Blanding (Natural Bridges), Utah

Hey there,

When I arrived in Natural Bridges it was about 10:20 am and was able to find one campsite available.  Of course backing in was required and of course, I have not practiced much.  Sighing heavily, I took out my little cheat sheet and tried.  The whole experience went exactly how it was supposed to go.  When I turned the correct way, the trailer followed… The challenge was, there was not much space to make these maneuvers and though the trailer was turning the way I wanted it to, I was not getting it.  Almost at a full jack-knife position and 25 minutes later, I decided to unhitch and use my dolly (trailer valet)…  This dolly works ok, it’s hard to use and definitely tough to control when you are slightly down-hill or going over a small bump. I tried using my drill but the one I brought doesn’t have enough power so one hand felt like I was lifting the trailer the other tried to move it, good thing I have incredible upper body strength…


In order to appreciate the full distance, the trailer was about maybe 1/3 of the way in the spot it needed to be in, which meant, it was blocking the one-way drive (luckily no one tried to pass while I was having this much fun). So, I would get it about 2 feet and then have to take a break, mind you I had to move it about 14 feet and turn it… Watching this would be like watching a comedy on how many times I started, stopped, adjusted, turned the wrong way, had to turn back the other way, taking a break, listening to Sofie bark saying “hurry up already”, finally after about another 30 min, I get it in the right spot… Then – Crap – its not level, I have to lift one side on a step leveler thing… sigh… trying to do this on the dolly was just me being tired.  Finally, I hitched it back onto the truck, moved it forward, way over the board, then had to back it up on it, went too far again… Finally the third attempt worked… This is a lot harder with one person, as I am running in and out of the truck needing to adjust and see where I am… After all of that, I had a very narrow area to park my truck… Double crap… So I start in head first, caught a large rock and said to myself: “backing it up it is, I can see better…”  With about 2 inches from a large rock that could puncture my tire and about 6 inches from my trailer, I nuzzled myself in this spot and finally stabilized the camper, Sofie is happy laying outside, I have tea as it is freezing outside.. And it starts snowing!  Welcome to Natural Bridges.

If Sofie could speak, I think she would say: “Finally you parked and look – it’s snowing!”

The first day and night was great, cold but I woke up at about 11pm and saw so many stars, it was unbelievable.  This is why I came, not wanting to get up though I told myself the next night I will try the night sky pictures again.  I was able to take 2 – ok looking ones..

15 min exposure
20 min exposure

The days were full of hikes around this area, I made one where I was able to let Sofie run free. She was so excited, running circles around me running up and back, always looking where I was.  It was great to see her having so much fun.  After that hike, I drove to see Valley of the Gods and looking at the map to get there I saw one area with a lot of switchbacks… No big deal, this road was no joke, I had to drive the craziest switch-back, sometimes one lane dirt road with sheer cliffs. I cant remember when I held tighter to my steering wheel.  The views were breathless, or I was just so scared, I couldn’t breathe – who could tell… Scariest 3 miles ever…  I continued down the road, made it to Mexican Hat (named after the upside-down rock that looks like a sombrero) to get some gas and a couple apples.  Then off to Valley of the Gods, it was nice kicking my truck into 4WD, I drove through just a little.  Then back up that scary road…

Scariest drop and no railing!!!

The next days hikes were a lot less dramatic, as the wind picked up, we set off to Mule on Fire Ruin… and then to Salvation Rock… Looking at the forecast, it will be windy, rainy and snowing the next couple nights, so I decided to stay one more night to try to get the clear night sky pictures again.

Mule on Fire
Adoring my hat???
Mule on Fire

Today it is snowing and am not sure what I want to do, hiking seems too cold, staying inside might drive Sofie and me crazy, taking a drive sounds like just a big waste of gas so alas it is 9:28am and I am relaxing. 🙂  After speaking with my new RV neighbor who seriously looks and laughs like Tim Allen from “Home Improvement” and “Last Man Standing”, he loved visiting with Sofie and providing information about the area and what tools I needed to for camper… I swear, I felt like I was on the show.

It snowed, hailed, snowed, rained, snowed and then clear blue sky

Well, it is Saturday and it is nice and sunny. Just like the weather forecast. This morning I hiked down to one the bridges, it was beautiful, the pictures do not give it enough justice.


Then Sofie and I went to Fish and Owl Creek, it was a 15 mile loop which we did 5 of it. 🙂  The scenery was beautiful, of course when we just start out the hike, Sofie is all about it, so excited to get out and here is a picture of Sofie at mile 3, she is less than enthused.  We missed the sign showing – turn here to stay on the trail, and we went about a mile out of the way, finally turning back we saw the “sign” clearly marked if you actually paid any attention to where you were walking… Then we climbed up that for a bit, it was an easier hike than walking on what looked like a dried out waterway… Again, really nice, Sofie trailing behind me wanting to stop every so often to rest under a shaded tree looking at me like “why you have to walk so fast, enjoy where you are” – when really she just wanted more water, which I obliged.  Finally, when she realized we were on our way back to the car, she got her 5th wind and she led me to the car.  It was really cool to see, I would say, follow the trail, take us to our car, she would look up, turn, smell, look at the trail and move on… LOL – When we finally got to the car, she passed it… LOL Good thing my GPS and my mad tracking skills work well.

Sofie happy on this hike… LOL

So tonight is our last night, I am hoping to get some good night pictures, hope they come out ok. And now that I took the pictures, only one is ok… The other three, a dork decided to drive with his headlights on and ruined the picture and the other, it was so windy and the moon was so bright that it looks just bad.  The last one came out ok, not great though. Will have to keep trying,

Way to bright!

Now back to civilization and connectivity!

Bluff, Utah

Hey there,

Constantly pleasantly surprised on how cool and how much beauty America is.  I don’t know why I feel that way, it is no surprise really, just maybe take it for granted when you are not in it.  Living my life, working and loving my loved ones, taking care of the laundry and the dishes, wondering what to cook for dinner or splurge and go out.

Here, I sit on the doorstep of Hairy (my chateau) with no music and Sofie laying beside me thinking, wow, I saw 17 Rooms Ruin in Bluff, Utah (link) (A well-preserved Anasazi Pueblo ruin tucked beneath a desert cliff.) While I left Sofie off leash, she was running up and down the area, just loving it and I was climbing on my hands and knees and sometime my butt on the way down.  But when I was up there, I thought how people lived here, they raised families here, they loved here, the views were amazing to say the least, there is a river not far from the ruin, just simple life, no first world problems of not being able to upload my pictures for my journal, no wondering if I can buy Ziploc bags in the snack size in Bluff or will I have to wait until I am Durango, CO…

After pondering life and what values we put on things, I decided I wanted to be in 4 states at one time, so we trekked over to Four Corners and I did just that. Giggling at myself I thought, simplest things are making me smile.  I haven’t turned the TV on nor have I listened to what is going on in the world, this journey and adventure is about me and what is going on in my head…. Sometimes too much is spinning and keeping me awake, that is what I am working on slowing down.

Four Corners

Sitting here, listening to the wind rustle through the trees  and a wind chime in the distance,  I am at peace and not worried about so many things I used to worry about.  As I spent yesterday reflecting on life and how I want to live it, I thought of loved ones who have passed years ago and just recently, trying to make sure I am living up to my potential – I think I am now.  Maybe not everyday – but most days.

In Bluff, there is a Fort and a long history of settlers.  I loved sitting in Sand Island watching the river and also seeing the Petroglyph Panel and the occasional wildlife…


So many things to see and do and not enough time to do it. Tomorrow I am off to Natural Bridges where I will be out of cell service for the next 3-4 nights…

Next time you hear from me, I will be in Durango, Colorado.

Page, Arizona

Hello me dear,

HOLY COW! That about sums up the day I had in Lower Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend today.  When I first got here I was just about resigned to take walks around the Antelope Canyons, not wanting to leave Sofie alone in the trailer.  I found some pretty cool ones and thought it was perfect, until I met my new RV neighbor where she mentioned that there are some really good dog daycares around here and to have a look as missing out on Antelope Canyon (which is on my bucket list) cause of your loving pet, sounds unheard of… 🙂 I smiled and thought – you know you are right, what the heck am I thinking, sacrificing Antelope Canyon for this 4 legged fur ball, cute and all, but really.

Finding a well reviewed dog daycare, they were glad to take her for the day.  Yeah!!! She will have fun as well.  Then went to reserve my tour for Antelope Canyon, apparently in 2006 they had some fatalities with flash floods and vandalism, so the Navajo community passed some regulations and now you are escorted by a tour guide who can tell you so much information one would not know unless they read a story online. Our guide came with a bonus, he was our photographer at the same time.  He would take our phone so we can have pictures of ourselves and show us how to get some of the amazing colors done by the sun, rocks and angles.  I cant even begin to describe how cool it was to go through there and see amazing shapes after amazing shapes, and when you thought you saw the best one, another surprises you and you are in awe all over again.  It was truly a spiritual experience, one I will never ever ever forget and am so grateful to have taken this trip to see this.

Lower Antelope Canyon
Lower Antelope Canyon
Lower Antelope Canyon
Lower Antelope Canyon

After the 1.5 hour amazingness, I went over to Horseshoe Bend.  Unfortunately it was extremely windy, I mean crazy windy (15-20 mph), I am glad I didn’t take Sofie with me, she would have made me so nervous about falling.  Still was amazing to see, it made me laugh, there are definitely a lot of people who are not afraid of heights – they were right at the edge with the wind gusts. I am not that brave or crazy.

Horseshoe Bend

All in all, two main bucket list items I was able to check off and I felt on top of the world and so thankful.  Then reality, running to WalMart and Safeway before I had to go pick up Sofie.  I will admit, though I feel slightly guilty, I decided to have lunch and a beer without her at a real restaurant, it felt like I was cheating on her going most the day without her, I am sure I will get over it and did within a minute of seeing her…

The next day, I decided to not ignore the huge elephant in my chateau “Hairy”… The water pump wasn’t working as advertised. Of course, I have been doing a couple things wrong, like not filling the hot water tank, putting the pump on when I was connected to city water, the list apparently goes on.  I went to a local RV repair shop and apparently the pump just needed to be adjusted, what that meant was getting to it and puling all the bedding and whatever I threw on the bed off so Mike from Southwest auto and RV could access it to put his finger on the pump thingy… He then (half scolding me) taught me what is it I was supposed to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again… Like – use hot water… LOL… Lame.

Since the morning was wasted, I just put Hairy back in her spot and decided to take a smaller hike than I had planned.  It was beautiful,  after spending 30 minutes trying to find the office to buy a permit, I was ready.  Another hiker said it was worth the hike, it was like Antelope Canyon just free and I could bring the dog.  He was not totally wrong, though the didn’t go as deep as Lower Antelope Canyon, it was just as beautiful and colorful.

After meeting some great new neighbors and touring their 5th wheel (which was just beautiful), they invited me to a BBQ party they are having tomorrow night.  I am sitting here in my awesome chateau, my brother-in-law named Hairy, in candle light listening to Andrea Bocelli radio and drinking a glass of wine, I am happy where I am right now, mind body and soul. I try to stay true to myself and always think of the saying – Life begins at the end of your comfort zone, and right now – I truly believe that.

I wouldn’t have said that after the panic attack I had earlier today when I saw the balances of my bank accounts, but after I calmed down and remembered I am pretty much debt free (aside the house and Hairy), I can do this.

The last morning in Page consisted of Sofie waking me up at 5:30, went on a hike up the rocks behind our site. Then packed 95% of the trailer and headed to Upper Antelope Canyon.  The awes and oohhs were almost comparable.  It was so beautiful, I wasn’t able to get as many different colors, but the way it just made you feel in there, it was special.

Upon returning, packed, gassed up and now off to Bluff, UT for 2 nights then hopefully Natural Bridges.

This is the end of my comfort zone… and I am loving every moment! The easy and the hard.

Love you always!

Baker, Nevada (Great Basin National Park)

Hey there,

I hope your day was as amazing as mine was.  After taking a long time to get here (5.5 hour drive) I finally made it and of course arriving at the same time as three other people, so I just relaxed and waited for the owner to finish with all the others.  Since I had driven about 1.5 hours longer than I wanted to, I struggled putting the camper together, dropping things, forgetting to turn on the water and wondering why the water isn’t going…

But when I finally finished and made dinner, we took a walk while the sun was setting and finally the clouds parted.  It was a beautiful sunset and took to see some old deserted areas.  The mountains of Great Basin was to the left of me and the plains of Baker to the right.  Beautiful in there own ways.


I woke in the middle of the night (10 pm) and saw the start night so excited, I couldn’t see many stars as the lights of the RV park disturbed that.  I made a pact with myself that the next night, I would go out somewhere to see them. So I did, and of course spoke with my sister and listened to the music the whole time. On my way there, I saw a herd of about 25 deer crossing the street, it was beautiful. Then I went to an archeological site (recommended by locals) and holy cow, not only was it cold and windy, but the amount of stars, it lit up the night.  I tried taking pictures of the stars and totally suck at it.  Need to work it more (maybe in Natural Bridges).  Regardless of my inability to take a good photo, it was so beautiful and stayed talking to my sister until I saw a shooting star, I was gone by 9:15, Sofie of course just stayed in the truck completely not interested in such beauty. I am still working on her excitement with all the things we see.

We woke somewhat early and was out to hike by 10 am, going to the visitor center first the Ranger said there were many walks I can take with Sofie, just not on any trails. As long as I stayed on a road it was just fine.  So taking a small walk through Grey Cliffs, I decided to go around the park and walk through Strawberry Creek.  Apparently there was a fire there in 2016 which pretty much wiped out the trees and as it was 2(ish) years later, you can see and appreciate the snow growth/rebirth of the area.  I took many pictures here are just a couple.

Strawberry Creek
Strawberry Creek
Strawberry Creek
Strawberry Creek
Strawberry Creek
Strawberry Creek
Strawberry Creek
Strawberry Creek

After about 5 miles of hiking, Sofie was done. We relaxed at the site and prepared to leave the next day.  Our RV neighbor was having trouble earlier that day and needed jumper cables, so I left mine with them and when I returned they were so thankful. They rented their RV and asked if I wanted a couple things as the RV rental company would just throw them away.  Not knowing what they had – I said, “sure”.  I made out like a bandit, new pots, utensils, can opener (which I was grateful for cause I forgot mine and was wondering how I was going to open my tuna cans), veggie peeler, better wine opener than I had… So much stuff.  They left early the following morning and made sure to tell me how grateful they were cause they would have been stuck out there missing their flight if it weren’t for the jumper cables – I saved their lives!!! Now for those who know me, I exaggerate a bit, and I am sure I didn’t save the world, but I was glad to help and I doubt I single handily saved them, but I took the compliment and pumped up my chest just a little more that day. 🙂


Now I am ready to leave Baker on the America’s Loneliest highway 50 where I only saw 2 cars on the road for about 100 miles, cows passing the road, horses running free, unfortunately large road kill, and some of the prettiest country side. Some would say it was boring to drive through it… It wasn’t bad, the wide open natural space.  I loved it.

Now onto Zion National Park.

Always,  Haydee

Hagerman, Idaho

Hey there,

Wow, what a great day.  It started with my RV neighbor letting me know that he caught 10 catfish and asked if I wanted one.


So, in the morning of course I call my brother-in-law and ask him how to clean it, then had him on the phone while I was doing it with gloves on. Wow, catfish have a lot of crap in them (normal body parts) – after about 40 -45 min I finally finished filet’ing the poor thing.  Then – took a nice hot shower, that alone was worth the RV park fee. Spent a good amount of time catching up with my Papa and realized – I was supposed to be checked out by 11 and it was 10:41… Nothing like not caring about time.  As I packed up, my RV neighbors brought over homemade pickled beets which looks amazing.  Then the husband came over and said “my wife forgot to give you my life changing baked beans”… WOW –  catfish, beets and beans – dinner!!!

Drive to Hagerman, Idaho

IMG_1154I did the whole 135 mile drive to Miracle Hot Springs, I parked on top of the drive and headed down, they were sold out as was the partner RV park.  I remember seeing two other sites – one looked nice clean and promising and the other, just shady! I called the first one and headed back up there… It was beautiful, the waterfalls just gushing out from the rocks… I met some great people at this site, one couple and their dog Dixie were from the area and he gave me a bit of a history lesson about the area, the geological events, everything – it was great.

The other RV neighbors were funny, I saw them earlier peaking over their site looking at my “cute” trailer.  So later while throwing the trash, I went over to say hi.  They were on a fishing trip, caught 21 yellow trout.  Inviting me to hang out and try some, I couldn’t say no.  The trout was caught hours ago – so delicious.  They loved Sofie and Sofie obliged by giving the women there lots of kisses and leaning on their legs (she still is more shy around men, I assume cause I am rarely around them… hint hint…).

I met about 4 of them (men), two were with the women on the trip and the others were just funny. After about 2 hours of talking, I decided to allow one to be friends on Facebook, he reminds me of my cousin Ritchie. What cracked me up was he was talking about his ex-wife and said: “well you know how it is with ex’s…” I laughed, I said  “actually I don’t”, he quickly looked to my hand then I explained I have never been married, then he asked – “want to let me be your first ex-husband” LMAO – I just had to laugh. And some wonder why I don’t date…

I originally planned on staying in Antelope Island State Park however changed that plan to go to maybe stay in Wells, NV. When I arrived there after 2.5 hours, I decided, maybe I will just keep going to a park near Great Basin National Park.  I looked and there seems to be some pretty cool hikes so I drove that extra 3 hours. Driving more than 4 hours is torture for me.  The highway was a 2 lane, 70 MPH. It was gusty winds so I was happy at about 55 MPH, which every 18-wheeler did not appreciate and they would get so close to me then pass me going a good 70 MPH.  I get that, however, I was not about to chance it with my life and Sofie’s – so I just listened to my audiobook and zoned everyone else out.

In the middle of a Celtic war happening in Ireland with vampires and witches and a sorcerer, I get through the mountains and passes averaging about 7700 elevation. I finally get to Baker and the RV site.  The pictures, I think might have been taken a while ago as it does not look like the website, I started leveling the trailer, tired, I started making mistakes, redo’ing things a couple times (and that is why I don’t like to drive more than 4 hours). Finally, dinner is made, wine is good and Sofie finally ate herself, I took a small walk around the area and I see the beauty in the mountains and the area. The sunset was beautiful.

I will be here 2 nights, hope to reorganize the trailer, get rid of the stupid extra crate I have been tripping over a million times 🙂  It’s funny – getting ready for the trip, I tried to think of what I needed and what I didn’t.  Some of what I brought, somehow I don’t think I will ever use… I have a list of lessons learned and will share them at the end of this journey.

Well it is now 9:27 and it is time to be with myself 🙂 Night.

Love you – me

Homeland, Idaho

Hey there,

Well these last couple days have been a blessing, as I believe everyday is.  My drive into Idaho was fun: I past the 45th parallel (half way between the North Pole and the Equator); entered the Mountain Time Zone; found out that Idaho and part of Oregon are the largest onion distributors; there are wineries here; among many other things.

Snake River RV Site 34

In reviewing where I thought I would stay which was just off the Interstate, I decided to change to another location off the Snake River.  This was a great decision. The Snake River RV Park is clean, pull thru’s are on grass right on the Snake River. The water (with catfish and bass) slowly passes by while birds are chirping and just on the other side is a barn with many horses.  Sounding magical, it is until the wind shifts in the afternoon and suddenly you have the fresh aroma of cows for about 15 min.  If I can handle that 15 min, I realized I am in a great spot with just me and my thoughts.


When I arrived, I met my RV neighbor who was really nice and they gave me a recommendation to try Passport America where you can get 50% off all participating RV Parks.  I checked where they were and it seems worth it to subscribe for these two months. If I had known, I would have already saved me the price of membership.


Sofie also made a friend when the back RV neighbor was playing with his drone.  His name was Rob I.  We talked for a bit, told him I was on a journey around America and he had a 1990 Airstream Classic.  After he gave me tour his camper, I invited him to join me at my campfire to talk and enjoy a glass of wine.  I had a great time, I forgot what it was like to talk to a guy so I stumbled a bit and probably sounded like I was stumbling, but he was gracious, kept his distance and in the end had a great night just talking about what I will do next.

That conversation has resonated with me all day, what will I do next, what are my plans, how do I want to live my life? Not that I expect to have all the answers at the end of this adventure, I hope I am closer.  I do know I will be a changed person. Just can’t wait to see what changes and what surprises me.


I decided to hike today, wanted a good long easy hike where Sofie and I can be tired at the end of the day.  That was not to be.  I found the hiking area, no problem, there were about 5-6 different hiking trails you can take so I chose one and after about half mile and scaling a mountain and sliding a bit cause of all the loose rock, I turned around.  Found a nice easier one which took me to a waterfall.  Sofie had fun in the water though I believe it was a bit too cold for her as she kept jumping out.

I had heard of another hiking area, but couldn’t find it so my whole 3 miles was going to be it.  Remembering my epic fail of making coffee this morning, I decided to head into town and look for a Wal-Mart.  While on the way, I found their wine country (scenic drive).  I took note of the location and realized they have grocery store Wal-Marts and regular Wal-Mart.  Accidentally finding the grocery store one, I started driving to a Bed Bath and Beyond while finding the real Wal-Mart.  Of course, they have no pour-overs and only French Press’ (good thing I have 5 of them at home safely in the pantry).  Purchasing this and wanting so badly to buy the Pioneer Woman’s whole collection, I left Wal-Mart for some relaxation and wine.


The winery was really pretty (Ste Chapelle), great setting.  I bought a couple bottles and decided to relax with a cheese and meat plate at the camp site.

And now, drinking their Chardonnay listenin to Ed Sheeran iHeart Radio with my new table cloth and meat and cheese, I realized yesterday and today was perfect, I didn’t force anything, these happy accidents, great people I am meeting and Sofie nearly tripping me while trying to scale a mountain just for a picture is what I needed.


Tomorrow is hot springs, I hope to find one and see what they fuss is about 🙂

Decision made for US Driving Tour

Hello my love,

Wow, so it has been one week when I decided to do the driving tour across America.  It’ll be myself and my dog Sofie.  At 45 single, I realize there are a lot more things to consider when making this decision than just deciding to take a trip around the country. The consideration of safety in this day and age is pretty at the top of my list.  Don’t know why, but with listening to the news today, it is a different world.

Outside of that, I have been spending the last week putting together a packing list.  Knowing I will be leaving in about a week, I spent most of last week ordering from Amazon what I needed.  Most of the stuff was supposed to arrive and now they are telling me the box is lost, so I spent this evening working with Amazon to track, refund and re-order the items.

Now, next week, I will be preparing for the trip:

  1. Clothes: figure out what I need to wear and remove all the clothing I have in the camper and re-pack it (2 bins and 2 baskets)
  2. Food: only pack for a week in fresh food. Use the pantry I purchased and pack it
  3. Big items: outdoor kitchen, pantry, 2-burner stove, mountain bike, generator, fishing gear, hammocks, small kitchen burners,

Well, now that it is 11pm, it is time for bed.

Love you and remember – Life begins at the end of your comfort zone!