I’m a Head Out West

“Well I’m packing up my game and I’m a head out west…” –Kid Rock

I think Brian loved the painted desert most of all

I think Brian loved the painted desert most of all

My lovely fiancé and I went on an epic journey out west late last month.  Thanks to the generosity and kindness of my in-laws, we were able to drive instead of hop a flight to meet them at Disneyland.  This way, I was able to share with Brian places that I loved but that he had never seen before.

We loved the Painted Desert.  Brian especially liked the ruins of the living quarters for the Puerco Pueblo, and the pictographs they left on the rocks.  He saw his first antelope, and about a thousand petrified logs.

We loved the Painted Desert. Brian especially liked the ruins of the living quarters for the Puerco Pueblo, and the pictographs they left on the rocks. He saw his first antelope, and about a thousand petrified logs.

It’s never been easy for us to go on vacation, not with two ferrets, three cats—one of which is special needs—and a goldfish at home.  It was harder now that we live with my folks.  My dad is blind, and my mom has health issues as well.  That’s why we moved in.  Yes, we wanted to go on this epic vacation, but at the same time, my mom doesn’t need to be trying to drag garbage cans to the curb either.  Thanks to loving family and friends, we had someone come to the house every other day to check in and take care of the big things.  My mom was kind enough to take care of Boris, the special needs cat who needed attention every day, and I knew he’d be in good hands.  Both me and my mom would be crazy cat ladies if we could get away with it.

I got to show Brian where I lived when I worked for the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City Utah, and show him the stage where the shows took place.

I got to show Brian where I lived when I worked for the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City Utah, and show him the stage where the shows took place.

Brian and I packed up and headed off on a twelve day, 4,400 mile adventure.  There’s a reason Brian and I are still together after twenty-two years.  Most people would be daunted by spending over four thousand miles in a car with someone.  We had a ball.  Sure, there were a couple snippy times, usually at the end of the day when we were tired and hungry, but we had an awesome time and enjoyed to the fullest having some time where it was just the two of us, speeding through the wilds of western America.

Interstate 70, winding it's way through the San Rafael Swell in Utah.  It's kind of like you took the Painted Desert, squashed it together with the Grand Canyon, and then let people drive through it.

Interstate 70, winding it’s way through the San Rafael Swell in Utah. It’s kind of like you took the Painted Desert, squashed it together with the Grand Canyon, and then let people drive through it.

Brian had never been farther west than International Falls, Minnesota; which is slightly more west than when he went to his family reunion in Arkansas.  He’d never seen the Rockies, the Painted Desert, or the Grand Canyon.  He’s a skilled poker player, but he’d never been to Vegas.  He loved everything we saw, and everyplace we went to.

Brian loved Las Vegas.  The Caesar's palace poker room loved him, and we left Vegas with quite a bit more money than we came in with.

Brian loved Las Vegas. The Caesar’s palace poker room loved him, and we left Vegas with quite a bit more money than we came in with.

It was a bit of a whirlwind trip, but we saw so much along the way.  We headed to Anaheim on the southern route, taking I-70 to I-40, which plays tag with the historic Route 66.  We loved the history of Route 66, stayed in a couple motels and ate in a couple restaurants whose buildings had been part of that era.  We even went to a small Route 66 museum and drank in the history.

Then our Arizona adventure began, and we had a long but fun day of sightseeing.

It was hailing pretty hard when we arrived at the Grand Canyon.  Our first view was in the fog.  45 minutes later, after enjoying the elk, crows, and cactus around the canyon, it cleared enough to get a good look.

It was hailing pretty hard when we arrived at the Grand Canyon. Our first view was in the fog. 45 minutes later, after enjoying the elk, crows, and cactus around the canyon, it cleared enough to get a good look.

We had no trouble on the way out, wonderful weather, and enjoyed every bit of our journey to Disneyland.

On the road in Arizona, heading for Anaheim.

On the road in Arizona, heading for Anaheim.

 

Join us next time, same bat time, same bat channel, for Disneyland!

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About JulianneQJohnson

I am a writer in Indiana who lives with two cats, two ferrets, and one fiance. I enjoy cheap coffee and expensive chocolate.
This entry was posted in photography, San Rafael Swell, The Grand Canyon, The Painted Desert, Vacations and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to I’m a Head Out West

  1. judy says:

    I see that you all loved the same things I did when I visited. But I wonder does it bother you also that last week it was announced that trump reopened a uranium mine that borders the grand canyon. that he plans to remove protections for national monuments of which Utah is loaded with and national parks. That today the interior Secretary has removed the ban that Obama put in place making ivory and trophies once again legal. Paving the way for big game hunters to kill rare and endangered species to stick their head on a wall. It was a nightmare the idiot was even elected but it is becoming apparent that Americans are not considered of any significance at all anymore. Everything being done in d.c. the past month.the budget that took huge attacks on Medicare and Medicaid in order to pay for the huge tax allowances for the millionaires and billionaires closely followed by the tax bill that takes away most of the tax breaks for common citizens and Sr citizens and hands more to the rich and to corporations. They even attached the repeal of our medical insurance to the tax bill. Obama care might have had some problems to be worked out but it had a whole lot of good especially not allowing ins companies to deny pre existing conditions. There is no respect for the environment or the animal and plant species. You have to be blind to not see climate change is real. He and his d.c. comrades in arms have taken over to the point that it appears to be the monarchy Putin was so eager to see put in place. If you aren’t rich and can’t buy off powerful rich people and buy and steal votes then you don’t count your opinion doesn’t count. Everyone that’s in d.c
    Now is there for personal gain. There is no telling how much trump has stolen and stashed into his offshore accounts already. But the destruction of America at this rate is just around the corner now. And what amazes me even more is that we seemed to be willing to just let them take over without a peep. I wish for my youth back so I could wake people up and lead charges against the cruelties and indignities being forced on us. To the rape of our lands and our very existence. And I am reminded of an old poster of a native American Indian as he looks down upon this land with a tear trickling down his face.

    • Back when I went on this trip, there was no agenda of ending all the protections for our beautiful wild parks and out endangered animals. Unfortunately, when the people in power are only concerned with making money they have no interest in protecting our land and animals.

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