bugsy running on lone rock beach with the airstream and f-150 in the background

A Day in the Airstream Life

We wrote this post in Moab during Big Trip #1 in 2016.

I thought it would be interesting to share with you an example of a typical day for us on the road. But what is a typical day? Sometimes we’re coming setting up camp, or going and breaking down camp, or settled in a place and cooking meals and doing laundry and running errands, or exploring fabulous new places. I wouldn’t be able to construct a “typical” day if I flexed all my creative muscles. So, here’s what we did today.


airstream breakfast

Last night we weren’t sure where we were heading this morning from our location in Cortez, Colorado (yes, this post is out of order because it’s faster to write!). We wanted to go to Ridgway State Park in Colorado, but the forecast called for snow in the mountains this morning. We woke up early intending to pack up and go as quickly as possible, but after reviewing the mountain pass highway cameras and seeing snow covering the road we would be traveling in an hour, we scrapped Ridgway and went to Plan B: a night in Moab on the way to Grand Junction. That meant we could slow down and have a leisurely breakfast before leaving Cortez. We ate our breakfast burritos that we’d packaged for the car ride at the Airstream dinette in our PJs while reading.

Leaving Cortez

airstream bathroom
airstream kitchen
airstream fridge
airstream stability jacks
hitching up the airstream
airstream pipes

J and I have fallen into usual sets of responsibilities to divide and conquer tasks when we depart campsites. J, mercifully, deals with emptying and cleaning the gray water (from sinks and shower) and black water (from toilet) tanks. Note that we don’t empty the black tank each time we move, only if it’s getting close to full. I get the more fun (=less gross) jobs of securing the indoors and hitching the Airstream to the truck. We broke down our “yard” last night since we knew we were leaving in the morning, loading the DirecTV dish, dog fencing, and CGear mats into the truckbed.

bugsy supervising

Bugsy’s role is supervisor.

On the road

bugsy crate in the truck

I admit, J drives 67% of the time. Today, I passengered. Thanks, J! Bugsy rides in her crate on the floor in the backseat area, where she’s safe and comfortable on a cushy bed with her blankies. Today’s drive was just under two hours, on the short side for us on our big trip.

Arriving in Moab

airstream and directv
bugsy on her airstream bed

It’s like the opposite of our departure routine: when we arrive, J hooks up the tubes and cables, and I unhitch the truck and stabilize the Airstream and put the inside back together. If we’re setting up the yard or the DirecTV dish, we’ll usually do that together.

Lunch and hiking

moonflower moab sandwich
culvert canyon hike
culvert canyon moab
jeep arch moab
Jeep Arch, sorta looks like a Jeep

Since we were in a hurry to hit the trail, we picked up sandwiches at Moonflower Co-op to eat on our hike. You cannot pick a bad hike in Moab. Our criteria today were: close to town, not crowded or bikey, and (as it was a little rainy) not a water hike. We hiked Culvert Canyon to Jeep Arch (since these instructions were written, the trail has been simplified, rerouted, and signed) and it was a fun and beautiful 4-mile hike!

Dinner and drinks

dog in airstream
moab brewing co
sabaku sushi moab

When we got home, we gave Bugsy dinner, and when she retired to the bedroom we humans left for the evening. Since we’re in a cool town and not out in the middle of nowhere, it’s fun to go out on the town for a drink and treat ourselves to a meal we can’t get just anywhere. Usually we try to eat out no more than meal a day (and often it’s zero), but Moab is a special place and we wanted to take advantage of being there for a night. It was still a little rainy, but we had a nice walk to Moab Brewery for a quick beer, and dinner at Sabaku Sushi. We arrived at 5:50 on the old-people schedule, and still had to wait 20 minutes for a seat at the sushi bar. The food and service were once again stellar. Yes, sushi in Utah can be excellent–they fly their fish in a few times a week overnight from Hawaii.

Relaxing at home

airstream rootbeer float

Now we’re at home, watching the new Veep and Silicon Valley (Bugsy’s still in the big bed), while I research campgrounds and hiking in Grand Junction, where we’re headed in the morning. And J just brought me a rootbeer float. It has been a great day!