We spent a couple days packing and repacking our rig, trying to find the best spot for everything, but there was also an element of procrastination. I didn’t want to say goodbye to the cats.
It was about noon. I asked Erica if we should wait another day. There was no rush, right?
However, we agreed the time had come.
I went down to check on Nala and Maya. I found myself crying as I played with Nala for the last time in who knows how long. I think the hard part is that I couldn’t explain myself to Nala. I couldn’t tell her goodbye and have her understand. Maybe that sounds silly, but let me tell you about this cat.
Nala has a lot of personality. She is at least part Maine Coon. She is very attached to me and follows me around like a dog. After a hard day at work, the first thing I’d see when I walked in the door was this fluffy cat, always so happy to have me home. Each morning, she would follow me around as I went through my routine, and would watch me walk to the train station from the window sill.
So I had to say goodbye to the fluffy cat who had been my emotional support for so long. I knew my sister would take great care of her, but it was still the hardest part about leaving. With tears in my eyes, I gave her a big hug and told her everything was going to be OK. I think that last part was mostly for myself.
We hit the road and headed north out of Salt Lake. Our goal was to get to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. My dad suggested we take route 89, and we weren’t disappointed–this highway is spectacular. (After the fact, we found a National Geographic article that talked about driving Highway 89 from New Mexico all the way up to Canada, crossing a half dozen national parks.)
The views were stunning through Logan Canyon, and as we came out over the pass and saw Bear Lake, we realized that it was getting late. We weren’t going to reach Jackson; so instead we decided to find a camping spot near Bear Lake.
Bear Lake is famous for its raspberries, and as we headed through town we stopped and bought a couple cartons. The raspberries from Bear Lake are smaller than some raspberries, but super tasty! Try them if you get a chance.
We headed down towards the southern end of the lake where we knew some campgrounds were. The first campground we came across was packed with RVs. Yeah, it had all the hookups, but we were hoping to find something a bit more private for our first night.
We continued around the southern tip of the lake and found a remote campground on the south east corner of the lake. There were only a couple of people camping there. We backed the XP into the best site, popped the top, opened a bottle of champagne we’d been saving for this occasion, and enjoyed an amazing sunset–hopefully the first of many.