Sunday 8th October 2017
I'm late with my October blog because my husband and I have just returned from a two week trip to America- it had been 18 months since I was last there- the longest I've ever been away from the USA. We flew into Denver, and thanks to a pre-season winter storm raging in Yellowstone and Teton National Parks, we headed south instead of north. After threading our way through the Rockies, where the Aspens were in full color, we spent a few days in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Then our journey took us to Moab, Utah and Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. I was a bit apprehensive about Moab. I had stayed there over 30 years ago when there were about half a dozen restaurants in what was then a little town. My dinner that evening made me spectacularly and memorably sick with food poisoning. But Moab has changed. We ate at a great restaurant and I was absolutely fine afterward. Moab was absolutely buzzing with tourists in a town packed with restaurants and hotels.
Arches NP is still spectacular, but unlike before, when we had the road into the park all to ourselves, it was teeming with folks enjoying the beauty that wind and water have carved over the course of six million years. We then visited Canyonlands NP, leaving WAY too late in the day- it was after 4:00 pm when we began the 230 miles to Salt Lake. We did not have a proper map of Utah- you know- one that showed you where the mountains were. It was pitch black and starting to rain when surprise surprise we began to climb up...and up...our 2 lane road with passing places. I was driving because I'd opened my BIG mouth and complained about my husband's driving (he didn't pass a camper when I thought he should!) and so he suggested I drive. So it was me white knuckling it over a 7,000+ foot pass and it was my husband silently...grimly...watching the thermometer on the car go from 47 to 45 to 38 (this is all in Fahrenheit- 32 is freezing)- knowing we didn't have a pair of gloves, much less tire chains! But at last we descended to the valley, I unclamped my fingers from the steering wheel, and Roy thankfully took over, driving the last 60 miles through torrential rain. All in all, it was a quick but highly enjoyable trip to the west (except for maybe the last bit).
We concluded our trip in the state of Maine (near the Canadian border, north of Boston) visiting family and friends. I was amazed by the changes in a year and a half- new hotels, housing developments, restaurants... the word is definitely out that Maine is a wonderful place to live- or at least visit. I've moved away and moved back three times to Maine, so I get it!
Back home again, I was surprised to discover that someone must have come into our house while we were away and scattered dust everywhere! I'm sure we hadn't left it that way! We've brought Abbey perhaps begrudgingly home from her dog-carer, where she has a minimum of 5 Westies to play with every minute of the day, we've unpacked, washed clothes, stored suitcases back in the loft, cleaned the house, tidied the garden, I'm eating sensibly again, and I've picked up where I left off in my latest book. Oh, and we're planning our trips for 2018!