Monday, October 24, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
That’s the questions running through my head this week. I’ve settled my few belongings in our cozy home. But I don’t know what to do now. I need to find work, that’s for sure. I tell myself that I want to get into the food service industry. I want to wait tables. Why? Who knows? So I put in applications around town, I put on my nicest clothes and submit resumes along with smiles. At the end of week one though, I’ve not heard back from anybody. I’m not sure why this surprises me, why some part of me just expected opportunities to come crashing over me. I should have known that it wouldn’t be that easy.
Unfortunately, the wheels in my head begin to churn out the what-ifs. What if I don’t get a job? What if I end up having to do some miserable retail job to make ends meet? What if this whole thing comes crashing down because I’m flat broke in a few weeks? I become mildly panic-stricken at all the possible things that could go wrong. So I take a step back, I focus on the good things that come with unemployment. I exercise like a maniac, hitting the gym just as hard as I hit the rock. I cook frugal meals every day, and take my expenditures down as much as I can to maintain my meager bank account for as long as possible. I read books, and hike with the dog. I run and walk around this town which is so familiar to me. I soak in the fact that I am here again, after over a year of being a nomad.
And I wait.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
My co-workers throw me a going away party. I don’t remember much of it, so I’m sure we had a great time. Everybody having a headache the next day confirms this fact. Our boss lets us go home early, and so I give quick good-byes to all the folks I’ve come to know and admire over the last five months.
I go home and I pack all my stuff into the 4Runner, there isn’t much more than when I was on the road. I’m done half an hour later. Sister and I go out for our last dinner together, and after a nice breakfast and coffee the next morning I’m driving a familiar track to Prescott. As soon as I arrive I dump all my stuff in the living room, and immediately begin re-packing for a four day vacation in the north of the state. When I’m done, before I can even realize that I no longer live in Jerome, we throw everything into Courtney’s car and hit the road.
We quickly head to Lake Powell, to a camping area called Lone Rock, and setup camp with friends from Prescott and from Massachusetts. We are all headed different directions tomorrow, but tonight we congregate on the sandy shore of the lake:
The near-full moon provides a nice light by which to admire lone rock:
After cooking breakfast and packing it all in, we all get a late start out of the area. Our friends from Prescott are off for a few days of kayaking around the lake, while the friends from Mass decide to join Courtney and I on our next stop – slot canyons. Along the way we stop to check out the ‘Toadstool’ hoodoo formations along the southern section of Escalante:
And from there it was just a hop, skip and a jump over to the Wire Pass/Buckskin Gulch slot canyons. It was my first time into a slot canyon and I was super excited to try photographing it. We had a blast:
Once we got to Buckskin we trekked upstream along a muddy track that was thankfully created by people earlier that day. It was slick and a fall into the mud was always close at hand, thankfully nobody fell in.
Once the trail came to a watery end we turned around and headed back to the car, me snapping pictures all the way:
Once we were out, we parted ways with our Mass friends, as they headed up to Salt Lake City and we headed to a nearby campground for the night where, unfortunately, the restroom vents were blowing our way and made for a bit of a stinky night.
The next day, we didn’t know where to go. I wanted to go up into the Escalante monument, but road reports were grim. A big storm had closed one major road, and they didn’t know about the other. In Courtney’s little Toyota corolla we didn’t want to risk it. So we drove out to nearby Kanab, Utah, and grabbed some coffee at the local coffee shop / outdoor outfitter. We asked the great folks there for recommendations, and were pointed in the direction of Kanab Creek Wilderness. We looked up the area in a resource book and decided on the Snake Gulch trail, reported to have lots of petro glyphs and pictograms. Off we went, through the beautiful Kaibab Plateau, and down the cockscomb to the trailhead. The trail was level, and made for a gorgeous afternoon hike:
And soon we found little spur trails leading to rock walls. On these walls were some pretty awesome things:
We hiked about five miles in before the threat of darkness turned us around and we headed back to the car. By the time we got to the trailhead it was sunset, and since we were all alone, we opted to camp right there. Not a bad spot at all, and best of all – no stinky bathroom!
The moon was bright, and I tried shooting a few photos, but it quickly got cold and so we retreated to the sleeping bags.
The next morning we decide to call it the end of our trip, and turn southward once more. We stop in the Navajo reservation to snap a few pictures of a graffiti artist’s work:
And Courtney plays model for me:
From there we stopped into Flagstaff to have dinner with another friend, before finally heading home. My new home, with the gal I love. Time to move into the next chapter of my life.