I do remember escaping Las Vegas. I can recollect snippets of Arizona. Ditto for New Mexico. All that driving takes its toll.
We stumbled into Churchrock, New Mexico. Another state park squeezed in.
Hard to get lost with one single spire-like peak on the horizon.
No running off leash with trails that border the edges of cliffs.
If Cole goes, we all go.
I didn't want to turn around, but nor did I want us negotiating the canyon rim by head lantern!
Besides, it was brisk and cold. The wind created waves in the sand...
...enchanting until you awake the next day, bleary eyed from the generous servings of sand still lodged in your sockets.
Motivating the troops got harder. No one wanted to hit the road in the morning!
Trucker Mama desired nothing more than to put the car on autopilot and sleep with the dogs in the back seat.
Every couple hundred miles, we stopped to stretch or picnic.
Don't ask me where this cotton field was. East of New Mexico is my best guess.
Two of the guys had natural camo!
The mealtime stops started lacking glamour: dead end dirt roads!
My fatigue and the bad weather were a stressful combination. Accidents everywhere. Delays. Worse for the opposing West bound traffic: Interstate closed half a day.
I counted my blessings. We finally got ahead of the storm system on the home stretch.
Yes, we were back in familiar territory.
At last, the farm at last!
Don't imagine it's easy to work the tripod and three prima donnas solo.
Where we lack coordination in photography, we make up in teamwork. 6000 miles on this trip to finish the quest to trail running with Cole in all 48 contiguous states. It's a real honor to be part of this pack.
Reviews from the homeowners where we had stayed.
I'm so proud of my guys.
Kinda enamored with my SUV's survival skills too. Atta girl, Binky!
Folks compliment me on my solo trips without realizing there ain't nothing solo about them.
I wouldn't have gotten started if I hadn't a mentor, Kim, who blazes cross country in her conversion van.
Nor could I keep going without my parents' encouragement. Or my employers who gave me carte blanche to run for hills. Or all the friends who knit together a fabric of support that's Kevlar tough. Yeah, I'm talking about people like the mom of this Pollyanna:
And the mom of this Katie:
The sisterhood is strong.
The brotherhood ain't half bad either! There's a computer guru by the name of Ron who keeps this brontosaurus online.
Another by the name of Flynn who took all the farm animals under his wing while I was away.
Tip of the hat to the Barr family who stepped into Flynn's shoes on his days off.
Then there's Cole's physiotherapist, Liz, who's always had our back.
No sugar coating it, Cole wouldn't be here if it weren't for his oncology team at Auburn University and Trupanion, his insurance provider.
See? Nothing solo about it.
Nor would I have endeavored to do any of it without my muse:
This beautiful soul is the ultimate gift to my life. Teaching me to be present in the moment, enjoying the now. Not to wait for opportunities, make them every morning.
Cole is my rock, my 24 hour companion, my teacher. I must have done something really good in a former life to deserve this partner.
WE did it. Thanks to everyone for being a part of our team!