Saturday, May 28, 2011

Road Trip - A Very Long Road Trip

Caution, warning, whatever you do in reading this blog post, know that it is very long.  V-E-R-Y L-O-N-G!  I mean seriously, the title tells you I just went on a very long road trip.  If you want a quicker blog read, then read about our trip go to my Sisters blog - she has the condensed version, and she also has pictures.  Not sure when I will get my pictures posted...but they are coming.  Also, I don't know if I will have much time to blog this summer since Tuesday is when I take the second chemistry of mine for the umpteenth time.  Dear reader, I'm giving you, the reader several days to read about my trip.  If you are willing?  So, read some, stop, come back, read some more, stop, pick up the reading again, and then in a few days you will have read about my very long road trip.  :) :) :) Grab that popcorn and let the road trip unfold...

Day 1 of VERY LONG ROAD TRIP!

My Sis and I just got home from a VERY LONG, but oh so wonderful road trip!  We did it all, and then some!  We started out on a quiet Thursday afternoon.  Took my last final, worked a few hours, loaded the car, and then headed south.  Our destination was a lot of different places, and different people.  First it was off to Phoenix, but before getting there we took the long route - don't ask me why, we just did!  We headed down to Vegas making a sharp left turn south to the Hoover dam.  I haven't been there in years, okay, I was there two years ago but it was dark and you couldn't really see anything.  My, my how that dam area has changed.  They now have this huge bridge that goes over the dam and then some.  We took the scenic route of course, then back tracked (which is a "no no" in my book) to the bridge and headed south.  According to our itinerary we were supposed to end up in Flagstaff for a night of camping but decided to stop short, ending west of Flagstaff; we stayed in a historic little town called Seligman which is on the historic Route 66.  After a VERY LONG night of listening to trains going by every 30 minutes the campground host presented Sis and I with a key chain saying, "We survived the night of 1000 trains!"  (That will make a nice mailbox key chain.)  We sure did survive a night of SERIOUSLY 1000 FREAKING TRAINS, and I only wish I would've drugged myself up with some Tylenol PM.  But then, I wouldn't have this awesome story to tell now would I?

Day 2 of VERY LONG ROAD TRIP!

After an early rise it was time to get back on track with our itinerary and get our butts to Flagstaff.  Since we were behind schedule some, we decided against our activities in Flagstaff and headed south towards Sedona.  I have always wanted to go to Sedona, and was sadly disappointed.  If you are from the Southern region of Utah and surrounded by red rock then Sedona is nothing new.  We saw a few sights, drove around, but thought it was a drag and got back in the car so we could get our butts even further south to Phoenix.

Now Sis has been to Phoenix before, but me, nope!  Can you believe it, I can't.  Now know that on this really long road trip my Sis and I did some major researching for what we could see, do, and of course, EAT in all the different places we tripped through.  One thing that helped in our planning was these two totally cool websites, Tripadvisor and 10best. In planning Phoenix they said to do the Mystery Castle tour.  After driving all through most of Phoenix, cause it’s way big, and way spread out, we made our way to this dumpy castle.  This castle was some man’s house that ended up being a collector of junk.  We paid the five dollars and walked through the NO AIR CONDITIONED "castle" and then were on our way.  It was cool, I guess?  Seriously though, it's in Phoenix, and they need to add air conditioning to that place - especially if it's a "tourist attraction."  After we cooled off we found the Mesa temple and a hotel nearby.  Showered finally, and then went to the temple.  Sis did baptisms, and I did some sealing’s.  The night was beautiful, the temple was beautiful, and our trip was becoming more beautiful.  After temple time it was off to bed because we had an extra-long day ahead of us.

Day 3 of VERY LONG ROAD TRIP!

That morning we arose into our third day on the trip.  I became more and more dumb with traveling, and was able to receive a phone call from my dearest cousin Summer trying to figure out what is going on in my head!  Apparently when traveling to different states there happens to be a thing called a time zone.  Hmm.  Well, I apparently couldn't get this time zone thing into my blond head....so, to make a long story (kind of) short.  We were at a race to get from Phoenix to El Paso with a stop in Tucson to see the Saguaro National park, and Old Tucson, where they have filmed a whole bunch of movies - westerns mostly.  Oh yes, and we had to eat at a little French cafe cause heaven forbid we eat something out of our cooler again.  And, of course, I am thinking that we can do all this and arrive in El Paso at let's say around six, or did I say four in the afternoon.  Gees, give me a break, I'm on vacation I shouldn't have to use my brain. ;)  However, we did see Saguaro National Park, toured Old Tucson, saw dumpy Tucson, and ate at a little French cafe.  Then we drove like a bat out of hell to get our butts to El Paso so that my dear, sweet, cousin and her family who so graciously came to meet us in the border town of El Paso to let us follow them the two hours back to their place in Carlsbad (New Mexico) so that my dad could rest easy miraculously happened; with a pedal to the metal we arrived at 7:00pm, had some dinner and with the TIME CHANGE arrived at their home around midnight.  (And yes, I got over being scared at my cousin...I didn't dare talk on the phone with her after she yelled at me over the phone at the little French cafe.)  And P.S. a week after getting home from the road trip I received a phone call from the cousin telling me that El Paso was actually on the same time zone.  I knew it!

Day 4 & 5 of VERY LONG ROAD TRIP!

Then next few days were spent hanging out with my cousin Summer, her hubby Klinton, and their two sweet kids who I have missed dearly since they moved.  We went to church with them, had some good food, watched movies, relaxed, and just hung out.  Two of the days spent in Carlsbad led my Sis and I to another National Park, Carlsbad Caverns.  They were pretty neat stuff.  It was just the two of us since kids weren't really recommended for the caverns.  You can't take strollers, and you have to be quiet - that doesn't really work for kids.  The Sis and I took off for our journey to the center of the earth, so it felt like it.  We took the natural entrance which is hiking down to the bottom then taking an elevator to the top.  I told one of the rangers that I wish every hike we ever go on would have an elevator at the end.  We were pooped when we got to the bottom.  Our knees were sore and our hair humidified.  It was a fun park to see, but really, once you have been in one cave, they are all pretty much the same.  Although, I wish that I could have been there the day the person who found the caverns - what were they thinking when they stumbled upon this huge hole, and traveled in with probably just an old oil lamp.  FREAKY!  I will give some props to the National Park, the whole trail was lite with lights and then some of the cool features throughout were also lit up.  It reminded me of something out of the movie "Labyrinth" I kept thinking we would find David Bowie at the end of the cave to sing to us or something???  (Side note, when we left the caverns my DJ Sis put in some Bowie music and my day was complete!)

Day 6 of VERY LONG ROAD TRIP!

The next day in Carlsbad we decided to head north an hour and hang out in Roswell, NM.  Does that town sound familiar to anyone...anyone who has been abducted by alien’s maybe???  Roswell, NM is a very controversial town where aliens or the air force once roamed.  I'm not very much into politickle stuff so this whole alien hoopla sounds like a fooey to me.  But, we had to go see all the hype and tour the UFO Museum and Research lab.  Now remember, we had small children with us, so in preparing to see this alien stuff we had to keep telling the little kiddos that aliens are "cute and funny."  Summer's oldest who is 4 agreed with us completely.  The minute we walked into the museum there was a small alien to greet us, and little Trace went right up to the alien and embraced the little guy.  It was the cutest thing I have ever seen!!!  Okay, so even after touring the museum, I think maybe there just might be something out there, and that something might have landed right here in the grand o'l USA, even in Roswell, New Mexico.....you decide.....let the music of X-Files take your mind into deep thought....

Day 7 & 8 of VERY LONG ROAD TRIP!

The next few days with the cousins was just spent hanging out, celebrating Trace's birthday, playing at the park, and just enjoying our time as much as possible before leaving.  The Sis and I did have an interesting experience one night at the park.  I'm just as smart as can be, and have always left one of my memory cards for my camera in my little camera bag.  I am usually the only person to use my camera bag, but upon being on this vacation many people were in and out of my camera bag.  One of the nights at the park my camera was getting passed around.  During the passing around my memory card (with pictures of our trip) fell out as were down by the river.  I didn't realize it until we were about to leave the park.  I became frantic because that card had pictures and memories from our trip.  Those are not replaceable, and since I don't feel the need to ever spend money on souvenirs my pictures are all I ever take from any trip.  I was truly sad, but apparently not as sad as my Sis.  We immediately set foot to retrace our steps with my little camping flashlight.  We obviously didn't retrace all of our steps, and gave up.  We went back to our cousin’s house thinking that maybe I had dropped the card there before we even left for the park.  No luck.  After some major discussing, we decided to go back to the park (around 10:00pm) and retrace our steps once again.  My Sis and I said a quick prayer and started out separating and retracing.  After just a few minutes I hear my Sis yell, "I think I found it, but it's broken."  I come running over to her and sure enough it was on the sidewalk in pieces.  We fumbled around with and put it back together.  We got back and she put it in her computer to retrieve the pictures and sure enough it let her get the pictures.  It was quite the frantic evening, but a small miracle was placed in our life at the very moment, and I was ever so grateful that I got my pictures, my memories, my souvenirs.

Day 9 of VERY. LONG. ROAD. TRIP! YO!

Making it a full week of being on our trip it was time to leave our family down in Carlsbad.  It was very hard to leave, and we didn't want to leave.  Our itinerary got way off schedule because I and the Sis just couldn't bare leaving.  We finally got on the road around 2:00pm about three hours off schedule.  We cried, and cried, and I wondered why I even did my makeup.  Why do loved ones have to live so darn far away!!!  We took off with our destination for Albuquerque.  On the way we were driving north to Roswell, then even farther north to Albuquerque.  Once we got to Roswell the plan was to get gas because it seemed cheaper there then Carlsbad.  After driving the main road there wasn't much of a difference in gas and we still had a half a tank so I said let's just get gas at the next town.  Now my Sis and I are pretty prepared and pretty familiar with traveling the roads (since we have done our fair share of road tripp'n), however, one would think we learned from driving to Alaska that you never let your gas tank get under a half a tank of gas.  I was thinking a little different because, "Alaska is different - you go miles without seeing anyone let alone a gas station."  Well, just because we are hanging out in the lower 48 doesn't mean there aren't roads that go miles and miles without seeing people, or gas.  Well the road from Roswell to the small little town of Vaughn went miles and miles without anything.  I should have known there wasn't going to be gas after Roswell.  We had an atlas, and we were constantly using/looking at and a GPS ("Geeps" - what we call her).  I guess I thought the town of Vaughn wasn't as far as it really was.  My Sis was driving and about 40 miles from Vaughn she mentions to me that the gas light just came on.  At first I was like, "Vaughn is just up the road, we'll be fine."  Then as the road just kept getting longer and longer and no town of Vaughn was appearing I started to let the panic sink in.  What were we going to do!  I have never ever run out of gas.  I have come close, but never have I had to pull over and walk, or call someone for help.  What were we going to do!  Inside my car the book we were listening to got turned off, and the silence made it evident that we weren't going to make it to Vaughn.  I started to play situations in my head of us pulling over because the gas ran out and starting our walk.  I even at one moment thought about hopping on the train, traveling parallel with the road, and heading north, then hopping off in the town to get gas.  I know, I know, my mind was a mess of ideas.  Then as the miles kept creeping longer and longer I started to pray in my head, "Please let us get to Vaughn, please forgive me for being stupid and not filling up when we had the chance, please let us meet some nice people if we do run out of gas, please don't punish my sister for my stupidity..."  Well another miracle was wrought.  Just as I was about to lose faith we came up over the hill and there in the distance was the small little town of Vaughn.  I have never been so happy to see a gas station sign with the cheapest price of gas being $3.98, and I literally ran into the station and told the lady working that I have never been so happy to see this gas station!!!  I'm sure she thought I was nuts, but I was incredibly grateful for another answered prayer.  I guess that is what I get for wanting to wait for "cheaper" gas.

A few hours off schedule we made it to Albuquerque.  One of the tourist attractions in this town is the Sandia Tram which is the longest tram in the world.  Taking you atop the mountains, that sit to the east in Albuquerque.  We got there just before one of the last tram rides.  We hopped on and headed to the top of the mountain.  I didn't really freak out since I was crammed in the tram with about 30 other people and couldn't really lose my cool.  I didn't look down much, and tried not to think of us breaking and falling to our death.  There must be something about getting older because the older I am getting the more scared I am becoming of heights?  When we got to the top I had wished I wasn't in shorts because it was freaking cold - close to 30 degrees!  We took a few pictures watched the sun set which was absolutely beautiful, and chatted with some other sightseers until we could catch a tram back to the bottom.  When we got to the bottom we found out we were only three miles from the temple so we thought we would do a drive by.  They had major road construction and we had quite the struggle to just see the temple.  We decided to call it a night, so we found a hotel, got caught up on our latest Glee show, and went to bed with hopes of getting back on track with our itinerary the next day.  That morning we arose early, got breakfast, checked out "Old Town" in Albuquerque, went and had a better look at the temple and then headed north for our next destination - Santa Fe!

Day 10 of VERY. LONG. ROAD. TRIP! YO!

I loved Santa Fe!  It was everything and more.  People had told me how beautiful and artsy Santa Fe was and is, very true to their words.  First on our agenda in the cute little town was to see one of the oldest and most historic churches in the USA.  The church (which is the oldest in the USA) was under some construction, so in all my research of the town we had another church to attend that was known for a very unique staircase.  The Sis and I paid $3.00 each to walk into this pristine chapel and take a picture of the stairs.  But don't you worry; the Sister and many other folks in the church got their money's worth at this particular time.  In wanting a very different photo of the staircase I started to walk up towards the front of the chapel.  I was walking backwards and was facing a congregation of people who were sitting and praying to their Lord.  I thought I was being very quiet and cool when all of a sudden I fall backwards landing on my BUTT making a loud crash, thinking I was about to take down the pulpit with me.  People look up from their prayers, as I am sprawled out on the floor trying to get a hold of myself.  As I'm just chilling on the floor I start to ramble off stuff to whomever would listen, then I suddenly see my sister walking towards me laughing so hard I thought she was going to pee her pants.  "Quit laughing and help me up so we can get the HELL out of this church."  I get up and dash out when this retired looking couple comes up to me and ask if I'm okay, "physically" of course.  I tell them I'm fine, when at the same time I was bugged that they would even ask me.  Basically all that was hurt was my pride, and that I just wanted to get out of the chapel as fast as we could.  The Sis continued to laugh at me all the way back to the car - making a stop for the restroom so she could relieve herself otherwise my fall was going to make her wet herself.

Upon falling for every ones enjoyment pleasure we also stopped at a super yummy restaurant in Santa Fe that was featured on the show, "Diners, Drive Inns, and Dives."  Lunch was incredibly yummy - dessert, not so much.  I had ordered me a polish dog with onions, pinto beans, relish, mayo, and tomatoes.  It came with onion rings, and I was momentarily in heaven.  The Sis and decided to have the dessert that the host from "Diners, Drive Inns, and Dives" ate, bread pudding custard.  Apparently the Sis has never had a custard.  Her face was priceless when she took her one and only bite.

After Santa Fe it was several hours of driving before we would get to our next destination, Colorado Springs.  Before getting to Colorado Springs we drove through the trashy town of Las Vegas, New Mexico, and the cute towns of Trinidad and Pueblo, Colorado.  Once arriving to Colorado Springs I had fallen in love with a new city.  First on our itinerary was to go to Seven Falls.  Seven Falls is a hike up against the Rocky Mountains.  We drove through a beautiful canyon landing at the end of the canyon were seven water falls came cascading down the mountain side.  We got ourselves together and started up the many stairs, 224 to be exact, and straight up the side of a mountain.  Once upon a time I was not afraid of heights, but seriously the older I am getting the worse I am getting with heights - I hate it.  I started up the stairs and made it to the first ledge.  I tried not to look down much, and tried not to think about the fact that I had to go back down.  The Sis and I sat on the ledge for a while so we could let other people come down.  One set of people in particular came down and had very small children with them - I just about had a freaking panic attack for this family.  I couldn't believe they would bring such small children on a hike like this.  However, I watched this family and luckily they safely made it to the bottom.  Seriously though, they should not let small children be allowed on such hikes like that.

When we finally made it to the bottom of the falls my knees barely stopped shaking with nerves.  Next we took off to the "Garden of the Gods" which felt like we were in Southern Utah with all the red rock.  But, it was beautiful area of Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak at the horizon, and seeing the "kissing camels" in the sunset.  (Apparently this state park is one of the most photographed areas in the world, or maybe USA...not sure???)  Since we were kind of on schedule we went to our restaurant that we had planned in advance, a brewery that had great food, but terrible atmosphere, and their homemade brewed root beer was a huge disappointment.  Couldn't tell you about their brewed beer - fo sho, I don't know Yo!

Finally we made it Denver, found our cousins Aaron and Kim and there sweet little kiddos home, and were ready to make it a day.

Day 11 of VERY. LONG. ROAD. TRIP! YO!

The day in Denver.  Okay, I know I say this pretty frequently, especially when I get to a new big city.  I really love Denver, I really think I should move there, and I really want to move there!  It seems to be that lately when I travel I have to go to some sort of garden.  First stop on our agenda for the day was to see the Denver Botanical Gardens.  Good thing we started out there first because just as we left it started to rain. Now I have been to some major awesome gardens in the last couple of years.  This was pretty fabulous, and right in the heart of Denver.  The Sis and walked around in the cold admiring the pretty flowers, statues, and of course, I took lots of pictures.  After the garden touring it was off to eat some lunch.  We of course found our restaurant because of (once again), "Diners, Drive Inns, and Dives."  That should be every one's "go to" for restaurants!  We found the quaint little restaurant and I decided I would try what the host of the show tried, so I had the meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and peas.  YUMMMY!  Then of course we had to try the same dessert he tried, which was a spice cake with real whipped cream.  This time around the Sis actually enjoyed the desert and helped me finish it up.  After a fulfilling lunch it was back to more touring.  Our trusty little websites, as mentioned, said the Denver Art Museum was a must see.  That museum sure was fun, but before enjoying the fun, the fun police (museum security) pulled me aside and got very stern and straight forward with me about having water in the museum.  Well shoot, I should have listened to the SISTER - as I am slowly learning to do.  She is much wiser for her younger age.  After the water got stashed away we started our long journey through the museum.  I enjoyed a lot of the art, but was rolling my eyes at some of the stuff that is apparently art?

We had enough of the cultural experience of looking at art so we decided to go get a little spiritual.  We were supposed to go to the Denver Temple on Friday before we got to our cousins house, but because we were a little bit behind schedule we decided we would go on Saturday and had more time available for Saturday.  We made our way in the rain to the temple, found the beautiful structure, changed our clothes in the car and walked up to the doors.  As we go to the entrance I pulled on the door to find it locked.  I thought it was rather odd, but just kept pulling on the door.  Finally someone was leaving the temple and I was able to enter.  We got to the front desk only to find out the last time they let people in is 4:00pm on Saturday's, and it was sadly ten minutes after five.  Now I have been denied at the temple several times - and not because I was bad, just because my timing was off.  It has been sad when this has happened, but it teaches me to be better prepared, and gives me much ambition to get back to the particular temple that won't let me in.  So, I took a few pictures of the beautiful structure and made a mental note that when I live in Denver I will attend this temple often.  After our sour experience at the temple it was time to eat again, and fill our sadness with food.  Off to find another restaurant from that show I keep talking about, "Diners, Drive Inns, and Dives."  The next restaurant was only a few miles from our cousin’s house so we ended the evening eating at a Native American restaurant where we had some amazingly huge Navajo tacos loaded to the brim.  I decided to get a little gutsy and try bison.  It was really tasty, and a whole heck of a lot better for you than any other meats - even better for you then fish.  How do I know this?  They had a fact sheet about their products and meat.  It was very interesting to read and very nutritionally beneficial.

After we were full of food it was off to the cousin’s house.  We hung out, visited, played with the kiddos, and then turned in early because we still had several more days of road tripp'n ahead of us.  Will this trip ever end.....Keep reading, you're almost done!

Day 12 of EXTREMELY LONG ROAD TRIP!

Sunday morning we arose and got ready for church.  The cousin's church started at eleven so we went and attended Sacrament meeting, said our good bye's and were off to Boulder.  I was so excited to go to Boulder.  I heard that just entering the town would cause you to get high...  First stop of the day was seeing and touring the Celestial Seasoning Tea Factory.  My Sis and I are huge into drinking herbal tea and particular this brand of tea.  The tour started out with a tea tasting where you got to taste all kinds of different teas.  We did not break the word of wisdom, but we did break the Sabbath by attending.  (And, don't get me started on, "to drink tea or not to drink tea" - that is the question?  I will do a blog to back my tea findings up, look for it at a later date.  Thank you.)  After a long tea tasting, our tour began.  We watched a video, suited up and began walking through the factory.  Boulder is actually where they founded Celestial Seasonings back in 1969 and is one of the biggest tea companies in the United States.  One of my favorite stops in the factory was the room where they store the peppermint for the peppermint tea.  We were warned before entering...let's just say the peppermint was incredibly strong that as soon as I walked through the door my eyes started to well up and spill over with tears.  It was like you were inside of an "Altoids" container.  Crazy!!!  When the tour was finished we ended up in the gift shop - imagine that.  I finally broke down and bought my first/last/only souvenir of the whole trip - a teapot.  I have such a fascination with teapots.  They are just darling, and I apparently HAD TO HAVE ONE.  After my cute green tea pot was boxed up it was time to eat.  Seriously, I think this trip was just about eating.  We found, yet again, another restaurant from that show I can't stop talking about, "Diners, Drive Inns, and Dives."  The one we really wanted to eat at was hard to get to since there was some kind of bike race going on so we went to our second choice.  It was okay, but the waiter messed up on my order and put mushrooms in my crepe, so I had to go through and pick them out.  Otherwise, it was just eh.  After our kind of sour lunch experience we went to the main drag in Boulder and toured the weirdo’s, and shops.  It was starting to get really cold, and we were planning on camping in Rocky Mountain National Park so we said goodbye to Boulder and headed for the mounains, yes the mounains.

Arriving at Rocky Mountain National Park was rather disappointing.  I need to get my timing for these major National Parks figured out.  Tried going to Yosemite and was closed for snow, Lake Louise - snow, and now Rocky Mountain had snow.  We drove through as much of the park as we could but didn't get to see much since the fog was so thick and snow was starting to fall.  We did get to see lots of huge elk roaming everywhere, even in the little town that was at the entrance of the National Park.  Because of our lack of preparedness we weren't extremely prepared for the weather in the park and decided not to camp, but to just drive through the evening to Cheyenne, Wyoming.  We arrived in Cheyenne a little after nine and found one of our favorite types of hotels, Holiday Inn Express.  Once again my blond hair shown through and what was left of my mind got left in Colorado...maybe I did get high in Boulder???  I go into the hotel, ask for a room, a cheap one, even one I could share a bed.  He sets me up in a room and tells me it's cheaper to just do two beds.  Whatever, I think?  I get the key, get the Sis, and get our stuff.  We get in our room, get ready for bed, watch some TV, and then the Sis asks the question, so how much is this costing us tonight?  Huh?  Oh my gosh - it finally dawns on me I didn't even find out how much this stinking nice room is costing us.  Who does that?  That would be me!  Finally, room service comes knocking on our door because I was once again so bright to put a "do not disturb" sign on our door that I run to the door to tell her we are here and will be out shortly.  I stumble to the door as I see our bill on the floor.  Gosh, what is the damage?  Well, too much to share on here.  Let's just say, I need to be better about some things, okay, a lot of things.  This trip sure has taught me many lessons.

Day 13 of EXTREMELY LONG ROAD - IS IT EVER GOING TO END - TRIP!

Cheyenne Wyoming is the capital of Wyoming.  Yeah, that's pretty much all it has going for it.  Guess what though, we found us a restaurant among its capital building.  That show, "Diners, Drive Inns, and Dives" hasn't made it to Cheyenne yet so we had to use one of our websites that have been so helpful throughout our journey.  We found a funky little burger joint and had some great tasting burgers, and bottomless steak French fries.  With more help from the website we found some things to do in Cheyenne, one being, seeing the Air Force base (drove by it), the cemetery (drove by that too), and a historic train (stopped, looked at it, and took a picture).  Pretty much our first part of the day went by rather quick.  Bored of Cheyenne it was time to head west to our cousins in Rock Springs.  Before arriving we had a lot of driving still ahead of us.  On our way we saw some interesting land marks, and memorials.  My Sis was really into taking the scenic route and had found us a very scenic route that took us off I-80 and over the mountain to Laramie.  As we traveled about 30 miles, we were heading towards snow, before we knew it we were on a road that had snow piled up higher than my little car.  We kept drugging along and came to a sign that said "road closed."  Do you think we turned around?  Nope, we kept going until the road was completely blocked.  That didn't stop us, there was even a man in a big snow plow and I asked him if we could keep going.  Pretty dumb question to ask...well, I asked it anyway.  He said no, and told us to turn around.  EW!  I hate more than anything backtracking and we had done this whole trip without any, okay a tiny bit, but still, and now here we are backtracking - a lot.  I guess it's going to happen at least once on a road trip.  So, we turned around and dove another 30 miles to get back on the freeway.  I tried to sleep for the next 30 miles so I wouldn't think about the fact WE WERE BACKTRACKING.  Sleep worked. I slept for about 20 minutes or so, and when I woke we were on the freeway, once again, traveling to Laramie.  It was as if our little drive never happened and I only dreamt we had to backtrack...maybe this was all a dream???

We made it to the quaint little city of Laramie (where the only University in Wyoming is) and found our next little tourist attraction.  Laramie has a historic jail.  We payed the lady five dollars and they sent us on our own little self-guided tour.  It was totally awesome.  Well worth the hour we spent there and if anyone is ever traveling through they should stop and check it out.  After the touring was done we were getting munchy for something rather than our cooler of stuff, and set out to find a dairy freeze.  When seeking this certain type of eatery out the Sis and I got into a little bit of tiff.  Finally, our first little fight on our journey – bout time.  I made sure that I had my camera ready because I have peeps out there who would like to see her temper.  The Sis is really a sweet person, but for some reason I make red hair of hers catch on fire and she can really blow her top.  Hmmm...imagine that?  The poor girl had had it with me and whatever I was doing - all I remember is it had something to do with the iPod playing a song I really liked, and basically just ME, ME, ME.  I wouldn't stop pushing her to her limit, as I was being annoying I secretly pushed record on my camera; before I knew it I had caught her driving and hitting me at the same time...with both of us laughing in the background.  Then I piped up and said, "YES!  I finally got you on camera hitting me and losing your temper!"  Apparently I had done it.  The crocodile tears started to spill over her cheeks, and turn her eyes such a lovely color of green.  I love it when she cries cause her eyes become even more pretty.  Don't think I am completely heartless, I do have a little bit of a heart in me, and after some apologizing (which was really hard to do on my part) I deleted the video.  It's a shame because with a title like "Sister hits Sister while driving in a car" we would've had 1,000 hits or more on YouTube.  So it is, the video is gone and all that is left is the memory of me being a bratty, bossy, always want my way older sister.  Props to the younger Sis, for putting up with me for two weeks in a cramped car.  Bravo, Bravo!

After my apology we made it to the mining town of Rock Springs, Wyoming.  Our cousins, Lucas, Shellie, and there two darling kiddos greeted us there, and were sweet enough to let us stay with them the next two nights.  That night we stayed up to all hours chatting about everything - it was totally fun!

Day 14 of ALMOST DONE, REALLY LONG ROAD TRIP!

After a much needed "sleep in" we got up, got ready for the day, and then went and saw the sights of the bustling city of Rock Springs.  The town had a cute "down town" area, but after a few minutes of seeing the sights we headed west to the town of Green River.  Don't they have a town in Utah called Green River?  Sure do and they (to me) actually have a lot in common.  As we saw the cute town of Green River we saw a museum and decided to go check it out.  It had a lot of history of the Mormon Pioneers, and a man named John Wesley Powell.  In fact, the town of Green River, Wyoming is where the river rafter/explorer started his journey - and traveled all the way south.  Kind of cool to me since I have done two river trips exactly where he has rafted.  After our touring and sightseeing we were extremely hungry so we went to this AWESOME bagel shop in Rock Springs, and had an amazing lunch.  It was so good that when the Sis and I left town we stopped on our way and got breakfast.  I can't remember the name of the little bagel shop/bakery, but it was freaking amazing.  Later we hung out with the kiddos, watched a whole bunch of Glee, and then watched the latest Glee show that night.  I am so glad Shellie, and Lucas (even though he may not be a fan, but watches it anyway) LOVE Glee.  It was fun to watch with other fans.  We then stayed up late again talking into the night.

Day 15 - FINALLY OUR TRIP IS ENDING!!!

That morning we snuck out early, got our bagels, and hit the snowy scenic byways.  We decided to go home through Flaming Gorge (which the Sis thinks is a dirty name for a lake, but whatev), down through Vernal, and then more small towns of Utah.  We started out into what just seemed like a wet day.  As we inched further and further to Flaming Gorge the landscape became white.  It's the middle of May, how can there still be snow.  As we reached the dam of Flaming Gorge it was pretty much a wet down poor.  We saw the dam, which looks pretty much like any other dam, and started over the Uintah Mountains to Vernal.  The higher we crept the more the snow fell, and it felt like we were back into the months of January and February.  The scenery was completely white, but very beautiful and picturesque.  Finally, as we came down the mountain and into a lower elevation the snow turned back to a wet mess.  The Sis and I had never been to Vernal - I thought it was such a cute quaint little town.  There was even one of those Mormon Temples.  Of course we stopped to take pictures, but didn't go inside because we were just hell bent on getting home.  Such a lovely temple though.

After Vernal we hoped back on the road and headed towards Price (the butt hole of Utah).  Little did we know that snow would soon be upon us as we traveled the windy, steep canyon known as Indian Canyon.  It was white knuckle for part of the trip, but we soon found our way to Price and had to stop for lunch.  After Price it was more hours of driving and patches of snow.  To keep us entertained we continued listening to our NEVER ENDING book on CD (or iPod) that felt like it was never going to end.  We had started listening, somewhere at the beginning of our trip, to a book I had heard nothing but good things about.  It was called "The Life of Pi."  Yeah, it was interesting, but seriously it was about a boy on a life raft with a Bengal tiger, and it went on forever.  In fact we even got home and still had about 20 minutes left and decided to call it finished - we finished it on our own time.  Because we were finished with everything, and the trip was done, over, complete, F-I-N-I-S-H-E-D, then so was the book!  We unpacked our bags, my Sis said, "I don't want to see you or hear from you over the next month.  We need a break!"  Umkay!  Ten minutes after she left I was calling her telling her that I missed her already and I wanted her to come back to just hang out with me for another hour.  (I did that as a joke - calling her - cause I couldn't agree more with her.  We need a good long break!)

Our road trip was a very long road trip, but one I will remember forever.  I'm glad I have my Sissy to travel with me.  If it weren't for her I would have been a complete mess.  I mean really, I was already a mess, but at least she was there to pick me back up.  Give us a month and I know we'll be ready again to hit the open road...

11 comments:

Terry said...

Libby, I would be more likely to read your blog if the font weren't so awkwardly unreadable. I understand you had a road trip; I have no idea what you did. Change the font and I may come back to read it.
Love,
Uncle Terry

Thayne and Jenny said...

LIBBY! I FREAKING LOVE YOU!!!! I laughed SO hard at certain things throughout this whole reading "experience"! YES! I read the WHOLE THING! I think I deserve a key chain or something, haha! I love the way you write things, it cracks me up! It sounds like you got to do and see a lot of things. I wish I could have been there myself!! Holy cow how fun and how entertaining it would be to travel with you! :)
~Jenny

Lucashell said...

Well actually Lucas was the one who got me into glee..

Miss Jessie said...

First of all you added two extra days to our trip, in reality we were only gone 13 days. Second, I think that you should have let me edit it first, you have lots of grammatical errors. Third, it was a ton of fun and I'm sure there will be many people disappointed not to see me lose my temper on camera, but I'm glad you deleted it because honestly that is totally embarrassing. Finally, I just want everyone to know that it is fun travelling with you, but seriously you need to listen to me more, I tell you stuff twenty times and you do not hear it. Also, I just want to point out that there are two people in this world that know how to make me lose my temper, and I think they do it on purpose, and that is Libby and Flint. Cash will tease me but he knows when to stop. I almost forgot to mention that we both say at the end of each trip that it will be our last one together and about six months later we're planning our next excursion together. I say our next one should be New England...or Europe...we still have a year to plan. ;) Love you sis!

Sproatmeal said...

Whew! That was long, but it was the best entertainment I've had all week!

I'm not convinced about that "Diner, Drive Inns, and Dives" show because you seemed to have found better places on your own.

Sounds like you did a lot of stressful driving. And I'm with you--BACKTRACKING IS HORRIBLE! I avoid it at all costs.

I can't believe you had so much snow. Crazy!

By the way, herbal tea is not only not against the Word of Wisdom, but it is totally supporting the word of wisdom--wholesome herbs, right? I love herbal tea.

Yeah, been to Cheyenne before. Sucks.

So sad we still can't see Jessie get really angry. I have seen her cry, though. So, that's close. Next time we're with you, I'll get really angry and throw a hissy fit, so maybe it will give her courage to do the same.

Thanks for sharing all the details. This was so fun to read, and it makes me want to go on vacation with you again!

Ray Johnson said...

Loved your story! Now we need pics!!!

That big long drawn-out story about two girls traveling together and only one episode about having to go pee! Wow!

Do you keep a journal of each day on your trips? On a 4-day trip I can't remember what I did from one day to the next. Good to have a record of it- good memories that you will be glad you wrote down.

According to your description of Price Utah, Blackfoot Idaho could be it's sister-city... ;)

And congrats on spelling 'Albequerque' correctly. You're not as think as you blond you are... ;)

Ray Johnson said...

Oh, and Chris LeDoux went to high school in Cheyenne and won the Wyoming State Rodeo Championship bareback riding title while in high school. So Cheyenne is more popular than it appears... So you might cast your mind back and recall leaving Cheyenne with an uncertain yet inspring sense of awe... ;)

MinDee said...

i'm tired. i'll come back and leave a comment tommorrow.

MinDee said...

i'm back! i've been waiting for your blog about your road trip. i did read it all last night. but nate was alseep and i can't type in the dark. so here's my comment...FUN! ;) What adventures you and Jessie had. Nate would be so proud to know you camped all by yourselves. i would've hoteled it all the way. jessie should write a book about your trips...they seem entertaining! glad you had a fun time and memories to last forever.

Anisa said...

It took being stuck in bed sick to find the time to read this novel:)

It honestly doesn't sound that fun. I hope you actually had fun:)

Nita Stelling said...

I saw the pics in the other blog. It looks like you had a long, but very good, road trip. It's fun to go on the road with family, right? The time on the road driving a car feels so long, but at the same time it's fun to do.