Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Utah Road Trip


Wake up early, pick up our minivan rental.  Pack it with all of our stuff & realize that there is still room to spare.

Drive.  And drive.  And drive.

Put the travel fun bag to its ultimate test.  Topher is entertained.  Every time we cross a state line, he gets a little prize or toy for further entertainment.

In Lincoln, we stop to see TJ's childhood home.  Wonder if he unknowingly grew up in the ghetto, but realize that properties have just deteriorated in his part of town over the last 25 years.  (A bit of an exaggeration, the neighborhood was totally fine, just not as he remembered it.)

Finally make it far enough into Colorado to see some mounds that we name "baby mountains."  Topher is excited to see the mommy and daddy mountains in the distance.

Stop for the night at Laura & Scott's house in Castle Rock, CO and remember how much we miss them.  We see Laura's baby belly for the last time before the twins come.


Wake up obscenely early.  4:30 am.  Not used to mountain time yet.  Pack up and back on the road bright and early.  The drive between Denver and Salt Lake is gorgeous.  Topher is thrilled that we get to drive through several mountain tunnels.

After eight scenic hours, arrive in Riverton, UT.  Stay with our friends Crishelle & Mike and their four daughters.

Topher is shy around Erin, who he hasn't seen for over a year now.  He loves the attention from all the girls.  Not to mention all the new toys and rooms to explore.


Wake up early.  TJ and I go to the Oquirrh Mountain temple.  Gorgeous.

Walk outside to endless mountain view.  Gorgeous some more.

Have lunch with our friends and then drive into Salt Lake to Temple Square.  Topher buys scriptures, the one souvenir he wants most.

Later that day, we meet up with our friends Kristin & Nate and their kids for dinner.  Elijah is Topher's best friend but has been gone for 2 years now.  The two hit it off like old pals.  So do Kristin and I.

Go straight to the King's English Bookshop where my sister has a book signing.  Watching her do what she does so well makes me cry.  I could watch her speak and sign books forever.


Reunion day.  Drive 3 hours to Altamont, UT and realize we are in the middle of nowhere.  Get lost twice.  Garmin can't find our reunion lodge.  Neither can iPhones.  Finally find Hidden Springs Ranch and wonder why anyone would build a lodge here.

The lodge is huge, maybe  millions of dollars huge, but no air conditioning.  We get lucky by having overcast days and cool nights.

Family trickles in.  The adults haven't changed.  Only the kids seem to be getting any older.  Feels like heaven having our own room but sharing a house with everyone we love.

Try out the canoe in the pond outside the front doors of the lodge before bedtime.


Go on a family hike and find the hidden spring.  Topher climbs a mountain, his goal for the trip.

 Kickball in the rain.

Pool fun.

Family talent show.  My brother dresses as Sasquatch.  On stilts.  We should have seen this coming.


Family photos.

The family wanders up to the activity barn for some rock climbing.  Amazed at who can scramble up the impossible wall.  And by who cannot.  TJ gets to the top.  I don't even come close.  Topher gives it his best shot.

My uncle Ken puts us all to shame by zipping up all three routes.  Each time takes him about 30 seconds.  We cannot stop gawking.

Bob Ross Family paint-off.  Girls vs. Boys.  Rules: no pausing the video, switch out painters every 5 minutes.  Amazed at how decent both teams did.

Family bonfire to end the evening.  Catch one more crawdad.  We decide to drive through the night and say our goodbyes.  Leave at 9:30 pm.


Topher sleeps 10pm-2pm.  Then he is awake for a couple hours playing with glo-sticks.  Sleeps a couple more hours.  Car has strange, silent, artificial-air that reminds me of a late-night aircraft flight.

TJ proves that he can drive for hours and hours and hours at a time.  Out of a 16.5 hour drive, he is at the wheel for all but one hour.

Roll into our driveway at 2pm.  Topher sleeps 15 hours straight, a personal life record.  Recovering from entire week.  Relief at being home is mixed with disappointment of trip ending.

All said, wonderful and memorable trip.  Would not have changed a single thing.
Nope, not one.


1 comment:

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