Hugely Pregnant in the Hot Desert

We’ll add this to the list of trips I never posted about because I was too pregnant to care and didn’t want to upset people by promoting travel during a global pandemic. I wish I could just stay in an underground bunker or at least some remote area far, far away from the nearest person until things are “normal” again, but we embarked on this quest to get out of our house before my pregnancy hormones drove me insane and I murdered Kevin.

Really nothing I’ve done since the beginning of the pandemic has felt like a “worthwhile” risk, but at least on this trip we had our own trailer, didn’t have to use any public restrooms, and were outside anytime we were around people. Also, I’m glad I have some photos of us traveling and hiking with masks on so that many years from now we can look back and be like, “Damn we really made it through a pandemic.”

My brother moved in with us for the second half of 2020 and we really wanted to take him to Moab because it’s one of our favorite places and we knew he would love it! We took advantage of the long holiday weekend and also hit up Goblin Valley on the way! Quite possibly one of the worst places to be in the middle of summer in your third trimester of pregnancy. By this point my feet were swollen, I had carpal tunnel in both wrists and had to sleep with wrist braces on, and I had to pee all the time. But yes, let’s definitely go hiking in the hot desert and climb on things.

I was determined not to let this whole pregnancy thing get in the way of having fun, but unfortunately my belly was literally getting in my way as I was trying to climb on things. Even on a previous Goblin Valley trip when I was not pregnant, I got stuck climbing a few times and Kevin had to help me get back down. If you’ve never been to Goblin Valley, there are not really “hiking trails”. You just start wandering around and you can stay down in the valley or climb up onto the mesas.

At first I was trying to take it easy but I really wanted to climb up to the mesa with Kevin and Alex, so I said “screw it” and decided my body could still be as athletic as it was pre-pregnancy. It’s harder to climb back down than it is to climb up though, so we were really stuck trying to find an easy way for me to get down until I got frustrated and decided to just pick a way and stick with it. Kevin swears that the way I chose involved jumping six feet down from a ledge and says that he was afraid to jump off of it and couldn’t believe I had done it pregnant. I don’t think it was that high, but everything turned out fine and they love telling that story now!

By the time we finished climbing around and had to head back because we didn’t bring enough water, it had to be a hundred degrees. We were hot and tired so we were like, let’s just get to Moab and set up the trailer. We get to our RV park in Moab and set everything up and the poor AC in the trailer is working its ass off trying to keep it cool, but it’s the middle of the day and there’s no shade. Kevin’s outside trying to put the awning up and Alex and I are laying in the trailer sweating and drinking two or three Gatorade Zeros. It was so miserably hot that I wanted to just drive back home. I also wanted to return the trailer because it was not getting cool in there and I was so pissed about how expensive it was and yet it couldn’t withstand the desert heat. Finally Kevin was like, let’s just go to the river, which was a whole adventure trying to find a secluded river spot but we finally found one (and ended up coming back to it the next two days)!

Looking back we should have just gone straight to the river instead of being miserable in the trailer, but we were so tired! The river time was so nice, even though we didn’t have chairs or inner tubes or anything. The one problem was that I hate going into rivers and lakes in bare feet. I don’t want my feet to touch the slimy rocks and sand, but my sandals were too tight for my swollen feet so as Kevin’s driving around looking for a spot to park and walk down, I am holding my swollen feet up to the AC vents trying to get them to un-swell enough to force them into my sandals. I wish someone would’ve just told me it was worth the money to buy new sandals and shoes to get through the last few months of pregnancy. At one point I was nearly sobbing over the fact that I couldn’t get my sandals on.

Aside from our afternoons spent at the river, we also went into Canyonlands and Arches and did some hiking! Thankfully, most of the people we encountered were wearing masks, but there were still way too many people especially inside Arches. We didn’t even hike to Delicate Arch because there was literally a line of people all the way around the bowl, waiting to get their photos taken by the arch. We could see even from far away all these tiny little dots and we were so shocked to realize they were all people. It’s one of the really popular hikes — the arch that’s on the Utah license plates — but that is the most crowded I have ever seen it.

We took a lot of really fun photos though and it was so fun to take Alex for his first time to these Utah national parks. The landscape is just so cool and we knew he probably wouldn’t get the chance to come back after he moved out, so I’m really glad we went. We didn’t go into any restaurants or shops, just got coffee outside one day and ordered takeout from a couple of our favorite restaurants. Also another moment where I was in tears, finding out the restaurant we wanted to eat at was closed when all I wanted was some weird jalapeño burger I had seen on the menu and had been craving.

We had to make a grocery store run to buy more Gatorade Zeros because it was so hot out and we were so thirsty. Still had to sleep with the AC on full blast to get through the hot desert nights. As much as we love to travel, we really have to stop doing it in the middle of summer. Hopefully we can get to a point where Kevin has enough time off that we don’t have to travel during holiday weekends like we usually end up doing. It’s nice to take advantage of the holiday but it’s always so crowded and we’ve started to realize that it’s nicer to travel to a lot of these places in the offseason!

One thing that made this whole trip worth it was taking these photos of Kevin and I because we have taken photos in the same spot before and didn’t realize that I am wearing the shorts Kevin was wearing in the first photo:

The next time we go to Arches, we’re going to recreate this photo again — this time with Sophie!

All in all, Moab & vicinity is always a 10/10 for us. It’s such a cool place and even when we’re miserably hot we find ways to have a good time and we always make hilarious memories that we end up laughing about later. So glad we got to share one of our favorite places with my brother and give him lots of awesome pics for his Instagram feed!

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