Utah June 26, 2014Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
It’s been more than a month since we’ve returned from our Utah vacation. I still miss my friends and the landscape.
I could talk about our brief overnight in Salt Lake City before hitting the road to Moab and Castle Valley (especially hanging with that Aussie in the bar). I could tell you about the two vastly different dinner events our friends took us to: the secret café fundraiser dinner at an activist’s unassuming fenced-in backyard and the LDS church neighborhood potluck.
I could tell you about the amazing hikes I took in Arches, Canyonlands, and (I’m not kidding, it’s still called) Negro Bill Canyon. But maybe I’ll tell you about the hours I spent by myself near the end of the week. Well, almost by myself.
Tim and Bill had gotten up predawn to head out to photograph some mountains. Susan was having people over to the house for a meeting. I needed some exercise, and there was gorgeousness all around me. So Susan drew me a map.
It was a great map.
I started out from their house
and headed this way:
Susan was sending me on a walk that could take me to the base of Castle Rock, eventually, although there wasn’t really a trail there. Her map took me from the driveway, to a right on Shafer Lane. I crossed Castle Valley Drive (paved), then continued along Shafer.
Before I got to the more potentially complicated parts of the walk, a yellow dog joined me.
By joining me, I mean she walked with me, but much farther ahead. Occasionally she’d look back to see where I was.
I got to the dry creek (drawn on the map!). I think it was there I decided I had to pee. The dog came back to watch me, from a distance.
I squeezed through the pedestrian passage by the gate (drawn on the map!), the end of the public road. Private property, but permission for walkers and bikers. I got to the fire station (map!) and the gate (map!) that I had to open myself. I did, and I let the dog through with me. She’d been waiting for me there. I closed the gate behind us.
Soon we got to the far paved road, where we crossed into the trailless land. Susan told me to find the dry creek bed and walk up that.
Walking up the creek bed looked like this:
It was a lovely hike, and this is about as close as I got to Castle Rock:
The dog was around, but she’d gotten pretty far ahead of me. I was ready to turn back. I called to her. Nothing. I whistled. Nothing.
I began to worry that this was not my dog, and I’d let her through a gate.
I began to reassure myself that this dog, whom I watched squeeze through other fences and find wide openings in barbed wire, could go anywhere she wanted and did.
Still. I’d let her through that gate, and now I wanted to go home, and where was she?
I started heading back. I called a little. I figured she’d turn up. I had to pee again. I found a place to do that.
And then there she was. How predictable.
She passed me, turned around, sat a respectful distance away, and watched.
“Almost done,” I said to her. “You can pee over this if you want.”
And when I got up and walked away, she did just that.
Proud of herself. I let her dominate. It is her territory, after all.
She crossed the road with me, back through the gate. She chased and dug for small mammals:
She was usually way ahead of me and looked like this:
She passed wherever it was that she joined me and stayed with me all the way home. The last stretch looked like this:
We got to the cool shade of the front porch. Susan’s meeting was still going on. Tim and Bill were back. Tim was napping. I went inside to get a bowl of water for the panting dog.
“There’s a dog that’s been with me all day,” I told Bill. “I gotta give her some water. You don’t mind, do you? I doubt she’ll stay.”
“You mean Ginger?” said Bill.
Everyone knows Ginger. She gets around.
We sat on the porch together for a spell. Shady. I planked, nose to nose with her. When I did, I noticed the staples above her left front paw, the slightly shaved patch. Didn’t seem to be hurting her any.
She rested a bit.
She stayed long enough to be polite. And then she took off.