I’ve always liked the saying, “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” For this trip, perhaps it should read, “A journey of 3,000 miles begins with a single birthday wish…” We are on our way home, and I find myself wishing this desolate land between home and the west would offer a bit more pleasurable views for our driving enjoyment. But this ‘nothingness’ gives me time for reflection. And because of this amazing invention called a ‘laptop’, I can type away as the miles roll on and on and on…there are some things you just gotta love about this ‘modern’ world!
And I wonder, 20 years from now, what will Morgan and Sarah remember about this trip?! What stories from this trip will be told to my grandkids one day down the road? What memories will Mike and I always hold…after we return home, life settles back into routine, and the years keep flying by? I guess that’s part of the mystery and the fun of an unknown future.
I’ve taken lots of photos this trip, trying to capture some of the moments along the way, and yet I am also aware that pictures fail to capture so much of the experience. I’m hoping at some point when I’m less sleep deprived and not still on a ‘high’ from this trip, I will awake one morning and be able to capture into words some of this grand adventure. But to begin, here are some of the experiences we had on this trip…
We found joy in a can of spray paint. We meandered through a petrified crystal forest. We observed the beauty of minerals in the Painted Desert. We immersed ourselves in frigid mountain stream water for the thrill of siding down natural rocks. We traversed over lava rocks beneath Sunset Crater. We found flowers in unexpected places. We attempted to experience the refreshing coolness of the ‘blow hole’ in ancient Indian ruins. We beheld a shared wonder of viewing the Grand Canyon for the first time. We held hands often. We froze (42 degrees) and huddled together as we watched the sunrise over the Grand Canyon welcoming Morgan into the next decade of her life. We put a candle in her muffin and sang her happy birthday on top of that canyon rim. We took a relaxing horseback ride at sunset thru the ponderosa pines of the Kaibab Forest. We ventured downward into the Grand Canyon and back up again (only for about 1.5 hours). We strolled along the rim’s top, snapping countless photos. With gratitude we watched our girls skip everywhere. We enjoyed stiff breezes that kept us cool during the day. We camped. We enjoyed s’mores and campfires. We let our faces reflect the sun’s concluding rays as it fell over the Grand Canyon. We sat in awe at the brilliance of the stars after the sun went down. We had no bedtimes. We were amazed at the sight of Saturn’s rings through a telescope. We rafted (smooth water) down the Colorado River, thru Glen Canyon. We froze in even colder water of the Colorado River (ok they did, I wasn’t getting in 47 degree water!). We splashed in hotel pools. We kept a lookout for mountain lions and bears, but alas, we saw neither. We toured ancient pueblo Indian ruins at Mesa Verde. We watched our girls get ‘sworn in’ as Jr. Ranger’s and Grand Canyon and Mesa Verde. We rose above the treetops on the ski lift and soaked in the mountain views. We screamed flying down the half-mile Alpine slide on the mountain side. We had a picnic on top of the mountain. We watched a ‘gun-fight’ in the streets of Silverton. We burned our feet in the sand of the Great Sand Dunes. We listened to our girls sing countless songs. We laughed at silliness. And of course, we also thanked God often for the opportunity to experience all this beautiful creation of His!! Yes, we journeyed these 3,000 miles together and regardless of what details we remember, I’m certain it is a trip that will endure in our hearts for the rest of our days.
And in 19 months, Sarah will turn 10…I wonder where she will choose?! Rumor has it that our next adventure may be more “Magical” than “Grand”, but we will see if she chooses Disney or elsewhere in the end! J