The Road Trip: Part 1

Devin Gill
3 min readDec 31, 2021

Oh hi.

Devin here.

Just writing another story about extracting meaning from my outdoors adventures. I suspect this will be a novel perspective for most of you. Especially since this story comes from a white, millennial, cisgender male.

Have you ever gone for a walk and started out with the intention of just going around the block, but then you decide to go one more street down, and then there’s something interesting that catches your eye, so you decide to go a little further, and before you know it, you walked way longer than you expected, but you’re happy about the added outside time?

I did something similar, but on a camping trip.

During spring break of 2017, I decided to drive to Southern Utah to warm my bones and get some camping in. Even though the nights were going to be cold, the days were reaching into the 50℉ range, which sounded way better than the ongoing chill in Salt Lake City.

I packed my bags for a three day and two night trip and Bing (my trusty dog) and I headed toward the Coral Pink Sand Dunes.

By the time Bing and I arrived, it was already dark (as you read more of my stories, you’ll notice a trend of arriving to campsites late). I found a campsite, set up my tent, and got a fire going. I didn’t realize that the campsite was going to be so developed. Although the stars were bright and there wasn’t much noise, the light from the vending machine a bathroom area disrupted the experience.

I strummed on my ukulele, ate some dinner, and eventually went to bed. It was a rather uneventful night, except for the coyotes, which seem to follow me wherever I go.

The next morning, I woke up and was finally able to see my surroundings. It was nice, but it felt like it was lacking. As I was sitting outside my tent, contemplating spending another night in this area where not much was happening except people visiting the vending machine and bathroom, I thought about finding somewhere else to go. I had time, so why not? I packed up my gear, Bing jumped in the car, and with no plan, ventured on.

I was a bit hasty in my decision. You can’t really see the best part of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes from the campgrounds. When most of us think about sand dunes, we probably imagine a huge desert like the Sahara. Having never experienced sand dunes, my ignorance on the topic was quickly challenged.

A random stranger was kind enough to take our picture!

The Coral Pink Sand Dunes is a relatively small area surrounded by rocky terrain. It’s almost like someone dropped a bit of sand on their way to creating a larger desert and didn’t bother to clean it up.

But, as I was leaving, I found out why the Coral Pink Sand Dunes are worth experiencing. Such a unique and beautiful feature hidden in a rocky terrain.

Bing and I jumped out of the car and explored. This was Bing’s first time experiencing sand dunes too and, in his excitement, tried eating some. I love my little man and he is very intelligent, but he makes some questionable decisions.

After tiring out Bing, we hopped in the car and headed back to the main road. I turned south and headed towards Kanab, UT, a town just north of the Utah-Arizona border. I stopped and got some gas and decided on my next destination.

I was chasing that spring feeling, the warmth, and something different. I found out that a particular area in southern California was experiencing what’s known as a super-bloom (i.e., a massive explosion of flowers in the desert). This sounded pretty nice. And I was ready for the adventure.

We were California-bound…

The story continues with The Road Trip: Part 2