Monday, September 30, 2019

Day 23

I said goodbye to Ulysses, KS and headed east in very strong southerly winds.  About 25 miles out the wind ripped and shredded my hard top cover over my tent.  It took me 45 min. dealing with the high winds to cut the pieces of the shell and stuff them into the truck bed.  I limped into Garden City, KS and got a tarp and bungee cords at Harbor Freight, and went on my way.

Stopped near McPherson, KS at a boondocking campground.  Sheltered from the wind but very hot.  Being alone in an unsupervised campground at dark was a bit unsettling.  Didn't sleep well but felt good that the tent still worked without the cover.

Day 24

I survived a sleepless night alone in a remote campground.  Drove 15 miles on a dirt road which felt a bit sketchy.  I spend the morning removing all the hardware from the broken hard shell.  Then I cut it up into pieces to toss in the dumpster, and drove 30 miles into Salina, KS.

Here I went to the library to access their internet.  Found a tarp company that specializes in custom tarps for farm applications.  They will make a heavy duty custom cover for me for $82!  Had to get a motel while they rushed it for me.  I'll install the old ratchet strips on the new cover so it will secure to the tent frame.  It does feel good to shower and sleep in a cozy bed while watching the Bengals on MNF!

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Day 22

It is Saturday, Sept. 28.  After observing a historical committee meeting with Jim about the Dotson cabin relocation I drove through the prairie of eastern Colorado to Ulysses, Kansas.  This town of 6000 has a nice park with free tent camping!  Thank you, good people of Ulysses.  On the other hand their credit union was not helpful, and their library was closed on Saturday.  The wind whipped my tent most of the night.  Think I will stay here one more night.  Tomorrow is supposed to be windy and in the 90's.  The weather is a major factor in where I travel.

Day 21

I am visiting old friends from Alaska, Jim and Maggie Campbell who live in Beulah, CO.  What a wonderful time to catch up and reminisce.  Jim is doing important historical research on a family who lived here in the 1870's.  I hope to visit this valley again someday.  Idyllic.

Day 20

After a decent night's sleep we awoke to build a fire and hang out in the morning sun.  We said our final goodbyes, took a picture, and same some meaningful things to each other.  I drove the scary road one last time and headed to Durango.  Highway 160 was beautiful with winding roads through valley ranch land.  Wolf Creek Pass was spectacular.  I drove through Alamosa and headed out into the desert country for some boondocking.  The sunset was brilliant and the stars were even more amazing.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Day 19

Today was my last night at the hostel. I drove out to camp and hung out with Tim and Brian. They went on a hike while I reorganized my camper truck. It was good to climb back into my roof top tent.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Day 18

Yesterday was cloudy and chilly.  We sat around the fire a good chunk of the morning.  Then we hiked more of the CT (Colorado Trail).  Found some firewood and returned to camp for a fire and lunch.  Brian has become quite the firewood gatherer.  As soon as a camper leaves he scampers to their site to retrieve any leftover wood.  Haven't had to buy any so far.

We ate dinner in Silverton and enjoyed just being together.  Thanks be to God!

Day 17

Isn't it amazing how bright sun and nice weather can affect our outlook on the day?  I drove to camp and the three of us hiked into the mountains (above treeline) for 3 hours.  The climb was gentle and the views were breathtaking.  Great brother conversations about everything from politics to religion to memories of growing up together.  We haven't done this in 20 years.  Hope it isn't our last.

Drove into Silverton to get food for Tim and dinner at the Avalanche Brewing Co.  Walked around town in the 62 sunshine and Facetimed with our parents.  God is good!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Day 16

Yesterday was a blue bird day and Brian and I hiked for 2.5 hr through open meadows, spruce forests, and rocky outcroppings.  It did manage to do us in and we both napped a bit sitting in the sun at camp.  Tim's flight was delayed but I was able to drive into Durango to pick  him up in the evening.  It was a bit hairy driving the mountain twisties with no guard rails and 800 foot drop offs.  Brian had a nice fire going and we gathered together...the three amigos.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Day 15

Finally got some decent sleep in a warm bed in the hostel in Silverton.  Woke up to frost on my truck.  Amazing what a hot shower and warm bed can do for the soul.  I'm driving back to camp where Brian and I will drive to Durango to pick up brother, Tim.  Going to be a good day.  New every morning is your love, O God.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Day 14

Yesterday we moved to our next campsite on Molas Lake, near Silverton, CO.  This improved our spirits as we set up a more "permanent" camp.  Drove into Silverton (10 min) to explore.  We ate pizza and took home a box.  Enjoyed several short hikes.  Still no decent sleep.  Not sure what is going on.

Day 13

Today was essentially a mirror of yesterday, so read that one again!

Day 12

Miserable night with thunderstorm, cold, and thin air.  Experienced my first panic attack.  Couldn't breathe, felt trapped.  I have new empathy for those who face these experiences.  Not much to do but talk and take short hikes.  The country is spectacular.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Day 11

Met my brother in Colorado mountains. Rough night adjusting to the altitude (10000') and cold rain. Good brother conversations.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Day 10

This morning I break camp near Moab and drive to Colorado to meet with my brother. Yesterday was laundry day. I watched a movie, Peanut Butter Falcon which was good.  I had my church picking up trash along the highway. Wonderful time in Utah.

Day 9

Spent the day exploring Arches National Park. Learned more about geological time and uplift forces.

My campsite is at the end of a 30 mile bike event. People were exhausted and out of water.  So I became the unofficial water supplier with my 13 gallon water tank. This is what I mean by wanting to be the presence of Christ in the world. Simple acts of grace.

Day 8

Yesterday I drove from Vernal Utah, and squirted through Colorado and some fantastic scenery to Moab, Utah. I couldn't believe my luck. I found a campground right next to the Colorado River with 15 sites. I got one of the last sites at only $10 per night. Three nights here will enable me to explore Arches National Park, the city of Moab, and the beauty of the river.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Day 9

I'm in Vernal, UT for a second day.  Got caught up with some video and coaching work.  Highlight was a 6 mile trail ride on my ebike in perfect weather.  Had some hairy moments negotiating large rocks and bumpy trail.  Made me think about the line between safety and risk.  This experience reminded me of my rappelling days when I needed some risk and adventure in my life.  Guess I still do.

Thank you, God, for a body that still moves and a brain that works.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Day 8

I'm in Naples, Utah, in the heart of dinosaur fossil country.  The 2 hour drive from Rock Springs, WY was spectacular!  So much variety of topography.  Walked a nature trail to learn about aspen trees.  Checked out Flaming Gorge Dam.  And nearly got my truck stuck in the mud on a back road.  Anticipated camping in Vernal, but the hosts were not there.  Found a Best Western for $6 more than the camp fee!  So don't feel sorry for me for the next two days.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Day 7

Woke up in a cheap motel in Rock Springs, WY to more rain.  Nice thing about wandering I can just check the weather map and drive to the sunny parts of the country.  Did not sleep well in a king bed last night.  Looking forward to my rooftop tent tonight, wherever that will be.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Day 6.5

One of my goals was to stop in a town and spend time getting to know it...visit libraries...attend community events...maybe even a church!  What I am discovering is that few towns actually have natural campgrounds.  Oh they have RV parks but my idea of fun is not being squeezed between two giant RV's.  So I am spending a day or two in Rock Springs, WY at a cheap hotel!  Gives me time to shower, clean, and power up my devices.  And this is enabling me to post on my blog. 

Day 6

After a miserable night in Yellowstone due to the cold and rain, I headed south. The Grand Teton National Park was magnificent. I stopped in Jackson Wyoming for lunch and to regroup. The weather was nice so I decided to disperse camp just about 30 miles outside of Jackson. I found a most beautiful mountain scene with the river by it and spent the rest of the day. I explored, sat by the river and read my Bible. I was so tired that I went to my bed about 6 p.m. and did not arise until 9 a.m. the next day. The best sleep I've had since I began this journey.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Day 5

I'm in Yellowstone National Park. Yesterday was no fun driving in heavy rain all through Idaho. Fishtailed some with all the water on the road. Saw one car spin around 360.
Contemplated skipping Yellowstone but decided to do it.  Cold and wet is never fun, but it is all part of the journey.

Day 4

I'm in declo Idaho. Drove from Baker City Oregon past Boise and Twin Falls. Don told me about an ice cream parlor in a small town that has the best ice cream in Idaho. So I detoured off the interstate 10 found it. It was very good and worth it. I did not get to see young clergy friend in Twin Falls which was disappointing. Experienced pretty heavy thunderstorm activity during the night. But I finally got some decent sleep. On to Yellowstone.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Day 3

  I woke up this morning before 6 on a ranch and Eastern Oregon.  A seminary classmate of mine, Don Hanna, reached out to me and I stopped by to visit with him. We had not seen each other for 37 years.   it was great to catch up with him and learn about his area of the state and the history of Native people and the Oregon Trail. They fed me delicious hamburgers from their own cattle. Today I head east through Southern Idaho.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Day 2

It is day 2 of this journey. I left home in Bend yesterday and drove to a Walla Walla Washington. Except for a headache it was a great drive and I spent the night at the home of Ann and Ellen and last night. We had dinner with David and Juli. Juli is the pastor of Pioneer United Methodist Church here in Walla Walla. After a tour of Walla Walla today I will hit the road head to Oregon to visit more friends.