Moab, Utah, sits at the midway point of the irregular circle Ulrich and I navigate on our Southwest trips. After that we’re keenly aware that time is running short until we’re again in Las Vegas, saying our good-byes until another meeting, in another year. Perhaps that’s part of the reason this portion of the drives always feels a tad disorganized. We’re prone to changing our minds on the spot, wherever that is. In our script it’s time to ad lib.
So this year, as we again drove south from Moab, we turned off the highway to visit Newspaper Rock, just because we hadn’t been there, and then up through the steep hills above Monticello before rejoining the highway and continuing south to Blanding for the evening.
I’ll admit it—I was glad to make stops that didn’t require any work (although peeling veneer and bullet holes were challenging). The hike down to False Kiva with Craig Carr the previous day had been tiring thoroughly worn me out. Mostly, I was to blame for that—I wore a new über-comfortable Deuter backpack and filled it with everything I could imagine a need for, while Craig and Ulrich acted sensibly about the walk. Hey, you never know when a kitchen sink will come in handy.
On Main Street in Monticello we indulged in smoothies at The Peace Tree Juice Café, and noted with sadness that the Shake Shack, farther along Main, is now For Sale, having closed two weeks before.
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
― Dr. Seuss