The final day dawned with clouds spilling over the top of the mountains and a chill wind pushing down the canyon.
With sore knees and a reluctant heart, I broke camp to try to make it home before the reported storm settled in. I took the more scenic route, traveling south on Horseshoe Meadows Road for a few miles before turning east down Lubken Canyon Road. Scrub brush stretched for miles across the alluvial fan and it felt like I was alone on the planet until I spotted a large dog on the side of the road. I slowed and he began chasing the car and barking excitedly. Then I spotted his companion, another good sized golden retriever type. I couldn’t help but think of my dogs that someone had dumped on the side of the road two years ago. I stopped the car and got out, not sure of what to do. Could I just leave them out there in the middle of nowhere? They both appeared friendly, though the one kept barking something about Timmy having fallen down the well. Just when I had decided that I would have to turn back to the last human habitation I’d seen to report their whereabouts, a jovial looking man, wearing shorts, and carrying a long stick popped out of the bushes across the road. He launched into an explanation of how he took his wife, who had Parkinson’s, out for a walk every morning, and all I could do was gush about how relieved I was to see him. We each thought the other a bit odd, I’m sure.
I thought that Lubken Canyon Road connected with Highway 395 but as it grew narrower and more deteriorated, I began to worry that it would dead end with no place wide enough to turn around with a trailer. The road was hemmed in on both sides by weedy ditches and a fence. Then I came to a sign saying, “road narrows”. Oh, crap! Now it was one lane wide with no room to meet an oncoming vehicle, much less turn around. Backing in a straight line with a trailer is not my strong suit so I continued down the track, praying I didn’t meet anyone coming up.
As luck would have it, I had this lovely lane to myself. Ahead it looked as if the road either ended or turned and then voila! It turned over a cattle guard and immediately became a perfectly paved, two-lane road heading directly east. My little adventure had been mostly in my head but sometimes one has to find thrills where one can.