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Colorado to New Hampshire Travel Log 2020

Updated: Jan 13, 2022

I left my Colorado home on September 17, 2020:

I finally said “goodbye” to Colorado yesterday! It has been 27 years of awesome!! One of the first friends I made here said he remembered how excited I was to move to Colorado and was happy to say that he watched me do Colorado well. I have to agree!

I was blessed with so many adventures in skiing, hiking, biking, rafting, 14ers, camping, and pretty much anything Colorado had to offer outdoors. I had several careers that allowed me to be a part of Colorado history in helping open Pepsi Center, being a small part of planning both the Stanley Cup Parade and planning small parts of the NHL All-Star Weekend. I got to work Colfax. Not in the way most women do, but as a police officer.

I got to see the elite side of Denver, the seedy side, and the bottom of the barrel. I was blessed with getting to start my own business and now I am even more blessed with getting to sell it to someone who wants to continue the dream I had.

Most importantly, some amazing relationships were created here and those are what I will miss most. The last month was spent saying, “Goodbye” and I was so honored to be told of ways I’d impacted people and never realized it.

I met people who literally changed my life and pulled me out of darkness and into light. My biggest regret now is spending too much time with my To Do List and not enough time developing the friendships that had been created. I will miss so many wonderful people, prayer groups, friends, and mentors.

So, here’s a big “thank you” to Governor Polis and his lockdowns, restrictions, and mask mandates! No lie. I’m happy for the push into a new chapter in life. I’m so excited for new adventures and for whatever crazy is in store!

Day 1 – South Dakota

With my best friend of 25 years and my furry best friend of 7 years.

We did the thing you have to do in SD and hiked about 5 miles around “Mt. Ruffmore.” I just love getting to see smiles again!!!

Day 2-4 South Dakota

Heidi and I conquered our fear of heights on an aerial course; traveled back in time and found a phone booth; Gonzo and I struck out on our own and stopped in Sturgis; camped in Deadwood; got coffee at a kooky, hidden gem in Lead.

From Heidi: We had an amazing weekend in Keystone, SD. It was one of the best weekends- I relaxed!!! If you know me, you know that’s huge...Thank you Andi for being my best friend for 25 years! Love you!!!

Day 5 - a long, beautiful day of driving from Buffalo, WY to Yellowstone, and on to ID.

Apparently, COVID only attacks in half of the outdoors there so half of the campgrounds were closed and the others were full. Makes sense! All of Teton’s campgrounds were closed because COVID is extra powerful there. We finally found a place in Idaho Falls, ID around 4 am. We really enjoyed the first 8 hours of scenery! I had to promise Gonzo no car rides today, though. He has never been so irritated with me!

Day 6 in Idaho Falls was pretty lazy.

After a 14 hour travel day Tuesday into Wednesday, we woke up to these beautiful falls being right outside our front door. Gonzo made a friend who comforted him after an off-leash chihuahua thought he wanted a piece of Gonzo. Chihuahua changed the chihuahua's mind.

Days 7-8 Idaho Falls, ID to Heise Springs, ID

First off, thank you to everyone checking in on me. Cell service has been super sketchy and my phone has been dropping texts when I’m out of service. If I haven’t responded to your message, I didn’t get it.

Gonzo made a new friend, George, (with me in the first pic) in Idaho Falls, right before we left for Heise Hot Springs for a couple of days God time and Gonzo time. Gonzo isn’t quite sure what to think of all of this and he’s a bit confused and irritated with me.

I might have learned a few things in the past week.

1. My dog and I do not share the same sense of adventure.

2. My dog does not like change.

3. My dog does not think riding in a convertible is as fun as I do.

4. Traveling with a severely dog reactive dog with abandonment issues is tricky, to say the least, and definitely limits social interaction.

The coolest thing I’ve learned, so far, is that if I forget what I CAN’T do because of Gonzo’s issues and instead focus on trying to make this about him and not me, then it turns that negative into a positive and I find I’m happy when I get to make him happy. I think that might translate well to human travel companions, too.

We’re working our way toward Coeur d’ Alene and that should be as far north and west as we will go before heading back south then east…if Gonzo approves.

Day 8 (cont.) Heise Springs, ID

I forgot to brag about what a great protector Gonzo is. We stayed at Heise Campground Thursday and Friday nights. On Friday morning, the groundskeeper ran into me and mentioned that he was worried about me the night before. I thought that was kind of weird. In retrospect, I probably should have asked why.

The next night, around 4 AM, there was something either human or human sized walking around right outside my tent. Gonzo and I were both a little freaked out. It’s the first time I have ever pointed a gun at a tent door. I found my night sights work really well! Anyway, Gonzo gave warning barks and whatever it was went away fairly soon.

I am happy I have several forms of protection, but especially happy to have this awesome dog!

Day 9 - travel day from Heise Hot Springs to Garden Valley, ID.

We went through Arco, the first town ever lit by atomic energy and, quite possibly, the creepiest town I’ve been through. The creepy started with the submarine sail at the entrance to the city.

Everything past Arco was just gorgeous! It was like driving through a painting. Gonzo was not as impressed as I was…until we had to stop for cows crossing. He was even less impressed that I would not let him do his job of herding. I think one of the cows was taunting him from about 15 feet or so from my window.

I am apparently the worst mom ever!

Day 10 - Gonzo shows more and more disdain for riding in the car.

The first pic is how he pouts. We found a secluded beach on the Salmon River outside of Riggins, ID in Hell’s Canyon and camped there. We were both thrilled to find something with no dogs, since Gonzo thinks he should be THE only dog on the planet. There were no other people until a kayaker saw us and abruptly stopped…and asked for a ride to his car. Um…no. He left his kayak, hitched a ride, and came back for it later that night. Gonzo made sure I was well protected when he returned. I just love that dog!!

Day 11 –Coeur d’ Alene, ID

I took crappy pics, but we made it to Coeur d’ Alene to visit my ex-boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend.

Day 12 – Biking in Coeur d’ Alene

Gonzo got a break from the car with his new, favorite, Skylar.

(To my dog professional friends, don’t worry, Gonzo is weird and actually requests hugs.) Big thank you Jennifer Hudson for being such an awesome hostess and watching the debate with me. We had such a great time with you and your family!!

Day 13 – Just a travel day from Coeur d’ Alene to McCall.

We got a late start and didn’t get to McCall until around midnight, so camping was out of the question. Gonzo was obviously pleased. He said he prefers “glamping.”

I had some issues with gas along the way so I had to get a pic with the gentleman (Brent) who helped me resolve them. I missed getting a pic with Theresa, the angel who checked us into Best Western and gave me a breakfast burrito since everything was closed. No lie, I had been CRAVING a breakfast burrito just before we got there. She was the sweetest lady!!

Day 14 – McCall, ID

Gonzo and I just tooled around McCall and Ponderosa State Park.

Coffee was the first priority, though, and we stopped at Payette’s Porch Coffee. It’s a trailer in front of a farm house, which will soon be a bed and breakfast. (The farm house will…not the trailer.)

I got to meet the owners, Erin and Ericka, the sweetest couple, who opened up the coffee shop the same day I left Colorado. We talked for forever and even got to pray together. Gonzo was bored and tried to pee on their decorations. I do hope I get to come back and visit their bed and breakfast when it opens. McCall is one of the cutest towns!!

Day 15 – Bruneau Sand Dunes, ID

We camped out the night before in Bruneau Sand Dunes and the wild life was having a party until 3 am. IDK what was going on, but it sounded like a bunch of drunk ducks and fornicating bats. Bats?? What the duck? Anyway, Gonzo and I slept in, due to the wild night of the wild life. (That dog is awesome!) Then we played in the dunes and headed to Salt Lake City.

Day 16 – Salt Lake City, UT – Gonzo is SO OVER car rides!!!

If dog looks could kill, I’d be extra dead and already buried. He quit with the snarky looks once we got to Antelope Island and he got to play. He almost got to hunt a buffalo that was on our path back to the car from the beach. We waited for the buffalo to do whatever he wanted to do then move on before we continued past him. Gonzo, the hunter, was NOT happy with me.

We ended up camping somewhere outside of Provo in what can only be described as a Fall fairy tale. We found the most beautiful campsite with gorgeous Fall colors and a soothing stream right at the last minute at dusk. We’re going to hang out here another night and soak in the beauty. It is amazing!!!

Day 17 and 18 – We just played in Uintas National Park.

Pictures can’t do this place justice. I do love the aspens in CO, but the red fall leaves are my absolute favorites! This is Heaven!! We got to meet our neighbor campers, Jake and Lisa. Zoom in on Gonzo’s face with them. That dog cheats!!

Day 19 - Zion National Forest

Pics can’t even begin to show how gorgeous this place is. We’re camping here tonight and the view from the tent is amazing! My favorite part of the day was the political text I got at the end of the day.

Disclaimer: Yes, my mom has given me permission to tell that story.

Day 20 – Virgin, UT

Ruff day/night for Gonzo. He pretty much despises the desert. He thinks it’s pretty, but thinks the sand and heat are both stupid.

I tried taking him for a hike and, 30 minutes into it, he found a shade to lie in and took a 15 minute break. After that, we needed to take a shade break about every 5 minutes. He asked me why I waited until he was 9 years old to do all of this. We found a reservoir and he was much happier with me.

Later that night, around 3:30 am, Gonzo started making horrible snorting noises and was having a hard time breathing. He was scared and so was I. He crawled, trembling, into my lap begging me to fix it. I seriously thought I was watching my best friend die and was powerless. The nearest open vet was 24 miles away and, when I called, the vet listened to him and told me it was “reverse sneezing” and it just needed to run its course. Whew! It did and he’s fine. She said he just had something stuck in his nose. I keep telling Gonzo he has to live about another 40 years.

Day 21 – We just drove to Cameron, AZ today and are taking it easy in a weird, empty, Navajo motel tonight.

I feel like Gonzo’s stress level is a little too high so he’ll be pampered in a real bed for a couple of nights. We’re heading east a bit earlier than planned, too, to get him out of the heat. So, tomorrow we’ll head out east on I-40 from Flagstaff for a while.

Day 22 – Cameron, AZ to Gallup, NM

Since our original plans changed, we’re doing the Route 66 thing. It seems wrong to travel Route 66 in a convertible with the top up, but Gonzo says it’s still too hot for him…and it really is all about him. We did take the long way and shoot through the Petrified Forest. It’s better in person than in pics, but here you go.

Day 23 – Gallup, NM to Adrian, TX

We got out of New Maskico as quickly as possible. After traveling through so many Red states, I got used to freedom again. That was gone in Blue NM!

There was such a difference in people’s demeanor…tense and angry, but that happens when you feel controlled. I think the saddest thing I heard was a woman on the news protesting kids not being able to play sports this year. She begged the governor to give them the chance to show they can mask up, social distance and “behave” at these events so their high schoolers can play. She actually said “behave!” There’s something wrong with that.

Anyway, Gonzo and I have been doing a goofy Route 66 scavenger hunt-type thing along the way. One of those was the Pecos Theater in Santa Rosa. As Gonzo and I were walking around, all these Model A cars showed up and lined up in front of the theater for a photo shoot. I met Antonette and Steve, who are pictured with their 1929 Model A. They were the sweetest couple, who told me they are traveling around all over the state with their Model A club taking pics of them at historic places. (Although, they have to keep it on the DL because clubs aren’t allowed to meet in New Mexico.)

Day 24 – Adrian, TX to Elk City, OK

We stayed at the Fabulous 40’s Motel in Adrian, which is the first place to find lodging once you make it out of NM. According to Ramona, pictured first, their business has been booming because of New Mexico’s restrictions. LOL!! It is also the midway point of Route 66.

I wasn’t sure I was going to make it out of Texas with all the stories being told today. I stopped for coffee at the MidPoint Café and Lorance, pictured second, told me all about heckling Robin Williams, playing golf with Jack Nicklaus, fighting in Vietnam, wearing a pink suit with a tie that lights up, how his dad always talked like John Wayne, how 2 of his 3 marriages ended, and many more stories! He was certainly interesting and my favorite line he said was, “I never lie. I don’t have to. My world is strange enough.”

Our Route 66 scavenger hunt pics include: MidPoint Café, Buffalo Sculpture, Milburn-Price Culture Museum, Historic Magnolia Gas Station, Cadillac Ranch, 2nd Amendment Cowboy, Route 66 Sixth Street Historic District, Amarillo Mural, Cross of Our Lord, and Restored Phillips 66 Station. Gonzo is enjoying the breaks (especially ones with grass…not the Colorado kind). He is still super confused as to what we’re doing.

I’m hoping to make it to Little Rock tomorrow….

Day 25 – Elk City, OK to Conway, AR

Spending the night in Elk City was…interesting. We had traveled most of the day and were exhausted. I let Gonzo stretch his legs in a park there and just decided to stay.

We stopped by the Kings Inn and were greeted by the front desk person, who was very obviously on meth. While speaking with her, we could see what was sure to soon be a DV situation happening in the parking lot in front of us. It should be no surprise that we moved on.

We went to the Flamingo Inn, which seemed better, but when we walked in the room, it smelled like rape and murder. (Maybe I saw too much working as a cop on Colfax.) There was a palpable creepy vibe and, after a couple of hours, Gonzo got a terrified look on his face and started looking around one corner of the room like he saw something I couldn’t see.

He freaked out and tried to get as close to me as he could by sitting on my lap then hiding behind me between my back and the headboard. We did some praying and he settled down and relaxed after a few minutes, but the next morning was, by far, the earliest we have gotten out on the road.

I HAD to take a picture of the cotton field… especially a Trump cotton field. LOL!!

I haven’t seen one since I was a kid in MS.

Our Route 66 scavenger hunt ended in Oklahoma City where we had to part ways. I had fun with it. Gonzo still thinks I’m insane. He asked if goatheads were the state flower. He had a ruff day with those.

The Route 66 sites pictured are: Roadside Memorials; Oklahoma Route 66 Museum (The museum was closed but we met Donny there. He’s doing a similar route as the one we’ve done so far, but in the opposite direction.); Old Roadside Truck Display; Dome House; Pony Truss Bridge; Abandoned Drive Inn Theater; School Bus Building; Yukon’s Best Flour Mill; Yukon’s Best Mural; Lake Overholster Historic Bridge; and Milk Bottle Grocery.

Day 26 – Conway, AR to Oxford, MS

To those of you who have been praying for me, thank you so very much!! There have been a few potential catastrophes that have been averted over the past month. A deer in Idaho was running out in front of my car and it stopped short just inches before it would have made impact. One night in New Mexico, I almost slammed into a steer’s butt. A steer! Walking down the highway like he owned it! Those things don’t have reflectors.

My favorite so far was Tuesday morning. I woke up to a text from a friend who has the uncanny ability to let me know he’s praying for me right before something awful is thwarted. I took Gonzo out for a walk shortly after and, as I glanced at my car when we walked past it, I noticed what you’ll see in the first picture.

The car had to be parked JUST the way it was for me to have seen this at all. The drive we had was about 200 miles and would have been mostly between 70-80 MPH. I’m pretty sure that tire would have blown. So, once again, a huge thank you to those of you who are keeping me in your prayers!

So, now I have a brand new sexy set of tires that got me to Oxford! They will be taking me to Jackson on Friday.

Days 27 – 29 – Oxford, MS – This one will be for the dog people and the R+ trainers might enjoy the videos.

Gonzo and I got to stay at my sister’s place and she has the SWEETEST pup, named Loretta, who decided she was going to make Gonzo her man. He haaaaates dogs, but Miss Loretta’s goal was to change his mind and she did such a fabulous job. She also did a great job of lowering my stress level when Gonzo is around dogs.

Loretta gave Gonzo every signal she could to let him know she was not a threat. There were a few times he let her know how he felt about dogs and she would back off and say, “That’s cool! You need your ‘you’ time. I still love you and I’ll be around.”

We got to let them get to know each other with a fence between them and, if Loretta would walk away, Gonzo, would start looking for her. We later got to let them meet in person, or in dog, and she was perfect! This morning, I got to chaperone their first date as they frolicked through fields and hunted squirrels in the woods. I could not be happier and am so thrilled Loretta was so patient and sweet.

For those who don’t know Gonzo, Adams County wanted his foster mom to return him to have him euthanized because of his severe dog aggression right before I adopted him. His playdate today was a miracle.

There was some human interaction, as well. I got another good bike ride in with my brother-in-law and got to spend some with my sister at her amazing art gallery, Oxford Treehouse Gallery. I wish I’d taken more pics of the gallery and of us, but I was, apparently, only focused on dogs.

Days 30-33 – Jackson/Madison, MS

This has been Gonzo’s favorite place, so far! We stayed at my sweet sister-in-law’s lake house and Gonzo was fascinated with sitting on the deck watching the “sea squirrels” swim and jump. I’m sure he would have hunted them if he wasn’t worried about getting his hair wet. He’s pretty vain.

This was where I grew up. It was so great to catch up with old friends from 30 years ago, my adopted “dad,” and get to visit with my brothers and their families. I did not grow up with them and met 2 when I was 27 and 1 when I was 8. (It’s an odd story.) They were all so great to me and made me feel so welcome! J

Day 33 was also the 24 year anniversary (exactly half my life ago) of my roll over accident that changed my life and my brain. Life is good!

We’re on the Gulf Coast now…

Days 34-38 – Mississippi Gulf Coast

Gonzo thought he was in Heaven when he got to his grandparents’ house. He had a huge yard to himself and even got to go raccoon hunting. The raccoon lost. I got to see my parents; rescue a tree frog that hit my windshield; check out a green version of my first car which was a ’68 Mustang convertible; see my best friend from Junior High; and discover the Trumpy Bear. (I seriously need a Trumpy Bear, y’all!) Gonzo just frolicked and tried to murder rodents.

We’re in Jacksonville, FL now…

Day 39 - Jacksonville, Fl

Gonzo got to go on his first boat ride and I had a great time catching up with an old friend! Gonzo wants to learn how to hunt sea squirrels, now.

Day 40 - Travel day from Jacksonville, FL to Charleston, SC

We did have to stop in Savannah, GA so I could ponder how life would’ve turned out if I’d accepted that scholarship to Savannah College of Art and Design.

The city reminded me a little bit of New Orleans and, initially, I thought I might have ended up turning out to be a liberal had I gone there. Then I remembered I WAS a liberal when I was in college. LOL!

I grew out of that when I stopped listening to CNN and professors with agendas and started researching and thinking for myself. Total life changer! Anyway, I would really like to go back there and visit again after November 4th when Covid ends.

Gonzo tried to get a job as a K9. He still thinks we’re homeless and is looking for some stability.

Day 41 – Travel day from Charleston, SC to Virginia Beach, VA

This was mostly uneventful except for the most unexpected and awesome thing I think I’ve ever seen….turtles fighting over cookies!

I picked a random, mostly closed, office complex with a pond for one of Gonzo’s breaks. A sweet lady named, Rebecca, came out for her break and fed about 15-20 turtles in the pond. They climbed up the embankment to get her cookies and would try to knock each other out of the way.

I couldn’t capture weaker turtles tumbling backwards because I was laughing too much. I also missed one greedy turtle I’ll call “Hunter” who tried to steal the whole bag of cookies and played an angry game of tug-of-war with Rebecca over them. I never knew turtles were so aggressive.

We passed through Myrtle Beach and I took all of 2 pics. I really want to go back sometime, though. Girls’ trip?

Two days of traveling took its toll on Gonzo, so we’re spending an extra day in Virginia Beach. I think, after seeing waves crashing for the first time, Gonzo might be faking his exhaustion. We got here after dark and took a stroll on the beach. I think it’s been his favorite thing so far. He even got to hunt a little crab…or a “sand squirrel.” He’s hooked!

Day 42 – Virginia Beach, VA

We woke up to a gorgeous sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean then I got to meet up with one of my old PD friends I haven’t seen in forever.

Gonzo needed a chill day which gave us a great chance to do some counter-conditioning work by watching doggies on the beach while giving Gonzo treats. (I think he uses this dog aggression thing to just play me for treats.) He’ll have a doggie brother at his new home so I’m so glad we got the opportunity.

It was also a great chance to watch the sunset as the full moon came up. The “sun” in the later pics is really that beautiful moon.

Day 43 –Travel Day from Virginia Beach, VA to Purcellville, VA

with a rest stop at a closed amusement park. We might have almost gotten in trouble for trespassing. Oops!

We ended the day with dinner at my cousin’s house with her large family. Gonzo was so excited to get to be surrounded by family. He keeps asking me to have kids and doesn’t understand why that’s not an option.

We played a game of Apples to Apples and, although Gonzo was super tired, he made sure he was a part of it and had to be in the circle. I just love that dog!

Day 44 – Purcellville, VA.

This was pretty much a lazy day with my DC area family, but I did get to meet an 82 year old retired Federal Agent in the parking lot of Dollar Tree. He thought my car was cool and started up a conversation.

Fascinating guy with great stories and he invited me to go to the big Trump train/rally thing around the DC beltway. I’d planned on getting back on the road early the next day, but decided to stay a bit and be part of that. Gonzo enjoyed some down time at my Aunt’s house. He also “helped” me put together gift bags for our family in NH.

Day 45 (same number as our President)– Trump Train in DC then on to Hallstead, PA.

I already posted about this the day of and have gotten the obligatory amount of liberal disdain for it. No need for any more pooping on this post. I’m not changing my mind and I won’t try to hate on anyone in an attempt to change theirs. It was a blast and I’d love to do it again!

Day 46!!! Hallstead, PA to Sandwich, NH

The last day of travel and I made it to my destination the day before election day!!!

I wish I had taken pictures on the drive as the scenery was beautiful. NY was gorgeous and WINDY!!! I think storms Billy and Zeta were on a date in NY. They brought some serious wind that ripped half of my bike rack off and left my bike dangling from the rear passenger side fender about an inch off the ground. No damage to the bike or car because I am blessed. LOL! There were a few times I thought the car was going to be blown off the road, but we made it.

There was a beautiful full moon welcoming me to my new home, which is amazing! I am so blessed to be with family and be in such a great place! Gonzo is excited to have a huge playground and chickens and a pig to annoy. We are home!

Day 47 – ELECTION DAY!!!

I went to the polls with my family so I could go ahead and register while they voted. I had considered trying to vote in CO and NH, but decided I’d rather have a clear conscience. I was able to register to vote without having any proof of residency whatsoever.

After registering to vote, the poll lady handed me a sheet to take to someone else so I could get my ballot. I reminded her that I only wanted to register.

I told her I had already voted in CO and did not want to cheat. The look on her face was priceless. She was shocked and, after a long pause, thanked me for being honest. She even called over another poll worker to tell him what I had done…or not done.

I wish I had asked but I have to wonder how many people had shown up to register the day of the election that might not have seemed legit.

This might surprise you, but I am loving the outcome of this election. God is in control and God Bless America!!!

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