Bad news everybody, Anna is out of the game for awhile.
We started out from Hanksville Monday morning with high spirits. The dogs were energetic, the clouds were heavy in the sky (meaning blocking the hot desert sun), and all was good.
About five or six miles down the road we decided to break for lunch. We had gotten a bit of a late start, heading out around 9-ish, so lunchtime came pretty fast. The dogs were happy, the sun was still blocked by clouds, and we had plenty of water. All was still good.
Couple more miles down the road and the clouds disappeared. The afternoon sun was at full blast and Anna decided she had had enough. We passed a car that was pulled over, I assume to admire the views, and as we walked by Anna dashed under the car and into the shade. After some coaxing I got her out and moving again, but I knew from our midwest heatwave days that that was a sure sign she was heading for overheating.
A little ways up the road I pulled over and informed Ralph that Anna needed a break. She couldn’t take the sun. We pulled over, set up our breaktime shade stations, I took off Anna’s boots, and we sat down to have a rest.
After about an hour or so, after soaking Anna with a wet bandana and giving her plenty of water in the shade, we got up to get going. Only Anna wasn’t moving. She just planted her feet and refused to budge. Ralph, who has a much bigger cart than I do, stepped in to rescue Anna, picking her up and placing her atop his cart.
Anna rode this way for awhile until she jumped off. Figuring this meant she was good to go, I put the boots back on her front paws – the more severely damaged of the four – and got to walking. We made it only a little farther down the road before Anna started limping…..on both front paws. She’s been limping off and on on her front right, but now she started the left too. Super bad sign.
After climbing a rather large and shoulderless hill, back onto the cart Anna went. She stayed there until we stumbled upon an oasis where we stopped in for a drink, only to find out they had a motel room for a fine price.
So now here we are, at the Luna Mesa Oasis restaurant/motel/campground.
Yesterday I ran into town (an hour away) to help the daughter of the owner run some errands, then when we got back I helped her feed the horses. It was a busy day, but the end result is a new friend and a ride into Loa on Thursday.
The plan, as of now, is to get to Loa and try to walk to Koosharem. We have car support coming, who was originally going to meet us in Cedar City, but now hopefully in Koosharem. That way Anna can ride in the car support, and the rest of Team Adventure can continue on the journey west. It’ll be very sad not to be walking with Anna, but safety and health first. Hopefully after a week or so of riding and resting she can come back to walking the road with me. Time will tell.
But one thing is for sure, we’re not giving up. Bears, heat waves, hail storms, allergies, flat tires, high mountains, dry desert, injuries….nothing will stop us from reaching our goal. We will continue on until we run out of land and hit that ocean.
take my love
take my land
take me where I cannot stand
I don’t care
I’m still free
you can’t take the sky from me
burn the land
and boil the sea
you can’t take the sky from me