First let me start with things I forgot to put in yesterday. Utah really likes to post signs saying hey, slow down and then the next sign is one of those ones that tells you how fast you’re going. Seriously they were everywhere. AND I saw a pick up truck driving on railroad tracks! It had some special little wheels (like training wheels) I assume that’s how it stayed on the tracks. Or that was one hell of driver!
So, today… I started with a 7AM alarm. Got on the road before 8 and got to Arches before 9. Not bad! I stupidly got out and walked at the first walk. Don’t get me wrong it was gorgeous and I’m glad I did it but 2 miles up and down hill at 5000ft (when my Colorado native body has adjusted to sea level) didn’t leave a lot of nina energy. I was just so excited to get out and see this land. I got back in the car. Kept driving through the park. Pulled over a few more times walked another mile. Oh and did I mention in addition to up and down hills there was sad. And it was already getting into the 90s. By the time I got to the furthest part I wasn’t up for more walking. So I didn’t get any close-ups of those arches. But it was beautiful! I know realize how little my Garden of the Gods is. Little did I know.
I drove down to Moab, by accident. I thought it was the way I needed to go. But I promised some postcards to some very sweet girls so I took the opportunity and posted them. Then I got back on the road, the right road this time. The right road was the Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway (U-128) back to I-70. I didn’t want to back track to I-70 and “scenic byway” sounded lovely. Everytime I had a car behind me I pulled over to let them pass because I wanted to take my time and not have someone riding on my butt. This was a stunning stunning drive. If you have the chance to do it, I recommend it. Especially if you can do it with someone so you can take it all in without risking driving off the scenic road. But seriously, if you go slow enough you can take it in safely.
The drive into Grand Junction wasn’t very interesting relative to the rest of my day. No offense GJ, your story is coming. I got into town and wanted to try to find my grandmother’s old house. After much driving around I called my mom to see if she remembered the address. She still had her old address book! When I tried to search for the house on my phone it kept sending me to Montana so I gave up and got the address for her condo instead. (I just pulled up a GJ map on my computer and tried to find the house. Turns out it’s Bel Mont not Belmont!) We moved her into the condo from the house when I was in elementary school so I figured even if I found the house I wouldn’t necessarily recognize it. You know, someone buys the house they change things. But the condo, I had hope. I figured, it’s hard to change a condo complex. This time my phone led me right there! I remembered the pale stucco and dark wood, the mail boxes, the pool building. I walked around the complex. Found her old building and the exterior doors don’t have locks, shhhh don’t yell at me. I walked up to the third floor, took a picture of her old door (didn’t knock and say hi). It didn’t occur to me or my mom that it was kind of weird that my grandmother had chosen to move from her single level ranch to a 3rd floor walk up in her mid sixties. Wish I had her knees! After a few more pictures (They had these cool vertical breezeways, for lack of a better term, open to the sky and on the ground floor ivy.) I walked back down the stairs and over to the lake we used to walk around. It was awesome! I recognized all of it. How mature I felt when I would go get the mail from the bank of mail boxes all by myself. I was, after all, in elementary and middle school. The
Spanish Olive Russian Olive trees around the lake! Even now it brings tears to my eyes. All this time I had my mom on the phone as I drove around town and walked the property (my phone says 47 minutes). I thanked her for helping me take the journey. Neither of us realized how much it meant to me until I walked up to that tree and held the leaves in my hand.
I got back to my car and called USAA to complete my statement for my claim. We had started it the other day while I was on the road, but then I lost the signal. I ended up with a rep in Colorado Springs, not a big surprise, that office covers Oregon and many other states. But she’s been there since high school and is only 4 years younger than me so we had lots to talk about, schools we went to, sports played, her kids ages nearly match up with my niece and nephew and of course the recent fire. We chatted and chatted (53 minutes). Finally I got off the phone to go find a place to stay and eat. But my car wouldn’t start. So I got back on the phone to USAA, this time Roadside Assistance!
They sent a guy out. (Have I mentioned how much I love USAA? Because I do.) He gave my Subie a jump and it started up no problem. Phew. It ran for about an hour as we chatted politics, Colorado, Pacific Northwest, why I was in that particular parking lot and of course car batteries. I got in the car and drove to another Comfort Inn. I’ve decided to stick with them for the trip. Once I got here I thought I should test the car and see if it started back up. Good idea, right? NO! No No No. It didn’t start and I had forgotten to roll up my windows. Great. I called the tech and asked if he could come out so I could go buy a battery. He said nothing would be open. I turned the key and was able to roll up the windows. Thankfully. So I’ll be calling in the morning and HOPEFULLY a new battery will fix the issue. You hear that world?!?!?! Just a battery!!! Thank you. And Good Night. I said Good Night.