Editing Video (Arches National Park)

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 20.5mm, f/3.6, 1/100 sec, ISO1600
“Editing Video” Cedar Park, 2021

I finally got around to finishing our Arches National Park video. It’s fun to learn video editing!

I’d appreciate it if you gave it a watch if you have time:

I hope you had a great day! またね~

Morning Ride at Lake Somerville State Park

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/5, 1/250 sec, ISO640
“Mango at the Lake” Lake Somerville, 2021

We woke up early to catch the sunrise, but heavy cloud-cover prevented us from seeing it rise above Lake Somerville. However, when it finally appeared a bit higher in the sky, it was beautiful!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/7.1, 1/250 sec, ISO200
“Sun Rays” Lake Somerville, 2021

My friend Také and I went for a short bike ride around the camp area on the hike and bike trails and saw a bunch of deer, rode through numerous spiderwebs, and worked up a good appetite for breakfast later on. I let him ride Mango, which is has front suspension, trigger-shifters, and a more upright riding position, while I rode Rossa which has no suspension, has a more aggressive position, and friction shifters.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 20.5mm, f/9, 1/125 sec, ISO320
“Rossa and Mango” Lake Somerville, 2021

It was so much fun, but I blew it and forgot to bring the GoPro for the ride! 😒 Man, I suck! Also, Rossa had a flat front tire when we got back to camp. Double-bummer.

But the ride was awesome so it’s all good!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/9, 1/140 sec, ISO200
“View from the Overlook” Lake Somerville, 2021

Birthday Camping

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/6.4, 1/680 sec, ISO640
“Car Camp” Lake Somerville, 2021

Today we did an overnight camp at Lake Somerville State Park to celebrate our friend’s birthday. I haven’t been car-camping in a while so it was extra fun. Not worrying about pack weight like you do when you are backpacking felt like a luxury, and we took advantage of it by bringing a huge tent, cooler filled with beverages, my big tripod, as well as two bicycles and fishing gear.

It was a lot of fun hanging out around the grill (we made burgers!), eating and drinking, and even taking photos of the stars. Definitely a great evening!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/2.8, 13 sec, ISO3200
“Milky Way” Lake Somerville, 2021

Drive Home

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/6400 sec, ISO32
“Homecoming” Santa Anna, 2021

Today was the last day of our road trip vacation, with a lot more driving (Roswell, New Mexico to Cedar Park, Texas). The highlight was a stop in the town of Santa Anna, Texas to look at an antique shop off of the main street.

While waiting outside the shop, I noticed several people sitting on the curbside, facing towards the street. I thought it was a bit odd. Then I noticed people on the other side of the street doing the same. I saw more people arrive and take up spots on the curb so I asked one of them what was going on, and she said the High School Homecoming Parade was about to start.

“Homecoming” Santa Anna, 2021

We decided to hang around to see what a small-town parade was like, and I have to say, it was really fun! Just like the one in Cedar Park, the Santa Anna parade had floats, marching band, and lots of candy being give out. What was really cool was that the last person in the parade was an old-timer riding his horse. He was wearing a sign that said “Class of ’57”. How cool! I’m just sorry I didn’t get a photo. 😥

“Homecoming” Santa Anna, 2021

As mentioned above, this was the last day of our road trip. It was a ton of fun, and maybe the first vacation Mariko and I have been on with just the two of us since Bay was born, 20 years ago! I wasn’t sure if we’d have nothing to talk about, or if we’d get on each other’s nerves, but I’m happy to say it was smooth sailing. I guess our mutual love for beer and food keep us aligned in the same direction. 😄

Glamping at Under Canvas Moab

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/8, 1/200 sec, ISO640
“Under Canvas Tent” Moab, 2021

We stayed one night glamping at Under Canvas Moab and enjoyed it a lot. It was our first time glamping (glamourous camping) which I would not normally consider, but we thought that we’d give it a try and see what it was all about. It really is a combination of a nice resort hotel and camping. Pretty cool concept!

“Reception Tent” Moab, 2021

The check-in process was really smooth and one of the hosts explained pretty much everything you need to know about the facilities. The reception tent has a check-in/out desk, snacks, board games, water, coffee and tea, fresh fruit, refrigerated items, souvenirs, tables and chairs to relax in, and also the S’mores station, with ready-to-use packets of ingredients to take outside to the firepits. They also have a sno-cone machine, and bags of ice for you to replenish your cooler.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/8, 1/140 sec, ISO640
“Under Canvas Tent View” Moab, 2021

There are a few different tents to choose from, and we chose the most inexpensive one (Safari), which is perfect for a couple. The tent is pretty sturdy, the bed is large and comfy, and most importantly for the cooler months, there’s a wood-burning stove/heater. It’s all ready to fire up, which we did immediately. In a few minutes, the tent was cozy and warm. There are also power banks to recharge your devices, battery-powered lanterns and fans, and earplugs.

“Wood-Burning Stove” Moab, 2021

After opening up a bottle of wine and relaxing a bit, I decided to take a shower and freshen up. The more expensive tents come with a bathroom, but ours didn’t. The communal bathrooms and showers were in their own little building not far from our tent, and were perfectly fine. No problems there! There were plenty of clean towels in their own little closet, and you can just put your used towels in the bins just outside each bathroom. There aren’t normal faucet handles for the showers, but rather a handle on a chain which you pull down to release the water. It’s a good system to ensure you don’t use too much water, but a little inconvenient since you have to keep the chain down while rinsing. It also is perfect for the camping experience. FYI, you have to wait a little bit for the hot water to flow. At first I thought I was going to have to take a cold shower, but thankfully the water became warm. Whew!

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 1.55mm, f/2.4, 1/690 sec, ISO25
“Moab Sunrise” Moab, 2021

The people in the adjacent tent (the tents are spaces a good distance away from each other) were cooking dinner on the tables just outside their tent. I noticed they were using their their own camp stove, headlamp, and camp lantern. So yes, it really is a hybrid camp/hotel.

On that note, I would recommend bringing your own food to cook since there isn’t a restaurant on-site. However, there are several gas grills in covered pavilions, with picnic tables and lighting. I believe the staff even said they’d be happy to prepare the food for you! Next time, we’ll stop at the market and buy some steaks, kebabs, or burger fixings and use the cooking stations. I could see it being an excellent place for a group to hang out all night, grilling, drinking, having S’mores, and partaking in the cornhole bean-bag toss, board games, or horseshoes (all provided).

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 1.55mm, f/2.4, 1/400 sec, ISO25
“Utah Morning” Moab, 2021

What’s really neat is that they offer some other activities, such as morning yoga, workouts, live music, and trivia in the evening. There’s also a cool little area in the middle of the site with several hammocks set up so you and your neighbors can stargaze together.

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/40 sec, ISO500
“Activity Board” Moab, 2021

While not truly remote, the site was far enough away from the highway to provide some isolation from light and noise. It’s also only about 20 minutes from Moab, so it wouldn’t take long to make a beer/food run and be back at camp to continue the party. Speaking of location, it’s only 10 minutes away from Arches National Park, so it’s a fantastic location if you are visiting the park.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/2.8, 20 sec, ISO3200
“Under Canvas Big Dipper” Moab, 2021

All-in-all, we were satisfied with Under Canvas Moab. It’s a little on the spendy side, but I think that you definitely get your money’s worth. The staff were all very friendly and ready to help if you need anything. It was so nice to relax here after a long day hiking at Arches National Park!