Golden Valley, AZ (9:00 AM Pacific) to Durango, CO (6:30 PM Mountain). 469 miles.
Notables: (for singing loud) Wailin’ Jennys Live
Melanie, my host in Golden Valley, lassoed me as I was loading the car, and we ended up gabbing for an hour in a sort of open-air living room; old couch, recliner, and side table under a trellis in the front yard. Magnificent view and another magical connection.
I cut loose before she could give me a tour of the property, though. Like Mr. Frost, I had promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep. Miles to go before I sleep.
So off I went across Arizona, through Hopi, Navajo and Ute land. There, buttes and mesas dominate; brick-red sedimentary formations. Sometimes ponies pastured on top of them, which made for an unbelievably cinematic silhouette against the cloudy sky.
I spent most of the day on a two-lane highway with no rest stops and long patches of nothing between gas stations. We women of a certain age don’t do well without regular “rest” stops. Luckily, I grew up on a farm and knew how to duck into a cow path off the road. Some skills never die.
I had texted my friend, Robert, and my Durango hosts about being late. Robert said not to worry. I never heard back from my hosts. So, when I got to their drive, and the gate was chained and locked, I fretted. Soon, Ginger drove down the lane toward me. They thought I was coming the next night. What worried me even more was that Robert said the same thing; he thought I was coming the next day and couldn’t have dinner with me tonight.
Did I get my dates mixed up? It would have been so easy to do with all these B&Bs to keep straight. I had a text exchange with my sister earlier in the day, and she noted that I didn’t give myself much down-time or slack in my schedule. True. And no place for fuck-ups.
All this really threw me. Even though Robert and I made plans to meet for coffee tomorrow morning, even though Ginger apologized and said they’d looked at their AirBNB calendar wrong, I had to sit in my car for a while and bawl.
I know I’m tired, which makes me more reactive. It also makes me more rigid (Go With The Flow went). I felt choked by disappointment and embarrassed by weeping in front of strangers. And really bipolar.
A teensy part of me watched all of it happen. That part cooked Ramen noodles. That part talked to Ginger and Phil about their old dog, Zeke. That part took a deep breath and held the exhaustion tenderly. That part of me is okay.
It’s getting bigger by the minute, that teensy part. Pretty soon, all of me will be okay.