We drove from Texas to Washington last week. It was a thirty one hour drive. We decided to break our trip up into four days, plus a one day stop in Wyoming to visit Aunt Sarah—All for the sake of the children. Kristiana was pretty sweet the whole way. She screamed a little bit before each nap. Alex was out of sorts the whole way (that’s a long story), but he returned to himself once we arrived at our final destination—Grandmom and Granddad’s house. When the first day of the trip ended and we were not at Grandmom and Granddad’s, he was a little devastated. There is nothing like a trip across the majestic United States to make you feel small. At least we did not have to do it in a covered wagon.
On the way, we encountered a tornado at the Oklahoma/Kansas border. We braved the storm. We barely stayed on the road through heavy rain and wind (the major part of the tornado had already passed through before we arrived). It was a humbling experience as we recognized we were solely in the hands of God. There was no way we could exit the road. We tried and could not even see the exit until we had passed it. We could not just stop. We stayed behind a trailer-less big rig without which we would not have stayed on the road. Andrew said that you could smell our fear ;-) It was by the grace of God that we arrived safely at our hotel in the middle of Kansas…at 2:00 a.m. And Kristiana woke us up at 7:30 a.m. We were not amused.
We had smooth sailing all the way to Cheyenne, Wyoming the next day. It was a lot colder than we were expecting. There was still snow on the ground. We had a nice visit with Aunt Sarah. Sarah had a special event planned for all of us. We toured her airplane. Everyone enjoyed seeing Sarah’s work. Then Sarah treated us to a pleasant dinner with her friends. During dinner we were introduced to a delicious granola from a local bakery. We ate a whole bag of granola on the remainder of our drive. After we had finished it, I decided that I could make it. Last night I bought all the ingredients listed on the package in the bulk section of the grocery store; mixed them up in a heated sauce pan; pressed it flat on a cookie sheet; Voila, granola on steroids for our crunchy con pleasure. I came pretty close to the bakery version. I will think a little more about it, write a recipe and post it later.
The part of the drive I was most looking forward to was the drive through Montana. We were not disappointed. Montana is so beautiful. It even smells good. Every time I drive through Montana I have to roll down the windows and smell the air. It smells fresh. It smells like the trees—the evergreens, sandalwood and aspens. When we stopped at a gas station Andrew pointed out that it did not smell like a gas station. The air just smelled sweet. Our favorite place was Bozeman. We stopped there for the night. Bozeman is high, right in the middle of the rocky mountains. The people were very friendly too. Andrew and I considered staying, never to leave. But, we decided to press on through those big, gorgeous mountains. It was not their size that made us feel small—it was their beauty.
We wound through the mountains, hugging tight to every curve, and we grew anxious for Spokane. We could not wait to get there. The first place we stopped in Spokane was our church. A friend of ours is taking care of our cat while we are here. Our friend’s family was at the church with her, and her sweet younger siblings played with our kids and we felt at home again. After a short visit, we drove to Grandmom and Granddad’s. Alexander was at ease and happy again. We all settled into our summer home. I think some great adventures are to come.
By the way, anyone who lives by GPS, I want you to know that we just drove across the country with nothing more than a road atlas, we knew where every rest stop was, every point of interest and we were never lost. We bought our atlas on our honeymoon to the Puget Sound peninsula and we wanted to take the scenic route home. It was a good investment.