04/17/15 — in which our hero pretty much just drives home

…and now we’re back in order, starting just after I left Estrella, having successfuly packed up and gotten off site just before it started raining.

I drove for a while, circling around Phoenix, and got off the highway for lunch. I had plenty of food left, so all I needed was a place to park for a while.

…I happened upon a place that had not only a parking spot, but open wifi. So I spent a lovely couple of hours there.

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Turns out it’s a really comfy way to spend a rainy and slightly chilly afternoon. The boys napped, I tucked a blanket around my legs and lingered over lunch, caught up on online stuffs, and listened to the rain patter down onto the roof of the van.

I hadn’t yet quite decided to go to the Grand Canyon but I knew I wanted to go up through Utah again, so I headed towards Flagstaff. I stopped at a rest stop that, it turns out, I’d been to before — I seem to be making an accidental habit of that. It amuses me.

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The view wasn’t quite as expansive as last time, but it had a certain misty loveliness that I think spoke to my Welsh ancestry.

There’s quite a lot of elevation gain between Phoenix and Flagstaff, so running into some snow was no surprise, but it wound up sort of actually blizzarding, which had me a little concerned about where I’d park for the night. I kept going and lost enough altitude between Flagstaff and the Canyon that I was fine for the night — I spent the night with the van tucked next to an old abandoned motel near Gray Mountain, AZ, and I don’t think it even went below freezing.

The next day was, of course, the Grand Canyon, and I already did that part, so I’ll skip ahead to Four Corners, which would’ve been WAY COOLER if I coulda had Loiosh stand right at the Corners for the picture, but the sign said ‘no dogs’ and I usually interpret that as also ‘no cats’ and anyway it was REALLY windy so.

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I drove on (and on), had the WORST time finding a place to park for the night because everything was fenced-off grazing, and finally parked in a big field in Dennehotso, AZ, which was…well, I didn’t get rousted and it was flat, but that’s about all I can say for it.

The next morning I looked at routes, elevations, the weather, and my schedule, and decided that it was time to pour on the miles, since the rest of the route, it’d be too cold to really be comfortable overnight. I checked the state of Wolf Creek Pass (some snow but not bad, the sign said) and decided to go for it.

…this decision engendered some controversy. Fortunately all of the objectors were safely far away, and it was still my decision. Also I didn’t post anything about it til I was actually at the top.

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I thought it was hilarious, but Mom didn’t really agree with that.

…anyway I got through just fine and this is what was waiting just on the other side:

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Holy crap Colorado.

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Just holy crap.

After that the rest of the trip was pretty anticlimactic. I got home around five, hauled in the cats (Chocolate jumped to the top of the Eternal Laundry Pile and refused to move until it was time to haul his butt upstairs for bed), and stuffed myself into a bath for the rest of the evening.

…it was kinda lovely.

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