Episode 2: Utah During COVID-19
"Don't worry about anything: instead, pray about everything." -Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
When we decided to leave our home in Missouri to travel to Utah, I was worried, anxious--let's call it what it was, I was scared. We had been planning this trip for months. We both had taken off time from work. We had carefully set aside money for the journey, and had the route planned. With all our preparations, we could never have anticipated the storm that would be raging on our country as we set out. Schools shutting down, grocery store shelves empty, and laws and regulations changing by the day--of course, I'm referring to COVID-19.
I know many of you may not understand why we chose to take our family on a journey across the country in such an uncertain time. With all the anxiety about getting sick, struggling to cross state boarders, and dealing with shut downs along the way, why didn't we stay home? All I can say is we felt the call that so many Americans have felt to head west during times of trouble. We weighed the risks. We would stay in our motor home, stock up our supplies before we left, limit our contact with others, and keep to ourselves on BLM land. In all, we would be as isolated and socially distanced on our trip as we were at home, and for a majority of the time much more so. In short, we chose to exercise our God-given American right to do what is best for our family.
Leaving home, we did not know what to expect. Would we make it to Utah at all? Would we be pulled over and asked to return home somewhere along the 17 hour drive? As we drove, we realized it didn't matter if we made it at all. We were thankful for each mile of road we traveled, for each new sight we were able to soak up, and for this precious time off with our family. Keeping this attitude of flexibility was essential to the success of our travels during this unprecedented and ever-changing time.
Arriving in Utah was remarkable. We were blown away by the depth of colors and textures. Everywhere we looked we saw another of God's incredible creations--massive canyons, shocking mesas, and otherworldly rock spires.
Driving into Utah, we knew camping had been closed in Moab, so we made plans to camp near Blanding. We struggled with identifying where BLM land was for a few hours, and ended up caught in a snow storm as dusk fell. We found a parking area off the side of the highway and made camp for the night hoping we wouldn't be immobilized in red mud by morning.
The next day we were blessed with pleasant weather and made camp in the incredible Valley of the Gods. There were several other camps set up in this area, but we were able to find a perfect, completely isolated camp.
We were fortunate to spend our first few day in Utah exploring, climbing, and enjoying the beautiful isolation.
We made it to Mexican Hat, Muely Point, Monument Valley, and to an unnamed horseshoe canyon that we stumbled upon. Unfortunately, when we got back to camp that evening, we found a note from the sherif requiring us to leave our BLM campsite within the next 24 hours due to the county shutting down "leisure travel." Within a few days, residents of that county would be under a stay home order, and we would be on the move again. Check out our adventure here!
Watch for our next Utah episode coming soon! Connect with us on Facebook if you ever want to ride with us or just to see what we're up to!