Life’s Last Journey: What a Ride! – Moab Trip February 2022

Dear Maia, Isaac, and Virtual Wanderers,

Five weeks ago, when we returned from our trip to Moab for President’s Day (my BD), I never dreamed that my blog would be about losing Sazi to IVDD and degenerative disc disease two weeks ago. It is still a little painful to me, so I am going to put all four of our days into one blog post. But I want to start by saying that when Sazi first started to decline about 2 weeks after we returned home, I kicked myself for taking her. She had hurt a disc in her back, but was holding her own. She went in a crate and we had traveled when she was on crate rest before, but it was when she was younger.

With time, I have come to see that her spine was degenerating for almost a year. She had IVDD and possible DM – she couldn’t have healed this time. But, during our trip she was weaning off pain meds and enjoyed the trip. I look back on these memories of her last of dozens of road trip adventures as a special time during her last good days on earth. I wouldn’t change it for the world. She and I had such a close bond and it will take time for my heart to heal, but she will have a legacy.

Moab Day 1: Birthing Rock and Moonflower Canyon

We got out of Montrose before noon and made it to Moab by mid-afternoon – so we had time to drive to the Birthing Rock out on Cane Creek before checking into the motel. I talk more about the Birthing Rock in the video below, but I have been coming here for many years because I feel a connection to my midwifery roots looking at the scene.

The road was muddy this year from all the snow the week before. I had a moment where I almost turned around because the Fit can only take so much mud – but we made it. It was a nice afternoon and Sazi rode in her little flat bottom carrier to see the sites with us. After the Birth Rock, we went hiking in Moonflower Canyon – it was muddy, too, so we barely got a mile logged into our 365 challenge.

After that, it was into Moab for dinner while the pups waited in the car. We got to the motel and I set Sazi up in her little playpen with her snuffle mat – she could stand and even take a couple steps at this point. I brought the dogs hamburger treats from my dinner. Then we snuggled in for the night.

Moab Day 2: Dead Horse Point and Canyonlands

This was my birthday and my favorite day of the trip. Another winter storm was coming – which was unbelievable because Montrose had gotten nearly 2 feet the week before. But, the morning was sunny and warm. We hiked to the point at Dead Horse. It was muddy but doable. Sazi rode safely in her flat-bottom carrier and seemed to enjoy it. In fact, I remember the wind picking up on the point, so as we walked back it was blowing in our faces. I pulled my coat around to shield her face – but as soon as the wind stopped, she pushed my hand to the side so she could see everything.

After Dead Horse, we went to Canyonlands Island in the Sky for a drive-through. I didn’t spend a ton of time at pull-outs because by now it is cold and windy. The dogs stayed in the car – Sazi safely in her booster chair for a nice long nap.

I went for dinner at Pasta Jay’s, as usual. I was disappointed in the gluten-free menu changes this year, but the dogs liked the left overs and I enjoyed the chocolate cake.

During dinner, I got the message that my daughter had an orchid delivered to my porch at about noon. I am like – OMG, it will never survive. I got ahold of my neighbor and she went and rescued it – by some miracle the cold wind hadn’t started at home yet. It is still in bloom as I write this on 3/29/22. I named it Blizzard at first. Now, it is called Sazi’s Legacy. And, after dinner, the dogs enjoyed more leftovers. Sazi continued to be pain-free and enjoying her snuffle mat.

Moab Day 3: Arches

We hung out at the hotel for a long time that morning. It was nice just to snuggle with the storm outside. However, by afternoon, the snow let up a little so we drove through Arches. It was pretty, but subdued. The La Sals were hidden completely by the storm and we hit some squalls. Sazi slept comfortably in her chair. I was tired of winter.

Moab Day 4: Lions Park and Home

It was cold and the storm was still moving out – but I wanted one more adventure. We stopped at Lions Park on the way out to walk a little and log another mile for our 365 challenge. Sazi rode in the stroller wrapped in her electric blanket that hooks to an external battery. I actually had her wrapped in this a lot during the trip.

After the stroll, we headed home. I felt good about it – despite being frustrated with the weather. I felt Sazi was on her way to a healing spring. Instead, she was on her bucket list final road trip. What a special memory.

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming – WOW – What a Ride!”

Video Highlights from Moab, February 2023

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