June 12, 2015

To Moab UT - Floy Wash - Indiana

I’ll warn you this is an extremely long blog post but I decided to write about the trip all in one post. I’m not sure when I will blog again.

Well the trip was short but a success. In 5 days I drove 3,047 miles including those looking for an open BLM campsite around Moab. I had noted a few sites from other bloggers that were in the area within the last month but one was full and the other I did not attempt to find. 

There were a few things I found out during this trip:

  •          If I am going to travel the west and southwestern states whenever I feel the need for canyons,            dry heat or high desert, I CANNOT use my house in Indiana as a basecamp … too far away.
  •        I still LOVE to drive non-stop once I get on the highway, always have.
  •      I don’t need a tv.
  •        I don’t need a lot of internet time.
  •         My iPhone 5S was the best piece of travel equipment I had for information.
  •        The dogs can camp but I need a trailer, not a tent, for stormy weather.
  •        The Toyota FJ is a great vehicle whether on the freeway or on non-maintained roads. It was                 comfortable sitting for a lot of hours of driving.
  •        I need the expensive carrier, I was too cheap to buy, to mount on top of the FJ to free up space in      the back inside for Winston and Sadie to sleep while on the road.
  •        None of my hounds will win the “Field and Stream” Awards.
  •        It’s very humid in Indiana 

The trip started on Saturday morning with an hour and a half drive to Evansville Indiana, the home of a long time friend that survived the “Big C” just last year. His 30 year old son was bike racing in a criterium. I wanted to see the race plus that drive would let me know how the hounds were going to travel.

Watching that race brought back memories of myself around that same age racing bicycles in southern California. It also gave me the urge to ride when I get back home, not to race but for the enjoyment of riding. I have the bikes to do it, the equipment, what about the motivation to do so?

Pre Race Instructions
Joseph's Turn to Lead the Pack
Near the End

All three hounds did great, all 3,047 miles.  They also did great at all the Rest Parks along the way on I-70, so much different than my trip September 2013 to Arkansas.

Nothing to really report on the trip to Evansville. The race was great to watch, a good dinner at a German restaurant with long time friends. We were seated just in time to watch The Belmont Stakes horse race. The hounds stayed in the live in basement back at the house while we were out. Sadie left the blinds alone, Winston did his usual snooping around and Heidi moved all the barriers off the couch to start her sleeping habit. The barriers were on the couch to keep their cats off the couch but Heidi's desire to sleep has no obstacles.

After an extended conversation on Sunday morning over a great breakfast, we hit the road at 10:30am central time headed west with a first stop destination of Rifle Colorado. We didn’t have reservations but from a friends recommendation, the Rifle Gap SP was the plan. That was to be around 1,100 miles. I had traveled those exact miles a few times when living in Oak Harbor Washington. 

Like I said, I love driving non-stop once on the freeway. We stayed at the speed limit, with occasional stops for the hounds to get out and stretch their legs. This time I did a few things different than what we did in 2013 on the way to Arkansas.

I let Heidi ride in the front seat. The back of the FJ was packed but there was enough room for Winston and Sadie to stand, turn around, and lay down. At times they played musical chairs and would change position to sleep.

Heidi Guarding the Food Supply
Heidi's Favorite Sleeping Location
Sadie & Winton Protecting the Water Supply
As always within a couple of miles of taking off down the road, all three hounds were fast to sleep.  Things were different at the rest areas instead of the disasters in September 2013.

All the hounds had 6’ leashes on at all times, for their own safety. Yes, as everyone experiences driving long distances, there are just those 1% that make serious wrong decisions traveling at a high rate of speed where bad things could happen. We had a couple of close calls but my defensive driving awareness kept us from being involved with any bad outcomes.

Once at the rest areas, I let Heidi out and walked her first alone. Then when I opened the back door, unlike before in 2013, Sadie waited for me to say, “lets go” where she immediately jumped out but would stand there waiting for me to grab her leash. In the H3 Hummer two years ago she was petrified of the noise around the rest area that she wouldn’t move. I would have to half drag her out of the Hummer.

Winston as usual would wait for Sadie to get out, gauge his distance and then jump. A ramp would be nice for him in the future. All the rest areas had huge areas for dogs. Some had large areas of grass to get in a pretty lengthy walk for the hounds. We usually walked as far as we could go and then return to the FJ. Once that back door opened, without me saying anything, Sadie would jump back inside … no hesitation.

In all the miles traveled, there were no instances of the hounds having problems in rest areas. Later I started using a splitter for the basset’s leash and then could walk 3 dogs with two leashes. This picture here is at a rest stop in I-70 before the Hwy 191 exit to Moab Utah.

Winston's Thinking it's Pretty Hot Today
While driving straight thru with only a three hour nap in western Kansas from 1am – 4am, we arrived in Rifle Colorado early Monday afternoon. We were held up a few times due to summertime freeway maintenance in Kansas and Colorado. It was hot (90’s) but no humidity that I could feel.

The hounds rode in the comfort of the FJ's air conditioning ... I felt like their limo driver.

We drove through the nice little town of Rifle, ten miles north to the one of two state parks. Luckily we not only got one of the few sites left at Rifle GAP SP but for two nights. The camp host said it was one of the best sites and I had to agree after sitting up camp.

The first process was hooking up each hound to their own 20’ lead. Two of them were attached to my tow hitch and I put Heidi’s on the opposite side of the site to keep three leads being being tangled up. With two leads tangled up from the movement of the hounds, it wasn’t bad. It gave them room to roam.

Of course it was Sadie that found every rock, tree, wheel, anything that she could wrap her lead around. She is not a problem solver so there was no way she was going to reverse her path to get clear.

The Hounds Guzzling Water

Soon after a little snooping and drinking a lot of water, each found the shade for a short nap while I set the tent up. Within minutes after getting the tent set up, Heidi moved in, rearranged things to her way, then took a nap.

Site number 86 was a great spot. I thought it was a really large area for a camp site in a SP. It was quiet. It had a great view of the lake and even though it was near the boat launch, it was still a good site to have. After driving 1,100 miles straight to get there, I slept from 8pm until 6:30am without interruption.

There was an interesting thought after getting the camp site set up … I found myself bored.

The hounds had found shade to sleep. They had no interest in walking anywhere and panted to stay cool just like they do at home. I knew from the start I was going to places that would be in the 90’s but lower humidity than we were use to. It wasn't the heat that bothered me.

I sat there thinking of what it would be like to do this everyday. What I would do? It’s a question I had thought of before and asked other travelers. Most say they hike, they read, they nap, working any RV maintenance, and look at their next travel plan.

I had books but no interest in reading them. I had hiking boots, but the hounds were not interested in walking in 90° heat. They were dragging by the end of the short walk over to see a better view of the lake.

So hiking and reading was out. I still wondered though, what do people do everyday when traveling? I was already finding it hard to just kick back and relax. I had nowhere I needed to be but found myself restless.

I knew I’d be hitting the sleeping bag early that night but I sat and wondered what I would do all day tomorrow. Little did I know that plans would change early Tuesday morning. 

The plan due to the weather forecast was to stay at Rifle Gap for two days while it rained in Moab Utah on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then spend as much time around the NPs in the Moab area, gradually move up to Green River. Then I would decide if I was to go up through Wyoming and head back home the following week.

As I was drinking my coffee Tuesday morning, I had the urge to pack up a day early and head to Moab Utah while the day was going to be full of sunshine. Chinle told me months ago I should go to Moab but in April and May because it would be too hot in June and the following months. Still I wanted to see Moab and those canyons so here I was in 90° with no complaints.

We pulled into Moab around noon on Tuesday.  I drove all the way through the center of town and further south before turning around. I needed lunch, the hounds needed water and we both needed some shade. The town was packed with people, as expected. Side streets had shade though and a good spot to park to catch up on email and any texts I had from friends. I couldn’t find any free Wifi, but my Verizon service was great.

I came up with a plan, hopefully to camp in the Moab area along Hwy 128 on BLM campsites. A couple of the sites had been mentioned as possibilities if the SPs were full. It did not matter to me if I was on the river or not.

After driving 18 miles on Hwy 128 along the river and checking every BLM campground, I found only one spot available. It was great. There was a spot for my tent below the fire pit, picnic table and parking space, plus closer to the river.

 About the time I open the back door to let Winston and Sadie out, a lady is trotting towards me yelling something that sounds like I can’t park there. There was nothing on the site pole showing it was occupied nor reserved like all the other sites had.

They were a couple from Germany, that had rented a large Class C. She said they had just talked to the Ranger and he said they could have that site for just one night. It was their's. The overflow area across the highway was full and by reservation only. That was fine with me because I was looking to stay more than one night, with one night of rain forecasted that night. After that it would be all sunshine for weeks.

The problem was I had not filled the gas tank when arriving in Moab. I drove out another 6-8 miles further looking for a camp site. No luck. Any available sites were full. When the tank was closer to the empty mark than the ¼ mark, I decided to turn around and head back to Moab for fuel and a new plan.

I thought of going south of Moab and check out any BLM land that I was seeing from the DeLorme maps I had. That plus the McNally Atlas fit perfect under my drivers seat, loaded from the side when the door was open. It was like that space had been designed for them.

So I sat under a shade tree down a couple of blocks from the main street thinking of my best plan. I was told when in Green River and in a jam for a place to stay, try the Green River SP.  They had 4 tent spots. I called but no one was around to take a reservation, so I thought, why not … Lets go to Green River.

We can stay up at Green River area because their forecast didn’t show any rain headed their way … then we could bounce back to Moab on Wednesday. Giving myself a tour of Green River I found that I loved the area outside of town but there was nothing showing me I would want to live there like Rifle Colorado did.

I pulled out the maps again. I was needing a place to find somewhere to set up camp and from this rookie's eyes, there was plenty of open land available. It was getting late and the hounds had not been fed yet. In fact since their departure they had not been fed at their normal requested time of 1:30pm eastern time but only when I could find a rest area to stop at or when camp was set up.

I pulled off on Exit 175, “no services” the sign said and to a place called Floy. That is like my last name with the letter D missing … I figured that had to be a good sign.

It was perfect from the time I pulled off the exit and it soon turned into a maintained dirt/gravel road. Exactly what I was looking for. We were on BLM land where you could see for miles and no one was around. I decide the first sign of information to read was a good place to stop to feed the hounds. I also enjoyed the environment.

All the hounds had leashes on. I hooked up just one of the leads and let Sadie be the moving anchor with Winston’s leash sliding along the outstretched lead. Heidi had her leash on but I let her walk free. I had not seen anything in the past couple of years where she would take off running anywhere.

I poured out the food, a big bowl of water and read the information board while they ate and sniffed the area. Sadie had a bonus for dinner. I knocked her filled food bowl over onto the ground, so she not only got a new bowl of food, she didn't miss a piece of kibble when cleaning up the area.

About the time I was reading the policy of “take it in take it out” … Winston laid the classic basset hound dump within 3’ of the sign. I guess he was letting any future ranger that would stop by know … that Winston was in the area.

 I saw that as my first chance to follow the policy of “take it in take it out”, pulled out one of the doggie bags from my pocket (from the Rifle SP) and bagged Winston’s dump to combine with any future trash I might have.

I decided to move down the road to see what I would find. There looked like a million camping spots available with no one around. Later on I pulled off onto a “non-maintained” road. There were a couple of spots of standing water on that road. Nothing major and when I asked myself if we had some unusual flash flood could I get out … I thought so and kept driving.

I came to a spot with a great view and the road had ended. I set up the three leads, pulled out my camping chair and took in the view, the winds and clear skies … all the storm clouds were over Moab. It looked like the weather forecast was going to be accurate.

All Waiting For the Tent
This was my kind of camp site. One that I couldn't wait to get to when back in Indiana reading everyone's blogs. I felt at that time I might stay here and not move anywhere for at least a week or until the hounds would have guzzled the 7 gallons of water we had onboard. We didn’t walk anywhere. They found shade and laid down. It was hot but not humid.

They didn’t want to play fetch. They didn’t chase each other with excitement. They didn't go exploring. The did nothing different than they do at home. They found a spot, laid down and went to sleep. All that retrieving, running in streams, finding new sticks to chew are for labrador retrievers and herding dogs ... not "hound" dogs. They know their limits. For the longest time Sadie followed me everywhere I went and sat next to me when I was seated in my chair. Heidi and Winston tried to sleep near the FJ in the shade since the tent was not set up yet.

 As I sat there enjoying the view, the sight breeze, just how quiet it was … my thoughts once again turned to … what am I going to do to spend my time here? Is there anything I have to do? No, nothing needed to be done and nothing was planned ... just hangout while the storms took place on Wednesday over Moab. 

Why can't I kick back, enjoy the view and relax??

It was similar to sitting outside at home with the hounds laying in the grass yard. There were just enough gnats to bother me. The green land and trees at home had been traded for no trees in sight and land that looked as if I had landed on the moon. To me, it was a perfect place.

The longer I sat there enjoying complete silence I noticed those gray dark clouds over Moab were moving my way. It looked like my forecast might be changing. I checked my Weatherbug app on the phone to see the radar … it now looked ugly for this area. We were surrounded by storms on the radar, that had not arrived.

As the winds started to increase in speed and my sunshine disappeared I thought I’d better get the tent set up or I'm sleeping in the front seat of the FJ or fighting Sadie for space in the back that night. The tent sounded like the best option. Once again within a minute after setting up the tent, Heidi moved inside, picked her spot and was asleep soon afterward.

Sadie and Winston were soon to follow.

I was planning to pull the FJ a little further forward but the way the wind was blowing and the direction, I decided to keep the FJ where it was for a little protection against the strong wind. Yet, the wind is gaining speed, enough speed that it was no longer comfortable sitting outside. I threw the chair inside the back of the FJ and got inside the tent. From the tent reviews and reading camping forums before I bought the tent I knew this tent could stand up to high speed winds and it would keep us dry during any amount of rain.

I had no problems with the change in weather. I just thought we'd wait it out for Wednesday until it passed.

As the tent buffeted with the wind trying to take the tent into the “lift off” mode ... I began to realize that the hounds and I may have something going on, more than we planned on. A full fledged high wind rain storm. I could hear big drops of rain hitting the vestibule. The winds were inflating our tent like a hot air balloon. It was pretty loud but so far the hounds were okay with it.

Winston and Heidi were sound to sleep and Sadie was giving me an uncomfortable look as if to be asking me what I had got her into. She looked nervous. I must admit at this time I was a little concerned what the night might bring. Still, I trusted my equipment and thought there wouldn’t be any problems.

The Weatherbug radar showed we were now right in the middle of the storm with more on the way, when I decided to try to get some sleep. The wind kept me in a half sleep mode most of the time but I finally dozed off. The wind was loud and strong.

Things changed in a big way sometime around 2am.

I was awoken to the most horrible sounds ever coming out of a dog. I wasn’t sure if Sadie had hurt herself but she was freaking out and was trying to get out of the corner of the tent. In all the severe storms and even tornados at home, in the 7 years I've had her, I've never seen her like this. The winds were a lot worse than they were earlier and I thought they were bad then. While she was going ballistic I was trying to get a hold of a 100# bloodhound that was determined to get out of the tent one way or another.

After wrestling her down to the tent floor and calming her down, the other two bassets are awake but not alarmed. The buffeting sound of the tent and wind was extreme and quite a surprise based on previous forecasts. I wasn’t alarmed because I know the weather can change any place any time. I also knew the tent should handle it okay.

Was the wind that scared Sadie? I hadn't seen any lightning, heard no thunder. So even today I am not sure what upset her.

I was back to sleep fairly soon. Sadie had decided to calm down and laid down panting heavily and still somewhat shaken about what had happened. I still don’t know what made her act that way. I turned on my iPhone, that was down to less than 5% battery, to see the time was 2:35am and the radar showed more storms were on the way. In fact we were still in the middle of the storm.

Something woke me around 4am. It was loud. The winds were howling. I decided to get some shoes on, get outside and take a look. Visibility was good enough to see what was going on. Even though we had rain and it sounded like bigger drops than normal … this desert ground soaked it up like a sponge.

The ground was soft with rain but dry.  It was still too windy to sit outside in the dark so I walked a little around the camp site wondering what to do. Wondering what had scared Sadie enough for her to go all out ballistic. She was totally freaked out at something. Checking the forecast for our location had changed for Wednesday from sunny to the same weather storm we were experiencing. 

A light rain came again and I decided I’d get back to sleep, with plans of staying inside the tent on Wednesday until the storm moved through. After all, sunny days were scheduled for a week or more after Wednesday. I knew that before but I thought I was going to be missing the storms camped where I was.

I don’t know why … but when I woke up again as daybreak was trying to start. It was raining and the wind was still strong. I decided in an instant … screw it, I’m getting out of here. Once the rains stopped I’d pack up.

While it rained and all the hounds were awake I knew then I had no desire to sit in this tent all day with them while it continued to rain and the wind howling. It wasn't them, I wasn't happy with the constant wind blasts. There was a Motel 6 back in Green River that allowed pets. We could stay there for a day for the storm to pass through.

That idea didn’t sink in to far.

I had seen the day before what I wanted to see in Moab. It’s a great place and I could feel the energy of the place with it full of people that were interested in being outside … whether on ATVs, rafting the river, mountain biking or taking a jeep 4-wheeling. I liked it but it was too touristy, just like other places I had lived out west.

I didn’t feel good about leaving the hounds in the FJ in 90° weather even with water and the windows cracked. So any paid tour of the five NPs around Moab were not an option. Even when planning this trip I had no intentions of visiting the NP's. I had seen the hounds were not going to win any “Field & Stream” awards like a lab or herding dogs would. They didn’t play in the surrounding areas. They didn’t chase each other for that found stick. I doubted a lake or stream would make a difference to them. 

They did nothing different than their inside house dog nature … they slept, they ate, they slept some more.

Did they like sleeping on the hard ground rather than on a bed or in their soft chair? Was Sadie jumping around every morning excited about going outside and sniffing the area? How was the traveling affecting their diets … well Sadie had not crapped since we left home five days earlier. 

I hear the rain had stopped.  Now was my chance to get the hounds in the FJ, pack the tent and leave before it started raining again. 

Just as I opened the vestibule and tent door, without any kind of warning, Sadie bolted with her leash attached ... she was outside sprinting away from the tent. I put my shoes on as fast as possible yelling her name and got out of the tent with the two bassets still inside. 

There she stood about 50 yards away next to a large mound of dirt ... leash hanging and staring back at me. At least she was in view. Trying to talk to her to come to me, she never moved. I walked the distance while talking to her, reached down and grabbed her leash. She calmly walked by my side back to the tent.

She wasn't going back in the tent though. As I opened the back door to the FJ, she immediately jumped in and sat there waiting for me to get Winston. The wind was blowing so hard it blew the back door shut as I was getting Winston. I put Heidi in the front seat, closed all the doors and started taking the tent down.

I knew with the wind still blowing high speeds, I would have to make an effort to hang on to the tent vestibule once I unsnapped it from the tent. I was planning on rolling the tent footprint and the tent all into one pile due to the winds.

I was right about the vestibule, after getting 2/4 snaps unhooked, the vestibule blew out like a flag. About the time I got 2/4 vestibule snaps undone, the rains started again. The vestibule was fully extend by the wind as I tried to stuff it into the nap sack. The tent was still anchored to the ground.

As I moved into the tent to pull out the dog blankets and their cheap sleeping bag, what do I notice in the corner of the tent where Sadie was attempting to get out ….. A small hole in the mesh, right next to one of their tent connectors. Did she do that or was it the wind?

It was in the corner where at one time the previous night the wind was blowing so hard I thought it had bent a tent pole on that corner. I found out the next morning there were no poles that were bent in any way but the tent was able to flex a lot as it was designed to.

What caused the mesh to have a hole in it?

With the tent jammed into the nap sack, I stuff it behind my driver's seat and closed the door with rain coming down. I started to take off until I saw to curious Antelopes wondering what we were doing on their land. They were 30'-40' away. I had noticed “deer droppings’ at the site when we stopped the day before. Winston did his taste analysis and let me know what they were, before I picked up all the pieces to add to the poop bag. That dog drives me nuts sometimes with what he eats but then I realize he is a dog.

So what now?

I moved down the road noticing a little more standing water than when we came in. I didn’t want to leave but the sky was dark and it was going to rain off an on all day today. I decided the tent was not where I was wanting to spend all day because of the weather. Planning the trip, I knew that might be a possibility.

At the same time I didn't know how or if Sadie would react in a tent all day while it stormed outside. I guess putting her in the FJ for the day was the other option, it was one I never thought about.

I’m not sure what made me do it ... by the time we reached the end of the dirt road, about to enter the concrete portion of the road that would lead us back to the freeway entry ramp … I stopped to think what the next move was ... for some reason we were headed for Indiana.

I only needed to sit through one day of bad weather before having seven days or more of sunshine and some of the greatest land in the USA to see.

Instead I turned onto the entry ramp at Exit 175 and headed east. Skies were overcast, with a light rain as I passed the Hwy 191 exit to Moab. I had seen all I wanted to see of the town the day before. They had a great town park but didn’t allow dogs anywhere. Understandable as it was that nice of a park.

So after I came upon the exit on Hwy 128, my last chance of going back to Moab … I kept driving.  The longer I drove the hard the rain came. Into Colorado it was raining off and on. When I crossed the Colorado state line I almost headed to Grand Junction to Hwy 50 thinking I would take that route, camp a few days and miss the I-70 construction and the busy city of Denver. I had camped in that area before but .... it was raining there also and the weather radar didn't look much better.

I kept driving on I-70.

I almost stopped in Rifle, Glenwood Springs … but something kept me driving 75mph down I-70. When it rained, it was hard to see the freeway. Plus soon after I had taken off I realized in my hast to pack the tent I had left my glasses in one of the small pockets inside the tent. I figured I'd stop at the first sign of no rain to pull the tent out to get my glasses. There was no way I could drive at night and see any road signs without them.

I couldn't believe we were headed home after only a few days.  I guessed I had about a 1,000 miles to think about the why's and why nots.

Somewhere around 9pm I stopped for some coffee I was going to need, plus I had not ate anything but a protein bar for breakfast. I stopped at McDonalds, only because I was sure what the taste of their coffee would be unlike some of the previous gas station coffees I had bought. I knew I wanted to get on the east side of Kansas City and past the freeway delay 77 miles east of the Kansas state line before taking any kind of nap. It was over an hour wait coming the other way.

In the middle of Kansas, heavy rain, a sky with a little green tint and I thought of tornados. I checked Weatherbug but nothing was listed as tornado warnings. I still kept an eye on the sky though while I drove. This photo isn't about the worst sky or rain we drove through, it was just the only one I could take without two hands on the wheel.

I was making good time and I rode into Kansas City at a great time for a lack of traffic, a little past midnight. I had the whole city freeway system to myself. That one hour delay I had 77 miles east of Kansas City on Sunday was nothing at 1:15am. I knew then I had a good chance of driving through St. Louis before the city would wake up.

The FJ continued to drive smoother with only hills instead of mountains and it liked that 91 octane gas to drink.

Once I got to St. Louis, it was only a hop skip and a jump to my house. How many times had I driven to St. Louis and back from my house in Indiana on the same day to see a baseball game? The drive was doable.

We moved from I-70 to I-64 right through downtown around 3:30am. I think I saw less than ten cars as I drove through St. Louis. I stopped at a gas station with over 20 pumps and no one around but me and the person working. The scene almost had a strange feel to it. I was wide awake and thought I could make the drive home with no problems.

The sun was starting to come up and I was nodding out. I had to make a real effort to stay awake. I used a semi-truck to follow in hopes of keeping me awake. The last rest area sign that I passed because I was wide awake, said the next one was 56 miles away. I was pretty sure I could make that one, but it turned out to be kinda hard to keep my eyes open. When you are very sleepy, 56 miles seems like a million miles.

It had been a while since the hounds and I did our walk at that nice area in Kansas. They were fed then. They had water but that was many hours ago.

So with the sun just coming up it was their normal routine to go outside. Not only were they happy for the walk but so was I. All three relieved their kidneys and the walk woke me up. After a fuel stop a few miles down the road, I was 1-1/2 hours from home on the fairly new I-69.

As I drove that last hour, even different times before, I regretted my decision to take off. I never understood why I did that.  Why didn't I find a place to hang out for the day for the bad weather to pass?

I was curious on how I would feel pulling into the driveway. I was also curious how the hounds would react when they saw the house. It was what I expected. As we climbed the drive all three hounds were up and awake. Sadie was barking, then Winston. As I opened the doors all the hounds jumped out and headed straight to the backyard sniffing as if there were a million new smells to attack. Sadie sprinted for the field to do you know what for the first time in 5 days.

As I opened the house door, Sadie sprinted straight to her water bowl, Heidi sprinted to the living room nose diving into the carpet to roll around and scratch her back. As she rolled she barked to herself. Winston whined and sprinted around the house. It had been a while since I had seen that much activity from him.

Sadie finished drinking water, then went bouncing through the house, howling at times … I could tell she was happy to be home. When she is excited she does 360° spins ... she did a lot of them Thursday morning.

For me it was a shock to be back in Indiana. The humidity was thick enough to cut it with a knife, even at 8:30am. I was tired, a little confused and I thought how nice it was with no one around for miles with only a tent, the hounds and the FJ at the Floy Wash.

Still my main thought was sleep. I left everything in the FJ, opened all the windows, clicked on the fans, laid down and slept solid for the next 7 hours.

When I woke up, it felt like a dream.

The trip was shorter than expected but well worth it. I found a lot of the answers I was looking for. I know what adjustments need to be made before I travel again.

I’ll talk about that later.

This looks like ten pages on a word document. I am not sure how long the post will be but I wanted to write about all the trip and not break it up into multiple posts. I don't know if I will blog anymore, even before I left I felt like this blog had run it's course. I am getting tired of blogging. I found out on my short trip that I like spending less time on the internet. I didn't care about any sports scores, or CNN news. As of this writing I still have not looked or had the urge to catch up with online news.

I’m not really sure just how important it really is to write about one’s daily life. Really, who cares what direction you mow the yard? There isn’t really that much to see around the local area unless you are interested in farm equipment. The hounds don’t deviate from their daily routine … as proven on the short trip.

So I am not sure if I am going to continue blogging or not. Even while traveling I wished at times of not taking photos and just enjoy what was being seen at the time and move on. Of course years from now when the memory is shot, photos would be nice ... but then again would I remember who took them?  LOL

I know for sure when traveling I need a trailer. I know that I love that western area. Although the Moab area was nice, some of the Colorado area was familiar from the time I lived in Breckenridge Colorado only for a ski season. It was great seeing the Rocky Mountains again.

There is something about the west that fills you with energy. 

I do know this house is too far away to be a base camp. I love to drive but not enough to be going back and forth every few months or when I have an impulse to pack up and head home.

I think Sadie is pretty happy being home in this photo. So what if she is a big 100# baby, she is a great bloodhound. 

On a side note ... a fellow blogger familiar with the area where I camped, watching the weather from Alaska, sent me an email Wednesday afternoon not knowing by that time I was just getting to the eastern side of Colorado driving home ....

She told me she hoped I had not been flooded out and suggested the Motel 6 in Green River as a place to wait out the storm...the motel allowed dogs.

After talking to her last night by email she said I was lucky to get out when I did. Some time Thursday they closed I-70 for 8 hours, thru Glenwood Canyon due to rockslides. When I drove through there the day before it was a heavy downpour and the Colorado River was raging along the side of the freeway.

I don't have an answer why I packed up and left early ... but I did.

Like I said, I am not sure how often I will be blogging from now on. It takes longer than I like to write plus go through photos finding the right ones to post. There are times I feel this blog has ran its course and it might be time to move on to better things.


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