Roberts and Young at a female hogan in Moab, Utah.

Travel journal: Road trip to Colorado, Utah and Arizona

Seen through the eyes of: Joshua Roberts and Heather Young

Who went: Joshua Roberts, Heather Young and our puppy, Charlie.

We went because: We have always wanted to take a road trip, and really wanted a stress-free getaway with everything going on in the world.

Red Rocks, Utah

How our plans changed because of COVID: We didn’t really have anything that changed except that Antelope Canyon, a destination in Page, Arizona, was closed due to the pandemic. We also had to wear masks while on certain hiking trails.

Special items we took in order to stay safe or isolated: We took our masks, sanitizer and, of course, all of our hiking and camping gear.

Where we stayed: In Colorado, we stayed at Heather’s parents’ house in the mountains of Golden Gate Canyon. In Utah, we stayed in an amazing female hogan, which is a mud hut. It was very unique and required a 1½-hour drive in a 4×4 vehicle through rocky terrain. We ended up getting lost for two hours at night trying to find the place, and almost fell off the side of a cliff while driving our Jeep over some tall rocks. In Page, we stayed in a hotel that was close to all of the trails and beaches.

Idaho Springs, Colorado

Where we ate: In Idaho Springs, Colorado, we visited an amazing pizzeria called Beau Jo’s and a wonderful, dog-friendly brewery and pub house called Tommyknocker Brewery & Pub, which had the most amazing duck wings.

In Moab, Utah, we were far from the nearest restaurant, so we cooked all of our meals on a griddle and grill. It was amazing to cook under the stars.

In Page, Arizona, we enjoyed some Grand Canyon Pale Ales while eating the most amazing barbecue at Big John’s Texas BBQ.

Favorite dish on the menu: Heather’s favorite meal was the dairy-free calzone at Beau Jo’s and I really enjoyed the fall-off-the-bone ribs at Big John’s Texas BBQ.

Favorite historic landmark: In Colorado, we loved hiking to St. Mary’s Glacier. In Moab, we really enjoyed visiting the Arches National Park. In Page, Arizona, we enjoyed a short hike to Horseshoe Bend. It was breathtaking.

Roberts, who owns GymFit, throws some acroyoga moves with Young at St. Mary’s Glacier.

Attraction worth a drive-by: Lone Rock Beach in Page. It’s a drive-up beach, and the water is amazing. You can also camp there overnight for a small fee.

Fun experience off the beaten path: Our stay at a female hogan in Moab was by far the most unique experience. We were so far from civilization that you could see the Milky Way, and the stars were bigger than we have ever seen in our lives. The Little Dipper looked like the Big Dipper!

Worth the splurge: We bought a blow-up boat last-minute at a garage sale and it ended up being amazing to have at Lone Rock Beach.

Not worth the splurge: We bought some air couches and ended up never using them. They were much harder to use than anticipated.

The part and their dog, Charlie, in their inflatable boat at Lone Rock Beach.

How this vacation differed from others pre-coronavirus: Lines for restaurants were longer due to limited seating, a lot of attractions were closed, and planning ahead was a must.

Something surprising we learned on the trip: Finding a great podcast makes for a great road trip. Also, dogs are not allowed on the hiking trails in national parks, although they are allowed in the parks. We misread the website and ended up missing out on the Grand Canyon.

Advice for traveling during a pandemic: Plan ahead and bring a mask.

We  would suggest this trip to others because: It was fun, challenging and had so many beautiful sites to see. It was therapeutic to get away from our phones, enjoy each other and see stars bigger and closer than we ever had before. It was truly amazing.