Saturday, September 5, 2009

Cross Country Trip

The last few months have FLOWN by, but I'll try to catch up over the next couple of weeks, for those of you loyal enough to checking to see where I am. After a short 5 days at home, I dropped Richard off at Pearson Airport to fly to BC, and Adrian and I loaded ourselves with camping gear and the same clothes we trekked across Asia with and headed out. We headed out with an 11 year old car that was almost turning 200,000 km, and hoped for the best. We spent for the first 2 nights in Goshen, IN visiting my parents. Mom was apalled that we'd left home on a road trip without any food in our cooler, so she promptly emptied her fridge into our cooler, and we ate her bread, jam, fruit, buritoes, crackers, and cheese for the next few weeks of our trip. Gotta love Mom!

Our next night was spent just off the highway in Iowa City, Iowa visiting with an old high school friend of mine, Dwight Schumm. Not only was this a convenient stop, but Dwight makes the best Indian food outside the Indian continent and we swapped travel stories with his family regarding their recent family trip to India.

A full 14 hours later, we'd seen countless hours of cornfields and wind turbines, and finally made it through both Iowa and Nebraska. A huge accomplishment in itself. Adrian settled into the road trip, and we listed to our first complete runthrough of his iPod tunes. We crossed just into Colorado and stopped at an RV park just off the road with a great heated pool and free firewood. Adrian was ecstatic. Our first night of camping was smoothe, and we discovered how delicious buritoes over a fire could be, and replicated many more roadside meals like this for the rest of the journey.

The next day we drove a reasonable 5 hours and included a trip up a cog railroad to one of Colorado's many "14,000-ers" (i.e. peaks over 14,000 feet). We hadn't booked in advance, of ourse, so when we showed up, we were on standby for 4 hours, and then finally got on the last train up for the day, only to be told that they'd accidentally overbooked that train by 1 person. Oh well, they had our money, so we insisted they take us, and they did. The train was an uneventful 1 1/2 hr trip, but the top was unfogetably cold. We'd planned ahead with fleece, but our cold legged shorts were freezing, with the temps below 0, even in the middle of summer. We found a classy RV park to camp at that night in Colorado Springs, and even had WiFi, a pool, and free computers, all for the price of a hotel room and our highest fee of the trip, although later I'd heard that Colorado Springs is the national Republican's headquarters, and wished we'd just driven off instead.

Next day brought us to Alburqueque, New Mexico and the home of my sister Kathy. We arrived exactly 2 days before her move to Waterloo, Ontario, but just in time to enjoy her sisterly hospitality and my own bed! She and I stayed up drinking G&T's while Adrian enjoyed flaking out with his computer and being generally anti-social like the teenager he's turning into around others. We skyped with my brother-in-law Roger and video cammed with him in Colorado (or was it California?) as if he was there in the house with us. A lovely meal and a great respite before we headed off to the national parks, relaxed and revived.

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