Posted by: Talie Morrison | June 7, 2014

The rest of the “Trip Home”

I have finally “landed” in Crested Butte – and what a wonderful journey I have had to get here….

I last left the blog with me in Cincinnati at my 50th reunion.   Shortly before I left to fly back to California, I got a call from Craig that he wasn’t going to be in CA when I would get back but he would be in Tampa.   He invited me to join him in Tampa!   “Well OF COURSE!”   So I spent a week with Craig and his partner, Ravi, at the IIFA celebration!   That is the International Indian Film Academy – and it is like going to the Academy Awards in Hollywood!   It was great fun!   And I was a proud mama watching Craig perform in front of a crowd of 35,000 in Tampa Stadium, and then watching about 200 dancers dance to the music Craig and Ravi had composed for the theme song.   (Oh, and I was sitting in a $5000 seat not far from Kevin Spacey and John Travolta!) Pretty fun!

So I went back to California for a quick stop in Santa Barbara and then San Diego.   Gates and I went to Sea World and had a wonderful day on the rides (he did the roller coasters NOT me!) and watching the dolphins and orcas.

From San Diego I drove East to Tucson and spent a couple of days with my friends in Tucson.   We rode bikes and had a great time enjoying late springtime in Southern Arizona.   Then I headed north, to Phoenix to spend a couple of days with friends, Becky and Terry Hamlin.   While there I went out to visit Levi (the young man who is in prison who I have been a pen-pal to since 1999).   This time when I showed up at the prison, they were doing vehicle checks (about 15 minutes per vehicle with a fine toothed comb) – I knew that this would NOT be a good thing, with my whole “life” in GrayJay.   Sure enough they found a knife in my glove box and banned me from going into the prison that day!   Good Grief!  Actually they tried to ban me from going in for 90 days – but I threw a fit and since I was from Colorado – I was able to get permission to visit the next day!   What was really interesting was that they found that one knife, which was in my glove box, and I had 3 more knives (much bigger) in the back with my kitchen gear!  They really made a mess of my well organized truck!  But needless to say, I left all the knives at Becky and Terry’s when I went back to the prison the next day.   (And there were no searches the next day….)

I did get a special treat while in Phoenix when I went to see a Chihuly Exhibit at the Desert Botanical Museum.   It was incredibly beautiful – lighted blown glass statuettes amongst the desert plants!   Truly mind blowing beauty!

So from Phoenix, I headed North on Highway 89 and 89A.   Terry had suggested I go to Jerome, AZ, which has a lot of similarities to Crested Butte.   A very cute old mining town on the side of the Arizona Mountains. I was also hiking here and there to see ancient Indian ruins (I’ve been checking off places from my book called “Seldom Seen Ruins” – way fun!) Staying on Highway 89 I went up to Sedona and Flagstaff.   Past Flagstaff, I stopped at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument (which I had never heard of!). But it was beautiful with lots of volcanic rocks and lava flows.   And at the far end of it was more Indian Ruins.   I was really enjoying wandering around the Desert Southwest, camping and exploring!   GrayJay’s topper (the Flip-Pac) is broken and won’t open anymore – but I now have a hammock for comfortable sleeping arrangements! 🙂

The next day as I was on Highway 89 N again, driving the speed limit and being passed by almost every SUV (why are they in such a rush?). I watched a bicycler get pushed into the guardrail by 2 big black SUVs who were passing me.   I looked in my rear view mirror to make sure he was all right – but then I kept thinking about the poor guy and how scared he must have been.   So I turned around and headed back.   When I met up with him – I offered him a ride.   He said that normally he would say “no” but he was definitely “freaked out” by the traffic on that stretch of road.   His name is Mika and he is a conductor on Amtrak near San Diego.   We had a great time chatting.   I took him back to Sunset Crater Monument where the traffic wasn’t so bad.   Then turned around again and was back on my way (only about 100 extra miles – I am so fortunate that I don’t have an “agenda” so I can do something like that!).

As I wandered North, I realized that Highway 89 goes to the Grand Canyon.   I haven’t been there for a couple of years so I took the turn to head to the North Rim.   I camped out at Lees Ferry (which is where the raft trips for the Canyon start from) – it always has great energy there! When I got to the North Rim, I went into the Backcountry Office to see if I could get a permit to camp down in the Canyon.   I had to wait 3 days, but was able to get 2 nights at Cottonwood Campground.   So off I went backpacking the Grand Canyon.   (I am checking things off my “bucket list” that I didn’t even know were on my “bucket list”!)   The day between my two nights at Cottonwood, I hiked down to Phantom Ranch and sat with my feet in the Colorado River while I watched the rafters go by.   Way fun.  Then back to Cottonwood and out the next day.  — Now, I thought I was in decent “shape”, but I could hardly walk after that 3-day trip!   My quads and calves were screaming!   Yikes!

The end of May, some Crested Butte friends had invited me to go along as vehicle support for a mountain bike ride in Utah called The White Rim Trail.   It is near Moab Utah and is 100 miles of rough 4-wheel drive road through Canyonlands National Park.   Perfect for biking – and just a little bit of white knuckle 4-wheeling.   We had wonderful weather (hot – but not TOO hot) and the cactus and other spring flowers were still blooming in the desert. It was a really fun 5 days!

So I left straight from the White Rim (after a quick shower at the campground) to get to Crested Butte – I have two dog sitting jobs lined up that will give me places to stay till July 1st. Right now Crested Butte is “over the top” beautiful!!! Snow on the peaks, new green leaves on the Aspens, and lots of early spring flowers blooming.   I’ll be here for a month – then off to France and Germany with my grandson, Gates. The adventure continues….




  1. Another great BLOG! I really enjoy reading about your adventures. Enjoy CB for a while and then have a terrific trip to France and Germany. Best wishes, Carol

  2. Love the story of “Talie finally arrived home”. Pics are great also. Will the bucket ever be empty ???? Enjoy every moment Dx

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