February 21/21: A Trip Up the Colorado

Dear Isaac and Maia,

I spent my birthday driving back from Utah. It was a beautiful day for a drive and I am grateful for that. It is the best present I could give myself.

Grandstaff Canyon hike near Moab

We started by taking a short hike just outside of Moab on Hwy 128, headed toward home via the scenic byway. The hike is called Grandstaff (it use to be called Negro Bill’s). I am glad they changed the name. It is the second time we have taken the hike. Last year, Maizzy could still ride in her K-9 Sport Sack. This year, I didn’t want to wear the backpack again until my own back felt better from the last backpack trip. That was probably a mistake because I had to carry Sazi through the rocky parts because of her IVDD.

Prickly pear cactus in Grandstaff Canyon

It wasn’t too bad. I did have a couple minutes of feeling grumpy. I was reminded of my tendency to take on too much responsibility – everyone is leaning on me and upset if I stop supporting them. But, no one is supporting me. Long tales of a family history of growing up with abuse, alcholism, and mental illness. I won’t go there other than to say my birthday is probably as good a day as any to think about my roots. I tend to take on WAY too much responsibility but I have learned that I win no one over doing that. I did it to try to get people to care when I was a kid – it never worked.

Maizzy naps on my coat during our rest stop. Likely one of her last hikes šŸ˜¦

I know my current workplace was something too close to that over a year ago. I wanted to stabilize it before I backed away, but I couldn’t do it alone. I can’t wait to get the load off my back and I thank the dogs for reminding me. Everyone who passed us remarked on how much I was carrying.

Granstaff Canyon, Utah

After that hike, we drove Utah 128 toward Cisco and up the Colorado River canyon. It is pretty – no doubt that the Colorado National Monument lies above and Canyonlands/the Grand Canyon lie below. It is also not a very busy road this time of year so it is fun to meander. In the warmer months, there are a ton of campgrounds that fill-up with hikers, bikers, and rafters. That is why I avoid Moab except in the winter.

Colorado River along Utah Highway 128

We took a little side trip to see Castle Valley, Utah. The Castle Rock reminds me of Valley of the Gods. The road goes south into the La Sals, but we turned around after we saw the rock. It is an amazing change in geographay to see the desert melt into the mountains.

Castle Valley, UT

We then stopped at Fisher Towers. I want to hike this so badly, but not with disabled dogs on front and back. It was also a little chilly today, so we just stopped for a picknic lunch. The spires are amazing and I would like to see more of them from different angles. We started to hike it last year, but I didn’t get far with both dogs in tow. Maybe next year.

Fisher Towers, UT
Solo rock spire near Fisher Towers
Kachina and Sazi having a picnic at Fisher Towers

We continued the journey toward Cisco. After we passed Dewey Bridge, the road flattened out into sage desert. And, I mean FLAT. Cisco is a ghost town. Apparently, it was a railroad settlement and did well for many decades. But, steam trains were replaced and the business dropped off. The interstate (I-70) also took another path. People lived there until fairly recently . . . IDK what year they left but there is a “closed for the season” sign out in front of a crumping building. You can see the Colorado River canyons in the distance.

Cisco, Utah

From there, it was back to I-70 and then Hwy 50 to home. I feel a little let down – the trip is over. Both my work emails are full but I am taking my birthday evening off! I am not going to be the responsible one tonight. Maybe there is time for a movie on Kindle before I wind down so I can wind back up tomorrow. My heart wishes I would hear from my family on holidays, but my family are always in my heart.

Target Truck on I-70

Love, GMH

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