Oh, I totally forgot to write about that marathon I ran in Utah last month. Halfway because I’m slammed up to my eyeballs with schoolwork and work-work and when I’m not doing that, I sleep or eat. Anyway, we spent all summer training for the Big Cottonwood Marathon in Salt Lake City, Utah. We planned it like a “race-cation” where we’d go before the race and explore the state and city, then finish off the experience with the race. And I’m super glad we did it that way.
We started off flying in to Salt Lake City late on a Tuesday night and renting a car there. I was an absolute nightmare on the flight. Seriously, Sean’s never flown with me, and he was truly in for a treat. It was a rough landing, and I was sweating through all the clothes I was wearing, and audibly panicking about the descent. I kept telling the pilot to figure his shit out, as we swayed back & forth above the Utah mountains in the dark, not so delicately gliding toward the landing strip. Sean kept telling me to breathe & to close the window, but I felt like the window was my only semblance of control. If I was going to die, I was going to see it coming! Spoiler alert: We lived, and I looked like a total asshole.
Don’t act like you’re not impressed
Before the trip, we requested an SUV, and they gave us a super mega fancy Jeep Cherokee with eco-drive. That is how rich people must live! We got to our hotel somehow & fell asleep almost instantly, because it was almost midnight East Coast time, and we are VERY early-to-bed, early-to-rise kind of people.
Look how rich we seemed!
The next day we headed out to make the trek to the Natural Bridges National Monument. It’s a 5ish-hour drive from Salt Lake City all along the nothingness of Utah. We drove and drove… and droveanddroveanddrove until we finally made it to the National Park. There was about one-half of a gas station along the way, and they pretty much charged $500 a gallon, but it’s ok because they had a designated gas station dog. Once we arrived Sean made friends with the other National Park people, and then we filled up our water bottles to head out to hike the natural bridges. (Side note: The automatic water bottle fillers in airports and throughout Utah were SO COOL. We need them everywhere. Think of all the plastic we’d save!)
I was not looking forward to this part of the vacation at first, to be honest, because I was afraid it would mess up my marathon. But when we got there, I was SO glad we went. It was gorgeous. We hiked each of the big natural bridges (there were 3!) and then went on a mini-hike to see some old ruins. There were so many steep ladders and weird climbs, but it was so beautiful. I wont inundate you with pictures, but here are a few.
That night we stayed up late to go to the astronomy lesson where the park guide got out a HUGE telescope. The park is a Certified Dark Park, meaning it’s far enough in the middle of no where to not have any light pollution. The park ranger got out a HUUUUUUGE telescope, and we saw the Milky Way, Saturn, the moon (through a filter because it was SO bright), and other clusters of stars. It was awesome!
We rented the SUV for this part of the adventure, because Sean’s big plan was to sleep in the car and head back the next day. Natural Bridges only has camping, unless you want to drive an hour or so outside for sketchy hotels. But his plan didn’t work out for him as it’s hard to sleep in a car when you’re 6’2 and bony as hell, so he got us headed out around 2am. Yes, 2am. That’s actually fine for us, since we normally get up at 4EST.
How you look after zero sleeps
So we headed back to Salt Lake City, and played tourist at the Natural History Museum while we waited for our hotel room to open. The museum was super cool, with photography, American Indian, and dinosaur exhibits, but it was swarming with youths on field trips which really killed my vibe.
We were exhausted after that, and headed to our hotel when our room was finally ready. The next day we visited Mormonville, and were almost converted at least 10 times. They got so excited that I kept asking questions, and then you shoulda seen the disappointment on their faces when I said I was just a nosy jerk… But we saw the temple and the tabernacle and learned about Mormon heritage. Then we had lunch at the famous Red Iguana where we tried mole for the first time. I don’t know what the big deal is honestly. I’d rather just have salsa.
The next day was the marathon, so we had cheaps Whole Foods pasta for dinner, and headed to bed early, ready for our 4am wake up!