I set out after breakfast, sleeping in a bit, anticipating the toll of the next two days’ driving, and immediately tried to reach my mother to wish her a happy day, left a message both at home and on cell. She is most likely out running around with family. In September and October, as she turns 80, the entire family - nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, more than twenty of us in all -will all do a four-day “Mimi Turns 80 Cruise!” to celebrate with her; four days, Bahamas Cruise. Diann will join me and us, replete with motion sickness cure-alls, including, I am certain, concoctions of her own making.
Too, I was told in no uncertain terms, not to run Mimi around so athletically this time, as we did together on a week cruise - my first - in November last year to Bahamas, St Thomas and St Martin’s - mom and I, with brother, Denny, and his wife, Patty.
I set out on I-70W and ran into a wild snows storm at Loveland Pass, almost white-out proportions; several inches of snow and all the mountains were snow-covered, the pines heavily white-dusted. An hour later, beautiful and green again. Wild. Utah turns out to be a spectacular landscape, often taking my breath. Late in the day, the sun is dropping into the mountains, but I am considering popping into Arches National Park, see if I can find one of the arch formations, maybe paint in the morning.
Make my way about 30 miles in, winding about, and get a strange feeling that I am entering some no-man’s land – no signs, no trace of population, a car maybe every fifteen or so miles. An eerie feeling. Truly alone and ahead of me an unknown, perhaps even dangerous. No idea. A car pulls out from a turn-out, begins to follow me closely. I think, odd. Abit of a pit in the stomach. As I come ‘round a bend I see a sign for an historic site, “Dewey’s Bridge”, the summit behind, it is golden lit, enchanting. Ah, and a campsite. I quickly pull off, and grab the camera and off I go. I learn that the other car, too, was seeking photo opportunities and even pulls alongside me to see if I was able to capture in time the fading light on the mount. I smiled, yes.
I camp that evening, primitive, near the river and hear its quiet and incessant murmur all the night. Again, temps dip into the 30’s and I am bundled, still a bit unnerved by the isolation of the place. I sleep with boots on, cowboy-fashion, my little baseball bat subtly tucked away near my sleeping bag. A discreet mace, with hand-strap, also near. I make a fire, logs left compliments of whomever was here last night, and I retire for the night after simply gazing into a star-studded black sky. We ain’t got this in Chicago, ha.