Friday, July 30, 2010

Food Revolution Road Trip Day 11: An Elephant Sized Challenge

Places to Go, things to do!
-Jeep out to the Needles district of Canyonlands and tackle Elephant Hill

Food Revolution Challenge:

-discover just how cheap processed/junk food is in the USA and some unexpected encouragement!

I was really wary of any jeep trail labeled "extreme", after last year's incident with Fins N' Things. If those jeep guys talked us into something really frightening, that would be IT for me. Fortunately for them, I have a short memory (or I'm just really gullible), and agreed to do Elephant Hill. Um, ya. Okay.

Why do people keep telling me how hard it is? We are out in the middle of NOWHERE. Seriously, there is one tiny little outpost with gas that's $5 a gallon, and a woman who scathingly tells me that it's monsoon season so of course there's bugs everywhere. What are ya, a tourist?

The rangers in the visitor's center look at me like I've just announced I'm going to trek up Mount Everest.

"'s one of the most technical roads in the state of Utah. Are you SURE?"

I'm getting freaked out by now. Why is everyone acting like we are insane? Are we insane? Is this road a nightmare? Will I die? Will we fall off the edge, be trapped in the burning desert and be eaten by vultures, our bones scattered and whitening in the sun until someone finds them?

We find the beginning of the trail and Hubs gamely starts up. At one point, half way up the hill, the jeep gets stuck in a rut and slides a bit.

I almost cry.

The worst part of the trail is the hill, but due to Hub's awesome driving and my prayers to the jeepy Gods, we make it up.

Stay on the road. They're kidding, right? Where else would we GO?!

Jake helps by throwing rocks in the holes so the tires don't get stuck.

You saw yesterday's videos, right? If not scroll down a bit and it will give you a taste of what the hill was like. Sure, it looks tame outside the jeep but inside, I guarantee you'd be THIS CLOSE to having an involuntary accident.

Eventually we made it to the top. Yay! Onward! What can I say about the rest of the day? It was HOT. We bounced around all day, visiting places called the Devil's Kitchen and Silver Stairs, which really were not as bad as they sounded. In the end, we conquered the hill. I LOVED it.


How can you beat this for a view while you eat your lunch? Oh and just a note, bananas don't survive jeeping well.

By the end of the day, hot and exhausted, Jake and I slept the whole way back to Moab. Hubs woke us up at the City Market.

"Ice cream. I don't care what kind, just get us some. Go. It's TOO HOT." Jake and I peeled ourselves out of the jeep and shuffled into the store, where, standing in front of the freezer section, we scanned over our choices. Holy crap. I can't believe how cheap this stuff is. At home, a pint of Ben and Jerry's is $7, and here it's $2.49? Seriously? And look at the Starbucks stuff! $1.47! You can't get a Breyer's ice cream BAR for that!

"Mom did you see these frozen pizzas? They're $3. This is nuts! No wonder people buy this stuff, it's so cheap!"

Jake and I choose a pint of Ben and Jerry's to take back to the hotel for the three of us to share. It's about 104 F outside and Food Revolution or not, we need something cold. We dish out the creamy, chocolatey goodness with plastic spoons and try to cool ourselves off. It's HEAVEN.

Later on, I go check my Twitter account on the hotel computer. I have been covertly direct messaging people here and there about our experiences. Is there a... no, can't be. But it IS, and all three of us break out into grins.

"well done darlin, sometimes you have to go the extra mile to get good food. jx"

It's Jamie Oliver, and just in time. He has NO idea how prophetic those words are going to be.

If you are here visiting from Jamie because you saw Notes From the Cookie Jar in Jamie's monthly newsletter, welcome to my spot on the web! The Food Revolution Road trip has six more days to go so stick around, or go back and read about our adventure from start to finish!

On the other hand, if you are here for Food Revolution Fridays, let me know how YOU cool off for the summer! Link with your healthy eating posts, recipes, pictures, or stories so that we can all visit each other and share. While you're at it, check out Jamie and see what's cooking!

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