Saturday, September 14, 2013

Where in the World?

Man, we went all over the place.

In almost 2500 miles, we crossed 10 state lines.  We probably spent 50 hours on the road.  But we made it to Paris.

And Garden City and Green River (in two different states).  Gould and Moriarty.  Opal, Diamondville, Groom, and Mead.  Kirtland, Monticello, Jamestown, and Memphis.  Trinidad!

Cheyenne, Las Vegas, Denver, Albuquerque, Amarillo, and Salt Lake.  We drove the Oregon Trail, Route 66, and the Lincoln Highway.

We saw Rocky Ridge, Mesa Verde, Arches, Castle Rock, Pike's Peak, Signal Mountain, and the Rocky Mountains.  Shamrock, Price, Cache, and Helper.  Victory.  Three Air Force bases, several Army outposts, and a half dozen Indian reservations.  And we visited Sinclair (the town and the gas station).

I love looking at the names of places and wondering how they got them.  History - the real what-happened-to-people-here history, not the names-and-dates-of-rulers-and-wars history fascinates me.  I loved looking at the ghost towns, the deserted homes in the middle of the prairie, the old pioneer trail tracks.  I like to think of who would have wanted to live there.  What were they like?  How did they live?  The empty villages depress Trent.  He thinks I'm crazy that I'd like to camp in one.

Mostly, I loved seeing a different part of the earth.  Mountains, mesas, plains, and flatlands so flat I felt we'd fall off in a few more miles.  Loved it all.

We wrote down a list of "Family Choice Awards" as we went along.

Best Rest Stops: Texas.  Hands down.  I could spend a day just there.
Most Unique Snack: Garden City, ID - pickle sicles
Best Free Stuff: our British neighbors in the Fort Collins, CO campground who had spent weeks touring America in an RV and were giving away all the stuff they bought before they flew home.  Toaster!  Chairs!
Biggest Bug Party: crickets at the Texas rest stop at night.  There were everywhere!
Biggest Bug Party runner-up: flies in our van.  Always.
Best Windmills: Wyoming

Best Roadside Snack: fresh frybread made by a Navajo lady at a garage sale.  Yes, she taught Trent how.  Score!
Worst Breakdown: tent trailer latches failing on the freeway in WY, making our pop-up pop up.  So glad I married a handy-man who can fix just about anything!

Worst Breakdown runner-up: tent trailer door slowly swinging itself open in the middle of the night and freaking Mom out.
Most Heart-Happy Sight: (besides our home at the end, and besides seeing Alec!) watching Trent sing-sign songs in American Sign Language. Makes my heart melt every time.

Least Favorite Food: the dozens and dozens of hot dogs we had left over from the family reunion - and ATE.  All of them.
Best Establishment Names: "Suds UR Duds", a coin-op laundry; "It'll Do Motel", and the "Cotton Pickin' Festival" in Hollis, OK.
Most Interesting Comment: "These past two days of driving have been WAY more interesting than those first three hours were!"

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