Friday, July 27, 2012

The Long Road Home

Tuesday marked the beginning of the end.  After a visit to the Grand Canyon, we would be traveling from Arizona to Ohio in four days, driving time at least 8-9 hours a day.  To my brother the truck driver, this is nothing. To our little tushies, this was far too much bonding time with the seats of our van!
After tearful good-byes to our AZ family we left the Phoenix area hoping to enjoy the delights of the Canyon during sunset hours--which we heard added another level of beauty to this natural wonder. Wayne, Cameron and Kelly eagerly explored  the Canyon view, aptly named "Grand."  I admit this was a little tougher for me.  You see, seeing the Grand Canyon was one of the last things we did with Greg before he passed.  And the bottom line is, I miss him sooo much.  :'/

Love you always

We left the Canyon after sunset, headed to our hotel in Flagstaff and on Wednesday we began that long journey home. We drove and drove. The desert scenery was beautiful in its own way and although we appreciated it, during much of the drive we looked like this:

And like this:

Keeping with our goal of trying to see something interesting each day, we discovered Arches National Park in Utah--a really fascinating aray of rock formations, dominated by naturally formed arches.

Arch-friends (instead of arch-enemies) :)

"The Garden of Eden"
(looks a little on the dry side these days)

Balancing Rock

Close up of one of the arches

As we continued on the road, thinking we might make our hotel before too late, we noticed some smoke in the distance. Our first thought was one of those wildfires that have been on the news lately, but the smoke seemed very centralized and coming from the highway itself.

As we got closer, we realized a semi had caught fire and was burning!

An amazing site we hope never to see again, the trucker had hit a guard rail, blew a couple of tires, knocked out brake pads and somehow caught on fire.  We watched as the whole truck burned. Highway 70 was closed for over two hours.  We all thanked God that the trucker (or anyone else) was not hurt.

Of course it was late when we finally made it to our hotel in Glenwood Springs, Co.  When we woke up, we discovered we were in a charming ski town in the Aspen area. We had the best breakfast of the trip at a delightful place called "Our Daily Bread." Specializing in Eggs Benedict, mine consisted of  the English Muffin topped with artichoke hearts, avocado, soft poached eggs and diced tomatoes, topped with a homemade hollendaise sauce.  Total Yum!
We journeyed on to Denver and thought we would see the Molly Brown house there (anyone remember the movie with Debbie Reynolds?).  Molly was a Titanic survivor and a major Denver philanthropist.  Unfortunately for us, she is still pretty popular, especially since this year is the 100th Anniversary of the Titanic sinking, so we were only able to appreciate the house from the outside as all tour tickets had been sold out.  :(

Although we were disappointed, our day surprised us in other ways.  Stopping for gas later that afternoon, we were blessed by an "out of gas" band that set up near the Sinclair dinosaur and was playing for gas money.  They were trying to get to a music festival in West Virginia and they had a wonderful Appalachian sound.  Listening to them you felt their love of music and the natural joy in what they do.

After enjoying the impromptu concert, we headed off to Grand Island, Nebraska for the night.

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