We drove from Ada, Oklahoma to Santa Fe, New Mexico, making a stop at our favorite rest area in the Texas panhandle, which we visited on our first vacation together, The High Road, in 2003. We usually refer to it as “our” rest area. We had fun playing around on the grounds and making a few pictures.
We had Chinese food delivered by a place called “Little House” instead, and it was delicious.
• The Yellow Trees and Mesa Verde
We drove the Chama Valley and into Colorado, not shooting much, but instead just enjoying being together. We did, however, stop to shoot some nicely golden trees by the roadside in a valley.
By late afternoon, we were fortunate to be at Mesa Verde National Park in time for sunset at Square Tower House.
We stayed at the charming Mokee Motel in Bluff, Utah. In 2003, Abby and I drove a winding gravel road that ascends Cedar Mesa in southern Utah called the Mokee Dugway. Since then, one of our nicknames for each other has been some permutation of Mokee, Dugway, or Mokee Dugway. Sometimes we answer phone calls from each other, “Mokee mokee!” In March 2004, I discovered this motel in Bluff, and I told Abby we should stay there. So this vacation, celebrating a year of being married, is named Mokee Mokee. By the way, we found the Mokee Motel to be among the nicest, most comfortable, and friendliest we have ever visited. [2015 Note: The Mokee Motel was closed for some time, but has now reopened under new management.]
• Driving to Moab, Utah, and Delicate Arch at Sunset
We made our way up to the Moab, Utah, area. We had a very nice drive through Arches National Park, where we got married last year, but Abby wasn’t feeling well enough to hike, so she insisted that I hike up to Delicate Arch anyway to shoot it at sunset.
Despite Abby’s absence, and a sea of tourists, it was a worthwhile endeavor.
• Needles Overlook and the Road East
We enjoyed a very romantic breakfast, then headed south, stopping at Hatch Point to see the Needles Overlook. It was a beautiful day. I think Abby and I were both surprised and delighted by what we experienced looking out over the vastness of this place, one of my favorite in the world. It was an excellent way to introduce Abby to Canyonlands.
It was an exceptionally romantic first anniversary trip. There is simply nowhere I would rather be than with her, on the road or on the trail, or just by her side.