Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Going West #3
May 10, 2010 – Home
Finally, we can walk barefoot on clean floors. We can walk in and turn on the lights without sanitizing first. We’re not grossed out by touching the remote. I can put the purse on the floor and not think any cooties are going to eat it up. I can take a shower without cringing. Yep! We’re finally home.
After driving like crazy the day before, so as to avoid the forecasted tornado in Kansas (it did finally hit Oklahoma), we got just barely into Colorado last night . We also learned on that trip that weather forecast is ever so relative. On the Weather Channel on the morning of our drive through Kansas, we were told “there are 50 and 60 mile winds in Kansas, which are strong enough to down trees”. But as we were making our way through the windy state, the radio dj (evidently a local) said “it’s a little breezy out there, but other than that, a beautiful day!”. Considering the soreness in my arms trying to drive through those winds, I can tell you it was a little more than breezy!
This morning (Monday), with 600 or so in front of us to cover, we headed towards the mountains. The mountains were barely peeking at the horizon line already, but once we got just past Denver we were in the middle of them.
What beautiful country! Maybe I am biased since mountains are my kind of heaven, but the scenery was breathtaking. Tall and steep, and covered in rock or snow, or pine trees – the colors and different “textures” was a delight for the eyes. We followed the Colorado River a while on I-70 West, to Grand Junction – and the canyons it forms are spectacular. I have not seen The Grand Canyon, but I can only imagine how impressive it must be since these relatively un-famous and non-descript “baby” canyons were leaving me speechless.
There were roads, and train tracks and mountain streams with waterfalls all crammed in the narrow valleys, there were wild sheep on the side of the road, and fresh, yellow spring flowers blooming all over the place. The sky was just a peephole above our heads as we drove buried at the bottom of the steep cliffs. We saw signs of “massive deer crossing”, as well as about eagles flying over the highway everywhere. We were in wild country for sure – close to the beasts and the skies.
Although today’s trip was probably the most visually beautiful (at least for us, mountain folks), it was probably the second most challenging (only to the winds of Kansas) as far as driving went. I thank Aa. for driving the whole lag, as he wanted me to be the designated photographer through this beautiful land. The road was almost exclusively up hill and very curvy. The traffic, especially the tractor trailer one, was making it that much more difficult. There were notes about falling rocks everywhere, and emergency crews working diligently to clean up the debris and stop the falls.
I got hardly any pictures of the Denver skyline, because the cats were very, very upset today, making a ton of noise, so I was trying to appease them. Our guess was that their ears were plugging up fast like ours were, but we’ll never know for sure. We stopped in Vail for lunch, and we drove on through snow flurries after that.
Snapping away, we drove past the beautiful, pine covered mountains of Colorado, and slid into the somewhat flat desert of Utah. The landscape is once again breath stopping, but of a different nature: majestic rocky formations are seen in the distance, in all sorts of shapes, shades and colors. And very little vegetation is to be seen here – other than the yellow flowers and some prairie grass. We were wondering even what are the cows eating, as we saw no human settling for miles, but many a cow herds. What are they drinking, too, was another puzzling question. It’s a very arid and rough sort of land, South-Eastern Utah is.
We were glad to finally be in the driveway. We made it fine, with cats all intact, albeit cranky, tired and ready for some real food. By the way, the new Subway breakfast they advertise is absolute crap. Pardon my French, but it was the worst thing I have eaten in a long while! And when they have to “cut” the “eggs” (some kind of round, tortilla looking “thing” they call “eggs”) in order to make you a sandwich, you’ve got to wonder what in the world you’re actually eating. It was like plastic food melted and gone bad! It was pretty gross! So, we were ready for some real food when we got home. And thank God I have a foodie husband who knows about good food, because he had home made potato and bacon soup in the freezer waiting for us, and Honey Baked ham for sandwiches!
It was in the low 50’s when we finally got to Spanish Fork – definitely not the 90 degrees we left NC with. But it’s never disappointing to have two springs in one year, is it?!
I’ll work on the pictures next, and hope you guys will enjoy those as well as these updates.
Aa. and I thank you all for keeping us in your thoughts while we traveled for so many days! We have a beautiful country, and this trip was such a lesson, in so many ways: geography, history, traveling, family and last but not least love, too! Truly one of those once in a lifetime opportunities that was imposed on us by life circumstances, but one we embraced with all the optimism we could muster.