What You Need to Know About Travel Insurance

Not everyone has it. Not everyone will need it. Caught without it – you could be in for a terrible time. I’m talking about travel insurance. My quest for the best coverage and coincidental headache brought to you by travel insurance. Insurance is a nuisance, however, like gambling you are weighing and measuring your own risks.  Growing up with an insurance agent Mom eased the process. I could ask “what is a deductible?” or “do I have to purchase liability?”. As a girl dedicated to passing on knowledge, I present tips and considerations for Travel Insurance.

Some key words:

Deductible: An amount of money the insured must pay for the insurance company to settle a claim. A higher deductible will grant a cheaper policy but, prepare to for over a chunk of change should a claim be submitted. I personally elect for a $500 deductible.

Liability: Coverage that protects the insured should they injure another person. Further research only reveals one company that offers decent liability (keep reading till the end for a comparison). This benefit covers an instance where you maim, kill or damage another person or their property. Look for a company that is inclusive of legal fees.
Note: Be sure you know which activities are covered and other conditions. Expenses add up, particularly in extreme cases. There are policies that offer liability up to a quarter million – my personal insurance agent suggests this one.
Accidental Death: A topic no one wants to think about. Nearly all travel insurance policies cover Accidental Death & Dismemberment. Accidental meaning unforeseeable, unplanned or sudden. The limit for death contributes to any debt, bills and burial intended to settle your person. The chances of needing this coverage are slim, but second to liability, don’t be caught without it.
Loss of Limb: Limits for loss of limb covers medical bills associated with just that – dismemberment. Note: Watch what the company defines as limb. Some policies define the loss of an arm as severance above the wrist and a leg above the ankle. If a finger or a hand is prey to a hungry giraffe – you may not be covered.
Repatriation: Preparation and transportation of your remains or ashes back to your residence. Nevertheless, not fun to talk about, but, it happens. Please, please, please find decent coverage for repatriation. Repatriation is not cheap.
Common Carrier: A commercial aircraft, watercraft, bus or train with published routes and fare paying customers. Why this is important: some travel insurance does not cover Common Carrier Accidents. Most commercial operations have their own liability insurance. Should there be a need to call in a claim follow up with the operator’s customer service.
Company Ratings: Company ratings aren’t flashed around their site so, do some research. Ratings measure the ease and ability to provide pay outs. Any company should be an A or higher. The top companies will have an AAA rating.
Trip Delay/Interruption/Cancellation: Each company has their own set of rules regarding a trip that has come to a halt.
  •   A delay is an unforeseen lag in service so, if your plane is delayed by severe weather you will more than likely be covered. If the delay is due to a missed flight, you may not have coverage.
  •  Interruption reimburses the unused costs and transportation to travel home should an unforeseeable event occur.
  •  Cancellation completely covers the non-refundable payments and deposits in an unforeseeable event that ends your trip.

Note: The keyword here is unforeseeable.

I won’t bore you to death with any more insurance terms. I’m going to list my top companies, compare, and contrast. Disclaimer: my opinion is based exclusively on coverages not on experience. I’ve not used travel insurance before now and I have not needed to submit a claim.
Tokio Marine HCC – Atlas Premium Series: The policies are simple to tailor to your needs and offers policies maxing at two million. The company is AA- rated which is fantastic. Benefits included in the policy include liability which few others offer. HCC also offers medical, trip interruption or delay, lost luggage and even pet return.
AllianzIs best known for its rental car insurance, but, offers health insurance as well. Allianz would be my second choice. They seem to have a wide range of benefits and have a known reputation. You can even bundle auto insurance and medical. The biggest issue with Allianz is that it does not offer liability and policy is pricey for what is being offered. You do not have the option to choose your deductibles.
Allianz doesn’t offer liability for autos. Their scope of coverage is based on CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) which covers damages to the car, but not to the driver, passengers, the opposing cars or their drivers/passengers.
World Nomad: Perfect for a one trip wander. I wouldn’t recommend this for travelers leaving for extensive amounts of time. The longer you stay, the higher your risk. Nomads covers electronics, missed flights (for unforeseen reasons), and baggage protection. They offer basic trip protection, death and dismemberment, repatriation but no liability. I also question their ratings. I know that they are associated with Nationwide which is AAA rated, but, they are separate. So says the agent who I called to check if I could add to the policy. Customer satisfaction was less than desirable. When accidents ensue, SURE people are unhappy with pay outs but, two out of five stars seems suspect.
Results are in! I choose Tokio Marine HCC as I will be gone for an extended time. Moreover, I will be gone for a year, the risk of something happening whether it be theft, injury or sickness is significantly higher than someone vacationing in the UK for a week.  All travelers should carry travel insurance. There are insurance companies aplenty but, remember to do your research. You can’t predict the future, but you can protect yourself.

What are your experiences with travel insurance?

Your Cobweb Clearer, Kate

 

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First Impressions of Iceland

Everyone asked, “Why did you start your adventure in Iceland?”. My reply was always “Well, I like to be outside”. Outdoorsy? Come to Iceland. Iceland is a jaw dropping haven where hikers can hit the trails and explore for days. The sheer cliffs, cascading waterfalls and utter ruggedness found here is quickly stealing my heart. I don’t know if I would ever choose to live here but, I would certainly return. Here are some of my thoughts on Iceland so far:
Turbulent Weather
Four seasons in a day is an understatement. I know how to be safe when it comes to dangerous weather – I had about seven hours before snow was expected.  The day I arrived was magnificent. The sun was out, a little windy, a bit chilly but overall pleasant. Forward two hours I was gripping my steering wheel praying to Odin that I was going to outrun a snowstorm brewing in Þingvellir National Park. Arriving at the Airbnb the storm finally cut loose dumping about five inches of wet snow. Cozy in my room I watched the white fluff build on the railings of the deck. It must have rained early in the morning because the snow was GONE when I woke up. Then it alternated snow, rain and sun for the next three days. When the rain stopped… the wind came. To make a long story short. Don’t depend on the weather or you will never leave the accommodation.
Foss
There are waterfalls a plenty! In the south east and south west (all the ground I have covered thus far) almost every property comes with its own waterfall. Talk about some great real-estate.

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Food is Delish, but Few and Far Between
Be prepared to spend a buck or make grocery stops. I’ve not had poor food yet. If you are traveling the Ring Road be prepared to carry food with you. Our group started out a little ill prepared but we quickly learned to buy non-perishables or food to cook on the spot.
Normal economics suggest that a bowl of spaghetti meat sauce should not be 3200ISK (around $29 USD). Just remember importing drives price levels up – especially to a relatively remote island. Opt for a grocery store run and cook for yourself. Most hostels, guesthouses or Airbnb’s have kitchens you can utilize. Do some research.  I suggest eating one huge meal a day followed by snacking.

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Food you do pay for? Fan-freaking-tastic. I’ve not had a bad meal yet.
Roundabouts
Welcome to round about hell. Icelanders take driving seriously. Be prepared to drive at two lane circle. Outer circle exits at the nearest turn off, inner circles exit at later turn offs. Make sure you use turn signals. Those are the little knobby things on your steering wheel.
There Seem to be More Horses than Humans
If you are looking for a place of self-reflection, Iceland is the place to be. You can choose to be social or introverted. Iceland is very safe – people wise. Rather dangerous though if you plan on hiking or touring alone. Fall of a cliff? No one would know.
Fill Up
If you are used to American gas stations – you might be in for a rude awakening. It took $40USD to top off a half tank and $70 USD to fill from a quarter tank. My best advice: fill up every half a tank. Prevents sticker shock and ensures you never run out of gas!
Safe Driving
The most sobering feeling is seeing a 4X4 Jeep on its roof at the top of a barren snow-covered mountain in Vatnajökull National Park. Please, please, please drive safe. The maximum speed limit for the entire island is 90KPM (55MPH). Yes, it is slow but it could save your life. Iceland is untamed and nature gives zero thoughts to reckless behavior.
Your Cobweb Clearer, Kate

What You Need To Know For Iceland in April

April marks the beginning of my journey. Myself and three other adventurers will set out for Reykjavik, Iceland. I’m determined to see the Aurora Borealis and as many ‘foss’ (waterfalls) as humanly possible. April is the transitional month from winter to spring. I picked April as it’s the sweet spot right after tumultuous weather and before peak season. Most major roads are open and easily driven. The temperature is cold (32F-42F) but manageable with strategic layering. I’ve complied some research for questions that have been on my mind beyond hotels, car hires and airplane tickets.

Quick Facts

Sunrise: about 5:45AM

Sunset: about 8:30PM

Visit here for exact times as you visit!

Currency: Icelandic Krona (IKR)

                USD 1→ISK 130

                EURO €1 →ISK 154

Emergency Services: call 112

Road Condition Info: call 1777

Banks Open: 9am-6pm

Petrol Stations Open: 8am-10pm

Drinking Age: 20

Electricity: 230V/50Hz

April Events in Iceland

Puffins. Tiny little sea birds sporting penguin like attire with comically large beaks. If there is a bird I’m obsessed with it’s a puffin. April marks the great puffin migration. Iceland is home to an estimated 10 million individuals. My lucky day.
Easter this year is April 16th. Watch for closings and be respectful of people’s time.
April 20, 2017 is the first day of summer. Sumardagurinn Fyrsti is a Norse holiday with parades and celebrations.

How Can I Fudge Icelandic?

Now, I have a background in a few languages German, Russian, and Japanese however, none of them will be useful to pick apart Icelandic. What better way to start research then to figure out the basics. Icelandic is the distant cousin of German and branches from Northern Germanic and Western Scandinavian roots. Most likely you will always come across English speakers however it’s good to be prepared for anything.
Two letters that you won’t recognize:
Ð, ð – pronounced as “eth”
 Þ, þ – pronounced as “th” like thorn

Signs?

Once the language is figured out… then road signs. Drivers have a matter of seconds to decipher what the sign says. It could be the difference between:

And:

 

Slysasvæði translates to accident area so be cautious of your surroundings, climate and terrain.
 Want more about road signs – Click Here

Your Road Trip

Ok, lets talk gas. Petrol that is. I read that gas was super expensive in Iceland but $1.75 per liter didn’t seem so bad. I soon realized they measured in liters not gallons. Silly American. See? This is why research is important. The real cost per gallon is about $7.50 US.
Pre-paid gas cards. It may be a good idea to have a few of these handy should you come across an unmanned station. Purchase prepaid gas cars at an open gas station. N1 stations seem to have the best deals and are abundant through-out the country.
Fuel up at all stops. There may be few and far between petrol stations especially in the south west quarter of Iceland. Pay attention and stick to the 1/4 rule. NEVER let your tank run under 1/4. This rule has kept me out of many sticky situations.
Get yourself covered. Iceland is know as the land of fire and ice. Rocks, ice, ash and snow are all elements that can damage your car. Insurance is required when you rent a car in Iceland. Save yourself major money by not waiting for the clerk at Hertz to add an unforeseen $1,500 to your MasterCard.

Thermal Pools and Pools

I’m positive baring it all at the Blue Lagoon is frowned upon. So, what are the rules for the glorious geo-thermal pools and spas?
1. Rinse off – read the rules in the changing rooms as to how to properly shower before taking a dip. Most likely you will have to shower sans swimsuit. Nobody wants a spa date with a grease monkey.
2. Leave the Phone – be chatty with everyone else enjoying the moment. Skip ringing your mom about what you are seeing.
 
3. Nudity – I keep reading that Scandinavia has different ideas about nakedness. Keep an open mind but, be sure to read the rules posted by the spa.

Been to Iceland? Comment below and tell me the secrets!

Your Cobweb Clearer, Kate
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What You Need To Know For Icelaland.png

No Jedi on Skellig Michael

Of the countless sites I visited in Ireland none captured my attention quite like the hike up Skellig Michael. The islands in the Ring of Kerry rise out of the Atlantic Ocean a few kilometers from Valentia Island. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a immaculately preserved monastic outpost from the Early Christian period.  It’s no wonder the site is beautifully preserved as the island is protected by sheer cliffs and rough waters below. Monks resided here somewhere in the 8th century. They dedicated their lives to isolation and their religion. Note: Luke Skywalker was not one of these monks 🙂

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  My adventure began early in the morning. Montanna and I boarded a boat with about eight other adventurers.  I was nervous as I dislike boats and have a mild fear of open water. It was raining lightly – the typical drizzle you come to expect from Ireland. The boat set off and we made our way to the massive outpost. As we approached, we saw native garnets and puffins hunting in the waves. The island itself is brilliant emerald and black from the rocks. The waves were deep blue and choppy.
 When we stepped off the boat we were greeted by the tour host. He cautioned us about the slick steps and not to disturb the puffin nesting sites. He said he would meet us at the top in about an hour and sent us on our way.  Montanna and I started climbing the eight hundred ancient stairs to the monastery.  She started cursing my name since she was afraid of heights and the sheer cliffs lacked handrails. About half way up we reached the saddle of the island and were greeted by a fierce wind. It was as if someone set off a fan in a wind tunnel. The last leg was the steepest and narrowest.  From the summit you could view the iconic Beehive Monasteries and stone dwellings made of rocks clearly gathered from the area. It is also apparent that the inhabitants also dug into the side of the cliffs for shelter.  The wind was still fierce, but, inside the domes it was peaceful.

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 We spent about an hour poking around then we listed to the guide talk about the history. On the other end of the settlement they had found a hermitage. Meaning, one monk decided to further his isolation by living separately from the structures.
 Back down the eight hundred steps and a cold, wet boat ride back to the mainland we arrived back to our car. The weather had picked up on the boat ride back, dumping sea water on everybody every few minutes. We were soaked and frozen to the bone. I don’t know if fun was the exact words for the end of the experience, but it was surely an adventure!
Aa Puffin for you
  To book your trip to Skellig Michael visit HERE  to book a landing tour. Remember that the tour is highly dependent on the weather so keep tabs. Their season runs from May 15th to October 2nd as the weather is typically fair. Also pay attention to cash or card operations. My tour was cash only.
Your Cobweb Clearer, Kate

Badass Arizona History: Petrified National Park

Badass History Arizona

When was the last time Arizona lush, green, and tropical? The Late Triassic period roughly, 225 million years ago. What is left behind today? Rainbow colored, fossilized tree remains:

Petrified Forest National Park Kate Swavely

You can visit Petrified National Park full of hiking, geology, and numerous photo-ops. The area is known for fossilized trees as well as creatures ranging from clams to a relative of a giant crocodile called a Phytosaur. Most of the tree fossils belong to a conifer species, Araucarioxylon arizonicum – also referred to as rainbow wood! I went on a sunny day so you could really see the brilliant flecks of yellow, red, purple, indigo and green. My iPhone did an excellent job but failed to capture all the colors had to offer.

You can enter the park on the north side (Painted Desert Visitors Center off of Interstate 40) or through the south (Rainbow Forest Museum on highway 80). For $20 you can enjoy over thirty miles of drive-able National Park. Not including the numerous hiking trails and offshoots. I took the Crystal Forest trail where I got most of my awesome pictures and the Blue Mesa loop which was a little harder but worth it. You can hike down into the purple-ly mounds which takes you to a seemingly alien planet. Be prepared to carry water and sun protection, the closest gas station is nearly twenty miles away. The forest is also in the middle of the desert so it is hot, dry and usually windy.

Be warned there is a hefty fine for removal and/or destruction of any material in the park. Your vehicle is subject to being searched!

Petrified Forest National Park Kate Swavely Travel Scout

Petrified Forest National Park Kate Swavely Travel Scout

Petrified Forest National Park Kate Swavely Travel Scout

Petrified Forest National Park Kate Swavely Travel Scout

Petrified Forest National Park Kate Swavely Travel Scout

The second half of the park is the Painted Desert and dedicated to the Native people who occupied the lands for generations. Like the fossilized trees, the land reflects similar colors in the striations of the geography. There are numerous examples of pueblos (dwellings) and a site called Newspaper Rock which is a well-known petroglyph site. The most famous location is Casa Grande.  The last bit of road crosses over old Route 66 and overlooks the Devil’s Playground:

Petrified Forest National Park Kate Swavely Travel Scout

Petrified Forest National Park Kate Swavely Travel Scout

Petrified Forest National Park Kate Swavely Travel Scout

Stop off at Tiponi, Tawa, Kachina, Chinde, Pintado, Nizhoni, Whipple, And Lacey Points!

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Petrified Forest National Park Kate Swavely Travel Scout

8 Things that Happen When Your Bestie Visits

 

BeFunky Collage 1

If you have ever experienced a significant move –  I’m talking through time zones – you know the feeling of seeing a loved one for the first time in months or even years. There are some friends who stick around and some who fade away into their own lives. It happens, c’est la vie. When your friends do visit it is better than getting a unicorn for Christmas.

Two thousand miles could never hold back our friendship! For spring break my best friend of nearly ten years, Danielle is flying in from Pennsylvania and will stay at my house for a week and a half. After I did my joyful dance I started thinking what trouble is going to ensue? For one, a Utah camping trip is in the works. I can have her meet my Arizona friends. Must drive to Cave Creek. Where have I not been that resembles an adventure? The zoo? A movie night! Pool side chats about the future. Here is what happens when your best friend visit:

Begins with the Hug that Ends all Hugs.

At first sight.  There is much giggling, screaming, and crying that not one damn is given concerning the airport security guard glaring at you for parking too long. Whether one is a hugger or not a hug from your best friend is the best of all.

Food.

In-N-Out doesn’t exist everywhere and following a 5-7 hour flight food is essential. For most normal girl-friends, food is a vital slice of your relationship. There is no judgement – and yes, eat that entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Show off all the countless spots to feast on delicious food! O.H.S.O, Sushi Brokers, and Cowboy Ciao – food possibilities remain endless.

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6 Ways To Stay Fly While Flying

Vacation time doesn’t mean that you get to slack off taking care of yourself. I know that I personally fall into this trap most of the time, then I complain about the giant zit on my forehead or how I have the sniffles. Despite never admitting to being sick. NEVER admit to being sick.

These tips can apply to any sort of travel road trips, stay-cations, long distance, by air, jaunts, international travel, even camping.

Here are six ways to stay fly while flying:

  1. Hail, Hydrate

Airplanes are dry and stress from traveling wreaks havoc on your skin. The best way to combat dry skin is simply to drink – not airport booze – but good ‘ole H2O. I watch my hydration three days out and three days after. If you can keep that up your pores will thank you. I carry around hydro flasks or blender bottles – both eco-friendly and travel friendly!

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Fun Fact: It’s a popular theory that hydration aids jet lag.

2. Moisturize Me

Vitamins in lotion keep that mug soft and glowing. Keep it simple – I prefer to use scent free Aveeno daily moisturizer.  As you can see, it is available in a cute travel size at a more than affordable price.

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Find it in the travel section at Walmart or Target.

Or Amazon

3. Strip Down

The make-up that is. Headed to the airport opt for a fresh face. Again with the clogged pores…

Hack: Instead of taking the whole package, grab a Ziplock and take what you need. The zipper seal keeps them moist and maximizes space.

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Find it in the travel section at Walmart or Target.

Or Amazon

4. If You Must Make- Up

As a make-up minimalist, my daily routine includes SPF BB Cream, eyeliner, mascara and chapstick. My eyebrows, only recently, went on fleek. Especially while traveling I like to keep it light. I do splurge on one item – matte velvet liquid lip color by Lime Crime. This stuff is awesome and has a selection that varies between wild and tame.

Find  Lime Crime on Amazon

5. Germs

Airports are filthy. Whenever I go on a trip that involves a plane, I get sick. Think about it (or don’t) one hundred plus people all sharing the same air for several hours. Recently I have been popping Zicam Pre-Cold Tablets after a flight – if I start feeling sick. It is essentially a vitamin C, non-drowsy, homeopathic solution to a looming cold. Armed with Zicam and antibacterial wipes I think I can make my upcoming trip without feeling gross.

*Note this is not a daily supplement – take only if you exhibit cold symptoms!

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Check out any pharmacy

Or Amazon

6. Be comfy, but you are not at home.

I opt for the undercover superhero look, you know…

BeFunky Collage

My look…

Dark, layers and practical.

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Make sure you use layers in case the plane gets too hot or too cold, that way you can be just right.  Wear shoes that you can get in and out of quickly. If you are trying to save space in your luggage opt to wear your heaviest shoes. I will be wearing my Doc Martens as I am traveling with a carry on. The debate is always out for us females – are leggings appropriate for the airport? My answer is simple, use your head. IF indeed you can see your butt through your leggings, no matter what, then NO – leggings are not appropriate.

A Cow Who Won Her Freedom – Stories From the Front Seat

Kolob Terrace road cuts behind Zion National Park. As you drive through the winding roads and grassy plateaus you gain about three thousand feet in fifteen minutes. At the bottom the temperature is in the 80’s – hot – as you are in a desert. I finally had to stop just before the summit because my Ford Fiesta was unable to trudge through the seven inches of slushy snow. Yep – from the desert, dry as bones to SNOW. So you get the idea. Anyway on the trek back down the mountain my best friend Dani starts screaming at me to stop the car – I thought she saw another animal. Cows pretty much ran the show, milling about in the middle of the road.

She points at this black shadow and asks “is that a cow?”

Now you have to understand that we are essentially on a ridge – nothing to the right, nothing much to the left. As you can see in the picture below there is the top of a hill, a short plateau followed by a sheer drop. I pulled over as much as I could and threw on my hazards – not like there were many cars passing anyway.

I used the zoom on my camera to zoom in on the black shadow she was speaking of. It was indeed a cow.

See if you can find her!

thisisacow EDIT
Where on Earth is the cow?
thisisacow CIRCLE
Found her!! The real question is why? But more importantly how?
My main question is why? Followed by how? Clearly she is all by herself there were no other signs of cattle around. If you could have taken in the scenery you too would be as confused as I. I grew up on a farm but I don’t know much about cows. What I do know is that they aren’t the smartest. What I made up in my head is that she won her freedom from becoming dinner by trekking to the hill where she stood.

You go adventure cow!

thisisacowcloser EDIT
My camera has an amazing zoom.
Your Cobweb Clearer, Kate

Newest Aquarium: Odysea

Yesterday, I visited Arizona’s newest attraction – Odysea. Located right off the 101, Via de Venture exit is a growing complex that houses North America’s largest butterfly conservatory, Butterfly Wonderland as well as the newest feature Odysea Aquarium.

Odysea features a gaggle of sea otters, African penguins and various species of fish and sea creatures from around the world.Follow a droplet of water through the water cycle. The cycle starts in a creek and ends in the deep ocean. Odysea will later feature stingray petting, backstage tours of the penguin and otter exhibits, as well as under sea “trekking”. The facility has only been open for three weeks so, expect a soft open experience none the less it was worth two hours of my time and $35.

Take a visit! It is worth it.

Disclaimer: I have NOT mastered aquarium pictures, bare with me 🙂

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Before the right or wrong of it comes up, I stand by preservation and protection of species that require healing. Education is the only way to protect therefore I support conservatories like Odysea.

 

Otters!

Meet the cutest little monsters at Odysea Aquarium! I would totally steal one but, I do have a ferret of my own…

The Day the Desert Tried to Kill Me – Stories From the Front Seat

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6:15 PM sunburned, bitten, hungry, and parched. This is the only picture taken after my mom and I grounded our truck in Utah wilderness. I’m sure that I have mentioned a passionate hatred towards sand. It blows in your eyes, finds its way into places never imagined but, more importantly shipwrecks trucks. Here’s what happened:

Back track to 3:00 PM: “Oh! Look, there are eight hundred miles of trails back here” I pointed out to my mom. We were traveling through Utah, in normal fashion but, this time looking for new places to hike. We entered Nephi Pastures via Grand Escalante National Monument, eighteen miles off RT 89A. The road terrain was sandy, deep in parts but, it was easy to navigate with the truck. It was a grand ‘ole time navigating the technical drive. The windows were open and our dog was relaxing in the back seat. Nine miles in we realized we had a problem. The middle strip of the road was solid, compacted sand with loose pockets of deep sand on either side. It was impossible to tell how deep by looking at it. What grounded us was one tire spinning out and the axle of the truck hanging itself on the sand bar. Nothing dramatic so far and we had confidence in our digging skills.

“Ok, let’s dig out” which in hindsight was the worst idea possible. We dug with our hands for two hours since who brings shovels? We tried everything – sticking branches under the tires, digging, re-burying, pushing – nothing. The sand was burning from the afternoon sun, which made for more unpleasantness not to mention fun fact: spiders and cactus spines exist underground. I had a massive welt from a spider bite on my forearm – which I didn’t notice until later – also several spines in my leg and hands. It became clear that we weren’t going to break out of this situation ourselves. We abandoned the truck and set off on foot at about 5PM, hoping that we would run into other hikers or find cell reception. Before making the hike back we grabbed the essentials including an ID, my AAA card, headlamps, phone battery pack, two gallons of water and snacks.

Realize how far into bumblef*ck nowhere we were – eighteen miles off of 89A, which is ten miles from Kanab (the nearest town) and nine miles down the Bureau of Land Management road.

We were thirty seven miles from anywhere and it was nearing sundown.

Three miles into an uphill trudge in sand my phone miraculously receives service. Immediately, I contact AAA. I have never had a problem with AAA before, but, when I needed them to step up they dropped the ball. I was transferred to two different people whom could not understand my specific instructions as to where we were. It was simple – from 89A, Johnson Canyon Road, drive eighteen miles until you approach the Nephi Pasture trail head –we were nine miles in. I did everything short of giving the operator GPS coordinates. After repeating myself several times I was starting to lose my temper as I was losing service. Not long after she said she called the towing company, the line went dead. Without knowing if the tow truck would find us or not, we pressed on. If the tow truck was coming he wouldn’t miss us. There was only one way in, one way out.

Another mile up the road my mom and I heard ATVs coming out direction. We flagged them down as they approached, hoping they weren’t serial killers. They offered to drive us back to the trailhead without skipping a beat. Relieved we hopped in. Back at the trail head – nearing 6:45PM – the wait continued. Waited, waited, and waited. Still not tow truck. We pulled ourselves together and started walking again. The sun was set to go down within the next forty five minutes – we had a dog which would attract predators, we would have no source of ambient light other than headlamps and neither of our phones had service. It was getting dicey.

Twenty minutes later we heard the ATVers coming home. This time they offered to assist us back to their truck and pull us out. They were our saving grace! I always question the intentions of people and their kindness, but, this family was simply amazing. All it took was pulling our truck off of the sandbar. With little effort their truck pulled us out. I wish we could thank the ATVers who came through for us, but in all of the action we never stopped to ask a last name or a contact. We offered to treat them to dinner back in Kanab but, they wouldn’t accept – they told us to pay it forward. All I knew is that my mom, my dog and I would have been in real danger had they not been there.

We were back on the road to our hotel by 8PM

Check out : 11 Tips To Survive A Wilderness Emergency  for some advice on wilderness travel!

What is the stickiest situation you’ve been in?

Your Cobweb Clearer, Kate

10 Outdoor Wanderlust Inspiring Photos

Welcome to my compilation of outdoor wanderlust inspiring gallery. We all have places that make us feel alive. I have listed my top ten – ever changing, ever expanding – locations.  Share your places below in the comments!

  1. Santa Inez, California

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2. County Antrim, Northern Ireland

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3. Court of the Patriarchs, Zion National Park, Hurricane, Utah

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4. Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Pennsylvania

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5. Ricketts Glen Falls Trail, Pennsylvania

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6. Lee’s Ferry Beach, Page, Arizona

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7. Sunset Crater National Monument, Flagstaff, Arizona

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8. Paria Canyon, Kanab, Utah

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9. Navajo Bridge, Page Arizona

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10. Bryce Canyon, Utah

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