Fighting Loneliness & Homesickness – Lee’s Ferry pics

One of many HUGE boulders seen alongside a large hill along the route to Lee’s Ferry from Bitter Springs.  Note all the boulders in the background. 

Some astute folks have left comments on my blog lately that have really made me think about them for a long time afterward and marvel at how some people can see things inside of you that you might have trouble facing yourself. I apologize in advance if this post seems kind of all over the place, but as usual, writing it down helps me to confront the turmoil going on in my mind. Thank God for my pets who always seem to know or sense when something is going on with me. As I’ve been writing this post, HoneyBun has stuck like glue to my side.

Please enjoy the pics I took last week on my trip to Lee’s Ferry, which is about 50 miles from me, and still part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. I had a separate post I was writing about the day trip, but decided I needed to get this one published instead, and thought some of you might enjoy these at the same time.

Someone mentioned to me that maybe I should move back to where I am within a day’s drive from my mom. And I have to admit, I’ve not mentioned this aloud to many, but I will be traveling back east next May for my brother’s wedding. My lease ends on April 30th of next year, so there have been parts of me that have thought about combining that trip with a move back east at the same time. It would cut down on costs (i.e. already spending the money for the wedding, it would just be driving instead of flying).  I’m not sure to where I would move yet – I still hate the very cold winters of the northeast and I wouldn’t say I would want to live in Boston again – to do so without the same kind of job would be pretty hard financially as it’s an expensive city to live in if you don’t make good money. I think I would want to move somewhere where I had a simpler pace of life, and could do more with animals or the environment and actually be able to survive financially. So maybe someplace further south, like the Carolinas, etc. I’m just not sure yet.

View from the pedestrian bridge of the Colorado River below – this is Navajo Bridge, which is on the eastern rim of the Grand Canyon. It’s along the route to Lee’s Ferry.

I told my sis (in law) Geneva last week that when I picture my ideal living situation, it’s in a small cabin or cottage near some woods. It’s a place where I can have a garden, live quietly and take my dog (or dogs if we are seeing far into the future) for a walk. A place where I can have quiet time but not feel isolated at the same time. A place that isn’t too far from a small city that has amenities for myself and my animals like a vet or emergency vet, and things to do. She said “where you have woods, you will have snow.” So I’m realizing that might be a trade off I need to make. Now, more than ever, the statement that life is about compromises makes more sense than ever.

I’d love to hear suggestions from folks about places that might have  a decent cost of living, where someone like me could make a difference, find a community of like-minded folks – people who respect animals or don’t look at me like I’m a freak for not wanting to eat meat, etc. (It’s just not the norm where I am now.)   And I MISS grass. I miss the color green. I really do. It’s made me think about moving to the mountains of Colorado – places like Grand Junction where the winters do get some snow but not a crazy amount because it’s on the western slope of the Rockies. But again, if I did that, I’m still a long way away from friends and family, for the most part.

Moving west was always something I wanted to do for quite a long time. And to experience something new and push myself. But it’s hard, I mean, really really hard to do all of this on your own. If I had a partner, it might be different. There is always that other person to lean on. Without that, I lean on friends, ones that I know will always tell it to me like it is and who don’t have a vested interest in seeing me act one way or another. My brother and sister in law who are nomads but recently have been in AZ for a while have given me frank thoughts and Geneva can always be counted on to tell it like it is, whether or not I want to hear it. My friend Dan is also very patient and listens to each of my cockamamy ideas and as I get excited about one thing, he knows it is usually just a matter of days til I am on to something else in my mind – something else to research and look into. Poor Dan – I know he doesn’t sleep much so even though there is a three hour time difference, he gets the brunt of my texting, etc. (Both he and my friend Anne, who recently commented on here, think I need to give myself time to think before pondering next moves and I know they are right. It’s just the stress about my finances, which I get into below, that has me thinking about it already.)

I’ve not edited this pic at all – the sky was really that color that day. 

One person mentioned in the comments that it sounded like if I made a decision to change things or give up on what I am doing now (something to that effect, I’m paraphrasing) that I might view what I am doing now as having been a failure. And I think, in some regards, that is very true.  It’s like I will have viewed this past year or two as one big expensive mistake – giving up everything I owned back east other than what would fit in my car, just to replace some of it here, and put it in an RV, which I ultimately sold within 8 months, to getting an apartment that costs too much for the area, to changing jobs from something that fulfilled my soul to something that pays better to allow me to care for my fur family. I feel like I have spent a lot of money over the past year and now I second guess myself a lot. Was i wrong to move from Boston? Was I wrong to leave the comfort of my friends and family far away? Was it all for nothing if I move back? And even if I don’t find it all to be a failure, “Jesus, Terri, did you have to spend so much doing it??”  Part of me (irrationally) worries about those who thought I was insane to leave last year will look at me and go (even if only in their minds)….hm, I told you so….

Loved the shadows of the clouds above on the sandstone formations below.

I’m feeling stressed right now because I am not sure what is going to go on with my job this winter. I found out the pay for what i thought I would be doing was going to be a LOT less than what I had expected, so that super stressed me out. As in, it would be a bit more than half of what I am making now, and with my rent, what I am making now allows me to pay my bills and make a bit of a payment on my credit cards, but not much. To go down to almost half of that was pretty much going to force me to stop saving for my car insurance, my brother’s wedding, get deferments or forebearances on my student loans and still leave me with about $100 to eat for the month and prayers that nothing would go wrong. In short, it would pretty much be next to impossible. Or get a second job and work a whole bunch of hours just to keep the lights on and food on the table (or couch, in the case of HoneyBun and Callie who move to their self-assigned positions at meal time.)  I understand my boss and her boss have come up with another alternative for me but I just don’t know what that is yet. Trying to not dwell or stress about it but I’ve never dealt well with a lot of uncertainty. Hoping to discuss that with my boss soon so at least I can figure out some plans.

Yes, this is the Colorado River! Even in the heat of June, the water was still (and I understand, always) very cold to the touch. It was very refreshing that day as I stood in it, up to my shins.

Starting tomorrow, on the days where I don’t have to go into work until noon (I usually work 3 closing shifts per week which means 12-8:30 or so), I’m going to start going into town to the animal shelter to work with the animals there. My friend that runs it said that at that point, it’s not too hot to walk the dogs. That would give me a reason to get up early in the morning like I used to (lately, I feel like I’ve been sleeping too much and have no ambition to get up and exercise early.) In fact, I feel like I have not had much ambition to do much lately. My friend Liz from back east remarked to me that it’s so NOT like me to not get up and exercise every day, and she’s right. Although she didn’t say it at the time, I think she’s worried about me in that regard, and I am too. I feel like I’m kind of just existing and I hate feeling like this. I need goals and reasons to exist. I just feel like I am floundering right now. Other than going to work and taking care of my animals and the occasional trip to Lone Rock Beach, I don’t feel like I have much direction. 

So I guess that’s it – I just needed to get this post out there. Thanks, as always, for reading. I would love to hear any of your thoughts on this.






35 thoughts on “Fighting Loneliness & Homesickness – Lee’s Ferry pics

  • You might look at Payson AZ, or neighboring towns of Strawberry and Pine. They are at around 5000 ft elevation, so they get a few snows a year in the winter but it doesn’t stay on the ground long. It’s in the pines. Much cooler than Phoenix in the summer but only about about an hour and 20 minute drive from Phoenix so you can access a big city if you need too. Another half hour drive east will get you to 9000 ft and beautiful hiking and lakes during the summer. Plus Payson is big enough on its own, I’m sure it has multiple vets and emergency vets. Its affordable too. It may be a little hickish though 🙂

    • Geneva also mentioned Payson to me but I had not been there yet – just went as far south as Camp VErde when I was visiting her in Clarkdale last weekend. Sounds like I was pretty close – I should have driven the extra miles, but it was so hot that day and I had Osito with me to worry about.

      Alissa, it’s so good to see your comment on here. I know you know what it’s like to fight with depression and anxiety and I know you’ve had your own hell to deal with this past year as well. Hugs.

  • Colorado is definitely an option, like-minded folks galore, greenery in much of the state (and yes–snow, but lots of sunny days that sandwich around snowy ones). But cost of living is expensive. Lots of high fees and a state tax as well. Another place to consider is Texas. East Tx has loads of forest areas and no snow to speak of. But for a location close to like-minded people, maybe Bastrop (it is located on the outskirts of a state forest). Close to Austin (hippiest local in Tx), but much smaller. Tx has no state income tax and generally cheaper to live than CO. Finally, AR has beautiful forest-land, fairly cheap to live, but may not have the general vibe you want…ie–lots of conservatives that while friendly, aren’t as excepting to new-ish ideas like not eating meat. (That’s a generality of course, and near Fayetteville where U of Ar is, you probably will find more folks of that mind.)

    • Becky, thank you for all of this input. I have a friend who lived in Bentonville for a long time because of his work and he seems happier living up in St. Paul (he was Jewish though so I’m not sure how big of a Jewish population there was there.)

      I’ve heard good reports about Austin and the fact that it is somewhat cheap to live around there. Never thought about BAstrop though, I will have to look into it. Thank you for all of these suggestions – I love researching into new places. I just wish I could actually visit all of them in advance of making a decision to move someplace.

      I think at this point, I am learning the community of people I will be around is very important to me.

  • The wedding is next May…so you have lots of time to determine if you’ll use that trip as a permanent trip back to the East. Lots of time to research where you might want to live. As for this winter, wait and see what your boss comes up with. If you can’t live on it you can’t, and you’ll need to look for another job, but you still have a few months before then too, so you should be able to make a well researched decision on that too. It will all work out.

    And don’t beat yourself up by calling this grand adventure a failure. I quit my very well paying job in 2006 to go back to grad school to become a librarian. As you know that doesn’t really pay well. People thought I was crazy. And then when I couldn’t hang on to the only job in the field I could find and had to go back to the bank I too felt somewhat of a failure. But it wasn’t, and I wasn’t. I had 4 lovely years doing something different than the many many years of banking. I was lucky to have something to fall back on when the economy changed in mid-adventure. I wish I could have stayed in the field I loved, but I’m not sorry I tried.

    You shouldn’t be sorry either.

  • Terri, I think Asheville, NC would be perfect for you. It has a huge artistic creative community. Check out Tiny Homes at Wildflowers in Asheville at Also I disagree with the comment from your sister-in-law that with green you have snow. NC has so much green and very little snow. If you are looking to make better money try Charlotte or Raleigh, NC. You could live on land outside the city and still get paid very well.

    I don’t know if you were referring to me about beating yourself up and how you shouldn’t in your latest post. This is an oft said saying, but I think very appropriate to you…”The Journey is more Important than the Destination.” I too struggle with depression and it is so hard and unless you have it no one can understand what / how it impacts you. You have been a brave soul who went on an adventure and now your second guessing yourself – so what? That’s normal. You tried something different. Why is that a problem? Stop beating yourself up. Anyone that tells you different can go f__k themselves. What you did took enormous courage and speaks volumes about how resilient you are and how brave you are and if you go in a different direction it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. I always say. “I hate being me, but I’m the most qualified.” I think you’ll get what I mean…I would love to be without this chemical imbalance, but we don’t have a choice. I think you should celebrate what you’ve done and change it without guilt…you are a brave woman Terri and no one can take that away from you.

    • I was thinking of your comment, Carol – you were dead on. I like both of your quotes, very much, thank you, especially the one about being the most qualified to be yourself. I need to write these down and post them on my wall in my apartment.

      Hearing what you say about struggling with depression – it is so right. It is really hard to understand unless you have been through it ro you’re a medical professional who treats people with it all the time (or you’re one of my cats, who just know when Mom needs a little extra bit of loving. As I type this, my cat Max has his head on my lap and is dozing from boredom while watching the computer screen.)

      Thank you for saying it’s ok to change course. I know things sometimes but it also sometimes takes me having to hear it from others to know it’s ok to do so. Does that make any sense?

      Thank you so much, Carol.

  • Taking big steps like a job change or moving across the country by yourself can be exciting and also scary. I have never had anyone to share those with me, and I’ve bounced around quite a bit in my career. However much I know I’m taking a good step, it’s so hard to be alone in a new place without a support system or even one other person to share the journey and the ups and downs that go with it. Been there, done that, and completely understand.

    You are not a failure and your decisions have not been wrong. They were right for you at the time you made them, and each part of your adventures west of Boston brought you information about yourself and what you need to have to live it authentically and in a way that fulfills you. You’ve also seen what you’re missing. The next steps, when they come, will help you fine-tune your choices.

    I wish you had a support system in place where you are – but you have us! And we know you well, and support you in our different places. Love you lots, just as you are, Terri.

    • Thank you, Anne. I know you do understand, for sure. I’m glad things are working out for you in Texas with your dad. I know what you are saying – that the decisions were right for you at the time, I just wish I had more foresight than I do. I guess we all do, right? And yes, doing this alone is so scary. It’s exciting to know of the learning that will come (as librarians, we always want to learn and improve on things, right?)

      In a way, I don’t want to stay where I am for the remainder of my lease but in another way, it’s good to force me to sit and think about my next move and really think it out. Not just shoot from the hip. Needless to say, when I find out this option from my boss, I plan on taking time to think about my answer and consult with some trusted friends. (You might be getting a facebook message from me – be warned!) 🙂

      Hugs to you, Anne, and thank you.

      Thank you

  • I wouldn’t view the move as a failure. You have learned a lot about yourself and proven to yourself that you are willing to and able to make big changes in the pursuit of happiness. You & the furballs, always have a home in Boston!!

    • I guess I just feel like it might be admitting defeat. That’s the wrong way to say it in words, but it’s hard to describe how it makes me feel. Thank you, I miss you always!

  • Terri if you ever need to do re con in the NC SC area please let me know. My house will be open to you.!!!!!

  • Terri, it’s your old Kanab neighbor Michele. I’m workamping right now in Cherokee, NC, about 40 miles south of Asheville. I know what you mean when you say you miss the color green and trees and being near your dear ones. There’s no shame in that and it’s certainly no failure to take a chance, spend too much money and then change your mind. So what? Being bold doesn’t insulate you from second thoughts but you will never regret the chances you took, just the ones you didn’t. Cut yourself some slack. You’ll get this thing and everything will be alright. I left Kanab too and like you, I gave up a lot to get there and then i had a change of heart. But I wouldn’t trade the experience I had there for anything. ANYTHING. And remember too Terri, I was there when you arrived in Kanab and when you set up that big old camper of yours and when your water froze and your cat died after you drove all the way to St. George to save him and when you realized that working at the sanctuary wasn’t necessarily all that you’d hoped it would be. You never whined, you just got on with things. I know very few women who would do what youve done and do it alone. I admired you then and I admire you now. Now it’s time to go on to bigger and better things. When you do make your way eastward, come have a look at western North Carolina. Its a little slice of heaven here, I love it and plan to stay and it might just be your cup of tea too. Remember, you have a friend here. Come on!

    • Michele, thank you so much – I am so happy to hear you are good again, and happy workamping. I know Louisiana was not your cup of tea either, but I remember the reasons you made that move back east. It’s funny but before I decided to move out to Kanab for BF, I had thought of buying a house in the Rockville, NC area – more toward the southern part of the state. But western NC does sound like a good move for me to make when the time comes. I’m going to put a lot of thought into it, and I should know what this option is with my boss later on today.

      I felt like I whined, Michele – I know I definitely freaked out a lot when things went wrong with that huge freaking trailer!

      I so wish you were around, Michele, I miss that sense of humor of yours and yes, even your dog’s breath. 🙂

  • Terri to return home in know way means you have failed at anything… You have merely been on an adventure which is good for your soul.. Just let your heart lead you… There is no shame in deciding where you are now is not for you… No worries… but a trip back home may actually be good for your heart and soul.. Best of luck…

    • If i could afford a trip back home right now, CAry, I would take it. That’s been part of my problem ever since moving. It’s so expensive to travel back east, and the salary is not there to allow me to do it, which is why I’ve started a savings account for my brother’s wedding in May. And I am trying to do just that – let the heart lead. I should know what this other option is today.

  • Terri, As Carol and Kristen said, I think you would be happy in the Asheville, NC area (or in SC if you want trees and no snow). It’s a culture and climate that would suit you.

    I still think you should consider living in two different places. You could be a snowbird in Florida in the winter. With all of the snowbirds flocking to Florida, there are lots of well-paying jobs available as a waitress or bartender as well as other jobs.

    When it comes to deciding to take a job working with animals that doesn’t pay much or taking a higher paying job, consider that you could take the higher paying job and then give some money to the animal shelters. That way you would have more money, and you would be helping the animals.

    With your skills, cleaning out rabbit cages would not be the best way for you to help animals.

    Just my thoughts,

    • I’m not thinking of going back to work with the sanctuary, Jerry, no worries about that. It was in such a small town, I was going crazy. Another person has said that to me as well, using my skills in a different way to help animals. However, I really love the hands on time I get with them, which is why I like being at the shelter here, and enjoyed my time this morning taking some of the dogs for walks. They really need the human interaction and exercise, so it benefited both of us.

      As for waitressing or bartending, those are two of the jobs that I have never held before, believe it or not! I just don’t think I can afford to live in two places honestly. I can’t afford to own in one place and rent in another. And I wouldn’t want to be a landlord anyway, which is probably what would end up happening. But some other folks have mentioned ASheville too. So, thank you.

  • How can you tell what will suit you without trying it out? If your body is in The West, but your heart is in The East, you may not be in the right place for peace of mind. Only an extended time in a given place can tell you what you need to know to feel at peace with your decisions.

    One thing is for sure, if your salary will not cover your bills, let alone leave anything for emergencies, that is probably not a good financial plan.

    Hopefully things will come clear for you by the time you are heading for your brother’s wedding.

    Virtual hugs,


    • Hi Judie, yes, I have decided against moving to that one team lead position – it super stressed me out. the option that they raised to me yesterday is a bit better but not much. At least it will pay my bills while i figure things out. I just have to be creative and frugal to be able to afford to save a bit. I know I can do it if I keep my mind on the end game and goal, of which I am figuring out what that is. 🙂 Hugs back at you!

  • Hey Terri,
    Just a thought or two. Austin is a little, big city and is full of hip, open-minded people. There is lots to do for entertainment, plenty of lakes and rivers, close to another fine city — San Antonio, about 3 hrs. drive to the beautiful, sparsely populated beaches of south Texas, lots of opportunities for employment, and relatively modest living expenses. It is nestled in the Texas Hill Country with plenty of green, mild temps most of the year, and as for snow; they’ve heard of it. Doesn’t get you as near to home as you might decide to be. However, check it out. If I wasn’t so close to retiring with the school district I am with, it would be in my top 3 places in Texas to live. Next thought: You are a seeker of truth, the highest form of treasure hunting. You will find your gold. No regrets should you ever have. And as for the ones who say or think, “I told you so…” They don’t matter because you have truly lived and had experiences that they could never imagine having, and truth be told they are jealous. You have been out there on the road and have been kind enough to share it. Thank you! I don’t know who said this, “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.” Read Walt Whitman’s, “Song of the Open Road” You have lived it. How many can claim that prize?

    • David, I have heard about the hill country and seen pictures. I think it’s also famous for blue bonnets, correct?

      I have also been thinking of moving back to being within an 8-10 hour drive from my family. Maybe even closer. So, my research begins anew….

      Been starting to read that poem, thank you. And am thinking of picking up one of his books of poetry at the library tomorrow when it opens too.

      • Hi Terri,
        Yes, the hill country is famous for blue bonnets, and it really is the best that Texas has to offer. I have been all over this state and the Austin and San Antonio areas are unrivaled. The weather is really hard to beat, too. You are welcome for the poetry suggestion — one of my favorites. Even if you decide on returning to the east coast, you should consider a visit to the Austin area, more friendly folks “than you can shake a stick at.” Idiom intended.
        Later, David

      • I’ve been to San Antonio – several years ago because of a conference and I have to admit, the heat combined with the humidity was just way too much for me. I like that there is a city out there like that!

  • Western North Carolina is a great place to live. Lots of woods (Great Smoky Mountains NP!), very little snow. Four seasons but none of them extreme. Franklin is an extremely dog-friendly town. Give this area some thought….

    • Hi Peggy, I’ve never heard of Franklin! So many of you are saying NC, I definitely have to look into it and start my researching – it’s something I love to do. And Austin, another place that keeps getting mentioned. I’ve heard of the Hill Country and seen the pictures adn actually a friend of mine (she was a former student) lives there. So a few places to ponder. Thank you so much for leaving me a note – I agree, definitely worth a thought.

      And truth be told, I think I am missing a bit of the change of seasons. Never thought I would say that!

  • Hello. Colorado is very expensive, so keep that in mind. I hope you can find peace, and a place where you can call home. 🙂

    • I have heard that about CO – when I was looking at Grand Junction for rents, they seemed decent. But I have been thinking more and more of moving somewhere closer to family, being within an 8-10 hour drive at most, I think. And me too, me too – thank you!

  • Hi Terri, and as always thanks for sharing in such an authentic way. I’m sorry that I’m too scattered and pressed for time to read all the comments above. Mine may be repetitive … “Failure” is a label, and one that isn’t likely to sound true to anyone who really knows you. You’ve done something remarkable and courageous to give up what was conventional and settled to explore what you really want. The bold-faced text at the end of your post shows you are strongly motivated to move toward a living situation that is aligned with a sense of purpose and meaning. The lease/wedding issue defines a block of time to explore next steps. I hope it helps to know there is a community of people here to support and encourage you as you explore what to do and where to do it.

    (PS: The first place that came to mind, reading the post, was North Carolina.)

    • That is exactly what i am looking for – a living situation that aligns with a sense of purpose and meaning. I am going to write that on my wall! (I write motivational things like that on my wall.)

      Someone told me on facebook to look at this time as an experiment, not a failure.

      David, thank you for even taking the time to comment – I know you have a ton on your plate with your mom right now. I hope she is doing ok.

  • Did you give up on Oregon? You used to always talk about Oregon. At least find a way to stay in Oregon for a year before heading back east. You’ve done the Utah and Arizona 🌵 thing, now onward to Oregon 😁

    I just went over to Oregon last month, funny thing happened at a fuel station after I crossed the state line. This tweaker looking woman was walking towards me after I got out of the truck. I gave her a look like the get the heck away from me. Turns out she was an employee and was there to pump the fuel. Forgot Oregon doesn’t let you touch the fuel pumps, oops 😊

    • At this point, I am looking to move back closer to family. Oregon is too expensive. And it will be the same thing again – too far away from them to get back to see them. I don’t want to miss the time I have left with my family. My mom is 77. She’s not going to live forever. My nieces and nephews are also growing up and I’m not seeing any of it. Family is important to me.

  • Hi Kiddo – I just left Green River after spending a fortune and only being there for 4 weeks but paying for 3 months plus moving etc. No internet even, which was good, I think. I started to look at it as a failure, but you know what? It took all that for me tor realize you can’t go back and shouldn’t. I lived there before and really liked it, but now, not so much.

    We pay tuition to learn things in college, and we likewise pay tuition to learn things here on Planet Earth. So don’t let the costs and all make you look at where you are as a failure, as long as you’re learning.

    Colorado’s great. I’m in Glenwood Springs again and love it, but it’s expensive. You would like it here except for the snow, but I really think you would be happy returning closer to home. We need family, and even if we don’t want to see them very often, it’s nice to have the choice. If you start looking at your time in Page as being short-term, you’ll find lots there to enjoy. I think this is partly why I like to move so much, knowing I’ll be leaving makes me get out and explore and enjoy where I’m at. Kind of a bittersweet thing.

    So, hie thee home, where you belong, and only you know where that is, even if you have to search a bit for it.

    • I’m so glad to hear from you, Chinle. I will email you privately to tell you about some things. I have definitely been thinking about moving closer to home and started the application process for a few jobs earlier this week. It’s helping me to get through the day, knowing I am doing something every day to change my present situation. I’ve realized I can deal with snow if my family is nearby.

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