Albuquerque to Washington State trip
July 11 - 18, 2002

Journal Updates


Columbia, SC
Blue Ridge Parkway
Computer Crash!

2005 - 2006
Happy New Year
Hawk's Message
I'm Published!
Sharing Spring
Ways of Writing
Edmonds, WA
Degenerate Neck
Desert Depression
Post Quartzsite
Grandma Malia

2003 - 2004
Alaska Planning
Alaska 1
Alaska 2
Alaska 3
Alaska 4
Alaska 5
Alaska 6
Alaska 7
BC & Alberta
To Lower 48
2004 Recap
Giving Thanks

2001 - 2002
Inspiration's Off!
To Charleston
N. Carolina
To Orlando
Florida Tour
Back in Austin
Albuq. to WA

July 16, 2002 - Escapee Again!

I can't believe it's been 3 months since I've written in my journal. That's the longest I've been "away" since I originally left Austin over a year ago. It is a huge relief to be back on the road again! There was a time during the months I was in Austin that I feared I'd never get to leave again. I guess besides the fact that I worried myself sick while I was there, which resulted in me visiting the black pit of depression which I thought I had escaped for good, I just didn't feel like documenting that darkness. As for writing, I started my journal to record my memories of the wondrous new places and things I was seeing, so I suppose being home in Austin was not interesting enough to write about. I do regret that I didn't get to see most of my friends while I was there. Working took up much of my time and being depressed sapped my energy and desire to socialize. I didn't even dance one time while I was there and that was an activity I had really missed and was really looking forward to. I have been humbled to see that I could go from feeling so high above the clouds to feeling closed in and suffocated by swirling masses of dark thunderclouds that I could not see through. Sometimes I feel that depression is like a huge bird of prey stalking me, ready to swoop down with sharp claws outstretched and once caught I'll at least be scratched and bloodied before escape is possible again.

Out of experiences such as this, I always try to identify the "purpose" or at least a lesson learned from the difficulty. One thing I did find out for sure is that this life is the one I want for myself. Even if it is not always easy, even if it takes everything I have, this is what I want to do. There is something so invigorating to me about the new places, people and experiences that accompany this lifestyle that there is just no doubt this is what I'm supposed to do.

Even though there's a certain fear involved in just getting behind the wheel of this huge machine of mine once I've been parked for a while, there follows an excitement and confidence as well as pride in myself for pulling it off once again. I'm now pulling a tow car behind me and while that added a new element of anxiety at first - I had visions of not hooking it up right and it flying off behind me - I now feel secure that it just obediently follows wherever I go.

Carlsbad Caverns

Our first visit was to Carlsbad Caverns - what an amazing place! I had no idea of the enormity or fascinating beauty of it - a dreamscape of flowing minerals captured in time and caught in space, sparkling colors and bizarre shapes, some so delicate as could be blown apart by a wispy wind, others massive and strong and seemingly indestructible. We were there for hours and walked so much that I was virtually crippled the next day.

July 17, 2002

Tomorrow we depart for the Grand Canyon. Once again, this decision has been an interesting process. Part of me wanted to just hightail it to Seattle because there's so little summer left up there. I finally decided that was a form of fear that would keep me from enjoying the journey if all I focused on was the destination. The inheritance I will be receiving from my dad will alleviate some of the pressure of having to rush to get to work immediately, so I should be okay financially until the end of August. I'm also looking forward to seeing the painted desert in Arizona and Monument Valley in Utah. It certainly is hot here, though, and I look forward to the relative coolness of the Pacific Northwest.


July 20, 2002 - Grand Canyon

OK, so now I'll never have to hesitate again when someone asks what is the favorite place I've visited. No superlatives are super enough to describe, no panoramic postcard is big enough to capture, and the best camera only begins to hint at the grandeur of the Grand Canyon. Even when I lived in Hawaii, I have never been more impressed with the simple majesty of the earth itself. It's certainly a different kind of beauty than the tropic lushness I have always preferred. But, between God and nature's simple devices, this creation literally took my breath away when I first stood at its rim with every one of my senses on overload. The subtle shades of color, the shapes that were worn by the great river that looks so puny when viewed from the canyon's vantage, the sheer vastness of the beauty extending in every direction - to say that I found my inspiration again is an understatement.

We arrived the first afternoon in time to catch the show of the shadows across the canyon. The next day we hiked and toured from one end to the other. We felt fortunate that we saw some of the varied moods of the canyon. It was a bright hot sunny day when we began. Then we watched and participated in the Navajo friendship dance in the afternoon during a brief shower. The trembles of thunder lent an eerie and somewhat somber tone after the ceremony. Lightening bolts became visible far in the distance and by the time we got to the car, it had actually started hailing - pebble to marble sized ice chips - it was amazing!

The next day we took off again through the varying landscapes of the desert. Most of the time the desert seems unimaginably dreary to me and driving through it began to feel like a chore. As soon as that happened, though, changes began to be noticeable. The flesh colored rolling hills speckled with low shrubs look like razor stubbled old men. Then inexplicably you're in a little town filled with huge green Ponderosa pine trees, then onward again and it looks like the white tipped dunes are icebergs floating on what appears to be a sea but is really distant blueish mountains on the horizon. Of course, Don didn't see icebergs - he saw ice cream sundaes with whipped cream topping. Of course, that's nothing new for Don. He has a nose and love for ice cream like I've never seen before!

Speaking of Don, he continues to be the best companion as well as one of the best teachers I have ever had. He has a way of making me laugh or making me think, both of which have been stunted in me from time to time. When I was concerned that I was taking too long getting to Seattle, I asked if he wanted to get there sooner. His reply was, "Where I want to be is wherever I am." For a man who still doesn't talk to rocks, he can be pretty profound sometimes.

July 21, 2002 - Moab, Utah

Speaking of profound - Monument Valley is profoundly awesome. It's like the planet decided to make so perfect a home that only spirits can live there. Some really do appear like castles that it is aptly called the Valley of the Gods. Same spectacular kind of red rock earth color but different types of formations are in the Arches National Monument park. There is something so mystical about those massive boulders being shifted and shaped by nature's elements and I took over 60 pictures so that I can try to relive it again in the future.

When we returned from the park, Don got word that his 93 year old mother had died so he rushed off to Houston for the funeral. He left his trailer in storage and drove down there like a bat out of hell. I know that no matter how old she was or how long the inevitable had been expected, it is still not easy to lose a parent. Although I worry about him, he is one of the most grounded people in an unshakeable positive attitude and acceptance of the perfect cosmic order of things that I've ever known. So I miss him more than worry about him. We decided he'd travel much faster without me, so I'll continue on and get closer to our northwest destination and he'll rejoin me by the weekend.

July 23, 2002 - Glenns Ferry, Idaho

I'm at a great state park named Three Islands Crossing. It's located on the Oregon Trail where the pioneers crossed Snake River on their way to the Pacific Northwest. It's one of the prettiest sites I've seen in Idaho and it was easy to imagine the Indian settlement on its banks when the pioneers arrived. It was harder to imagine that the emigrants walked the 2,000 miles beside their oxen-driven 4x10' wagons because they were filled to capacity with what they felt they had to bring with them across the desert, including fine china and other "necessities." When they arrived at that important crossing, the Indians were very friendly and helpful to them, showing them the best way to cross the river with such burdens, and trading for food. Of course, we all know how their kindness was repaid once later passing-through pioneers decided to settle the area for themselves.

The park campground is one of the nicest places I've stayed and I intend to stay here another night and take a day trip to Shoshone Falls tomorrow. I've read it's higher than Niagara Falls and since I was so enamored of them, I just can't resist checking out Idaho's version.

July 24, 2002

Well, due to the drought, Shoshone Falls is falling no more - maybe it could be called Shoshone Trickles, but that's about it. However, it was still a beautiful park and it was interesting seeing the naked rocks worn by the water. I enjoyed the drive through the Idaho farmland where long arms of pipes roll across the expansive fields shooting streams of water that look like dancing fountains spraying rainbows as they go.

Tomorrow I leave for Oregon where I'll wait for Don to arrive so we can enter Washington together. The campground is named "La Grande Rendezvous" - how appropriate!
Spend a couple of months in Washington State
Copyright by Malia Lane - all rights reserved