In the Tent: Virgin trip to Moab |

In the Tent: Virgin trip to Moab

Emily Palm
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

MOAB, Utah ” Everyone, their brother and their goldfish ” so it seems ” escapes from the Aspen mud season to the Moab sun. While the mountain weather decides its mood each day, the Utah desert offers reliable flip-flop and shorts conditions.

Until Friday, I had never been.

Last weekend, I ” a newbie to Aspen ” found myself en route to the land of pillared rocks and buttes with three other ladies who had never been there either. We dubbed it “The Virgin Trip to Moab.”

Through the grapevine, we learned we needn’t reserve a campsite. “You’ll be fine,” they said. “Don’t sweat it,” we heard. Turns out a little forethought can be a good thing, especially when arriving after 8 p.m.

The man at the visitor’s center greeted our questions on local campgrounds with unhelpful laughter. He was shocked we hadn’t reserved a site, as everything was full. We might be able to camp elsewhere, but he explicitly described why troweling did not work in the desert. In no uncertain terms, we would be fined.

It all worked out, however, as we made new friends with a couple willing to share some space for a tent by the river. When we drove by hearing the Doors playing from their truck, we knew they’d be the perfect neighbors for the night.

It turns out that it can be a bit windy around Moab. So, being our first time, setting up the wind-sock, er, tent was a fumbling and awkward process in the dark.

The next morning, we scouted out a perfect campsite. Not wanting to be site sharks, we politely asked the people (obviously packing up) if we kindly could have their site after they left. Apparently one must be aggressive when it comes to sites by the river, because while we waited patiently, a group of people literally ran past us ” Thermarests in tow ” to the site. “We have already paid,” they informed me. Luckily we hadn’t fully disengaged from the previous site.

Overall, we all had a fantastic time. It seems you can pick your passion when it comes to activities. While I brought my climbing shoes (just in case), the weekend was full of hikes to canyon rims and arches. A herd of bighorn sheep even passed us on the trail.

I can see why Moab is the darling of Aspenites. Dare I say, it was a magical getaway and I intend to do this a lot.