Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Westward Ho! The Epic Journey

Y'know how long it takes to get ready for a trip? So much time plotting, dreaming, planning, scheduling, figuring, reworking the puzzle.  I almost can't believe we got out the door, but we did.


Harmonie State Park: swimming pool, hummingbirds, fireflies!

Illinois...Missouri...(reading about Sacagawea and Lewis and Clark, even as we crossed the Missouri River)...Kansas...

The soundtrack of the trip has definitely been The Beatles, with some classic rock thrown in as we travel through the cities...

Milford Lake State Park: cicadas, mayflies, dragonflies, and a storm in the night

emerging by flashlight - can you believe it?!
 Yes, we will probably remember this trip by the insects we saw (that actually wasn't a play on my mentioning The Beatles, believe it or not). Do you remember all of the damselflies at the campsite in Kansas?  At one point, Ani came running pell-mell from the bathrooms, yelling at the top of her lungs, Mama!!! For a half-second I panicked that Eliza had fallen in the shower or something horrible, but no. It was a dragonfly that had alighted on the bathroom wall.  Eliza was guarding it for me so I could take a picture...

the adult mayfly lives only a day
going, going, going - you're in the West when the skies get so wide
more Kansas...

Overheard from the back seat: Kansas looks like Mongolia, don't you think? Yeah, Mongolia, but without the purple mountains in the background.  General head-nodding in agreement...There's been the expected squabbling in the car, but it has been manageable and dang, I have to say, it is so much easier to travel with the girls at these ages.  We talk, we read, we sing, we talk some more...we sink into our own daydreams and then start all over again.

more Kansas...
 At one point Ani asked, What are we calling this trip? We settled on Westward Ho! and she insisted that it needed The Epic Journey thrown in for good measure.

finally, the mountains - can you see them? Ani dubbed these the "toehills"

mule deer 
Roxborough State Park
Denver in the distance

Uncle Tim and Cousin Matt
 We got a tour of the "real" mountains yesterday, driving along the South Platte River and up, up, up...

a shot out the window, going up the Boreas Pass, a long, narrow gravel road

mouse-ear chickweed
orange paintbrush

looking down on Breckenridge

After lunch in Breckenridge, we braved the chairlift at Peak Seven.  Singing helped Eliza and me, and how lucky that we know a song about the great divide...

We made it!

Our wonderful hosts, Gen and Tim
It is surreal to suddenly be in the snowy peaks.  On the top of the world.  The plants are small, the trees sparse and the view so long.

tiny violets
Rocky Mountain Pentstemon

Today we made lemonade of lemons; our car has been having trouble and leaking coolant...yeah, and we're in the mountains and today in an attempt to replace a hose, we saw a large problem with the radiator (it was a hole), so long story short, we stayed an extra day with our generous hosts who suggested a trip into the big city on the light rail. 

new Union Station

black-crowned night heron, enjoying the confluence of the North Platte and Cherry Creek in downtown Denver

And that is why I have a moment just now to share photos and a few words from the journey!  We'll travel on in the morning, over the mountains and closer to the Pacific...


alissa said...

Hooray! What an awesome trip!

merry said...

Oh, what memories!! Gorgeous pics that will help nudge those memories. Love you, wonderful family!!

Kerry said...

Beautiful pics of bugs, mountains, family, wow! It is epic.