Zion to Joseph to Moab

I’m currently in the middle of butt truck nowhere, Utah. And yes, that definitely is an official city. It’s just southeast of Ass Cavity and a bit to the north of Piss Creek. Great spot, I highly recommend it.

I guess I’m technically in Joseph, Utah. I stopped over for the night at Wildland Gardens, a neat family getaway with single-room tents set up on the property. Like a lot of places, I wish I had more time to spend there. It’s in a small valley with snow-peaked mountains surrounding it, and at night you can see a swath of stars. It would be a perfect place to just sit out by the campfire with some friends and get inebriated.

It was nice to connect with some people, too. The hosts, Mike and Carrie, were super nice and Mike and I seemed to share a lot of similarities. We talked about living away from the city and how traveling helps you grow as a person. There was another guest staying next to me as well, a woman my age moving from Colorado to San Diego. It was kind of funny to be staying at this place in the middle of Utah backcountry next to someone moving to California as I’m moving out of California.

It was fun to connect with Ana, too and watch her dog enjoy all of the space and the company of the other dogs running around on the property. I wish I hadn’t gone to bed so early and met her the night before instead of the morning. It would have been cool to sit and watch the stars with someone. I’m thankful for the small connections made along the way, though. I like traveling alone, but traveling alone doing COVID is excessively isolating. People are happy to engage in conversation, but there’s nothing beyond it. Nobody’s saying “let’s go grab a drink,” or “come on over and hang out.” The most fun thing about traveling alone is meeting random people and making those connections.

I spent the previous two days in Zion National Park, which was both remarkable and frustrating. It was an extremely busy weekend at the park, and because of the pandemic, the regular shuttle service wasn’t running, so there was limited access to the park. I wasn’t able to do the Angels Landing hike or see the emerald pools or slot canyons like I had wished. Antelope Canyon was also closed when I was in Lake Powell, and that was the thing I wanted to see most. It can be frustrating, but it also leaves something to be seen for when I return. This trip kind of feels like a cursory glance at different areas that I can explore more deeply in the future. I’m excited to plan separate getaways to these spots in the future and already be comfortable and familiar with the towns.

I loved the town of Springdale, Utah, just at the base of Zion. The food was really good and the town felt touristy but also small and homely. Everyone was happy to be there and people were always walking around town with careless smiles on their faces. It was also full of the types of people I get along with, who are interested in exploring nature and being outdoors. It was fun to take note of the different types of people, too. There were people who I could tell had hardly climbed up a flight of stairs let alone a steep mountain. Then you have your hiking snobs, who look at the tourists in disdain, clapping their hiking boots together and screaming “THE WATER WAS WASTE HIGH BUT I HAVE $700 HIKING PANTS SO I WAS FINE!” Then there’s everyone in between.

I like the in-betweeners most. Regular people who wanted to get away and are happy to be exploring. From families to groups of friends to solo adventurers, everyone is there to enjoy the views. I was really impressed when I stopped at Lees Ferry and was navigating the most difficult part of a challenging hike that required rock climbing, and a single mother and her son, who was maybe between eight and ten years old, were navigating the rocks from the other direction. I was wondering if I could even do the rest of the hike, and seeing them go through it alleviated my doubts. I was also kind of turned on. The mom was pretty damn hot and watching her help her son up the rocks was really inspiring and heart-warming.

It was also nice because I was able to use my boner as leverage in one of the foot holes of the rock to propel myself upwards.

I’m kidding, I didn’t do that. That would be a good way to lose a penis, and I only have one so I would be pretty annoyed if I lost it.

Jason Brendel
Jason Brendel

Jason Brendel is an author, poet, and comedian living in Austin, Texas. Navigate the buttons below to follow him on social media, make a donation, or purchase his collection of laugh-out-loud poetry on Amazon.

2 thoughts on “Zion to Joseph to Moab

  1. I love this area, being from Arizona, and enjoying the outdoors, this is one of my favorite spots. Thank you for sharing!

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