rAnDoM    Utah, Nevada, California & Colorado…May/June/July.2018


Check my aTTiTuDe!
Here’s what happens to me when I’m on a super crowded trail —usually National Park—where there are a lot of people who don’t generally hike.  First let me say, I think everyone ought to have the opportunity to enjoy our scenic country & all the beautiful spaces in the states.  They should just educate themselves a tiny bit before getting on the trail.  So, when I’m faced with small children running down the trail & practically knocking me over; or while hiking on a two-person wide trail & the people in front of me insist on walking side by side (two or sometimes three or four) or the people coming toward me without a look up until they’ve practically run you off the trail; or people barging downhill when uphill hikers have the right of way; or people with poles that don’t pay attention & almost stab you, or people with selfie sticks twirling around & bonk you in the head; or people posing over & over right in front of the ‘feature’ you’ve hiked up see—there are professional photographers that will hog the ‘feature’ for your graduation photo or engagement photo & people love to do yoga poses in places like this too….see my point?  It could be easy to get irritated sometimes when hiking in crowded place.  I ‘check myself’ with a ‘stop it Vicki’…this is not a time to let your pet peeves rear their ugly heads.  Just be happy to be hiking. I just breathe, say how grateful I am to even be on the trail..to have the time & a body that will work hard for me & I don’t want anything or anyone spoiling it…especially my attitude.

Day 12 hike to Lone Pine Lake & the waterfall…
So, this is what I’m talking about in the above rant…a guy decides to soak his feet in the middle of the fall!  Not around the edges where he won’t be in everyone’s photos, but smack in the middle.  I creatively moved so a tree would block him…ugh!

Near Disaster (not really, but this was stupid of me!)
I learn my best lessons because of my 
‘almost-disasters’. Its been my habit (now its going to be a broken habit) that after a hike I take my pack off, set it on the hood of the 4Runner with my camera & poles & unpack my car keys, unlock the door & put it all away inside the car.  After this mornings hike, I thought Id done all that.  I pulled out of the Visitors Centers lot & started down the busy road& then I heard a clunk.  I couldnt see anything but slowed down immediately.  There was a convenient pull off that I jumped into.  I was a tiny panicky…what’d I hit or what’d I loose?  I glanced in the seat where I keep my camera—it was there; I got out of the car & went to the back to look for my pack—it was there.  I went around to the passenger side seat belt where I keep my hiking poles…YIKES!  They weren’t there!  I hopped back in the car & made a fast u-turn, cursing myself the whole time.  My poles are only a year old & I don’t want to lose them.  In a matter of seconds I saw one lonely pole in the middle of the road…I quickly glanced around for cars, threw my car in park, & went to rescue the poor little thing.  I quickly got back on the road & saw my other lonely pole in the road right as you pull out of the VC—I made a lightening quick u-turn, pulled to the side, glanced left & right & ran to rescue my second pole.  I kept glancing at my poles as I drove to the next trailhead..apologizing all the way (yes…I am a crazy woman!)

Remember to always close your bite valve on your camelbak…
because if you don’t & you throw your pack on top of your bed…everything gets wet. 

I went to Convict Lake today & evidently there was going to be a wedding there….

….and there was another sign right next to this one…..

that should be interesting.

Seen in restaurant in Escalante….just loved it!

Along the trail to Big Pine Lakes...

Giant Pinecones

Lost & Found…or Not!
I’ve owned a charm for years….it says “Live Simply”…it was probably $2.  I’ve moved it from necklace to bracelet several times.  This year it was on a bracelet & I noticed the other day it was gone.  Sad face…I really liked my cheap charm & it gave me a wonderful reminder daily.  A couple of days ago I was emptying my cooler of melted water & found it swimming at bottom!  YAY!  I bought some more linen cord & tied back onto the bracelet!  Live Simply…love it!

Still missing….my bamboo reading glasses

I was sitting outside the Secret Stash Pizza place…a very eclectic decorated yummy pizza joint in CB, when I overheard a woman telling her teenaged daughter to “not go in the bathroom in that place…it’s scary”  & she made a face.  I about laughed out loud…since I tell everyone "if you go to the Stash, be sure to go see the bathroom”.

A Dad singing “If you’re happy & you know it…” to his crying toddler in a backpack along the trail.

While I’ve been gone…
The mountain bike trail back home, also called the River trail, is usually where I go walking.  I walk here a lot when I’m stuck in the Oz state.  Since I’ve been gone, there have been “mud man’ sightings.  Evidently, there has been a guy, naked but covered in mud, seen frequently along the trail visiting with walkers, bikers & runners.  It is LFK after all!

Road Bikers…
I’ve been blown away at how many road bikers I’ve seen climbing these roads in California that go up into the mountains.  Some climb 6,000’ & yet I’ve seen, on every one of these roads, usually groups of bikers going up.  It looks like torture!  

My favorite tat I’ve seen….
When I was eating in Escalante, there was a young woman with a super cool tattoo on her arm.  As she got up to leave I asked her about it.  It was kind of stick figure type drawing.  She said she’d drawn it when she was a little girl & it was her mother’s favorite.  So she had it tattooed on her arm.  It was really neat.  I’m thinking Claire & Emma could maybe draw me my next tat?

To Practice….
I’ve decided after jumping over the stream during the hike on Tioga Pass….that I need more jumping practice.  Why as we age do we quit doing things like this?  Then when we need that ‘skill’, it’s just gone or at the very least…akward.  So, when I’m home, I’m going to practice jumping.  I’m sure it will come in handy someday.

Inflicting my own wounds…
Hiking poles are great for a lot of things…they make it easier going up & going down, they make it safer to cross rivers & streams, you can scratch your back with a pole & you can swat flies with them.  I’d lost the tip cover to one of my new poles when I hiked the Mt. Whitney trail as it got stuck in between two rocks.  I didn’t notice the tip was gone until I was back at the car.  This leaves one pole very pointy & sharp.   So, while I was successful at swatting a fly yesterday & avoiding another welt, I managed to poke & puncture myself in the leg…which led to bleeding & that lead to attracting more flies.  Some days just go like this.

My favorite thing that was said to me….
Late the night before Danny flew into Denver, we were talking last minute details on the phone.  I said at one point, “It’s late, you should be getting to bed" (he had to get up at 3:30am). And he said, “I’m having a hard time winding down…it’s like the little kid the night before you get to go to Disney”…I loved everything about that!  And, I couldn’t wait to spend our time in CB together!

My favorite thing that was said to Danny….
Remember reading about the three women hiking over from Aspen we met on the trail?  We happened to see them again in CB the next day.  As we passed each other, recognition struck & then a conversation.  One of the women said to me, “After you left yesterday, we had so many questions we wanted to ask you”…& so the asking began.  They were curious about me car camping, where I’d been on my long road trip & Danny.  After about 15 minutes of conversation, one of them pointed to Danny & said, “Wow…you are lucky guy to be married to her!”  I burst out laughing & so did he!  He tactfully & politely agreed, but the two of us shared a ‘look’.  I laughed because I think I’m every husbands worst nightmare!  But Danny just takes it all in stride.  I’m pretty sure I’m the lucky one in this relationship!

One of the things I notice when I’m in California & especially on this trip, is the diversity of love.  You pass couples of mixed color, ethnicity & race; & same gender couples; Colorful families too.  It’s not something you see frequently in the midwest & it’s truly lovely!  Love is what matters…people holding hands, hugging each other, laughing & living.  

In a world where there feels like there is so much division, judgement & prejudice, love finds a way.


My nights: 
72 nights in 4Runner (yay!  I love my set up in my 4Runner!) 
4 nights at the boys house
4 nights in campgrounds for a total lodging expense of $42

Driving mileage: 
7,300  miles

Hiking mileage: 

Photos taken: 

Brake lights I changed: 
3—better just not ask why three—but I’m pretty fast at it now

last thoughts
I’m at home on my front porch, getting to re-live my trip via the website.  I know how fortunate I am to have spent 76 days on a fantastic road trip.  I loved seeing the mountains along CA395…so glad to have done that.  It seems this year, practically everywhere I left in California is now having horrible & tragic wildfires.

Danny & I are off to see Sara’s family on the 18th…Emma has changed so much in the past three months & Claire is always so great to hug & hold & play with!

I’m not sure what my next trip is…My mind is already in plan mode for a quick trip in early September, but not sure if I can make it happen or not.

This trip had several first’s for me:  First time I was interviewed for a Solo Women’s travel documentary; First time I’ve been asked to write a Guest Blog Post for a Travel blog; & First time I’ve been asked to contribute to a Travel Website…projects for when I’m back home.  So much fun to meet all these women who share a love of travel!

Everytime I take a long road trip, it’s never long enough & I’ve stopped thinking that something is wrong with me.  
Instead, I’ve gotten to know who I am better & I think thats great.  

My next upcoming trip:  August 18th…a quick 4 day trip to see Claire & Emma!

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