Monday, August 30, 2010

What a long, strange trip it's been....

And I mean our road trip. I should add it was wonderful as well, though it didn't end the way we'd planned. But what does? Life? No, it doesn't. They say it's not the destination, but the journey and they're right.

Our journey began Friday the 13th. For some of us it ended on the 22. For me, it ended on the 26th.

We had planned to leave early in the morning on Friday the 13th but even our beginning didn't go as planned. We left at midnight and I drove for six hours while the rest mainly slept until dawn and a nearly empty gas tank caused our first stop.

It was a beautiful sunrise, by the way.

We landed in the podunk of podunks. I'm not even sure I remember the name of this no-stop-light town with a curmudgeonly store owner who growled at us while his wife used an old adding machine atop a battered, ancient desk. We purchased crushed ice from the man and his wife and then went across the street to have a morning picnic in a small town park. We had to kill time before the gas station owner decided to show up and pump our gas. You can't pump your own gas in Oregon you know. You might blow yourself up or set off an explosion that could take down an entire podunk.

This was the main street. As far as I could tell, it might have been the only street.

This might have been the town mayor. He was hanging around looking important.

After we ate, there was more of this:

Hours and hours of that. After a bazillion more miles, we stopped at the Twin Falls Temple.

So beautiful.

After another few hours we landed in Chubbuck Idaho, land of thrills, spills and our good friends the Ericksons. We mostly love them because they have a trampoline and three handsome sons. This is their youngest, Bryce, showing off his mad skillz.

Then we were informed that we should pick up Alli from Especially for Youth in Rexburg that night instead of in the morning, so we got back behind the wheel and started driving. Again. You know, because I didn't drive enough that day. On the way there we remembered that the car top carrier on the top of our suburban wasn't latched nor locked. I pulled off the freeway right next to a wheat field.

What happened next was frightening. A cricket (the field was FULL of them) attempted to hitch a ride with us. Well, Stephanie in particular. As we were getting back in the suburban she began screaming so loud I'm surprised the windows didn't shatter in a five mile radius. She leaped out of the vehicle, jumping and screeching. (note to self: get her a t-shirt that says: I survived the GREAT Cricket Attack of 2010)

After that beautiful picture I was surprised to drive into a rainstorm in Rexburg. Enormous raindrops soaked us as we searched for the right building where a youth dance was taking place. Finally locating it, I signed my beautiful Alli out and off we went.

Genea and Doug were as wonderful to us as always as we took over their living room and some of their bedrooms for the night. The next morning there was a parade just for us! Ok, it was Chubbuck Days. (I know, isn't that a funny name?) The kids went to it and collected a pile of candy tossed from the parade cars, trucks and horses. They came back and the trampoline got a work out again. Then Doug and Lance took the girls (with Landon) up to the hills with their quads. Much fun was had by all.

Then it was back to the trampoline.

We laughed like haven't laughed in ages. The Ericksons are like that. Since I'd never slept on a trampoline before, I decided to give it a shot. Genea, good sport that she is, joined me even though she knew how cold it would get. After everyone went to bed, we lay outside looking up at the star studded sky watching the meteor shower and laughing our butts off. I think we fell asleep in mid-giggle. It's nice to have a friend that you can laugh with until the wee hours of the morning.

On Sunday we got up and put on our church clothes to drive south to Utah. We were going to the house of a former mission president to Brazil who is now serving as a stake patriarch. We needed a patriarch who was fluent in Portuguese to give Sam his patriarchal blessing. It was a very precious experience we had that morning.

Afterward we went to Temple Square to visit and show Sam all the beauty that surrounds the Salt Lake Temple.

We stayed for hours in the hot sun, wandering around the grounds and visiting with Sister Martinez, who was one of the sister missionaries who taught Sam the gospel. It was a wonderful time.

Later we drove to Orem to our good friend's house. Annabella and Paco are wonderful people. We visited and laughed and talked for hours until it was time to go to bed for the evening. Lance and I slept on an airbed, which became a floor-bed in the wee hours of the morning, dropping us way down. Sleep was fitful.

Thus ends my story for now. To be continued tomorrow...if I can find the time. :)

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