Traveling West to Colorado and Utah

Transcribed from our old red leather journal in April of 2011

May 18th, 2007

Lincoln 093 Once we arrived at Edna’s place things got a bit strange for a time. Her dog got all upset about Abby being there and piddled on the floor. Edna acted like it was because of Abby, but as time progressed it became clear that the dog has been doing this at other times. It surely was a bit uncomfortable for a time though. Then the homeowner’s association had a problem with the MoHo being in front of the house and we had to move it to another area.

On Thursday we all had breakfast with Edna and Tom and visited with his mom a bit before we went for a walk with Abby in the Bear Creek green belt. Edna took a nap then and Mo and I decided to take the bikes and go for a bike ride. We left Abby in the car and of course she barked, but it was out of the way so hopefully it didn’t bother anyone. The bike ride was really beautiful,Lincoln 105 and the trail went for many miles along the creekside, though neighborhoods and around a golf course to the dam. We went back home and waited for the big dinner that Edna has planned for the family at a local restaurant. It was a nice restaurant, but very very loud and we were seated in a long table fashion so no one could really talk to anyone very easily. We were glad to get home. Mo and I told Edna that we would be leaving very early the next morning so we didn’t plan to get together for breakfast.

Up Friday morning feeling free and wonderful because we knew that we didn’t have any more people to please and that we were now totally on our own. We drove west over I-70 and really enjoyed the views of the mountains, the stop along the Colorado river and the feeling of getting back out west. We got to Torrey in the early evening and found our little camp ground with a site at the edge of the park and a view of the cliffs. We had to move the next day but that first night it didn’t matter to us. Slept like babies again in that place.

Lincoln 007 Lincoln 002 Saturday morning we got up early and headed west on 24 to 72 to go north to the turnoff for Cathedral Valley. It was a good thing I knew about where the turn was because it wasn’t marked at all along the highway. The air over the valley was pretty smoky, in fact all the west seemed fairly smoky and we couldn’t figure out where it was all coming from. Maybe southern California? The road over Thousand Lakes Mountain was much better than it used to be and I carried the gourd with Shera’s ashes over the mountain while we took photos and really enjoyed the views. The Cathedral Valley campground was completely empty and there wasn’t another car on the road in the entire area. We parked at the base of the trail and since no one was around we were able to take Abby on the hike to the mound where I spread Shera’s ashes in the perfect place where I know that she wanted them. It was a simple and good experience. Much easier that it might have been a year ago, so I was glad that so much time had passed since Shera died.

Lincoln 118 We then traveled east on the Caineville Wash road to the Lower Cathedral Valley and out again to HWY 24 by afternoon. We stopped at the Visitor Center again, and then home to a really amazing dinner across the street from our camp site at the Café Diablo. It was really fancy and fun and our food was so pretty that a tourist asked if she could take a photo of it. That was good for us since she emailed the photos later.

Lincoln 122 Sunday morning we decided to go south to the Burr Trail and headed down HWY 12 over Boulder Mountain and the spontaneously decided to take the Devil’s Backbone road back into the mountains. It was a great ride, and we came out into Escalante and drove back up HWY 12 to Boulder where we had a great lunch and met an Italian couple on their honeymoon. They were traveling all over the US and Polynesia for several weeks and were lots of fun to talk with. We drove down the Burr Trail, now paved of course, so it’s much easier than it used to be. Then took off on the side spur to Upper Muley Twist canyon and the Strike Overlook. It was my first time at the strike and I hiked up there without Mo and Abby since there wasn’t any place that was shaded enough to leave her in the car and it was pretty hot. When I came back down however, there were no more people any where around so Mo and I hiked back up to the overlook with Abby and that was great because then Mo got some photos of me up there. She laughed and said that there are a lot of photos of me on high places sitting on a rock.

Lincoln 142  We drove down the switchbacks and then back up the NoTom road over all the washboards, checked out Cedar Mesa campground and then one more time through the park headquarters on HWY 24. We then went on a great hike out behind our area and found a good place for walking without worrying about Abby being on the trail. Once more we had the place all to ourselves, which is pretty amazing for Memorial Day weekend!

Lincoln 174Monday morning we left via HWY 72 to I-70 and then back across Nevada to Ely where we stayed at the KOA campground just out of town. We went in to town to try out the casinos and I won50 bucks almost immediately. That was fun. Then trying to buy a salad at the local McD’s was interesting. I guess most of Ely is reservation and the accents were really hard to understand. The town itself looks as though it has seen better days as well. But Cave Lake and Cave Creek were really beautiful, with a lovely dry camp campground that we would like to stay in sometime. The sites were level and the trails were really nice as well. Abby like the stream and the whole area was really pretty.

Lincoln 185 Tuesday morning we made the short trek from Ely to California. We found a Scenic Byway to the Lunar Crater and took a side trip there and had fun hiking and looking for desert things and driving the baby car on the flat smooth salt flat of a dry lake. Over the mountains we decided to unhook the babyLincoln 202 car so the MoHo wouldn’t have to work so hard and drove the eastern portion of HWY 120 west to 395. That was a really beautiful drive with open space and roller coaster humps and no other cars. It came out in the vicinity of Lee Vining and Mono Lake where gas was 4.18 per gallon. The highest on the trip. We spent the night at June Lake in a campground where the owners were full of rules and all snooty and put us in a crummy site, but it didn’t really matter because we were headed home in the morning. Drove home over Tioga pass after unhooking one more time, and then go to Jamestown early afternoon. Great trip with no problems at all, and only one close call with Abby.

Author: kyotesue

Soil scientist/mapper working for 35 years in the wild lands of the West. I am now retired, enjoying my freedom to travel, to hike without a shovel and a pack, to knit and quilt and play, to play with photography and write stories about all of it.

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