This week, we kind of broke. Or, at least I did. Locations: Utah (Salt Lake City, Moab, Arches National Park)

First, there was the flu. Moisés was the first warrior to fall, and then came me. I thought the flu was a joke, and I thought there was no way I’d catch it. Turns out it’s not a joke and it’s definitely not a funny one. My mom’s an RN, and a great one at that. I should know better than to dance with the Flu Devil.

Moisés wanders feverish around the desert, waiting for me to finish working on an article. "Look. I'm Moses. Get it?"

So, this week, amidst fevers and a dirty car and energy that dropped from sixty to zero, we realized that we needed to reclaim a bit of humanity. We got some Nyquil. We bought vitamins. We scraped together forty-six bucks for a hotel room in Salt Lake City. I used my brother’s college email address to get a discount on Spotify premium—this was for sanity, because thus far, all driving and running has been filled with the same 112 songs from my iPod on repeat. Taylor Swift, you’re great; but when both passengers know all the lyrics to every song from “1989,” including one passenger whose native language isn’t even English, the jig is up. (Also sorry Timmy, didn’t tell you yet about your email address’ involvement in the Spotify situation. Surprise!)

"KK doing stuff."

In the fantastically air-conditioned Salt Lake City hotel room, I cut my hair. Moisés washed our dishes. Our food left its cooler and slept in the refrigerator. We swapped bills for quarters, bought detergent from a vending machine, and did laundry. I went to the Gap and tried on jeans just because there was a Gap and just because I could. We stayed in Salt Lake City for a grand total of 26 hours, and hot dog, was it a game changer.

In the end, we headed down to Moab, Utah for a few days.

Our first night in Utah. Heading out to a dispersed campsite near Salt Lake City.

In Moab, we took it very, very easy. We went to the Museum of Moab and learned about dinosaurs. We spent an afternoon reading and drinking tea by an Aspen-rimmed mountain lake. We rented a movie about chefs from Redbox and watched it on our charged-up computers at night, swapping one laptop for the other when battery ran low. I woke up late in our desert-y campsites, ate oatmeal in my pajamas and squinted into the sun. We got our Subie an oil change, because neither of us had the tenacity to figure it out ourselves in the fever heat. We watched the sunrise in Arches National Park, sipping coffee and shuffling around the slickrock in socks and flipflops.

Last week was about learning to respect the mountains. This week was about learning to respect my own limitations. Learning to rest, learning when to stop pushing.

Sunrise in Arches National Park.

For someone as stubborn as me, this lesson was a well-deserved schooling. Gotta get knocked down before we can get up again. Onwards and upwards, eh?

Part 6 of 6 will arrive next week, then a final bonus 7th chapter of the Non-trip Roadtrip to follow the week after…