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After days in the desert, the explosion of green was a welcome sight.
We stopped to admire the street art in Eureka, CA
And we arrived at the place I was most excited to see: the Pacific Ocean.
I do love the sea. ☺️
It’s been a nice trip! We did a long loop, WA-ID-UT-NV-CA-OR-WA, mostly sticking to small towns and state/national parks. We never planned more than one day in advance, except for a two-day stay in Zion so we could hike at the park.
And what am I feeling right now? Appreciation. The USA is very big and very diverse in all senses of the word. P & I have done a fair amount of international travel, yet spending time in rural Utah/Nevada is a cultural experience all its own.
Traveling without an agenda puts me in a mode of low expectations. That frees me up; every small discovery becomes an exercise in delight. The enormous candy store near Death Valley? Suprising and delicious. The haunted hotel and fabulous used bookstore in Tonopah? Quirky and fun. Inspired by the town’s Western vibe, I picked up a cowboy novel to take home. These aren’t places we planned to visit, but I enjoyed bumping into them.
Thanks for following along with my little adventure, blog buddies. I’m back to work on Friday, and looking forward to it.
Have a great day.
In Death Valley we walked across a sea of salt surrounded by distant mountains. We saw pink and green and purple mountains. Rippling dunes of soft sand. Martian hills dotted with angular black stones. Alien landscapes. Impossible vistas.
Was Death Valley a real place, or did I dream it? I have photos… but I still can’t be sure.
After a long drive through Utah, we spent a full day at Zion National Park. After dark, we went back to stargaze. We stood in the dark until our night vision improved, surrounded by rocky cliffs and a canopy of stars. Moonlight cast shadows on the ground. Mule deer grazed just outside the campgrounds, staring at us with wide-spread ears as we passed by.
I love the city life, but time in nature fills the spirit up like nothing else. ❤️ I’m so glad we came.
Yet it’s been a strange time to travel. When we left Seattle a week ago, the COVID-19 outbreak was limited to a small group of cases at a nursing home in a neighboring town. But since then, more cases have appeared and local governments have done a hard turn into mitigation strategies. It’s been shocking to see how quickly it’s all unfolded. Tens of thousands of workers are working from home, local events have been shut down, and I hear our always-terrible traffic has disappeared.
On the whole, I’m proud of my city and state. Government, business, and individuals are coming together to make things safer in an uncertain time. Emerald City Comicon is postponing next weekend’s event, prioritizing public health at what I assume is a high economic cost.
I see lots of good choices being made in Washington State in a time when good choices are difficult. It’s been too long since I felt anything positive about government and industry. So I suppose that’s a thin silver lining to come from all this.
Here on the road, we’re reducing risk as best we can. Every hotel room gets a thorough sanitizing with bleach wipes before we settle in, including all knobs, switches, and remotes. We wash our hands a lot, and carry hand sanitizer in our pockets. I wipe down our cell phones too, and we’re avoiding crowded areas. Our biggest risk comes from eating out, probably.
Over the next week, we’ll swing west, and then north, gradually making our way back to Seattle to hole up in our condo. There, we’ll dine on my stash of frozen burritos while I finish my book. And I’ll fall asleep thinking of Zion, shining silver and black in the moonlight.
This place won’t be leaving my heart anytime soon.