Friday, July 23, 2010

I guess I'd rather be...

Friday, July 16, we met my Dad (who you may know as Granddad) in Provo around 9:30 in the morning. I intended to be earlier, of course, but you know how leaving the house can be. I wanted to clean the bathroom and vacuum so we wouldn't leave Grandma's basement a mess. I had been up late doing laundry and loading sleeping bags, numerous travel pillows, and organizing bags of carbohydrates in the van.

The kids were excited to visit Auntie Annie, my only sibling, even forewarned that there would be none of our favorite Denver activities, Elitch Gardens,  a drive up to the Mountaineering museum in Golden, Casa Bonita, fantasizing about all the other eating places ( even minus the cliff divers)...numerous hole in the wall Mexican joints that must all serve enchiladas with delicious saucy cheese. Annie and Eric moved from Denver to the San Luis Valley last year.

Three years ago when we reunited with my husband after two months of medevac, I was surprised to find that he had developed an avid interest in John Denver. So in spite of the boys' overstated agony, we listened to John Denver all the way from Utah to Virginia.  The more time I spend in Colorado, the more I understand how someone could make a career singing about one state (better make that two, mountain mama.)

So this is where my people are are from.  The Tourneys settled here as corn farmers a hundred years ago...or so or less...  Anyone recognize Grand Junction?  I love how the valley is so green with agriculture in contrast to the brown mountains.

Here's where I start thinking about "Rocky Mountain High." This is about 14,000 feet. Don't tell the state department. After we curtailed in Quito, I'm not supposed to post myself at any high elevations...just driving through doesn't give me time to develop my "psycho social problems" which I promise are related to insufficient hemoglobin (since nine children aren't enough of an excuse) so I just enjoy the view.

We were all taken in by this quaint little place called Minturn, right after we turned South off the I-70 on to route 24.

The kids were deliciously terrified by this bridge, and enjoyed screaming "we're gonna die!" all the way across.

My Dad asked me to roll down the window to see if I could smell pine. I could.

This kind of high mountain meadow reminds me of Ecuador.

We drove through a couple of touristy little mountain towns.. Leadville comes to mind, before we hit Buena Vista. They all looked wonderful to explore, without nine children, as did the trendy, quaint, diners, without nine children, particularly without being in a rush, as we were burning daylight. So I didn't know there were still towns in North America without fast food. Leave it to Colorado.
So here we are at Poncho's in Buena Vista. They have a great menu. The boys and I had cheeseburgers.  I tried Olivia's burrito, which looked impressive but tasted canned.  The french fries were yummy and abundant and I especially loved the fresh limeade.

Potted petunias are one of my favorite things about summer.

So we took the drive through then ate in the parking lot, which took a hundred years and as I said daylight was waning. Dad called Annie and found out we still had a couple more hours to Alamosa. In fact, in was almost eleven o'clock when we pulled in to the Loaf and Jug gas station there,which Annie told us later is one of the social hubs of Alamosa. It's probably the Crispy Creams. Another slew of trips to the bathroom. Another call to Annie for final directions and we were on our way to find their rural road, about twenty more miles out of Alamosa.

I love to arrive somewhere new at night and be surprised in the morning by my surroundings.  We were greeted by a bunny tail darting through the sage brush, Annie and Eric and their enthusiastic dogs, and a thousand stars.  We dragged in all the sleeping bags, tried to convince William and Grant is was still bedtime, and everyone snuggled up together on the floor of their desert A-frame.

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