Would you just look at her in all of her glory? The first road trip has me feeling like a proud parent. Given that the weather is still a bit chilly around here, I didn't want to go anywhere too crazy but I still wanted a test run of my new setup. Luckily I only live a few hours from really cool desert areas.
I checked the weather for Orangeville, Utah, which is the nearest town to the world renown bouldering area Joe's Valley, and it was only supposed to go down to the low 40's at night the next few days. I threw some sheets on my new bed, including my Kelty Bestie Blanket which I got for a steal at a local gear store, and prepared to head down for an overnight trip. I packed my crash pad, climbing shoes, extra water, food, a camp chair, my cold weather sleeping bag (just in case), and a few other necessities.
With my truck packed and my eyes set on Joe's Valley, I headed south. I ran into some snow on my way through the mountain pass which made for an exciting drive. I also discovered that my Thule Motion XT cargo box acts as a kind of sail in the wind which totally makes sense but I just didn't expect how much it would effect highway driving.
I also discovered on my drive through the mountain pass that there aren't a lot of radio stations to choose from. Since my Tahoe is a 2006, it was just a bit after the tape deck days but just before the AUX cord days. After listening to Childish Gambino's Awaken my Love twice through, I decided upgrading the old radio would be my next major upgrade.
After a couple of hours on the road, I arrived at my destination. I have to say, with cruise control set and the couch of a front seat it has, the Tahoe is a very comfortable vehicle to drive. I actually look forward to going to some destinations that are a bit farther away from home in the near future. Anyway, upon arriving in Orangeville, I made a mandatory stop and Cup of Joe's then headed up to find some boulders.
Just a turtle in the desert. There was still a little bit of snow here and there in the valley but the temperature was a perfect 60 degrees and I was excited to do some of my first climbing of the season. Also, it's worth mentioning that I shutoff my truck when I got to Joe's and when I started it back up, I had a check engine light on. Before I started my build, I had a mechanic do a full inspection and everything was in great shape so I was surprised to see this all of the sudden. Luckily, I brought my tool kit with me which always has my OBD2 scanner in it. When I got done climbing, I checked the codes and it was just a mass air flow sensor error. When I was back at home the next day, I replaced the air filter and sprayed some cleaner on the MAF and I haven't had a check engine light since.
Climbing on rocks really is some weird combination of childhood nostalgia and primal ancestry. It's just so fun in the best ways. I climbed all my favorites that were dry and I tested out some harder stuff to no avail. Also ran into some pretty cool people along the way.
After a long day of climbing, I finally ran out of daylight and returned to my home for the evening. You may notice this picture looks a bit messy. That is because this is the moment when I realized a table was going on my list of things I needed right below the radio I mentioned earlier. That's alright though, this is why I was excited to test the rig out! Here I am cooking some JetBoil spaghetti right on the back bumper, enjoying a Family Vacation cream ale, and relaxing after a solid day.
The before and after of course. I have to be honest, this was my first time cooking spaghetti in my JetBoil and I definitely boiled it over. But it still turned out great! I mixed in some veggies, some olive oil, a little bit of garlic powder, and some salt and pepper and it was a delicious meal. I listened to some music and relaxed before I eventually decided to turn in for the night.
At this point, I kind of forgot to take any more pictures. I had a great night of sleep, woke up the next day and made some breakfast, and got back on the road home. It was a wonderful weekend and I definitely had some learnings about my new adventure vehicle. First and foremost, I plan on upgrading the radio because not being able to play music or podcasts off of my phone was tough, even on a shorter drive. But I am excited with how things turned out and look forward to more trips. If you missed it and want to read more about my camping build, go check out my earlier post here. Thanks for reading!