|Cut through the San Rafael Reef|
In that area there is also a 30 mile-long wall called the San Rafael Reef. From what I was able to read at one of the scenic overlooks, Spanish explorers took great care to go around this wall because it was just impassable. Then finally in 1970, with the help of generous amounts of TNT, civil engineers were able to blast a narrow passage through the reef for I-70 to pass through. Just on the other side of that passage, I was able to get a decent photo of the Swell.
|San Rafael Swell|
|Salt Flats in UT western desert|
As I approached Salina and the turn to the north, I entered Fishlake National Forest and another abrupt change of scenery and weather. I was surrounded by pine forests and snow-covered mountains--many well over 11,000 feet in elevation, and the mist was releasing a fine drizzle. All of this lifted on the other side of the range when I turned to the north in Salina. The sun came out and I was treated to views of the valley: snow-blanketed open fields to my left, low foothills to the west, and majestic mountains to the east (the San Pitch range) and north--my first hint of the upcoming Wasatch Range outside of Salt Lake City.
|View of Mt Nebo from I-15|
Six days, four states, 432 pictures, 1132 miles of driving, and one electric scooter. There were times when I went almost an hour without seeing another vehicle, and even though I've never been so physically isolated in my life, I never once felt alone or lonely. I was never scared or worried. Some people will call me reckless for embarking on this trip by myself when I can barely walk, let alone physically manage in a major crisis. Others will think I'm brave for even attempting this journey. I felt neither of those things.
What I did feel was joy, peace, and contentment. Many tears flowed during this trip, but not from sadness. It was from the release that comes from true healing, and letting go of toxic emotions and things in your life that make you unhappy. I'm not saying you need to crawl into a cave for a week to do this--hell, my idea of "roughing it" is a night in a Motel 6--but there's a lot to be said for immersing yourself, and only yourself, among some of the most overwhelming things the Earth has to offer and pondering just where you fit into all of it. I'm so lucky that having MS didn't prevent me from having this experience. And if *I* can do this alone, so can any able-bodied person. You have no freakin' clue how much time you have left. Figure out what you need to let go, where you need to be to do it, and just. Freaking. Do it. There's no time like the present ;).