I sit here in the quiet campground thinking of the week before and all of the views seen. We pulled out on a late Tuesday afternoon with the destination of Dinosaur National Monument in mind; however, we did not know which roads we were going to take or the experiences we would experience. I woke up early on that Tuesday morning with a lot of things still to do. I packed the car, dropped Bo at grandmas and headed to my interview. Afterward, packed the truck, visited the grocery store for enough food for a week, pulled out of the driveway and hit the highway. The pavement, gravel and camping was now in front of us. Nothing could stop us! We decided to start our journey by traveling up 1-70 through Silverthorne to highway 40. Highway 40 would now be our home for most of the journey. As the hour became late and the humans and dogs were tired of riding, we pulled off 40 to a dirt road (Buffalo Park) where we would gauge dispersed camp sites as they would be our home forever. As we pulled into one site, we get out with judgmental eyes. We look for level ground for the tent and truck and look for ants, and other holes that little Bo can get into! We decided that the spot would not work, jumped back into the truck and moved onto the deep gravel road. We stopped again, got out, and imagined where the tent and truck would sit. As we vision it, we became pleased and set up camp.
The camp process is never easy, for there is the unpacking of the truck, setting up the tent, blowing up the air mattress, placing the sleeping bags in the right spot, making Bo’s bed in the tent, getting dinner ready, feeding the dogs, and getting ready for the cold night that will soon be felt by the old bones. As night falls our old eyes suddenly become sleepy. We place our little dogs in their bed and time for sleep. We dream of the next day and where our next camping location will bring us. We get up early enough, pack up, make breakfast such as eggs, onions, and avocado and hit the road. We pulled back onto 40 and continued through Steamboat Springs. We went through the tourist town early, but it was still busy. As our journey continued, we slowed down for the passing towns and took in the vision of each one. We looked deep into their lives and community and pondered what life would be like. The history that surrounded these little towns could have been rich in their day, but now restaurants and houses are boarded up and a few residents are out mowing the lawn or sitting on the porch. It always makes me want to stop and ask about them and their town. The town that really caught my attention was Maybell. The town sat a little outside of Craig and was small but seemed full of life at one point.
The little white church sat at the end of town with blue stained glass windows, and a city park with RV/tent camping. The town was unique and if looked close and hard you could actually imagine the life that was once there. Soon after that we entered Dinosaur National Monument and headed to the Echo Park campground. As we turned onto the dirt road a long view of a journey ahead could be seen for miles and miles. The dirt road went for 12 miles into the campground which sat at the bottom of the canyon. The drive down the canyon was breath taking. It was remote, historic, and beautiful. The canyons sat tall and allowed the sun to hit them highlighting the red that was buried in their color. The sand was hot and the wildlife was rare to the eyes. On the way to the campground laid several stops to visit, such as the Chew family ranch and other geological foundations. As the road ended at the campground, we did one loop to see which spot we would call home again. The heat was beating on us, like a baseball bat to the head. We could not escape it. As luck had it, the car in front of us pulled into the only spot with shade, leaving us out in the sun! We pulled in, walked to the registration box and paid the $10.00 for the night. The heat was too much and we waited in the truck for the sun to disperse behind the canyon wall. As the sun went away, we were able to function. We got out, feed the dogs and started our routine once again. As we made our salmon meal, the never ending amount of flies continued to keep us company. We ate fast and covered our meal. The night was beautiful, peaceful and full of the escape needed from the life I left behind.
As Bo decided at 5:00 am that he had to get up, we walked around in the dark looking up at the sky which was full of stars and the quietness of the early morning became wonderful to the soul. As Bo finished his job, we crawled back into the tent and looked above to the stars and wondered about the future for us. The sun seemed to take his time rising that morning, and we did not complain, for our goal was to get out of the canyon before that sun hit us directly. We made breakfast, packed and headed out of the remote canyon land. We visited the second entrance to the monument, but did not spend much time there for a shuttle had to be taken to see the fossils and we had dogs which restricted that view. We made our way to the Flaming Gorge Dam in Utah and found a campground along the way. The campground overlooked the reservoir and sat perfectly in the woods, however, a nice night was ruined by a group next to us who was unable to hear the sound of their own voice and kept the campground up to about 1:00 in the morning. As a fellow camper walked down and asked them to be quiet I was finally able to fall asleep. The morning came fast and we packed up with very sleepy eyes and an overwhelming feeling of anger and frustration at the lack of respect others had. They had taught their children how to be loud and how to show no respect for other campers. It made me sad. The tires continued to hit pavement and dirt along the way. We made our way through roads and looked out the window with a long view of the land before us. Since we got no sleep the night before and the smell of us was becoming overwhelming, we hit highway 44 to Green River, Wyoming and then to Rock Springs, where we stayed the night at a Holiday Inn Express. Since we arrived at noon, we could not check in until 3:00 so we viewed all that Rock Springs had to offer. We checked in, feed the dogs and crashed for the night. We were zombies in a living world. The world around us moved and we stood still in the middle.
The next day of our journey brought us to the back road of county road 430 which at the Wyoming/Colorado boarder turned from pavement to dirt. We visited the Vermillion Falls on the Colorado side and enjoyed the beauty that remote road had to offer. As the night became closer we decided to end our trip closer to Steamboat Springs so we could arrive home early on Sunday. We stopped by Starbucks to get our Venti Peach Green Tea Lemonade and more gas to finish off the trip. We stopped close to the same road as the first night, but this time took a very bumpy road up to the top of the hill and camped. As 8:00 pm rolled around my eyes became sleepy and I hit the sleeping bag hard. The smoke the next day was too much to take and unfortunately had a horrible asthma attack. We packed up fast and headed down the hill to Littleton. We loaded my car and I rolled back to the campground where I am staying in my RV.
The trip served the purpose for an escape, and adventure and to forget; however, as we pulled closer to Denver the reality of pain emerged back. I sat quietly looking the landscape that flew by and the pain of losing my job came back full force. I could not understand how a disease that started someplace else could eliminate so much. I could not and do not understand how my position could be eliminated when I contributed so much. I know I will never understand why or get the answers to the questions I have. I hope the pain some day goes away. The trip was healing and helped to distract from the reality of pain. Now as I return and sit back at my campground the reality of Monday will soon be here and the search continues again. The Tin Cup whiskey is taking over my ice cubes and the clouds look worn out from the smoke and lack of air. The mountain air is fresh and the smell of sap is in the air. The night becomes dark and I sit here in the dark blinded by the light of the computer. Campers sit across from me enjoying their journey and their get away! The circle has been completed.