On the Road again…

I had been planning to take a trip to southeastern Utah last fall. We ended up getting a very early snow storm the first week of October, which had me reconsidering. I didn’t want to be driving Sofia all over Utah in the middle of a snow storm! So, I decided to postpone until spring. My company gives us one “Spring Break” holiday day, which this year is Friday, March 29. I thought it would be great to use that as one of my days down in southeast Utah as I would have more free-time to explore.

So, I was set on the days for my trip, but before I left, Sofia needed a quick visit to Camping World to fix a few minor things that needed done from our adventures last summer. I also needed to figure out how to get Zeta running & registered. The problem was that it kept snowing in SLC! There was a huge snow pile behind Sofia. There was no getting her out until about a week prior to leaving. Once the snow melted enough, I loaded Zeta on the back & took her to the Motorcycle Doctor for new spark plugs & whatever needed to happen to make her start. I got her back on Thursday afternoon, the day before leaving, with just enough time to run by the DMV for registration. I didn’t even have time to try to start her once I got home, as the guy from the repair shop told me to charge the battery overnight again. I also managed to take Sofia in this week. The repair guy reported he couldn’t figure out the leak I was having & instructed me to watch for it to see if I could narrow down where it was coming from. Great…

Friday was a hectic day at work as I did annual reviews for all my employees. Finally I got done with those meetings & was able to throw all the last minute things into Sofia & hit the road. It felt so great to be back on the road again… As I drove, I was again reminded how beautiful it is to watch sunsets. Of course, I’ve seen sunsets over the fall & winter, but never have I taken the time to watch an entire sunset from beginning to end since the last time I was driving Sofia in the evening. It really was a beautiful sunset.

I arrived at Melissa’s house in Moab right around 9pm. I was thankful I had gotten out of town when I had as I didn’t have to drive in the dark for too long. I don’t really like driving in the dark outside of a city in my car, let alone Sofia! Melissa had a fire performance that evening; I was going to ride Zeta over & meet her there. I even managed to get Zeta down the ramp all by myself! A little scary, as she’s MUCH heavier than I ever anticipated when I purchased her sight unseen online! I had help getting her up on the rack to take her to the repair shop & the repair guy got her back up there for me. Anyway, I was ready to take her for her first real ride.

I turned the key on, held the brake, pushed the start button, and… NOTHING! Seriously?! Tried again a few times, still nothing. I was cursing the guy at Motorcycle Doctor by this point. A little research on Google (where would we be without Google!) suggested that I replace the battery. I had high hopes that the Moab Napa Auto parts store would have the appropriate battery. And, so, I didn’t make it to the fire show. I did, however, have an awesome rest of the evening once Melissa got back, hanging out & chatting with her. Its always so fun to share an evening with a soul sister!

The guy at the auto parts store the next morning was SO helpful! He came out & unhooked the battery, showing me how to do it. He didn’t have the exact battery in stock & after calling around town, no one did. Lovely… But, he did sell me one that he said would work & sent me on my way with instructions on how to install it once I reached the RV park that evening. It was kind of funny; he asked how I was enjoying my Vespa. I replied that since I had never been able to start her & had never really ridden her other than for a couple blocks around my house, it was basically just irritating at this point.

Back on the highway, heading south to Monument Valley where I was to meet my mom at noon. She got the day off & was driving up from Prescott, AZ to meet me. We were both excited that we could do that! I knew I had a little room in the schedule to stop for a few pictures along the way. My first stop was Kane Creek rest stop, just to take pictures of the beautiful rocks. I love the rocks in the Moab area!

Kane Creek

Kane Creek

I next stopped at Wilson Arch. Wow! So cool that such an arch was just right there, right along the highway. I hiked up & through the arch. A very steep, but fun little jaunt.

Wilson Arch

Wilson Arch

My next stop was a “Viewpoint” outside of Canyonlands National Park. I saw the sign & thought, I’m always saying to myself that I want to take advantage of these types of things & get some good pictures. So often I’m in a hurry & never take the time to stop. And so, I parked Sofia, got out my camera and switched lenses to my telephoto lens. Then, I opened Sofia’s side door & of course, didn’t wait for the stairs to come out, I just jumped right down. Great plan until, the sleeve of my sweater caught on the door latch. It was the hand I was holding my camera in (and yes, of course, I didn’t have the strap around my neck). It all happened in such a split second! I dropped my camera. L It crashed down very hard onto the asphalt below. I looked down & the lens was in two pieces. SO SAD! I was shaking a bit, as accidents like that have that effect on me… I picked up the pieces of my lens & the camera body. I figured I could just change to a different lens & things would be fine.

I did that, carefully walking down the stairs this time. I got out to take the photo & my camera wouldn’t work! The fall must have knocked something loose inside. The shutter button wouldn’t depress & I kept getting an error code. Now I was REALLY REALLY SAD!!! Here I was at the very start of my 10-day adventure to take pictures of beautiful southern Utah with NO camera. L I had broken it before the first shot was even taken! I remembered that my iPhone actually takes pretty good pictures, so I was somewhat consoled that I would still be able to take some pictures. I am still pretty sad about the whole broken camera & lens thing; am hoping the camera repair guy can at least fix the camera body. The lens definitely will be needing a new one for sure.

However, I wasn’t going to let that little setback get me down. I got back on the road again; calming down & spirits improving the farther south I drove.


Ready… Set… GO!

I have to admit, I’m pretty excited about life right now. I’m in a parking lot at the Pilot truck stop in Mountain View, ID and its my first night out on the road in Sofia.

Last weekend, I did a trial run to Element 11 (our UT regional burning man event) in Grantsville, UT. Things went pretty smoothly all things considered minus a few minor mishaps (some decorative molding flew off on the freeway, ran over a lane marker at entry – I swear those lanes were designed for mini coopers, not RVs!, and I almost backed over a 5” rebar sticking out of the ground while trying to get settled into just the right camping spot). After settling in, the festival was incredible! I did complete my 1st day of work in my “mobile office” on Friday & everything worked seamlessly! What an awesome weekend! I’m also particularly glad that I had my dear friend, Merb, along with me for that adventure.

And so, after a quick clean-up last night and working today, we hit the road exactly at 4:36pm. Me, Sofia, Geb, Nyssa, & Athena (my goddess card – will write more about her later). The trip went by so quickly! Probably mostly due to sweet texts I got from friends wishing me well on my journey, as well as phone calls with my two sisters & my mom. I recently switched phones from AT&T to Verizon, specifically for traveling because Verizon has such better coverage. And, I was not disappointed! I never lost a signal all the way from Salt Lake City to Mountain View.

Geb & Nyssa did great! They were a little nervous on their 1st trip in Sofia out to Element 11, but this time, they just took it in stride. Geb sat on my lap a lot of the way. Nyssa has claimed the top bunk above the drivers’ seat as her own. When we finally did arrive in Mountain Home I took them out on their leashes for the 1st time. They were so cute! Nyssa doesn’t really know what to think about the whole harness & leash thing, but Geb did pretty good. He just didn’t like being constricted to a small space – I think he wanted to go run up a tree & really explore!

The sunset tonight was so pretty… I stopped outside of Bliss, ID to take a picture. I realized that I’m going to be able to see almost every (if not all) the sunsets for the next 4 ½ weeks! So often I get busy with things inside & I’m not outside to enjoy the sunset. I realized that driving in the evenings (as I am doing because I’m working during the regular work day) I will get to see & appreciate the sunset each day. Perhaps when I finally get back home I’ll be able to fit in a few more sunsets, taking time out of my busy scheduled to just slow down & enjoy the beauty nature shares each day.