“Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles.” – Charlie Chaplin
I don’t want to say today has been stressful, but Nora is teething and has that cough still (so getting up at night and crying all day unless she’s nursing or sleeping) and the army threw us a curveball. So to take my mind off it all, I’m going to do my second post about our adventures. This adventure goes back to the summer and doesn’t include Justin (sorry honey). It does include Stella and a 30-week pregnant with Nora me! We flew out of Nashville TN to Durango CO for a wedding, then rode in a RV with my mother and some of her friends up to Salt Lake City UT, with some stops on the way. It was a great way to spend my birthday and burn some time while Justin was deployed to Iraq.Of course it was hot and humid in Nashville as we got to the airport. I unpacked the stroller, strapped Stella in, grabbed her carseat, our bags, and as I was locking up the Traverse, it started raining…hard. It rained so hard the clothes in my bag were soaked. So Stella was bawling, I’m trying to carry everything to the shuttle stop with my big belly, and as we get to the canopy…the rain stopped. Go figure. Luckily the clothes at the bottom of our checked bag were dry (and all Stella’s). So once we got into the airport, I threw Stella on my back in our Ergo baby carrier, put the carseat in the stroller, and rolled to a family bathroom. I got Stella changed into some dry clothes but I had to take off all my clothes, underwear included, and wring them out the best I could into the sink.
Luckily for me, Colorado had no humidity and everything dried up nicely without getting moldy, as it would have in the humid south. This was Stella’s second time flying and she loved it, so lucky for us, the rest of the day was uneventful.Our first day in Colorado was gorgeous! It was warmer than I thought Colorado would be, but the landscape was so beautiful I couldn’t stop taking pictures. Even though I was exhausted from flying the all day, being 30 weeks pregnant in July, and not getting to bed until almost midnight mountain time (or 1:00a central time like we were use to), I had to get up and run the next morning! I’ve been running since I was 12, so running has become very therapeutic to me. I love running so much that even when I was super pregnant I was still running anywhere from 3-6 miles to help with pregnancy insomnia and aches.
After my run we got ready for a coal train ride from Durango up to Silverton CO. The ride led us to some stunning views of the mountains and Colorado River. Stella was standing at the edge of the train car the entire ride. I sent some of the pictures to Justin and he agreed; the views were magnificent.
After a few relaxing days in Durango we jumped in the RV and headed to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. On our way, we stopped at Mesa Verde National Park. I had never heard of this park before, but I’m glad we stopped. This park is known for it’s Puebloan cliff dwellings, archeological sites, and overlooks. (It’s also where an oh-so-lovely lady informed me that if I wasn’t from elevation I shouldn’t be traveling and hiking around these places while I was ‘so pregnant’. Thank you lady for knowing my medical history and physical fitness level. **rolls eyes**) As usual everyone was done with the museum and ready to walk down to the dwellings, but me being nerdy me, I read every sign and looked at every artifact in the museum. I wouldn’t say that I’m a history buff; but I love looking at and exploring national sites. It really amazes me to see all the things our ancestors were able to create without the machinery or the technology we have today and how they adapted to their surroundings. Unfortunately we were unable to go down to the Spruce Tree House due to the path being closed, but it will be something I will have to take Justin and Nora to once we move to Colorado. (I always have to look up things when I haven’t heard of them so here’s the Mesa Verde National Park’s site link: https://www.nps.gov/meve/index.htm)Next stop was the Grand Canyon. Guys, I always knew the Grand Canyon was huge, but visiting it in person and knowing that I wasn’t seeing the half of it still baffles me. I cannot imagine what the first person to stumble upon thought when they saw it (maybe in that region they were shouting “Yay! Water!”) Hiking the Grand Canyon has always been on my bucket list but now I’ve added white water rafting on the Colorado River to that list too. I’m hoping sometime this summer to go back and visit the North Rim with Justin and the girls since we only live about 8 hours away right now.
The next day we drove through Zion National Park (https://www.nps.gov/zion/index.htm). None of the pictures I have do this park justice. The rocks were a vibrant, layered red and white dust. We drove through a tunnel, along the edges of cliffs, and down to the museum. I wish we had had more time so we could have hiked on some of the paths and explored a little bit. But alas, we had a timeline to follow and I had a plan to catch the next night in Salt Lake City.
We stayed in the Red Canyon (where John Wayne shot a few movies!) and we had red cliffs towering over both sides of our campground. It was a beautiful place to stop, but the red dust stained everything. My Sanuk yoga mat sandals are still stained.
Due to time constraints, we had to quickly get through Bryce Canyon and the Vermillion Cliffs. Like the Red Canyon, they were beautiful and not a site I was use to seeing after living in Midwestern and Southern states. It was a fun vacation and after mom dropped me off at the airport, they still had about a week of travel before heading back to Missouri.
Have you been out west? What are some of your favorite places you have visited? I am always up for more adventures and vacations, so I’d love suggestions or travel tips! After my crazy day, I’m going to try and end on a positive note with a quote from my elementary counselor: “Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours.”