A Moody Day in the Desert

Dear Isaac and Maia,

Today started with a shopping trip to downtown Moab. I was birthday shopping for myself plus looking for something to comemorate my mom’s death 41 years ago. It is bitter-sweet. I didn’t have that much luck shopping. I got the dogs a few fun things at the Moab Barkery. The shopping had a cloud hanging over it because I am going to have Maizzy put to sleep for old age soon. But, I found a new ornament for my Southwest ornament collection and a thing that spins in the wind that is pretty cool. Oh, and a Route 66 sign since it is my 66th birthday tomorrow.

Near the entrance of Arches National Monument

Then we headed to Arches for the afternoon. We got there at 1 PM and left about 5 PM. At first, I was ready to turn the AC on but then it got windy and the whole mood changed. I could see snow falling on the mountain range, the La Sals, that are partially in Montrose County.

Park Avenue area, Arches National Park

The rock spires are amazing. I like the big Park Avenue “buildings”.

This is me at Park Avenue today with a Dead Horse gaiter face mask and wind blown hair.

The Courthouse area is cool, too. You can see before and after the storm came with this structure. See how the mood of the photo changes?

Courthouse area, Arches National Park
Courthouse structure – Before the storm
Courthouse structure – During the storm.

The Three Gossips are fun – they remind me of some stone spires at Goblin State Park that is less than 100 miles away.

Three Gossips, Arches National Park
These are the rock structures that I call the “Three Wise Men” from our trip to Goblin State Park in 2019
Just for fun, here is one called the Three Sisters south of here at Monument Valley. (2015 photo)

The Petrified Dunes are neat, but prettier when the light is shining more than it was today. You can see the La Sals in the background.

Petrified Dunes, Arches National Park

We then took a side road to Turret Arch and Double Arch. This is one of my favorite areas. I always get out and walk the dogs around the parking circle. It was cold and windy by the time we got out. I let Miazzy sleep because she didn’t even notice that we stopped. Kachina, however, was ready to go. Sazi was OK either way – but she wanted a treat. National Parks are great for old dogs, not for ones who like an adventure.

North and South Arch area, Arches National Park
North and South Arch area, Arches National Park
Double Arch Area, Arches National Park

Next came the area that I remember going to with your mom years ago because the structures look like Elephants. It is the Garden of Eden area and one of the buttes is Elephant Butte. There is also a structure that I have somehow missed before called Pot Hole Arch. It is kind of cool.

Garden of Eden area – These look like elephants to me.
Pot Hole Arch – Arches National Park

Panarama Point and Delicate Arch were both so muted by the dark clouds. I got much better photos last year after this point because I walked to some of the observation areas (close to the car since I leave the dogs). This year, I really didn’t want to be out in the wind so it was roadside photos. One summer, your mom and aunt Erica hiked to Delicate Arch with me and we didn’t bring water!

Snow fall on the La Sals at Panarama Point

The Fiery Furnace area was bleak so I barly stopped. The sky can be kind of cool in some of the photos. The furnace rocks are usually more red and contrasted with the La Sal Mountains in the back

Fiery Furnace area muted by the storm today

Because I didn’t stop much, we had time to do the whole drive. That is a first. I Skyline Arch, although I would like to hike up closer next time.

Skyline Arch, Arches National Park

Tonight, I celebrated my birthday with dinner out at Pasta Jay’s in Moab. I am so out of shape since camping season ended. I had lost weight but now I feel like a beached whale because I have not been active this winter. Tomorrow, we go home. My mood is like the desert today, sunny but also stormy. It is hard to go back to a job of directing something that is not maintaining the quality it had for years. We don’t have enough teachers and the ones we have need experience so we won’t take students next year for the first time in 52 years. I stayed this year to see these students and my staff through, but I knew what I was in for and it can get stormy. I want to fast-forward through the next 2-3 months and see a successful ending to the year.

Stormy skies over Arches

Tomorrow we travel home via Utah 128, which is the backroad to I-70. It follows the Colorado River and is really beautiful. There is a hike we hope to take along the way, weather prmitting. I don’t like traveling on the last day of a break because I get home to laundry on top of unpacking. But, last year I got home to a broken furnace and sewer – so it can’t be worse than that. I’ll have to wait to enjoy my gifts next weekend. There are only 12 weeks left, only 10 of those with clinical rotations. And, one of those weeks is a break. So, nine weeks of hard work made harder by COVID and not having an admin support anymore.

A dusky mood prevails to the end of my trip today. Tomorrow, I hope for sun.

It is weird to look forward to something ending in 2-3 months when I dread putting Maizzy to sleep during that time. I want more time with her and less of work. Time is weird like that – I want both more and less at the same time. Life will be really different in 3 months. I feel like the desert today . . . a little moody about the whole thing. I miss my mom. I would give the world to see her again.

Love, GMH

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