Back Home!

This week has been a whirlwind of unpacking, cleaning, grocery shopping (don't know what Mark was eating while we were gone!), catching up with friends, fall decorating and getting ready for Grammy and Grampa to arrive from Massachusetts.  It's been exhausting, but now I have the afternoon free to blog, and so I will!

Our drive from Cortez, through Moab, to Salt Lake City was gorgeous for the first part, but very humdrum boring for the second part.  Southern Utah is just glorious!  We've been wanting to make an RV trip of visiting the National Parks there, so that will come later.  Good thing the roadsides are gorgeous too!

This rock (which I couldn't find a name for, but begs for one) is right near the entrance to Canyon Lands and Newspaper Rock.  When we found a postcard of Newspaper Rock I thought we must go there, but will save it for another trip.

Here's a side view.  It looks like a whale, or a side view of our car with roof-rack.

Shortly after that we came to Wilson Arch.

Further on we came to Hole n' the Rock, but didn't stop at this touristy attraction.  Right on the other side of the rock (that they wrote on- shouldn't that be illegal?), is the most beautiful rest stop I've seen anywhere.  Not only that, the facilities are fantastic!

It's amazing how the landcape changed during this part of the drive.  We went from red-rock vistas to pale dry expanses to mountains with fresh snow.

We were so fortunate to be able to visit my aunt and uncle near Salt Lake City for the night.  We were all surprised to discover the mini-museum they have in their basement.  It was quite a sight to my collector children.  I think collecting runs in the genes because my grandparents did the same thing.  Anyway, Ryan was taken with all the miniature cars including this Chevron set which Uncle Floyd was kind enough to give him.

Chloe, who started collecting animal pins on the trip, was thrilled to discover Uncle Floyd's pin collection which started in cases on the walls and spilled over into binder after binder.  They spent a lot of time going through them together and Chloe came away with 10 new ones.  Thank you Aunt Kathy and Uncle Floyd!

After a night spent there we headed out mid-morning on the drive to Boise.  It only took about 4.5 hours to get there, so I decided to try to get as far as we could.  The drive through Idaho is a lot of rolling dry grass hills.  Not much to keep up your attention, but we listened to one of Chloe's favorite audiobooks- The Vacation by Polly Horvath.  We listened to the whole thing and managed to make it all the way back home! 

According to Google Maps we drove 3343 miles and that doesn't include the driving around in each city.  That's a cross-country drive!  One reason why I wanted to do the trip was to challenge myself and see if I could do all that driving.  I'm still amazed.  The last day was the biggest at about 650 miles.  A few years ago I never would have thought I could do that.  I'm still learning through living, just as my kids are!

Here's the beautiful sunset that we followed across Route 20 in Oregon.  It's good to be home!