June 8th, 2017
Today is the day in which I will officially find out
whether I’m a chicken or not.
I woke up feeling really refreshed after a wonderful night’s worth of rest, which was great considering that today my dad and I would have to drive 54 miles — most of it off-road — to get to Chicken Corners from where we were staying in Moab. The entire trip out and back would take around 3.5 hours, but knowing us and our tendency to stop the car very frequently to take pictures of the scenery, it would probably take us longer than 3.5 hours. 😊
However, taking up time wasn’t a worry for me. I was camping, and time no longer felt like something that was disappearing and flowing from my fingers like sand. I was happy with anything I could take.
My dad and I left our motel around 9 for Chicken’s Corners, and the ride to Chicken Corners was almost as adventurous as my experience actually at Chicken Corners.
My dad and I decided to turn off the air conditioning and do the entire drive with our windows down, which resulted in everything being covered by red dust by the end of the trip, but was nonetheless a great decision for us to make — not having a window separating me from the fantastic scenery and nature outside the car really enhanced my experience on the trail.
Part of what makes camping so special to me is how, once my mind gets in the camping zone, I somehow manage to change the way I view my discomforts. For example, me sweating so much that my clothes are damp the entire time in the car because of the windows being down and the AC being turned off actually makes me really happy — because I’m camping, and part of camping is learning how to view discomforts as something that contributes to having a fulfilling experience in nature.
I know for a fact that if the journey to someplace is difficult, then the destiny will wow me even more. Getting to someplace that you know took effort, discomfort, and even a little bit of suffering makes the entire trip memorable. Hiking isn’t the most comfortable activity. In fact, to put it bluntly, hiking when it’s 100 degrees outside on a trail with no shade and sweat soaking my clothes and the sun blinding my eyes really, really sucks.
And because of all that discomfort, I love hiking.
I’m motivated to keep walking because of the destination — the Wow! I know I’ll experience when I get to wherever I’m hiking to at that moment.
The thing is, all of the discomfort I experience during camping is a choice. I didn’t have to turn off the AC and roll down the windows. I didn’t have to endure the hot wind and dust that constantly blew in during the ride to and from Chicken Corners. And in fact, I don’t even have to go camping at all if I didn’t want to feel uncomfortable.
That is why I never complain about little things when I go camping. It’s not something I’m able to do everyday, or as often as I want to, so every moment I spend camping is luxurious and very precious to me, even the moments where I feel awful and exhausted. All of the camping experiences I’ve had throughout my life has made me more open-minded, less picky, and more appreciative of everything I have — and that appreciation of something as simple as a shower really kicks in later on during the trip. 😁
In the past, this mentality of viewing discomforts as something positive didn’t follow me into my daily life. This was something that appeared when I was camping or traveling, then disappeared into the air once I got back home. I know this trip really changed me and made me more aware of myself, though, because I’ve noticed that once I got home, I began to start evaluating whether I really “needed” some things at home, or whether it was just something that I’ve used for a long time and therefore thought I needed it when I could just rid myself of that item. Not being able to shower everyday while camping, among many other aspects, made me realize how little I actually needed to be happy.
I view all the times I’ve camped as the happiest moments within my life, yet camping is also the time in which I have the less stuff with me and also experience the most discomfort. I’ve come to realize that in order to be happy, it matters less whether I’m comfortable or have everything I need/want, and more if I have the right mindset.
I’m still trying to find out what that right mindset for me is, but I do know that the mindset will revolve around being more positive, aware, and grateful, as well as the focus on experience rather than materialistic things.
It was only the third day of the trip, and I already felt like it was changing my life for the better.
I ended up, once again, not reading or writing the entire ride to and back from Chicken Corners. Being in nature stirred up so many thoughts and contemplations and questions that I was more than happy to ponder about them during the ride while staring out at the gorgeous rock formations and scenery outside the car. I also passed my time by having really insightful discussions with my dad — most of them about the podcasts that we were listening to — and desperately trying to find a good spot for me to pee. (That is a reality that I would love to discuss one day on this blog. 😆)
It took us quite a while to get from Moab to the official start of the Chicken Corners, which is the parking lot for Kane Springs Canyon. Around 9.6 miles from the parking lot for Kane Springs Canyon, we passed by Hurrah Pass, which was a fun drive to get up and across.
Eventually, I finally found a spot to pee in, and as usual, the view was beautiful.
The location above was in a little pullout along the road that was shaded (YES!!! FINALLY!!!) and out of sight from the road. After finishing my business, I got myself some food and my book (still reading Outrun the Moon) and climbed up the rocks on the side of the pullout to read for a bit as my dad set some stuff up in the car. I found a very comfortable spot to read, and the awesome part was that I was so high up and shielded by the walls of rocks around me that the ATVs and cars that passed by us couldn’t see me unless they purposefully turned around and looked up to where I was sitting.
The few minutes I spent up there relaxing and reading were perfect. 😊
I would have loved to stay up there longer and read more, but my dad and I did want to get to Chicken Corners and ride home before it got dark, and perhaps do one more thing before we drove back to our motel in Moab, like drive the Gemini Bridges Trail. We passed by some breathtaking views on the way to Chicken Corners, but nothing would have prepared me for the Chicken Corners sign.
😯 😆 😂
It’s so hilarious how people hung up chickens on the sign for Chicken Corners! I wonder if locals did this, or tourists did — either way, someone had to buy the toy chickens, drive all the way to this sign, and hang up the chickens. I tried squeezing the rubber chicken to see if it would make any noise, but it didn’t work, so that was disappointing. 😆
At this point I was super excited to go see what was waiting for me at Chicken Corners. I had looked up pictures about the location beforehand, but had completely forgotten what Chicken Corners actually looked like. As you can probably assume by the name, Chicken Corners got its name because only those brave enough walked out to the narrow corner of the cliff, while those who were “chicken” stayed behind.
I was positive that I wasn’t a chicken, and thus already in the mentality that I would walk out to the corner of the cliff no matter what. When we got out to Chicken Corners, we saw a parked Jeep, which meant that (sadly) we weren’t alone at this location. The driver was an old man who I saw all the way out on the corner on the cliff, and once I saw him there, I was like, Of course I can walk out there.
I mean, it did look like if he took one half step forward he would go tumbling down the cliff, but still. I could do it.
And thus my dad and I began our walk to the corner of Chicken Corners. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 *applause*
I took my camera and book with me, and left my backpack behind in the car because I didn’t want any extra weight on me if I was going to be walking out the corner of a cliff. My dad freaked out a little at how much I was favoring my camera and book over myself while walking out to the corner, so in the end I decided to put my book down on the side and walk without it.
And anyways, my plan to sit on the corner and read quickly dissipated once I got on the trail. There was no way I felt comfortable enough to take my eyes off my feet and read at that point.
Even though, to me, the picture above looks terrifying because I should not be sitting that way on a slope — especially a slope above a cliff’s edge — I still don’t think the pictures capture how absolutely terrifyingly close we were to the edge. The trail looks pretty wide in front, but as we walked further out, it started getting narrower… and narrower… and narrower… to the point where I felt like maybe — maybe — going to the edge wasn’t the best idea?
Haha. What was I doing? I already decided that I was going to edge, right? Right?
Being on a cliff’s edge really comes with the thoughts of, okay, what would happen if I fell right now? Because if I fell, I’m pretty sure it would be the end of me. And what exactly would that feel like? Does it bother me that that thought doesn’t really scare me right now? That I sort of feel like that won’t ever happen to me, and therefore I won’t have to worry about the danger of being so close to the edge?
I laughed nervously back at my dad and walked back to where the trail was wider and where I had sat down before on the slope. My dad proceeded to walk out to the corner, to which I was like okay! But once he got closer to where the really narrow portion of the path was, I got freaked out, and eventually he walked back to where I was and sat down as well.
We both looked out at the Colorado River, then back at each other.
“The trail is really narrow out there,” my dad said.
I nodded in agreement.
“You know, we don’t have to walk out to the edge. This already is a great experience.”
Nod nod nod.
“So…” I began to say, trying to let the thought surface in my mind. “Are we not going to the corner?”
“You realize this means we’re chickens, right?”
At this point the old man had left, and before he left, he had asked my dad to talk a picture of him standing on the corner. We had the entire Chicken Corners to ourselves to contemplate whether we were going to the corner or not, and also an eerie silence to help out us. We were left alone with our thoughts and no distractions to pull us from the question of whether we really came all this way to find out we were chickens. 😶
My dad then proceeded to tell me that Chicken Corners was actually more than just a corner — around the corner of the cliff, the trail apparently opens up to a plateau. When I asked how he knew, my dad told me he saw the old man go around the bend and come back, which means that the corner is passable, and there is possibly something beyond the corner.
That sparked my curiosity.
I started to walk towards the corner again, then hung out there for a little while. I tried to lean out to peek around the corner and see if there really was a plateau, and if the path was even more narrow than it already was near the corner, but I had to stop because my dad thought I looked like I was about to fall off the cliff by leaning over.
I spent a long while sitting in the area right before the actual corner, thinking about whether I should go around it.
🐣 PROS 🐣
~ I wouldn’t be a chicken!
~ I could officially say I’ve gone around Chicken Corners!
~ I would be able to see the plateau around the corner!
~ I would feel great about myself and not regret anything (given that I don’t fall off the cliff)!
🐣 CONS 🐣
~ I would be a chicken. 😶
~ I’ll miss out on this amazing, adventurous opportunity to go around the corner. Did my dad and I really spend several hours driving to this place just to not go on Chicken Corners?
~ I wouldn’t be able to see the mysterious place that lies beyond the bend!
~ I would totally beat myself up for not even trying to go around the corner and probably think about this missed opportunity for the rest the trip and for a couple months afterwards.
🤔 Think think think
I don’t remember the exact dialogue that my dad and I had, but I do remember it being very drawn out and hilarious. We both at one point said that we wouldn’t go around the bend for sure because the risk was too great, but we both said it in such a way that I knew, all along, in both of our hearts, we knew we were going to go around the corner no matter what. 😊
At that point I stood up and said that I was going to do it — I was going around the bend, and I would go first.
It was a beautiful moment, and if it were a movie scene, everyone in the audience would have stood up then and there and clapped. That’s how amazing it felt.
The close to the corner I got, the more unstable the ground felt. The path was no longer flat and sturdy; the rock was either smooth and therefore slippery, or broken down in shards that were also nerve-wracking to walk on.
Then there was the down-below.
And looking down below.
And thinking about falling into the down-below.
However, as I started to round the corner, the path began to widen — enough to where I felt comfortable walking without having to clutch the wall of rock away from the cliff’s edge.
Then, open space.
It was the plateau on the other side.
I love how you can see the layers in the picture above, and how the canyons in the distance look faded and almost like a light mist was covering them, even though it was in the nineties outside and it felt like the air had absolutely no moisture.
Perhaps the scenery wasn’t the most beautiful thing, but the prideful feeling I had in accomplishing the walk around Chicken Corners after contemplating so long whether I should do it — and almost not doing the walk — made the entire moment very memorable for me. Not every place I visit becomes special to me, but I find that most of the places most precious to me in the world are often those I had visited in camping trips, and Chicken Corners has definitely become one of those special places to me because of this entire experience.
The only way to go back was to go the way we came, so my dad and I rounded the corner once more and both decided that Chicken Corners wasn’t that scary once you actually walk around the corner and back.
I mean, we didn’t walk the path again to test that statement out, but I definitely felt more at ease at the thought of walking around Chicken Corners again. 😊
After making myself some more food, I took my book (still Outrun the Moon!) and climbed up to a shaded area to read. It felt really nice to relax after that entire experience, but, like the last time I sat down to read today, I had to stop and get in the car so that we could drive out of Chicken Corners before night. The sky on the ride back was filled with hazy clouds that made the temperature much cooler, so that was nice on the long ride back to Moab. By the time we got back to our hotel, it was already 5. We were both exhausted and didn’t want to burn ourselves out so early on our trip, so we decided to just relax and stay at the hotel for the rest of the day.
Once again, I tried to work on my blog posts, but I wasn’t in the mood, so I just showered (which felt amazing after an entire day of sweating and having dust blow into the car) and relaxed and somehow went to bed a lot later than my intended time of 8 o’clock. 😇😉
But before I end this blog post — I did, in the end, find out the answer the question of whether I’m a chicken or not. At the very beginning of my stay at Chicken Corners, it did seem like my dad and I were going to leave Chicken Corners with the knowledge that we were chickens, but adventure got a hold of us (perhaps a little bit of pride as well 😊) and we eventually decided to go around chicken corners.
We are officially not chickens!
(This statement only applies to us going around Chicken Corners, btw. But still… it counts. 😉)
Thanks for reading, and I will cya in my next travel post for the Summer Road Trip of 2017! 🤗🤗🤗
She’d been told that she walked a fine line in this world — the line between her imagination and her reality. They told her that once she fell on either side, she wouldn’t be able to get back up.
But who knew whether their claims were true or not?
Whatever she deemed to be the truth became her truth in her own mind, and if she believed that she could walk between these two worlds without slipping and falling, then she could. The only danger, now, was if someone pushed her off, and she had never had to worry about that.
She had yet to meet someone who could follow her footsteps and go the places she’s been to. No one could follow her. No one could find her. She was safe and content and knew everything she did and didn’t want to know.
She even dared to think that she was the happiest person alive.
So despite all that they said, she continued walking on that fine line in this world,
and she continued to be happy.