I’ve wrestled with how to do this post…should I tell the gory details and be a whiner? Should I make it sound glorious by highlighting the bright spots?
I had a friend tell me how glorious her 9 day road trip was a few years ago…how bonding and relaxing. I think she was trying to encourage me, but her road trip involved nice hotels and a great landing spot out east. Not our experience here.
- Fabulous weather. Nippy at night, but endurable, and absolutely gorgeous days of traveling.
- We passed through some amazing mountains, and while I’m not a fan of heights…especially in a Sprinter van with a pop-up camper trailing behind, I have to say, it was breathtakingly beautiful. I sat in the WAY back and clung to my seat while my heart pounded…(I really do have a phobia when it comes to heights AND water) but it was thrilling. And we are still in one piece.
- We had a quiet camp site for two nights…set apart from the other rowdy campers…and it was wonderful to not have to lie awake listening to neighbors. I must admit though…I still spent most of the nights awake. But that’s the other part of the story.
- I’m still pregnant. I am older and tend to miscarry now, so I’ve been sort of “waiting” for that to happen. So far, so good. I really didn’t want to do that on this trip.
- We had a great day in Yellowstone seeing Old Faithful, the hot springs, the waterfall, etc. It was a day I’ll never forget.
- Peter developed a fever of 103 the very first day…and it did not abate for three days solid. He lost his appetite and was very lethargic. I was worried sick. Yes, we gave him Tylenol to keep it down, but that wasn’t very effective. Finally we ended up getting him some infant Advil…and that did the trick to keep his fever at bay. For a while he would not even nurse…and we were in high altitudes where you absolutely need to keep drinking to avoid dehydration…plus his fever was drying him out. It was very frightening. PRAISE GOD his fever broke yesterday, his appetite picked up, and today he has a rash, indicating the common childhood illness of Roseola. No biggie. Phew.
- Sleep deprivation of the worst kind. We’ve arrived at every evening destination 3-4 hours later than planned. (Instead of arriving around 6-7 at night, we’ve been pulling into the campground around 10-11 at night. And then we have to set up camp. And then we have to FIND everything for 10 people to get ready for bed in a very teensy tiny space. Talk about stress.) …and then because of Peter’s illness, I’ve been up with him while he cries and deals with his own anxiety over being in a strange place and being completely out of his routine. Keep in mind that we are driving 10-12 hours every day. I got 1 hour of sleep the first night, 4 hours the second, and 6 the third. All broken up sleep, of course. I had to sleep with Peter so he wouldn’t freeze to death. Not fun.
- I have some weird heart issues. My heart had a funky thing happen to it a few months ago, and I had to go to the ER to get it slowed down. (I can’t remember the name of it…but it was kind of scary.) I’ve been having some strange symptoms on this trip also which adds nothing positive to my state of mind.
- Allergies. I’m allergic to the sleeping bags, I think. The kids are having allergies. Tim needs his nebulizer. Trying to enjoy the beauty while plowing through 4 boxes of Kleenex is memorable, but not in the way you’d like.
- Mosquitoes. We couldn’t even enjoy campfires at Yellowstone as we were attacked viciously by mosquitoes. Peter was completely bit up all over his bald head within seconds. We call Jennie “One Eyed Jack” because her eye is swollen shut from a bite. So all the romantic notions of smores and stories by the campfire went out the window with the sleep.
We finally arrived at our first REAL destination: Joe’s sister’s home in Moscow, Idaho (pronounced, “MAWSKO” with a long O at the end…NOT the way you’d pronounce the Russian city. This is important, because the natives here will know if you are “in” or “out” by your pronunciation.)
Let me just say that I have DREAMED of visiting Patch and Deb for years. They are a wonderful Christian couple and have raised four beautiful children. I adore them. They live on an Alpaca farm on the outskirts of this quaint and amazing little college town. We got here LATE last night (of course…) and they graciously put me and the baby in a real bedroom with a real bed where I slept like a rock for 8 solid hours. I took a luxurious shower this morning and ate in a real kitchen all day. It was like going from hell to heaven.
Today we got a tour of Moscow and it was CHARMING. I would LOVE to live here!! This is where Douglas Wilson lives and preaches (have you read his books…his wife’s books? His son, Nathan’s books?) We drove by Nathan’s house. We had a tour of Cannon Press, where Patch works. (I’m a book lover…so to go to a publishing company that I have purchased from so much in the past is a real treat.) My niece, Laura, and her husband Austin, own an amazing, eclectic consignment shop right on main street called The Storm Cellar. (Their last name is “Storm”. Clever, huh?)
Our nephew, Bryan, is married to the Botkin sister’s cousin, Bess. (Did you catch that?) Being an avid fan of the Botkins, I’m not adverse to admitting that I’m related. In a way. Uploading pictures is taking forever, but here are four pictures to give you a taste of our trip. When I’m looking at the pictures…I’m only thinking of the good stuff. One day, I’m sure that’s all I’ll remember.