Friday morning we had rain as we left the motel and drove towards the A-frame where Anne and Eric live. The high desert plains still had their own mysterious beauty in the gray morning, almost more other-worldly without the mountain views. We dashed in the house, unaccustomed to the cold wind, to say our first hellos.My sister Anne and their amazing tomato plants.
After surveying all the interesting lofts, and corners, and artifacts in the A-frame, the kids were ready to go back and brave more outdoor exploration. The rain was still falling so the insect life that they had enjoyed in summer 2010 had retreated. Eric promised that the weather man had predicted sun by ten o'clock, and miraculously, it appeared right on schedule. The wind blew the clouds away quickly,
Sun in eyes face.Soon we gathered back in the van and Anne joined us on a trip to the Great Sand Dunes National Park.
This was the view from the visitors' center, where along with enjoying the scenery and exhibits, we discovered that the van door had some mysterious issue preventing it from closing, and confirmed, with symptoms, at least one case of the stomach flu, thankfully the cleaning supply closet appeared to be open to the public, so I took advantage.
But we couldn't let that stop us for as far as we had travelled. Those who were well enough and less concerned about the van door ran ahead to the sand dunes while I stayed back to bundle up the sick with the blanket that Grandma Martha wisely sent with us, and to fashion a door lock with Sam's belt.
Then Sophie, Anne, Granddad, Caitlin and I ran to catch up with the others who had already started to ascend the mountains of sand, or so we hoped, as all we could see were moving dots on the landscape ahead of us. They seemed so far away and the sand so tremendous in comparison, I prayed that the stiff wind wouldn't cause the sand to envelope them.
We would have liked to have spent more time on the dunes, but the sand was too painful when the wind whipped it into our faces. There should also be wonderful hiking in the mountains surrounding the dunes.
We drove back to town, where it was decided that Anne and Granddad would go to the Chevy dealer to investigate the van door, as holding it for the entire ride home to Utah seemed like a comical, yet implausible solution. As we were driving the rain returned, quite heavily this time. I stayed with the kids back at the motel, where the sick could rest, and the well could bounce off the walls and drive me crazy, while I tried to coerce them into watching another half hour of Disney channel. Meanwhile the big boys enjoyed the quiet of their own room and the movie channel that was featuring a month of horror movies, much to their pleasure.
Anne and Granddad returned with Sprite, soda crackers, and the good news that the Chevy dealer had fixed the jammed lock easily and at no cost. We drove Anne back to her house and we went, as promised when the rain started to fall, to the movie theatre. Granddad and the big boys saw Taken Two. The girls and Grant saw Hotel Transylvania, which they had been anticipating for some time, and William and Sophie and I saw a combination of that, the theatre lobby, and with the manager's approval-- Franken Weenie, which I thought was very engaging for the half hour that William allowed us to remain.
After dinner we drove back out to Anne and Eric's home where Eric was preparing a delicious lasagna. The kids enjoyed communing with the pets and we gathered in front of their television to indoctrinate my boys, who already considered themselves Bill Murray fans, but had never seen What About Bob.