by Kristen Kellogg

Backyard adventures can be just as exhilerating as another stamp on your passport. The mecca of mountain biking, Southern Utah and all it’s beauty was a place I had on my travel list for quite some time. I decided to explore the area in a way I’d personally never explored before by bicycle. A company by event planner Rebecca Martin and avid cyclist David Levine, TerraVelo Tours took me ‘Glamping’ from St. George to Moab, Utah. A new term you’ll be hearing much more of, ‘Glamping‘ is defined just like it sounds – glamorous camping – a way to enjoy the outdoors without sacrificing luxury.

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In terms of the cycling part of the trip, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Not to mention I hadn’t ridden a road bike since I fell off of my moms on our – you shouldn’t be riding a road bike down it anyway – road when I was a teenager. I ride a mountain bike about four times a week on Nantucket, but I’d always had a lingering fear of those two skinny tires. After day one on the trip, I was already plotting my purchase of one- they’re so fast and fun! I did the tourist trip what consisted of biking around 20 miles a day along with some great burst of hikes in-between.

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A sprinter van followed behind, so if you weren’t up for a part of the ride you could just hop in and enjoy the scenery via four wheels. By day, we cycled and hiked. Back at camp each evening, I returned to a nice hot meal prepared by a private chef from locally sourced produce, smores by the campfire after sunset, a glass of red wine and slept in a tempurpedic bed inside my tent under the star-lit sky.

TerraVelo moved our camp to three different breathtaking locations during the weeklong adventure. Unzipping my canvas each morning was a good feeling as we were in remote off the beaten path privately owned land areas. When we arrived back at campsite number two, we had a moonlit dinner and a masseuse, and yoga to warm up in the morning.

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Drive to Goblin Valley State Park

The last two days of the trip, between cycles, I hopped in the car with photographer Justin Hackworth to get some driving film footage.

The most incredible thing about Southern Utah was how often the landscape changed.

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HWY 12

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From the colors to the textures, each bend we wrapped around was vastly different. My personal favorite place on the trip was the Pink Coral Sand Dunes State Park. We arrived just before sunset and walked all the way to the top of the hill where people were racing their dune buggies and ran all the way down- serious kid moment- and as we walked back to the car the sun lit the clouds pink as cotton candy.

Each night I feel asleep to zero light pollution and awoke to light painting the peaks and cliffs outside my tent. I knew there would be limited access to power, but didn’t realize how ‘off the grid we would be in camp. I’m usually one to go exploring on my own and not in a guided group, but this trip had a similar experience. There were only five us so the agenda was flexible.

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It was so refreshing overhearing David whisper on the third night of the trip ‘This is the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in my life‘. Starting a business from your passion is a great thing. If we could all show others the world through our passions, it would be a much more interesting place. An outdoor explorers dream trip, this off the grid and disconnected Southern Utah adventure is a true escape. For more stunning imagery, check out our instagram feed.

*TerraVelo Tours just announced the expansion of their 2015 tours to include Yellowstone/ Grand Teton National Parks and California Wine Country. Book A Tour Here.

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