Reporting from the other side of our first presentation (WE SURVIVED!). Plus, a visit to Arches National Park.

by Kim on March 31, 2014 · 52 comments

The last time you heard from me, Brian and I were headed to Moab to spend a day hiking in Arches National Park. We’d been to Arches before back in 2012 during our National Parks Road Trip. We loved the park and the city of Moab, Utah and were excited to return, even if for just a quick visit.

RV park

Spring break and Moab was packed. We had to camp at an RV park.

K light

Our version of electricity.

The park is beautiful and March is the perfect time to visit because temperatures average about 75 F during the day. We hiked to Delicate Arch and Tower Arch before ending our day at Broken Arch. It was beautiful.

Hiking Arches National park

On our way to see Delicate Arch.

Delicate Arch

Brian checks out Delicate Arch.

On the way to Tower Arch

On the way to Tower Arch.

Tower Arch Arches National Park

The view from behind Tower Arch.

After Arches we drove on to Idaho where we had the random good luck of pitching our tent in Three Island Crossing State Park, the best state park ever, which happens to be located right next door to a vineyard and winery.

Three Islands Crossing State park

Keeping warm at Three Island Crossing State Park.

Upon leaving Idaho we pointed our car towards Bend, Oregon and the looming reality of our first presentation. Thus began 48-hours of pre-presentation panic.

I cannot express in words how nervous we were. Neither of us could eat (very unlike me). We were both waking multiple times in the middle of the night from dreams in which we bombed the presentation in one form or another (forgot essential items, forgot our lines, showed up at the wrong time, etc.)

And I would vacillate between very logical thoughts like:

It’s an hour-long backpacking seminar for the love of God; you’re not performing brain surgery. Get a grip, Kim.

To irrational, over-the-top internal freak-outs:

You are going to forget your lines, have a panic attack, pass out and piss yourself in front of everyone.


Arriving at the location of our first presentation. We may look calm but in reality we were in FULL PANIC MODE. 

Luckily, I did not pee my pants and Brian only peed his a little (kidding!). Overall, we did… okay. We did not panic. We did forget our lines once or twice. We were obviously nervous. The audience (over 100 people) had a hard time seeing our slides. We hobbled through. We tried to laugh. I sweat through my shirt. We survived. I think it will only get better from here.


Twenty minutes in to our first presentation. I’m already sweating profusely. 


Giving away free gear at the end of our presentation. That part was fun.

It’s been just over a week since we hit the road. We’re at the beginning of a brand new adventure and I’m not sure how I feel. On one hand I feel a bit crazy because of the driving, the camping, the packing and unpacking, the wild moving around. It’s a bit of an effort to find my chi.

On the other hand, we are having fun. And once spring finally arrives and my life isn’t spent freezing cold and dressed in 14 layers of clothing I can almost see how writing each morning from a picnic table in the forest might actually work. I can see how I might be able to balance writing and this job and still find time to hike and run and enjoy all that comes with living outside. Just like at any new beginning, I’m struggling to find a routine but so far I am feeling quite hopeful that I will be able to keep room in  my life for all of the things that I love the most.

We are headed to Boise, Idaho and Murray, Utah next. Then we’ve got stops in Colorado and Oklahoma. (Check out the full schedule). But more importantly we’ve got a couple of days off near Bryce Canyon National Park (!!) and we can’t wait to explore the area. If you’ve got tips on great hikes in and around Bryce Canyon NP and the Grand Staircase please let me know. Thank you!

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