My friend Kylee kept putting up posts about her trip to Moab, UT so I suggested to Andrew that we take one of our own. Then I immediately started to get excited about taking Athena on her first real hiking trip.
Moab holds a special place in our family's heart. Andrew's mom and dad lived there shortly before he was born; his mom passed away 20 years ago so it's pretty sweet for him to be in a place that his mom lived and loved.
It's also special to us because it is essentially one of the biggest reasons we moved to Utah. Four years ago Andrew and I took a trip to Utah for him to run a half-marathon. We flew into Salt Lake city, and really (and somewhat unexpectedly) loved the city. After a few days, we drove the quick trip south to Moab and realized that if we lived in Utah we could have the best parts of city life, with amazing places like close enough for weekend trips. It was the best of both worlds in our eyes. Nature and city, a little something for everyone!
Fast-forward to last summer, about a half-year after we made the move to Utah. I was 18 weeks pregnant with Athena, my girlfriend Amanda flew in from Chicago and we drove down to Moab together to do the famous Delicate Arch hike. I knew it was only a three-mile round trip so I thought it wouldn't be that bad. Boy, was I wrong. It was 100 degrees with unrelenting sun and no shaded spots except for one tiny tree. We got about 3/4 of the way there and I just couldn't do it. I got yelled at by some older women to come sit down and that I needed to think about the baby and stop. I was so bummed because in my head this was going to be an easy hike, but I never got to finish.
Needless to say, this past weekend we went back to the Delicate Arch hike with unfinished business.
This time, with a cooler temperature and Andrew and baby Athena strapped to his chest, we made it to the arch in just under an hour. It's amazing how the heat can really get to you, especially when you are pregnant. That 30 degree temperature change made all the difference!
On the delicate Arch hike as well as a couple of other hikes throughout Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Athena made the most adorable cooing noises while watching everything and every one. She loved it! It was so special for both Andrew and I to get to experience a place we love so much with her right there with us. It was such a fantastic trip.
First gas stop of the trip. Baby girl needed to stretch her legs out too.
Andrew found us the best little two-bedroom condo with a balcony. We got there right at sunset which was perfect and so pretty with the red rocks in the background.
This is the Balanced Rock in Arches National Park. Pretty incredible, huh?
First hike was a quick one, only a half mile roundtrip, to see the Double Arch. Athena was still a little sleepy so she hid from the sun in the Ergo carrier with her cute little sun bonnet on.
You really get to see how massive this is when you see just how tiny I am standing next to it
The hike to the Delicate Arch did not disappoint. It's pretty amazing what nature creates!
At the end of our hike the moon made a pretty appearance.
Just an average side-of-the-road view in Moab!
Andrew and I managed to fit all of our stuff in this new neoprene "Landon" weekend bag from Dagne and Dover. It's roomy and sleek and even Andrew likes it!
Activewear was really all I brought with to wear on this trip but it worked out just fine! My Albion jacket is super thin and light and matches with everything. As for shoes, I didn't want to bring hiking boots because I knew the terrain wouldn't be bad so I settled on my Nike Fly Knits! They are so comfy and light and can be worn with or without socks!
Andrew and Athena at Canyonlands National Park
Family picture at the Mesa Arch! You can see the red-rock canyons and the snow-capped La Sal mountains in the background.