Southwest, May 8 -- June 1, 2018

In early May we took off with the doggies and the trailer for a trip to Santa Fe, NM. The reason for the trip was to pick up some “Hatch” chili powder. We knew we could order it on-line, but a Santa Fe trip had been on our calendar for several years. We made it to Needles, CA, the first day and was met with 108 degree temps when we checked into the campground. Early the next morning we left for Holbrook, AZ, with several nights’ stay to visit the Petrified Forest N. P., the Painted Desert, and to photograph a Route 66 classic motel.

We spent a week in Santa Fe enjoying New Mexican cuisine, roaming the plaza and downtown areas, and a sunset trek to Chimayo, NM, the “Lourdes of North America.” After a week in Santa Fe we drove into eastern Utah to Monticello, UT, a quiet and sleepy town between Moab and Monument Valley. We stayed in town because we could not get campground reservations closer to Moab. This short stay enabled us to visit the “Needles District” of Canyonlands N. P., Natural Bridges N. M., and tour some of the new Bears Ears N. M.

Our next stop was Dead Horse Point S. P. were we spent three nights in a campground with no water or sewer hook-ups, but it did have electrical and flush toilets. Despite un-cooperative clouds and weather we did enjoy our stay. From Moab we began the trek home, and with the Memorial Day weekend fast approaching we were very fortunate to get a campsite in Cedar City, UT, for the entire long weekend. While there, we day-tripped to Zion N.P., Bryce Canyon N.P., and Cedar Breaks N.M.

On Memorial Day we remained in camp resting. Our intent was to drive through Las Vegas at night to avoid daytime traffic and the heat. The freeway through Vegas is still under construction and traffic was still slow at 10 PM, but did move along. We ran into very slow traffic at the top of Clark Mountain just inside of California, 40 minutes to drive 12 miles. We spent the night in a truck lay-by at Cima Road in the Mojave Desert, and the next morning arriving in Lone Pine, CA, where we spent a few days to photograph the June full moonrise in the Alabama Hills.

This late spring trip was Abigail’s last camping trip. She enjoyed herself but had difficulty walking in some of the campgrounds that had paving gravel everywhere. We celebrated Molly’s 9th birthday at Dead Horse Point and looked forward to Abby’s 14th on June 5. When we got home we had a health check-up with her vet and discovered a tumor on her liver. We had another 37 days with our girl. The girls took us on walks most evenings after it cooled as they looked forward them. We will remember this trip for a long time.