The Take It Back Tour

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I’ve been a little quiet these past few months for many reasons…school, work, social life…but I also went on a little roadtrip.  I had planned on going alone as an empowering sort of adventure, but instead I invited the dark horse to be navigator and he accepted.  So a different kind of trip altogether, but still quite empowering.

The route was as follows:

Portland to Salt Lake City (12 hours)
SLC to Moab (4 hours)
Moab to Chaco Canyon (10 hours)
Chaco Canyon to Santa Fe (6 hours)
Santa Fe
Taos
Santa Fe to Escalante (10 hours)
Escalante
Escalante to SLC (5 hours)
SLC
SLC to Twin Falls (3 hours)
Twin Falls to Fruitland (3 hours)
Fruitland to Portland (6 hours)

It was a mix of camping and hotels, never more than two nights camping in a row (which I happen to think is a good rule of thumb).  Lots of driving in the sexy little silver fox, but the car did well and managed some very rough terrain.  Long bumpy dirt roads exploring canyons and campsites.  The French tourists praised my driving skills.  Some great life lessons were learned….Google maps is not, it turns out, always right.  Thank god for an atlas in the car.

New Mexico is beautiful.  Image

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It is a small world.  The park ranger at Chaco Canyon was from Idaho.

Finally saw the Loretto Chapel and the miracle staircase.  Bought a turquoise ring so I could come back and say, “Looks like somebody’s been to Santa Fe” which is marriage speak for bedazzled in turquoise and just a little bit tacky.  Spent a brilliant afternoon swimming in the Rio Grande River and sunning on rocks near the John Dunn Bridge outside of Taos.  Salt Lake City really does have streets as wide as I remember and the lights really do take forever to change.  I miss Mazza, and Stoneground still has the best tiramisu in the world.

ImageMoab has been built up in the eight years I’ve been away, but we managed to find a campsite waaay out of town where we were the only ones until some people arrived in the middle of the night and spooked us both.  Thankfully we were not knifed to death and drove out safely the next morning to live to camp again in Escalante.

ImageThe slot canyons are better without dogs.  In fact, there’s a sign at the top of the canyon posted “This Hike is Not Appropriate for Dogs.”  Ha.  Turns out, the maker of that sign knows what they are talking about.  I miss the red rock desert.  The sky is bigger here and full of stars.

And finally…sun on your skin feels good until it doesn’t.

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The Dark Horse Ponies Up

Now, this may come as a surprise to some of you, having released the dark horse in a previous post, but he came round again and we’ve been playing quite nicely together ever since.  Though he was still doing the yes/no, hot/cold, come here/go away dance he had been since the start of things and it was beginning to do my head in.  I told him as much, in what I am referring to as the sock puppet talk, which goes a little something like this…

This is all feeling very one-sided.  It’s perfectly fine for you to call and show up at all hours, but when I try it I get this (one hand held out away from the body) no no, I need some downtime, think I’d rather spend the evening alone, etc etc.  And this one (other hand held close to the body), this close vulnerable one is the one I like and want more of and I don’t know how to reconcile the two.

I performed this sock puppet talk sans sock puppets fully expecting the dark horse to bolt and this to be the final end of things.  But instead of running away and avoiding me, he said I think I can do that.  Pardon?  Yes, that’s right.  The dark horse and I are going steady.  Yes, like we’re fifteen.