Solitude

January 16 – 22

We awoke Saturday morning in St George rather sluggishly. The motel room’s heater was on the fritz, having only two modes: off and full heat blast.

We took our time getting out the door, recouping after the long traverse across Nevada the day before. That afternoon, we took a nice 10 mile off-road drive from the corner of town into the Dixie National Forest and set out on a short hike to Yant flats and the Candy Cliffs. Pale orange and red striations cut through the sandstone around us, as we leisurely climbed a few hundred feet over a couple miles through the sagebrush and juniper trees. Ground-hugging cacti spotted the trail along the way, and we were sure to be mindful of Charley wandering about so as to avoid any needle sticks. 

Arriving at the Flats, we stopped briefly to take in the enormity of the landscape in front of us. An ongoing difficulty in the West is conceptualizing the scale of the cliffs, peaks and formations strewn about in the vast wilderness. The Candy Cliffs, farther along the same trail, offered a stillness that was lacking at the Flats, as most folks don’t continue on after that.

Keep Reading! (cool photos ahead)

Tahoe

January 11 – 15

The day had come to leave our lovely little abode. It’s always sad to leave when our contracts are up, but I found Santa Barbara to be especially difficult to leave.

“Why the hell are we leaving?!” Jamie and I would ask each other. The hospital had offered to extend our contracts a while back, but we declined, as we were already set on heading to Arizona. It was a special time in SB, but eventually it had to end. 

We packed up our car in typical Tetris fashion, sure to leave ample space for Queen Charley’s throne in the back seat, complete with a bed and only the softest and comfiest blankets.

So Monday morning, when all the preparations were set, we punched Lake Tahoe (specifically, Stateline, NV) into the GPS and left Santa Barbara in our rearview.

Read More

This is going to be interesting…

September 27 -28

Before leaving Lake Powell, we had decided that our next stop was going to be Yosemite National Park in the Sierras. We were supposed to go there earlier in the road trip, but the park was closed for over a week due to hazardous smoke from the nearby wildfires. This park has been on our list for years, but nature has seemed to not want us to be there. Last time we were planning to go, there was a late season snow storm in May. We decided since they had opened up the park again and the conditions looked good, I scouted the campground reservations website the week before and was able to get a last minute campsite in the valley for our desired dates. We knew there would be on and off smoky conditions in the park, it was still worth showing up and hoping for the best.

Read More

“They call me the breeze…”

September 24-26, 2020

Thursday morning arrived rather frigidly, as the thermometer refused to bump over 40F. With stiff, cold fingers, we started the campsite cleanup. We’d decided it was time to move on from Colorado, despite having an excellent time. Nothing gold can stay.

Becoming increasingly efficient at loading up the car, we methodically put everything in its place and set our bearings towards Page, Arizona and Lake Powell. A stop-off at Mesa Verde National Park, just east of Cortez, CO, was a consideration as we set out.

Read more!

Moab to Strawberry- the penultimate segment.

Leaving Moab was bittersweet. We were excited to reach our destination after 2 weeks of constant “go-bag” living, but sad to leave such a beautiful place. Gas for the car, coffee for our bodies, and onward we pushed. Our route would take us just under 400 miles SSW through Monument Valley, across the Arizona border and into the mountains of Tonto National Forest and Strawberry, Arizona.

Read More

The gang does Utah

The La Sal Mountains lie about 20 miles ESE from Moab valley, rising around 13,000 ft above sea level. Stillness and wonder accompanied us as we took in the snowcapped background to Moab’s rusted canyons. This stillness would become the principal realization of our stay in Moab. The Colorado river turned and wagged back and forth through the canyons, and provided our introduction into the heart of the desert as we cruised alongside it on a state highway toward our first hike of the stay in Utah.

Read More