going back?
So now I’ve shown you one of mine. Where is your favorite playground in this world? Tell us in the comments below!