Sorry for the long delays between posts, I’m writing a mock grant proposal and cost benefit analysis for implementing an exercise program in my dialysis unit. Whew its a lot of work, but totally something I am excited about and I am contemplating trying to implement in real life after the project is over. Without further ado Drinking and Cacti Part 2..
We woke up the next morning and the puppies were eager to get out and explore so we grabbed our stuff and went for an early morning hike. The hike was great, the temperature was perfect (early morning hikes are the only way to go in the desert) and the cacti were blooming. There is just something about cacti flowers, you know? Something so delicate and vibrant on something so tough and harsh… its almost… poetic. We hiked for about 4 miles before we learned that Willow’s hiking limit was 3 and a half. She started to lag and get really hot so we doused her in water and she was carried out by her own personal Sherpa (ie Jack.)
Now that it was daylight I was able to determine that we had attempted to reach the wrong campsite. One campsite in the park had paved road access and without knowing I had picked the wrong one. However, in order to reach the right campsite, we had to travel over 10 more miles of badly washboarded roads to get there. These were so much worse than the roads last night, so much so that Jack had to stop and check the bus several times to make sure the tires in the back were holding up. We started developing some confidence in the toughness of our bus, he was truly an adventure bus and was handling these roads like a champ.
We safely reached the new campsite intact and spent the rest of the day setting up camp and exploring our new digs. Thank god there weren’t too many people around since our dogs are not big fans of people, it meant they could relax and enjoy smelling all over with minimal howling (ahh the joys of beagles) and freak-outs. We cooked a delicious dinner of soy or chicken sausages and s’mores and turned in early, ready to go exploring the park the next day.
The next day we decided to check out the massive sand dunes and the cinder cones (small volcanoes) that seemed to be the main features of the park. I was really disappointed in the park, however, because the park seemed to be geared towards 4wd vehicles and most of the cinder cone part was inaccessible to us in the bus (must do better research next time) We did see 2 desert tortoises though which was awesome. However since I was feeling disappointed and emboldened by how well our bus had been doing I made a fateful mistake. I told Jack I wanted to take a chance and travel down only 3 more miles of washboarded roads to see the sand dunes up close. How could that hurt? We had done so well so far. I asked Jack point blank if he thought we should since we had done so well do far and he uttered the most prophetic words. “I think we will be fine, but if we keep going down these type of roads, at some point, something is going to just fall off” (to be continued)