My name is Terez, and I am a 25 year old college graduate traveling the western United States in my Winnebago Brave motorhome. I traveled to Moab, Utah to hike at Arches National Park with the intention of just passing through after seeing the park. I ended up staying longer and spending 10 days camping in Moab with new friends because of some magic I found.   

After spending the day at Arches National Park, I decided to spend the night in an RV park for the first time in two months. I was able to get the last camping spot at ACT Campground, where I learned they had just lost a worker. I decided to ask if I could help the campground out in return for staying for free for a few more nights. The owner, Shirley, was more than happy for my help, and I ended up gaining two more nights at the park! While I was staying at ACT Campground, I was asked to clean cabins from 9-11 am and then I could have the day to explore! Shirley was so welcoming and told me several places to go and explore Moab—including a swimming hole which was only a three minute drive from ACT Campground where I was staying. I walked around downtown Moab for a little while, then went in search of the swimming hole that Shirley mentioned. I was able to find it no problem, and walked to where I heard water. There was no waterfall, which was odd because I was told to find the waterfall that people jump off. Regardless of the lack of waterfall, I decided to set up camp in this area for a few hours. I had to climb down some rocks and was able to lie down on a large flat rock near the Colorado River. It was a lovely afternoon but I couldn’t help feel like there was something I missed out on.

I spent the next day catching up on things like cleaning, doing laundry, and food prepping in the giant kitchen at ACT Campground. When I pulled away from ACT after my two extra nights, I knew I wasn’t leaving Moab yet. As I have been planning things day to day on my trip, I researched another place nearby I could camp for free. I decided that since it was hot, I would go back to the swimming hole to try and find the waterfall, and then go look at the camp spot I had researched later around 6. When I got to the swimming hole for the second time, I saw a few people walking in an area that I hadn’t even noticed the first time I was there.

I walked towards them and we start asking each other questions, both obviously not from the area. I ended up learning these people were from Breckenridge, Colorado area and had all randomly had the week off and decided to take a 4-hour road trip to Moab to celebrate one of their birthdays. We chatted for a few minutes, and then parted ways wishing each other well in finding the swimming hole. I walked down a path that is about a mile or so long, with three river crossings. I quickly realized this is what I was trying to find the previous time I was there. After a beautiful 20ish minute walk, I see a breathtaking waterfall and swimming area. VICTORY BELLS in my mind first, then immediate questions of how the heck do I get up there?

As I backtrack down the trail to find a good place to start climbing the cliffs above the waterfall, I run into the same people I had talked to from Breckenridge. We ended up talking and spending the day hanging out, and running into two more people from Breckenridge. The craziest part was that these two separate groups of friends had been staying at the same campground and had said hello to each other that same morning at the camp area. Now I understand this doesn't seem like a big deal, but picture this crazy long dirt road that goes for MILES AND MILES through canyons and the Colorado River with lots of streams and pull offs, with over 400 camping spots on it, and these two groups happened to be at the same place! Talk about destiny. We all began talking about camping together and playing music in the canyon they were staying—jamming out if you will; my plans of finding the new camping spot quickly dissipated, and I was welcomed into this gang of Coloradans for the night.

I drove the road to the campsite first on my moped to see if my RV could handle the road. It was explained as being really crazy and narrow with a super sharp hairpin turn, so I wanted to see on the moped first. I am SO glad I chose to do this. As soon as I got past the neighborhoods and more obvious campgrounds, I was in absolute SHOCK of what I saw. Canyons and arches and magic everywhere you look. I had to stop and cry in the middle of the road, I could not even handle the beauty! If I could spend my whole life living happy down Kane Creek Road, I think I would do it.

I found the campsite without problem, said hello to my new friends, and turned around to get the RV to bring it back before dark. As I pulled into camp with the Brave, I was greeted with hot dinner of pork tenderloin and grilled veggies all cooked over the fire. UM, THANK YOU! My new friends and I spent the night bullshitting, drinking beer, and playing music around the fire. The next morning I was invited to go hiking with my new friends at Dead Horse State Park for the day. We had the best time getting to know each other and take in all that Dead Horse Point had to offer. We ate lunch sitting overlooking the canyon, and I was filled with a strong sense of home being in this place.

Later that night, the seven of us all got together and played music around the fire. It was one of the girls' birthday, and we celebrated by eating cake while she blew out a candle that I happened to have in the RV. The next day we all spent some time at the wonderful swimming hole again, before going to watch one of our friends play live music at Eddie Mcstiffs. it was a great time, people were feelin it, and he even invited me up to sing Three Little Birds on stage with him. This was definitely a favorite moment for me in Moab, and gave me a glimpse of what it could be like playing and singing in towns I visit to make some extra money.

After the show we returned to Hunter Creek Canyon where we were camping. As all the rest of my new friends continued their trips back to Breckenridge, I spent a few days camping, enjoying the swimming hole and the town of Moab by myself. I then said my bittersweet goodbye to this lovely town, and started my trip towards Durango, Colorado. 

I can't gush about my time in Moab enough. It went above and beyond any ideas I could ever have had about the area. The thing I learned in Moab is that with the right attitude and mindset, things will unwrap and reveal themselves to you. I went over each scenario leading to the people I met and the experiences we had, and if just one thing had been altered in my route, I never would have met them or seen half the things I have seen here. I chose to seek out the swimming hole that was told to me by the woman who I chose to seek work from; I chose to go back to the swimming hole when I knew in my mind there was more for me there. I chose to talk to each of these people and go deeper than small talk with them. I said yes when I could have said no, and took chances on strangers. I am so grateful for each of these things, and I look forward to visiting them all on my way traveling through Colorado.

Thank you for reading! Feel free to comment your thoughts or follow along for more of my brave adventure at my personal blog, 

Published by Terez Neel