May 4, 2020
When we left for Spring Break we’d heard a little about the Corona virus in the news, but there weren’t many cases in the US at the time so we decided to go ahead with our trip. Dad was already going to California for work so Luke and I went along and we decided to make it a longer trip. We got to enjoy the airport lounges on our way, which were a fun experience – free hot food, showers, a spa, comfortable seats, fast wifi…it was the perfect way to travel. Once Dad was finished working in San Jose, we drove to Half Moon Bay where we stayed for a few nights. We hiked Lands End Trail, saw the Golden Gate Bridge, played lots of golf (I watched), enjoyed burgers at In-N-Out, explored the beach for sea creatures, and ate lots of great food.
Once it came time to go home, the flights to Hawaii had gotten so cheap that Dad and I ended up booking a trip to Kauai. (I’m on the Southwest companion pass so I get to fly free wherever he goes.) I wished Luke could come but he had to be back for work (although Harding ended up canceling classes the day he flew home!) After learning more about the virus we decided it might be better to stay on the mainland, so we changed our plans. We thought of just going home, but Dad said “Let’s go somewhere, you never know when we won’t have the chance to go together again.” He asked where I wanted to go and I chose Moab. I’ve wanted to visit Arches National Park for a long time and I love the landscape in Utah, so a day later we left from San Jose and landed in Salt Lake City. (I have never seen such an empty airport – there were probably 20 people on our whole plane.) When we went to pick up our rental car we ended up with a bright orange mustang because they were out of the car we originally booked. It was absolutely perfect for exploring the park. The weather was in the 70’s so we drove with the top down most of the time. It’s definitely ruined me for future trips though because I’m always going to wish we could rent one for other parks! Moab was such a cute town with so many local stores, restaurants, and outdoor activities. We spent most of our time exploring the park and chose to do a 3 mile hike to Delicate Arch – one of the most popular hikes in the park (it’s the arch on all the Utah license plates.) Arches is open 24/7 so we drove back at night for stargazing – it was recently declared an International Dark Sky Park and you can see millions and millions of stars…it was beautiful.
By the time we were ready to leave we had changed our plans a little because we weren’t sure what travel or flying restrictions might come up. We ended up driving to Albuquerque and flying home from there. We later found out there had been an earthquake the morning we were originally scheduled to fly out of Salt Lake, and if we hadn’t left from Albuquerque we would have been stuck at the airport in Salt Lake. We had no idea how much things were about to change once we got home, but being able to get out and explore before quarantine was perfect.