I've decided to get up early and try to get on the road west, then north. I hesitate to write that in stone because of course it could change. I chatted with Chris for quite a while Monday and thought I'd try to get to Vernal, Utah one way or another then take US 191 north into Wyoming toward Yellowstone, then west again into Idaho, partially retracing his steps from his cross- country walk in '03/ '04.
There are a few ways to get there depending on how I decide to do it. I COULD hitch it into Utah, and pick up US 6/191 directly from I-70. If I do that, I'm locked into hitchhiking until I can get off the interstate. Another route is to get to Rifle, CO and take CO 13 north toward Meeker, then to Craig or take what looks to be a desolate stretch of road to Dinosaur, CO.
Either way, I'd then pick up US 40 and go west to Vernal. I'm leaning toward the CO 13 route right now...we'll see. I also spent part of the day considering other routes...including toward Fresno, CA where I could stop in to see my sister. I noticed US 6 crosses Nevada and breaks off in Bishop, CA very close to Fresno...and the Pacific Crest Trail. The Pacific Crest is on my short list of likely places to add to Hwy. 101 in Oregon and Northern California, but to make it at least semi-efficient, I'd need to take it from Fresno into Oregon toward Mt. Hood, then move west to return south on 101. Doing that though, I'd miss Idaho which I'd like to cross of my list of states!
Monday was another uneventful, relaxing day. James took off either back to the mountains or to his friend's van. Other than that, not alot going on now; I stayed a day too long. There's no tension or anything here, other than my own restlessness. Leah and her husband have been great, and made me feel pretty much at home. It's just past time for me to get on my way.
One neat thing though: at about 10pm when Rob & Sonny found a dog. A big ol' Husky/Chow mix that appears to them to be abandoned. Becca's trained in veterinary-type- things and thinks he's between 6 mos and a year...and ALREADY weighs 50- 60#. A big boy indeed. I'm contemplating taking him along, but of course that would mean that the rides would drop off significantly, thus slowing me WAYYY down. I'd probably be walking the vast majority of the way, and of course will have to try to feed him as best I can. He'd probably enjoy the northern route but, because of his thick coat, I'm not sure the Mojave's a good idea for him (or me?).
Also, I'd need Leah to drive us out of Glenwood at least to New Castle, and I hate to ask her to do that. I need to think on that one a bit more, but it's odd that he showed up when he did. Leah pointed that out too...Something for you to look forward to I guess! "Did he take the dog or not??" See pics of him below...
I talked to Laina a bit tonight, and realized that things have been quite enlightening for me personally. I've rediscovered some dormant parts of myself, or at least some facets of my personality that I wasn't using anymore. Street-sense. Ability to size people up quickly, relate to them as needed & even manipulate some to prevent unsavory situations (Dennis).
Ft. Morgan's weather ignited my survival instincts and showed that I can still adapt. This probably sounds elementary, but before I left these were some concerns. I had wondered if my sedentary, cushy, mindless existence had rendered me lame and ready to be put down. It hasn't. I'm rather eager to see what else I can summon when I need to.
Vitam Impendere Vero---from theory to experience. In other words, I know my theories, now I need to know how I respond when I get out there and live them. Not a bad start so far.
I also looked back at the pictures I've posted on Picasa over the last 3 weeks or so; last week in particular. I am amazed at all that's already happened. Jackson State Park seems like a month, but Chris dropped me off only a week ago. I can almost smell these pictures when I see them, and can go back and re-experience the feelings that were part of those moments. Quite intense!
Week two starts today, and parts of the rugged West are in front of me. At least there wont be tornadoes! Just heat & mountains & snakes...Oh My!