Monday, May 30, 2011

Arches!

Again, this is from yesterday, but I couldn't post it. I can't believe it was only yesterday... We have gone so far!!

This morning we woke up early and went to Arches, which is another one of our favorites from the first ca-va drive.
Balanced rock!:







Hey Dad! He's in front of Turret Arch:



It was so windy where we stayed and at the park, and when we were walking around. Red dust got everrrywhere.There were also really pretty high desert wildflowers.



Me using a macro setting and hiding from the wind+dirt:



This was along rim rock-- I love the lime green spears!



After Arches we stopped in Moab, which is so cute! It is busting at the seams with outdoors people-- rock climbers, cyclists, runners, hikers, rafters, four wheelers and off roaders. As a result there are equally awesome cafes, stores, and little shops. I have never seen soany wranglers all in one spot either.... It was like the motherland. We got breakfast at an adorable cafe. They even had my long-lost favorite drink! Limonata.



The cafe was called the Love Muffin :) the door note:



We also got our cigarette charger fuse changed in Moab-- fortuitously there was a little uhaul depot with someone who knew what to do!
We drove by this: a hole! On the other side was a store... I think rock climbing stuff?



After Moab we headed toward Monument Valley and the wind we had back in Arches got a lot stronger. It actually was a dust storm. The gusts were comparable to the tornado wind back in Kansas (49-50mph I believe), except this time it was across 300+ miles!! So so so insane. It was all the way from Arches to the Grand Canyon.
My dad talked with a local in a tiny town at a gas station and he said it's the worst it's been in five years. It's so windy there is a massive amount of dust in the air and it looks like the valley is full of smoke.







And there are tumble weeds!! I wanted to bring one home... And I am. We pulled over in the crazy wind storm and my dad and I went to the fence that endlessly runs through the desert even though nothing is around, and plucked tumbleweeds from the fence and threw them up into the wind so they could tumble on. There were hundreds gathered against the fences! We put two in the wrangler. And today at the California border inspection the inspector even checked them
out to make sure they weren't the kind that have lots of seeds. Hehe.
It was actually this windy, even though it looks like I'm posing:




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Grand Junction and canyon camping

At Grand Junction we unhooked the wrangler and Andrew and I drove up along Rim Rock Road (or drive?) in the Colorado National Monument which was one of my dad and my favorite parts of our drive out to Virginia a few years ago. Andrew loved it! And he even found a little road to four wheel on after.
Going up:



I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles....







So aMazing....



I think the jeep was happy to move on it's own for the first time in 1800 miles or so.







After that we chugged along to a gorgeous canyon along the Colorado river just outside of Arches National Park and pulled over for the night.
Sunset on the deserted road to the canyon:



It's Memorial Day Weekend so campgrounds are all full, so we parked near a rafting marina right at the base of the vast red rock canyon wall. My dad and i stayed in that area on our previous trip. Places like this are even better the second visit! :) this time it was really windy though.
The view from where I slept if you opened the uhaul door and let some wind in. We still have some of the red dust in the truck from that spot:



Turn to the right. The photo even awes me:



Morning guys! Waiting for me to get up: cmonn Sam!



Arches photos next! So far so good, I'm so excited I can post these at last.

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I wrote this the other day and had problems posting it. It was a long post, so I've broken it up. I also have 3G now which I think makes a huge difference. I wrote this the 29th:

It has been an awesome two days!! Staying with my family in Denver is always really fun. Andrew arrived the night before last, after having his initial flight cancelled because the same storm we went through hit Atlanta pretty hard and that was where he had a layover. He's out of the navy!! After six years he is out... We re all still kind of letting it sink in. I took his photo right as he got in the car at the airport to document the moment. Sleepy, happy and blurry:



We had a wonderful breakfast with my aunt and uncle and then got back on the road.
My aunt and I posed in our matching hats :)



We drove through the Rockies-- which are so incredible--







"frisco"! But don't ever say that to a San Franciscan. ;)



This is a runaway truck ramp at the bottom of a grade-- doesn't look too inviting does it??



There were lots of little towns with neat names: Rifle, Copper, Silt, Parachute. We also saw Vail and the roads for Breckenridge. Then we went through the Colorado River Valley on our way to Grand Junction.



Weeee color filters :)







Grand Jumction photos next. Fingers crossed-- please post!!

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Testing! I haven't been able to post because of either bad reception or the app telling me it can't load photos. I'm hoping because I have 3G it will work. Here goes!!



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Friday, May 27, 2011

Denver!

We are hereee! We have made it. And it is so wonderful to be with my family and not be on the road. Dad and I have just been taking it easy-- hanging out with my aunt and uncle and enjoying having company, conversation, real beds, homemade food, dogs to play with, places to walk and a backyard to lounge in. Everything is just sooo great. The Rockies ushered us in:



Closer!



We got here just in time to see my little cousin, too, which was something I really wanted to do-- he graduated from high school and then that evening jet setted off to play in a music festival. So I was really happy to have caught him. Way to go, Daniel!! You are going to looove college :) he let me take one cap picture, yay!



Today we met up with a good family friend who is out here for school and had delicious gyros for lunch and then got a tour of her university! It is a gorgeous day!



I really wanted to just lay down on her soccer field... It was so green and soft looking, and the breeze was just right...



Today is also my birthday! I am 25!! 25. 25. Do I feel 25? I must, because I am! But I'm not so sure. Thank you everyone who has called (and sang!) and written, I love you all! You are making my day awesome. Oxo
A little while ago I had a great conversation with a couple friends about what their parents were doing at 25 and what they want to be doing at 25. It was so liberating and exciting, because everyone had done something different and wonderful! So my question-- what were YOU doing at 25? Or what do you want to be doing? Please tell!!

Here is little me, during a long roadtrip with my mom, dad and cousin along the coast:



And me right this very second, in the perfect-colored sun hat my aunt gave me this morning!



Happy day!!!!

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Windy!

It was reallllly windy yesterday. We went from severe thunderstorms to almost pulling over and taking cover from a tornado at a rest stop to high wind advisories all along the interstate. And of course it's just that much worse for high profile vehicles. I couldn't get a good picture of the wind because it's pretty much just us and grass out here. But this morning we pulled into a Starbucks and this was taped to the door:



Hehe :)

It's cold out here, too! The night before last I slept in the cab in light clothes and a snuggie and woke up too hot, but last night I had a lot of layers and was inside my sleeping bag and when my dad woke me up around five (ahh) I realized I was still cold!

Last night's sunset:







Now the sun is chasing us:













Denver is within reach!! My 'little' cousin is graduating from high school today and I'm super excited to see him!!


Ps- we drove by oil drills yesterday evening! Little ones in fields! Churning away. Pretty interesting. they looked nice against all the fields.
And I follow the Giants from afar when I'm not at home and I'm horrified to hear Posey was hurt at the plate last night. Marlins! You are on my you-know-what list, and I don't even care that the player who did it is from SF. Grrrrrr.
I took this a while back. Get better quick, Posey!!! I hope it's not too bad and we love you!!



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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We are somewhere between St. Louis and Kansas City, which from what I understand is the heart of tornado alley? So far no tornados! But I've been hearing a lot about Joplin, Missouri. Driving through Missouri it was clear it had hit home. The gas station we just went to had a donations jar and the radio announcer on the station we picked up gave me chills, telling all his listeners how proud he was, in this day and age full of fabulous communication technologies, to be part of the radio world because every other form of communication is down in Joplin except the local radio waves. And broadcasters there have been going 24/7, keeping their town informed and giving them some kind of an anchor. Sending them thoughts and prayers as well.

I tried to get a picture of the St. Louis arch as we drove by.




Mississippi river:



It's really dark out here for being so early-- it's almost like early evening and it's only quarter to one. We re listening to the road weather station and there's a tornado warning for a county just south of where we re driving. Lightning also just started! Oh. Now they updated it: severe thunderstorm. Which we are apparently in and a tornado Warning-- ahh, So there's a tornado seven miles behind us. The radio used mile markers which was geniusly helpful. These updates on the radio are crazy! We re keeping with the big rigs, since they communicate over radio and know the area.




Just drove by a big rig that was blown over, flanked by two monster tow trucks. Clouds are breaking up now but it's still dumping rain. Highway patrol are watching a cloud to our left.



Looks like we rode the edge. Is this business as usual for out here?? That seems crazy. The ppl on the radio say it's a long tracking storm and that cloud breaks down mean anything. excellent. Anyway, insanity.



I wanted to experiment with videos so I'm not sure I'd they'll work.

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