*originally posted to Facebook on 7/23/16
I packed up the dogs and drove north yesterday to the painted desert.Melissa had a very special place in her heart for the blue mesa section of the park. I went to feel closer to her, and to celebrate something that she loved. We had a great, restorative, time on our hike complete with a late afternoon thunderstorm.
Melissa left me with two legacies, animals and nature. Both are helping rebuild my spirit. The dogs were excited to be out. Maybe a little too excited as evidenced by one smelly 'accident' in the backseat.
This was the longest car trip they've ever been on, and was the first time seeing pine trees for both Laika and Betty. It was the first time in the painted desert for all three. I'd like to think I expanded their minds yesterday. Hard to say, they slept most of the time.
I've been told that this is a 'new phase' in my life. I don't know if you can call something that has only being going on for three weeks a 'phase'. I'd like to think not, but know otherwise. This trip, and hopefully many more to come, helped me feel closer to my core self. Helped me feel a little bit normal again.