I woke up Wednesday morning in a haze. I thought I could shake it off while I was driving, but and hour into my trek I had to pull over and crash out. I ended up making it to my destination, Bisti/De-Na-Zin, but I didn't even get out of the van. I just crawled in bed and passed out. I had the most fitful 20 hours of sleep I've ever had in my life, and my brain was going a thousand miles an hour. I realized it was the first day I'd been alone for more than an hour since February. I don't think my mind was ready for all my emotions. When I finally woke up at 7am, the sun was coming up, and everything had a calm glow. My stomach didn't quite have that same calm feeling, but I headed out to explore anyway. I drove down one dirt road after another, getting a little nervous in my desolation, but loving that I was relying on myself for the first time in a while. I mean, besides relying on Clem to sleep next to me in her little nest and reach a paw up now and again.
There were dozens of times I wanted to call my dad. Everything on the road reminds me of him. I wanted to ask him why the telephone poles here are so different. I wanted to stop and get fry bread and call him to brag. (He always wanted to know what good food I found on trips) I wanted to send him these photos, so he could tell me about the landscape, and why things look like they do. I just wanted to call and tell him I miss him.