Raw Vagabonding: Falling in Love with Canyon Country

(Spiritual fortune cookie in Cameron's car.)

I am really behind on blog posts, and writing this far after the fact definitely makes me skip over details and write with less enthusiasm, so I apologize. These next few posts are going to be less personal than normal, just for the sake of playing catch up. Lesson learned: do not try to blog while traveling unless you own a laptop or an iphone.

After our pit stop in Escalante, we drove until we arrived in Moab, Utah where we stayed for several days...

The first day, I needed some alone time to read and experience my own reality, so I went to the Love Muffin Cafe and ended up having a really great conversation about medicinal herbs. I've gotten really into picking my own herbs and making tinctures in the last year, and want to learn a bit more before I start my medicinal raw chocolate company. It's always a pleasure to meet other healers. I connected with this girl who had studied herbs in Colorado and had lived in SF for awhile before moving to Moab to work at the cafe. The Love Muffin is one of the few local, organic, seasonal spots in town, and while not a raw food place, they had an amazing "Greenie Salad" that totally kept me happy.

In the afternoon, Cameron and his dog Niko drove from Salt Lake City to meet us in person and hang out for a few days. I was already flirting with the idea of spending a few seasons in Southern Utah to do some canyoneering, but then we decided to go hiking in Negro Bill Canyon and I totally fell in love with Canyon Country and all its secrets. It just felt like coming home to a place I'd never been before...the colors were so soothing, the water so calming, the stones so energetic. After a few hours of hiking and great conversation, we got lost in the dark, and Venus dangled over the Moon in a miraculous display, seducing us with their near-copulation.

Most people in Moab are too busy going out canyoneering, rock climbing, hiking, and spending time on the river to check email, so we didn't have much luck with hosting and it was too cold at night to camp at that elevation, so we stayed in 'America's Cheapest Hostel' instead. At $9 a night (and with Evelyn's disclaimer that it's "not like other hostels"), I thankfully wasn't really expecting too much of the Lazy Lizard. It's one of those places where you get what you pay for and just give gratitude for having a place to stay. Something was energetically off from the moment we arrived and it took me some time to realize the depths of what Evelyn meant. There was a dark energy hanging over the place that wormed its way into all the details. For example, you can often notice the amount of self-love or positive energy a person has for themselves by observing how well they take care of their surroundings and how much love they put into tasks, which further reflects what they are open to receiving. This was a place where the bare minimum was done and the place was neglected, which seemed to not only appear in the physical appearance of the entire hostel, but also in the relationships of the people working and living there. It definitely had an effect that made us want to distance from it & spend as little time there as possible, but we learned a very important thing the second night and that was to dig deeper. Since everything is connected, you cannot separate yourself from others. The key is to find the common bond.

So we ate a delicious kale & dandelion green salad and some raw hazelnut cookies out in the freezing cold while talking to strangers Helena & Chad about raw food & bacon (I swear this is the most asked question I've gotten about raw foods on this trip so far - "So, what do you do about bacon?") until we were near frozen. Then we sauntered over to the fire in front of the trailers where we had been invited to join a group of people and let our perceptions dissolve in the flame and sought out the common bond in all of us - our humanity. These people weren't really any different from us at the core, it just seemed that from a distance, they had a few layers of hurt & trauma from hard lives that dulled their luster from years of no one showing them how to clean it off so they could shine brightly again. Had we not been able to make that connection and remove judgement and realize there is only "us" and no "them", we would have never met an amazing father with a soulful song named Aspen, a hilarious musician named EtherAshe who had lived in Romania and was full of crazy stories, another guy who loved his girlfriend so much it was breaking his heart, and several other interesting souls. It was one of those really strange evenings with strangers that stays with you when you recall your travels later.

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