We left bright and early on Thursday morning, and started off to our first destination, the Grand Canyon! We wanted to get a good amount of time here, since both of us have never been. We had a pet friendly hotel room lined up, and once we settled in, we headed into the park. It was probably the most surreal place I have ever been to. I have seen it on television and in movies before, but once you see it in person, the grandiose nature of it is just mind-baffling. In fact many of the views we took in seemed almost fake. Beauty like the Grand Canyon has to be hard to rival. It was my favorite stop on the trip, and we were able to spend 4 hours in the evening, catching the sunset, and another couple hours in the morning, catching the sunrise.
Day #2 was spent in our car. It was the longest day we had in the car, but we were trying to reach Pagosa Springs, Colorado, where we would be spending most of our time. We made the day interesting by taking the "scenic route." Even though it added on some extra time, it was SO worth it. We drove Route 170 through Monument Valley in Utah. The famous monuments have been a back drop in many movies, the most famous one that comes to mind is Forest Gump. We got some really cool shots of the famous desolate road. We also took a quick jaunt to check out the 4 corners, where Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico meet. This was a total joke, and as you can tell by the sign we didn't stay long. We had a quick pit stop, utilized the restrooms and didn't look back. Further down the road, we hit a bird, or should I say a bird flew into our window. Suicide mission is what Tim called it. I screamed when it happened, and felt so bad that we probably just killed a helpless little bird.
When we arrived in Pagosa Springs, we were tired, grumpy, and smelly. Plus we were staying in a condo that did not allow pets, so we were on edge with Bacon. After check in, I realized that I had left Bacon's pet bag at home. How in the heck were we going to sneak him in? We figured it out, and rolled with the punches. Lucky for us, Bacon is pretty easy going, and doesn't mind being stuffed into a small bag!
I didn't realize how hard it was going to be to acclimate myself to the elevation change. Pagosa Springs was around 7,000 feet elevation, and most of our activities planned were above 8,000 feet. My initial thought was I could handle this. Boy was I wrong. I figured that out on my first morning at the gym. I could barely work out for more than 30 minutes. The crisp air hurt my lungs, and I had a terrible headache. I knew it was going to take a couple of days for me to acclimate, so we decided to try an easy hike for our first day.
It didn't turn out to be easy. When we finally made it to the trail head after driving 45 minutes on a dirt road, the north facing mountain had snow on it! We attempted to hike this, but with Tim's delicate knee and Bacon's trouble waking, we scratched the idea. Instead we found a nearby pond and did some fishing.
Every single night we cooked in our condo. Our condo was the most incredible place. We had a full dinning room, living room, kitchen with island, laundry room, spa tub in the master bath and huge bedroom. The living was easy as they say, and we spent every night watching movies and eating delicious home cooked meals. I had fun making dinner with Tim every night, the only issue was I didn't get any wine. Boo!
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were full of more hiking, exploring and Mountain Biking. The day we rented the Mountain bikes, we kenneled Bacon. He was scared to death to be left at this kennel with all the big dogs. I was sort of scared for him too, thinking that they would not mix the big and small dogs, but when we picked him up that evening, here is what we saw:
Unfortunately by Tuesday, I was still not acclimated. I was having trouble breathing, and my heart was racing. We were worried about the baby, and didn't think twice when we made the decision to leave early. The baby comes first and I could tell my body was just not responding the way it should. So, we packed up and checked out on Wednesday, two days early.
Because this changed our itinerary, we decided to spend 1 night in Moab, Utah and visit Arches National Park and Canyon Lands National Park. Then we would spend another night in Mesquite, Nevada. After Mesquite, we would head home.
I don't want to bore all of you with the details of these last two days, but here are my thoughts if I could go back and do it again. I would skip Canyon Lands, and go straight to Arches. Canyon Lands is just a smaller version of the Grand Canyon. Arches is INSANE. The beauty and color of the rock formations is unlike anything I have ever seen. There are a ton of hikes in this park that are relatively easy. I wish we had more time to hike them all; instead we only were able to hike two. The town of Moab is adorable. It's charming and quaint with friendly people and cute shops. Tim made a promise to me to go back next summer (post baby) so we can do an overnight rafting trip and explore more of Arches.
Once we left Utah, it didn't take long for the scenery to change to desert. There is something still beautiful about the desert, and I love the dry heat. Mesquite, Nevada, served its purpose: a comfortable bed, clean shower and pet friendly accommodations. I can't forget about the people watching: the old lady hooked up to an oxygen tank smoking two packs of cigarettes, or the mullets that pranced around the lobby/casino.
There really is nothing sweeter than home sweet home. I missed our bed, our cat, Milo, and of course all of our normal comforts.
Would I do it again?? Well....hmmmm.....ummmmmm....YES! I think doing one of these trips has to be experienced at least once in your life. This trip produced a life time of unforgettable memories for me and Tim. What is the most special thing to me about this trip was the feeling that our little baby was with us the entire way. I know it's silly, but I like to think that when he/she is old enough, I will get to share the stories from this roadtrip with him/her. I will remember this trip as the start of a new chapter for Tim and I and our little one....
.....and no, we never got caught with Bacon in our condo at Pagosa Springs....we are stealth like that....