Sunday, April 29, 2012

Utah Trip: The Way Home

Four Corners!

The last days of the journey.  Greg, the great navigator and trip planner, planned a different middle section of each journey, so we could see other parts of the country.  The way up was through Santa Fe and Colorado.  The way was through Four Corners and Albuquerque.

It was a fantastic idea.  Check #12 off my {30 by 30 List}, we survived and enjoyed a family road trip.  This was Monday/Tuesday.

Detour Back to C-Springs & Running into the Temple
We tried to get on the road really early, however, the plans changed when we realized we were missing the precious seat trays.  We had left them with the other side of the family.  So, we had an hour detour driving back into the valley and hunting for the trays in their house.  I think I might have scared my Grandma into thinking I was a dream because the whole house was still sleeping and the trays were eventually found in their room.  After our detour, we grabbed some breakfast and headed up the canyon.

While stopping for gas and lunch in Monticello, we pulled out of the gas station the opposite way from the road, a block over from the highway and gas station, we saw Angel Moroni.  We found the Monticello Temple and stumbled upon missionaries on transfer day at the neighboring stake center.  It was a funny little highlight to our day.

Beautiful Scenery: Four Corners... Twice, Shiprock, & Valley of the Fire
This part of the journey definitely had better views than on the way up.  Luckily, we had Southern Utah both ways, but on the way home, we also had the rolling canyons of Utah/New Mexico/Arizona, Four Corners, a place called Shiprock and Valley of the Fire.

Most of the journey consisted of beautiful rolling desert hills and canyons.  Our first major view we saw was Four Corners.  We started to pull into the monument and realized we didn't have any cash which was bad because the monument is on a reservation--- they didn't accept cards.  At first, we were really bummed because we thought we came all that way for nothing.  However, just five miles down the highway, in a little post town, there was an ATM.  Whew!

Four Corners was completely different from how I remember it.  The area is being overhauled.  Each state has little booths to buy items from vendors (mostly homemade on the reservation).  Annabelle found a cute little necklace and bracelet; I also found something, but it was a little out of our price range (it had a rare red gem in it).  The monument itself has also changed and there are platforms to take pictures on, places to sit, and the area itself has increased in size.  The only negative was there is absolutely NO shade AND it was already HOT right before lunch.  I can only imagine what it's like in the middle of the summer.

Shiprock is a rock in Northern New Mexico that literally looks like a ship.  Greg really thought it was cool and we were this close to detouring to see it up close, but we could never find a road.  We just had to settle for pictures taken from the window.  Later we drove through a place called "Valley of the Fire."  Turns out this place is the most recent place of lava flow in North America.  It's really neat because you're driving through rolling desert hills and then all of the sudden you're in the middle of a field of black rocks.
The Beautiful Scenery

Albuquerque
We got in to Albuquerque around 730.  Greg found this nice, but discounted, hotel right next to a shopping district.  We were able walk to our dinner and let everyone get some energy out.  We were all so exhausted from our day that we ended up sleeping in later than we wanted.  It meant that we'd get home later, but it ended up keeping everyone happy for our last big ride of the trip.

Jared NEEDS to pee
One adventure from the way back, came in the form of Jared.  On the second day, between Albuquerque and merging our journeys in Roswell, Jared decided that he needed to pee.  We were literally in the middle of nowhere New Mexico.  Since, he's a boy, we thought he'd get a kick out of going on the side of the road.  We were wrong.  Greg pulled him out of the car the first time we stopped and he would not go.  He kept saying 'I don't have to go anymore' or 'I need a potty.'  We repeated this three more times; each time he wouldn't go outside.  He held it until we found an actual bathroom.

Vulture Death, Welcome Back to the HEAT, and Late Dinner in Kerrville
We knew we were back in Texas when the heat outside & number of vultures increased.  Greg actually saw one of the vultures meet an untimely end.  A group was literally picking at road kill in the middle of the road, they didn't move until Greg honked at them only a few feet away.  Greg saw them return to that place right after we passed and watched one get beaned by a semi because it was too interested in the potential of food.  Yummy.

Other than that, our next adventure came when we finally stopped for dinner in Kerrville at 8pm where we saw a helicopter in the gas station across the street.  Everyone had a yummy dinner, but it was slightly weird to eat so late. 

Coming Home the Way We Left
For the very last leg, we broke out some glow sticks for the kids to wave around until we pulled into our driveway.  We ended up coming home the way we came.  In the dark, we got home just in time for everyone to be excited to pass out in their own beds--- exhausted from the week's adventure.  Even though it was really tiring and we had interesting bathroom experiences, we would do it again.  We had a great time and the kid's constantly talk about our long car ride to Utah.  In fact, Jared keeps asking every car ride if it's going to be 'long.'  We won't have a ride that long for a while, but we're glad we have the memories.

1 comment:

  1. Still bummed we just barely missed you guys! Looks like it was a great trip! Anytime you want to escape again, drive through, or just come sight-seeing, we'd love to have you!

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin