• Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}

    Magpie Adventures: Carson Courage in Moab

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    Many of you may remember when my childhood friend lost her son in a tragic accident a few years ago.
    I wrote about my feelings on the experience HERE. Carson’s favorite place in the world was Moab, so when my family started making plans to go jeeping there for Fall Break, my mama and I decided that this year our trip was going to be a little more meaningful.

    The Cheney family started a kindness movement in memory of their fun boy.
    I first told y’all about it HERE.

    Since our family is focusing on Kindness this month, hiding Carson Courage Cars in a special place to both their family and ours just seemed like a perfect fit. My mama had the cars and printed the labels, then the cars were placed in zip-top bags to keep them safe from the desert elements. There were 5 cars total, giving us several opportunities to cover Moab in Carson Courage.

    The kids started planning the places they wanted to hide the cars on our 4 hour drive.

    Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}


    Our first day in Moab didn’t go as we had wished.

    We had problems with my dad’s trailer, there was major work stress for my family’s small business, and it took us a while to find a campsite. It was later in the afternoon by the time we finally rolled in to town.  We set up camp at the Kane Springs Campground then wanting to salvage what little of the day we had left, we buzzed up Kane Springs Road to play a little on Cliffhanger.

    When we reached the entrance to Cliffhanger, my son hid our first car then we headed on down the trail.

    Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie} Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}

    {I even got to play a little and had a blast.
    Seriously, if you love me, don’t show grandma.
    She’ll break the family photo calendar on my behind.}

    A few miles and obstacles in, my brother’s 4WD went out on his Jeep.
    It was starting to get dark and we knew it would take a while to get that Jeep over the obstacles and back up to the road so we decided to turn around and tow Red out. As we towed my brother up the rock face, my dad blew a U-joint and a bead on his tire.

    We were stuck.

    If you remember from THIS post, my dad believes in being a good Samaritan. He is an innate helper.
    He rescues.
    It is a little known fact that to be rescued when you are by nature a rescuer can be an incredibly humbling process. Thankfully, a mechanic from the Cache Valley in a beautiful green 80’s model Jeep just happened to be coming down the trail. He winched the 2 jeeps out in the dark.
    His sweet pregnant wife and 3 year old girl, Atticus, were starving and cold, yet they extended their hand of kindness to our family.
    Atticus received our first Carson Car from the Cliffhanger sign and it kept her little hands busy while her daddy worked to get us out.

    Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}
    Kindness as a special gift for more kindness.

    Watching this cute little girl play with the car was a touching experience for me and really represented what Carson Cars are all about; making others happy. I hope that someday they can know what a gift they gave my family. Though it was sure hard for my dad to be rescued, lessons were learned and after some anxious throttling of the gas, pride was swallowed.
    I think we were all reminded that part of developing the quality of kindness is allowing others the opportunity to be kind to us too.
    Kindness is not a one way street.

    Poison Spider:

    Our Second day, after fixing the jeeps, we headed to Poison Spider.
    Red and “Bubba” have never had good luck on that trail. 15 minutes in and almost on cue, Bubba broke down. We decided to pull that beloved old bucket of loose bolts to the side of the trail and finish our ride, then pick it up on the way back instead of losing the day tinkering on it in the hot sun.

    My youngest brother, Jesse, had a blast driving my dad’s baby… yes, I have a ton of brothers and yes, I love it.

    Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}

    As much as Red hates Poison Spider, my kids LOVE it.

    At the end of the trail Little Arch appears. Most people stop to enjoy the arch but few know that if you hike down the little dirt path to the left, you will find The Spider’s Lair or the “Cougar Cave” as my once 4 year old boy so dubbed it. The cave is full of soft red sand and has become a most treasured oasis to my children.

    Most people play in the sand dune on the side of the road as you first enter Moab.
    Well, our sand is a little trickier to get to and a whole lot less crowded.

    Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}

    In the cave on a pile of red rock, my oldest daughter chose to hide her car.

    After playing in the sand, we made lunch and then headed back down the trail to tackle broken Bubba and his 4WD. We ran into our friends from our old house which was a fun surprise! I had hoped they would find the car, but they didn’t pick it up.
    My kids and I have been scouring The Carson Car Facebook Page every day in hopes that the finder of our car has posted, but no luck yet.

    That night we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Moab Diner.
    If you love green chili then you have got to go there! My brother and I are perpetually on the lookout for a green chili recipe to match what they serve at the diner, so if you happen to have one please, for the love, send it our way.

    My youngest daughter quietly hid her car inside the newspaper box out front of the diner while we were waiting for a table.

    After some green chili and ice cream, we headed down Main Street to our favorite little souvenir shop, Arches Trading Post, to grab some $10 t-shirts.

    Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}

    It has kind of become a yearly tradition and my kids wear their shirts until they are thread bare.
    I totally bought myself a fun brown and orange retro tee and I love it. I apologize in advance for the over-wearing that is most likely to occur in the coming months.

    Now to get an old CJ-7 to match… dreams.

    Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}

    We also picked up some Moab Jeep patches for our Adventure Bags because how could I possibly say no?

    Hell’s Revenge:

    Our last full day found us headed across the valley to Hell’s Revenge, which is one of my favorite trails.
    The only downside to this trail is that it is busy as heck during peak vacation times like Fall Break.

    Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}

    I love this photo of Dad’s baby and Bubba.

    What can I say other than like father, like son?
    My brother is my dad’s clone, it’s so real that it’s comical and thankfully provides the rest of us with a whole lot of amusement!
    They talk the same, they preach the gospel the same, they blow steam out their ears and puff up their chests the same, and they both love to be in charge… yep, you guessed it, at the same time.

    I sure love them.Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}

    The obstacle at Hell’s Gate is always a lot of fun. I like watching the Baby’s suspension and tires play. It reminds me of a metal monster creeping up the rocks.
    I also love watching my mama try to climb in and out of it in a dress and heels on Sundays, but that’s a story for another day.

    I’m not sure when Bee started turning into a young lady, but it’s kind of freaking me out.
    We can share shoes, she’s getting curves in places her dad isn’t ready for, and she gets prettier and prettier every dang day. She loves dirt, art, rocks, music, bugs, nature, books, and God’s precious creations. I dig that about her.

    She makes her mama proud.

    Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}

    After playing a bit on Hell’s Gate we headed on down the trail and stopped to eat.


    While eating lunch, we were sad to see a group of teens rallying their dad’s fancy Razors up a hillside, OFF the trail. Sure, the kid looked cool to his friends, but to us he just made himself look the fool. Sorry y’all, but just because your daddy bought you a tricked out ride does not give you license to break trail rules no matter how much pride you have or how much you want to impress that girl.
    If you are planning to go to Moab, please be respectful of the rock, mountains, and others by staying on the trail. You see, by sticking to designated trails we can keep damage to a minimum, allow cyanobacteria/soil crust to flourish, and keep trails opens to the public.
    (Trail shut down is real people! It is always a threat so don’t go and ruin it for everybody!)

    Long story short- off-roaders, bikers, hikers, and dirt road wanderers love the landscape and hold it sacred.
    Please teach your family to be respectful of this beautiful country and fellow adventurers by staying on the trail.
    That way everyone wins and that is cool.
    And, if that girl doesn’t kiss you for that, you’ve picked the wrong woman.

    Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}

    After lunch we went over to the Devil’s HWY to play around the Hot Tub.
    Miss June thought it was the coolest place on the trail and chose to hide her car there.

    Usually the Hot Tub has water at the bottom hence the name, but this time it was just mud.
    This thing is a heck of a lot bigger than it looks in pics. I took the above photo of June from the bottom of the hole looking up. Add a good rainstorm and it’s straight nasty. Just before we pulled up, a dude rolled his Razor in it and got a little shook up. His buddy came over to remind us all to wear seat belts.
    This obstacle is mean, so don’t try it unless you really know what you are doing, mmkay?
    Or do, if metal acrobatics float your boat, who am I to boss you around.

    Just do me a favor and have someone recording then post to social media ASAP.

    Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}

    Here is June’s car ready to make someone’s day.

    Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}

    My dad and oldest brother got themselves a new toy this past spring.
    One of my favorite colors and a pretty comfy ride too!
    I almost think they had more fun on that little buggy then they did in the Jeeps.

    Moab blasphemy.

    Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}

    I love this view of the town as you come off the Hell’s Revenge trail.

    Moab really is a pretty little town. I love the hippie/outdoor vibe and how eclectic it is. The town father’s did a great job planning parks and places to play and I love how welcoming it all is.
    I would imagine that the pioneers who settled this little valley would get a little teary seeing all those beautiful trees and how their arid desert has blossomed like a rose.
    Sorry, I’m waxing poetic again aren’t I?
    I tend to do that.

    Back to the cars.

    Kane Springs

    Magpie Adventures: Covering Moab in Carson Courage {Gypsy Magpie}

    Before loading up for home, we hid our last car.

    If you drive up Kane Springs Canyon, you will see some pretty crazy man made stuff. There is a single-wide trailer up on a cliff. Fenced off caves stuffed to the brim with all sorts of redneck treasures, a hogan probably filled with cedar and peyote, and even a not so ancient ruin. I told you Moab is eclectic, didn’t I? I love it way more than I should.
    These “ruins” are reinforced with rebar and steel but they are sure fun for littles to play in. We hid the last car on a small ledge near the entrance of what my girls like to call “the outhouse”.
    Don’t worry, there isn’t an actual toilet in there, we just have very vivid imaginations and have to name every thing we see.
    It’s a Pyne thing.

    After hiding the car and loading the trailers we headed for home in the rain.

    As I write this, I am surrounded by piles of dirty laundry, a sink full of dishes, sleeping bags all over the garage, and a bathtub full of sand. Coming back to reality is always hard, but coming home from this trip was even more difficult than most. There was something magical about planning and hiding those simple little inexpensive cars together. It filled our souls.
    There was a couple times when it almost felt like Carson was along for the ride. I hope he had as much fun as we did.
    I’m sure he had a blast watching the kids and is loving every moment as the cars are being found.

    My heart is so full as I think about how grateful I am for my family and this diverse and gorgeous world that surrounds us.
    I will never forget our adventure covering Moab in Carson Courage.

    If you and your family would like to scatter a little kindness
    in memory of a rambunctious, happy, giving little boy
    and create some precious memories in the process,
    please go HERE.

    This world needs more Carson Courage.



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  • Teri Pyne
    21 October 2015

    You are amazing my sweet girl, I love you dearly.

  • Meagan
    22 October 2015

    What a fun trip and such a great cause too. Sounds like it is a wonderful way to honor his memory and to help his family as well. I haven’t been there in years so I need to get back down there. Very neat!
    Meagan recently posted…How Time and Money is Teaching 1st Graders Common Core MathMy Profile

    • Missy
      25 October 2015

      It was such a fun trip. You need to go back soon! Red rock gets into your blood.

  • Sydney @ Tastefully Frugal
    22 October 2015

    What a fun idea! Moab is our favorite place to vacation and I love that you are carrying on the legacy of your friend’s son!
    Sydney @ Tastefully Frugal recently posted…Ultimate List of Trick or Treat Locations in Utah 2015My Profile

    • Missy
      25 October 2015

      It’s such a blast down there! Thanks for commenting!

  • jaimin Vasoya
    23 June 2020

    This is fantastic. I’ll be sharing it on my blog too.