mountains

Interview - Friends. Warm. Fun-Outdoor-Activities

· 3 min read ·

James: We’d like to record some thoughts about our expectations prior to visiting each destination - hopefully this is something we’ll be able to do throughout our trip!


Sheila: Yeah! As we go along some places will be completely new for us and some will be a revisit, and surely have a few new things or new perspective to gain… James, have you been to Utah and Arizona before?

James: I was in Utah on a climbing trip back in 2012, but we landed in Salt Lake at midnight and drove straight into Indian Creek in Bear’s Ears. I think we left once to get more food supplies, but otherwise I’m not sure that I saw anything other than desert towers and excellent climbing. I’m really looking forward to seeing what Salt Lake and Park City have to offer, and to see Arizona for the first time. What about you? What’s gonna be new and what’s going to be a revisit?

Sheila: My family got super “into” Arizona when I was a kid. I think for two years in a row that was our family trip. My most vivid memories are going to a dude ranch, standing along the rim of the canyon (also in the month of April) and crossing the boarder to Mexico where a donkey bit my jacket and wouldn’t let go. I’ve never been to Utah, only read about it really. Love the book Desert Solitaire. I honestly can’t even remember the canyon that well, and we didn’t do any major hiking. That’ll be a fun part!

James: I’m a little scared because there’s this thing with guys where they get vertigo looking over the canyon rim.

Sheila: Guys in particular? I’ve never heard this!

James: Haha I just tried to look it up (I thought it was something with men’s center of gravity?) but this may have been an urban myth I consumed during what could only be described as “voracious Reader’s Digest sessions” while spending summers with my grandparents in Charleston, SC!

Sheila: If anyone has any intel on this, please leave it in the comments. I want to know if this is a common myth. James, what are 3 words that you would describe how you imagine Arizona to be?

James: Dry. Sunny. Awesome. (in no particular order) 😅 Your turn!

Sheila: Friends. Warm. Fun-Outdoor-Activities.

James: That’s a really good third word.

Sheila: Thanks James

James: Part of our itinerary includes stand-up paddle-boarding (SUP🤙) on Lake Powell. I’ve never paddle boarded before and I’m really excited that we’ll get to do that with our friends Joe, Tessa, Kristen, and Adam next Saturday! Which part of our itinerary are you most excited about, Sheila?

Sheila: Ooooh that’s so so tough. I feel like I’ve been imagining these places for a few years now. I’m excited to see Park City and Salt Lake for the first time because we have some friends there and have heard amazing things. The same goes for Flagstaff and where Tessa lives in the Canyon. She’s been there for a while now really and I just want to see her life!! Perhaps outside of the friend things, I’m most psyched to see Arches since so many environmental writers have touched on it’s magnificence.

James: Our flight out is at 6:30 AM tomorrow and … we haven’t packed yet, haha. Sheila and I both have a few things we need to wrap up today - now including this post!

Sheila: PSA bringing pancakes on planes is a life hack. I’m also excited about this part. But yes… packing. That’s a thing we should do. OK! All for now. Will be reporting back on that bit on vertigo and fun-outdoor-activities.

James: We’ll leave you with some photos of the last time each of us was in Utah / Arizona. 👋


North Six Shooter, the day before we epic’d climbing it and got back to our campsite 12 hours later
North Six Shooter, the day before we epic’d climbing it and got back to our campsite 12 hours later
It’s me!  I forgot - Arizona is where I fell in love with horses
It’s me! I forgot - Arizona is where I fell in love with horses

** James: This is the best photo ever. OK, byeeee.

It's us!

Adventure travel blog by James Simone & Sheila Murray. Travel along with them on their backpacking trip(s) as they actively explore the American West, Europe and beyond:

Follow @sheilaanne.lifecoachFollow @mrwordsmith#travellightexperienceheavy