Faith vs Fear

Faith vs Fear

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Road Trip Report

We had a wildly successful first empty-nester trip over Memorial Day weekend.
The day before we left David had a major struggle with pre-trip anxiety. He always has a panic attack before we go anywhere outside of Salt Lake Valley and usually tells me that we can't/won't/shouldn't be going. He worked through it by going on a walk along the Jordan with the dogs. Sadly, Riley bolted off just before David could put his leash on after a swim, and ended up half a mile from David at a busy road, and was killed by a car. We were heartbroken. All through the weekend we felt peace and comfort in the loss of Riley, and David made it through the weekend without any more anxiety or major depressive episodes. We felt blessed and grateful.

Everyone else who had planned to go with us bailed at the last minute, but we were OK with that. It was important and healing for us to be by ourselves, talking and mourning as we needed to. We also enjoyed being by ourselves, coming and going as we pleased, and exploring little-traveled side roads. Usually that gets us into trouble, but this time we managed not to get stuck or lost (well, only a little, one time).

We love going to the desert in the early summer. The weather was still cool, and with recent rain, desert flowers were out in full force.

Cactus in bloom

David and I like to camp in out-of-the-way rough camps, and the first night we found a beautiful campsite near a river bottom. David had a good time fishing.

The next day we went to Goblin Valley and had a great time hiking and climbing in the rain. The weather forecast all week had been 80s and sunny. They were wrong. It was more like 70s and showery, but we decided we weren't going to let a little thing like rain destroy our vacation.

Goblin Valley

The cliffs at Goblin Valley

It was raining when we drove through Capital Reef, so we kept on going.

View of Capital Reef area from a mountaintop scenic view stop

We found a beautiful place to camp near the little town of Boulder in the Grand Staircase Monument. I was just starting to cook dinner, and David had started to put up a new tent that we bought from Kevin, but hadn't put the rain cover over it yet (he decided to go fish in the creek nearby instead), when it started to rain. The rain turned into a downpour! So there we were: David trying to put the rain cover on the tent in a driving rainstorm (it didn't work: we hadn't figured out how to put the tent up, and the weight of the raincover filled with rainwater caused the tent to collapse with most of our camp gear inside! Fortunately, our bedding was safe and dry in our SUV) and I was trying to cook pork chops in a pan that filled with water faster than I could empty it out and keep cooking. I'm not a great cook anyway, but this was by far the worst thing I have ever cooked: soggy, cold pork chops. But we choked it down, then sat in our car, looked at the soggy mess and laughed ourselves to sleep.

The weather sort of cleared up off and on the next day, and we went on to Escalante and Calf Creek Falls, then over to Kodachrome Basin and Bryce Canyon.

Calf Creek Falls

Kodachrome Basin

Bryce Canyon

We camped by a beautiful mountain lake called Pine Lake, where David caught a 3-5 pound trout! He was a happy camper.
Pine Lake

We were reluctant to join the rat race of the freeway, so we slowly made our way home on the backroads and enjoyed looking at the small towns along the way home.

We were able to relax and reconnect with each other in a way that hasn't happened very often. We noticed that David's moods were much better, and when he could feel himself slipping into depression because of the loss of Riley, he was able to pull himself out of it. It was wonderful to have some time with a well David. 

We're planning on doing some more trips like this one by ourselves.


  1. I am so very sorry about the loss of your dog, Riley. Dogs sometimes just take it into their heads to run; I know ours have.
    Your photos are beautiful--I just can't get over the beauty of Utah and Colorado! God is surely the greatest Artist!
    Blessings, Aimee
    PS: Good luck on your upcoming test, TY to your friend Sean for the comments fix!

  2. Thanks Aimee. We're slowly recovering from the loss. Being out in all that beautiful, breathtaking country really helped. It helps put things in perspective, even with all the rain!
    I'm also excited to have the comments fixed.

  3. It sounds like you guys had a lot of fun and needed time without the kids to tag along. Ha ha on side roads and getting stuck. Even the tent. Thats just how it goes when you camp with our family huh. I hate camping at predesginated sites. We never did that as kids. I love lots of trees around a clearing. We hope to join you guys camping maybe in July or August. Im glad dad could enjoy himself and you guys could reconnect.


Welcome! I'm so glad you dropped by. I'm always happy to hear what you have to say.