How did this midwestern eighteen year old risk-taker become a thirty something Angeleno content in mediocrity? Slightly over three years ago, on just another Tuesday afternoon, one thought stopped me in my tracks, “I’m bored.” This was not the passing thought of another mundane, humdrum day but the kind that demands action. These next steps would determine direction. Embracing change, vowing to explore and choosing to try new things, I decided to live fully again.
That day I threw on some sneakers and went for a ten minute run, a first since high school. While I didn’t love running immediately, I loved my heart racing, sweat pouring down my face. In those moments I had my first adventure, out of my comfort zone, exploring the physical world but more importantly exploring within. Since that small trek, my desire to experience more has only grown stronger, wider and deeper.
Arriving, I checked into the unique Moab Under Canvas for a night of glamping, or “camping for beginners” as a lady refreshing her coffee in the hospitality tent remarked. Comfortable and cozy with a king-sized bed, dresser, sitting area, shower and toilet, my Deluxe tent was one part luxury hotel, one part Jon Krakauer novel. At dusk fellow campers circled the communal campfire sharing stories of their day’s journeys, sights and expeditions before retiring to their warm tents courtesy of old-fashioned, wood-burning furnaces.
Awake at 5am to beat the sunrise, I unzipped the heavy canvas door, revealing a still night sky illuminated by the brightest of constellations and the humbling shine of the Milky Way. The stillness of this majesty broken only by the occasional falling star, I took in the quietness of this early morning seated on the front deck of my tent. What is it that happens when we sleep under the stars? A few short minutes, but a moment that will last through my ages. Suddenly from far on the horizon, the sharpest of rays pierce the night sky announcing a new morning.
Relaxation at the Sorrel River Ranch and Spa, my next accommodations, was well earned after hiking through the landmarks of Arches National Park. A quick drive into the Colorado River Recreation Area, Sorrel River Ranch greets its guests with graceful horses gallivanting around a large corral. Nestled up against the mighty river, and facing twin mesas, the hotel could not be situated in a more picturesque location. An afternoon lounging and reading riverside led to a delicious room service dinner followed by a hot tub soak; a small bit of pampering before another day spent adventure seeking.
Pushing my limits, stepping into the unknown, that next day was the main attraction of this Moab visit. In the early morning twilight, I began a fifty mile run, a challenge that would ask much of my body, play tricks with my mind and relay heavy on spirit. With some pains but greater triumphs, Moab’s unique landscape stripped me to my core. Reaching beyond flow, the colors along the trail shone like a brilliant collection of Crayolas; green tree leafs iridescent, yellow flower buds a glowing mustard, the river a rainbow reflection of nature’s surrounding canvas. The Sorrel River Ranch and Spa, with an attentive, welcoming, staff, as enthused about my achievement as I, was the perfect place to recover.
But the beauty of the resort is perhaps best seen from the water. Departing from the Moab Adventure Center, my last excursion was bucket list fulfillment. Rafting down the Colorado River with a knowledgable river guide resembling a young Meryl Streep, it was The River Wild come true (minus the armed robbers and the Gauntlet)! Each turn offered vibrant reds and crimsons beaming off giant rock formations that echo the greatest of man’s archeological ruins. A bald eagle gracefully soared overhead. The occasional splash of a cool rapid. These are the moments, those unplanned, that sear memories of a lifetime.
Little did I know a ten minute run on a Tuesday afternoon would lead to some truly epic adventures, but I guess that’s part of the thrill. Breaking free from boredom, choosing to create a life worth remembering, the true luxury, perhaps is found in the direction that while maybe asks for more, rewards more.
I’m honored to begin this journey with you Adventurers. Oh, the places we’ll go!
Originally published in Beverly Hills Lifestyle