|Double Rainbow in New Mexico - no pot, though, and no gold...|
All right. Let's start out with a few cliches. You ought to be used to this by now :
"Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home." - J. H. Payne
"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in." - Robert Frost
"A man's home is wherever he prospers." - Aristophanes
"Home is where you can say anything you like because nobody is listening to you anyway." - Anonymous
Ah. I like that last one best, since it describes this blog so well. When I am here I am at home. Anyway, favorites are a matter of reciprocal loyalty. And judging from the comments section, Anonymous is by far my most faithful Reader.
Home. Today I am writing in one of them about driving one of them back to another one of them. Texas. Though were it not for a doctor's appointment for surgery on my hand, I might wander further west, toward that ocean inappropriately called the Pacific, along the shore of which there is every chance I might prosper.
That would be another.
When you buy an RV, you become a man of many homes, and returning eventually seems much like setting out. You may also become chronically confused about where you "belong".
Like most people, I settle for thumb rules.
Today I staggered out of bed with my eyes glued shut, reached around blindly and yet easily found my glasses, managed to get coffee started without fully waking up. Then I took a short walk - crunch, crunch, crunch - out into the nearby desert to take a whiz in the full bare sunlit glory of boxer shorts and sandals, without getting snakebit or freaking out any neighbors. A place where you can get away with all that is a rough definition of home.
It'll do for me.
But I have promises to keep, so it's back to Texas. Naturally I prefer the scenic route. I saw a place on the map called "Natural Bridges", and nearby the "Valley of the Gods". How could I resist?
South of Monticello I ran into fog and rain. Clouds actually floating just a few feet off the ground. The sky was inauspicious.
Natural Bridges National Monument is a small place, with a narrow one way road running round to the various sights. Limited parking at view points. The campground was designed for tenters, but was stuffed full of small RVs. I barely got through there in my 22 foot Daze and 16 foot trailer. All in all, not a place for big rigs. Be warned.
Speaking of which, the Ranger there warned me away from the road south to Muley Point. It was a good paved road, he said, except for about 3 miles of gravel switchbacks. "Right along there it is only nominally a two lane road. And the drop is spectacular." But I have been many close places in the Daze, so I was confident we could make it. Only 3 miles of it. Besides, I like the sound of "spectacular".
When we got there it started raining hard. There was a "last chance" turnout. I hesitated there a while.
|The Valley of the Gods?|
Then I started down, hoping not to meet another fool like me. The drop was sheer. The road was wet. I was very aware of the weight of the brakeless trailer behind me. Half way down I made a shaky stop to take another picture.
Whew. Made it. No gods encountered on the way down, either. Nor in the muddy valley below.
I can live with that.
I can live with that.