Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Salt Lake City Baby!

One of my favorite photos from the whole trek across America!

Wow! I've gotten almost ten new followers in the last few days- I'm not even sure what I did, but Welcome!!!

Most of the time I don't feel like my postings are even comment worthy, so I'm a little overwhelmed- and now I have to try to keep you all reading! Haha... actually, I have a question! Where do you all upload your pics from for your blogs? I was using Flickr but you can only see the last 200 pics and I go over that VERY quickly! The photos in this post are clickable (to enlarge) and just uploaded to Blogger but more of a pain to organize, you know?

This week is so wacky, but because I'm so busy, it's speeding by! It sounds like my "baby" (okay, okay she's 9...) sister will be coming for a visit for a few days early next week, so posting might be sparse. I feel like I'm always saying that!


So, back to my travels! Our second night on the road, we stopped in Salt Lake City. As far as driving goes, we'd driven from North Platte, Nebraska down to Fort Collins, Colorado and then a few hours west (thanks to that brother of mine...), back up to Nebraska and west to SLC!

I was EXCITED for Salt Lake City. I don't know why but I've always wanted to visit there and I got my wish, for a few hours. If it was up to my brother, he wouldn't have stopped there at night because it was only 9 pm, but I'd been talking to one of my message board friends, and we'd planned to meet up the following morning. Since I felt bad, I sprung for a night in a cheap hotel- ohhh the hot shower and bed felt SO nice after many, many miles on the road!

It was dark when we arrived but the next day I thoroughly enjoyed the view. I just thought it was so cool to see a city between the mountains-- picturesque and I could have explored all day! After meeting with my friend and her two adorable boys though, we quickly hit the pavement, tires rolling overtime!

As we drove around (literally) some of the mountains, I thought about how awesome a backdrop like that would be for a dream home... but it's so dry and brown, I just don't think I could do it!

After what seemed like just a few miles on the highway, the city faded away, the desolate prairie taking its place. The sky was so vast, so open...

This right here is my dad's dream home...I wish I was kidding! (Okay so maybe not the barn, but he'd love to be in the middle of nowhere!)

Magnificent really even explain the vastness of this area of the US!

Eventually we entered Idaho, where it was 106*. Our car had no A/C (along with a radio that only worked about half the time...yea...) so after a few hours on the road with the windows down, we stopped for gas and this is what I found.

Idaho was dry, dry, dry (well, duh, with temperatures like that what did I expect?!)

Oregon (or at least the part we saw!) looked so dry as well. I was surprised by this- I guess I hear my uncle talk about Portland and hadn't expected so much dry land!

I found this along the highway which reminded me of the old computer game "Oregon Trail"

And as the sun set in Oregon, we were mere hours from the state of our final destination- we were both too giddy/slaphappy to sleep...

Monday, September 28, 2009

No Menu Here

Weeks like this upcoming one are one reason why I don't bother with a dinner menu most weeks...although after the completely boring weekend I had (family trip was canceled and then my family got too busy to have me come visit...blah!) I'm ready- I think, for the craziness!

Sunday evening- Financial Class- I just had my second Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class- now I'm supposed to find a person to be accountable to. No idea where to even start choosing someone there. Sigh.

Monday- Work 11-6- at least my co-teacher is back! Since it's supposed to rain this week, I am borrowing a couple crafty ideas for the week- Apple Trees and Crayon leaves
After work- Dinner with my friend Stacy! We're going to my favorite low-key Mexican restaurant, and I already know what I'm getting!

Tuesday- Breakfast with my friend Jill before Working 11-6- supposed to be nice out!
After work- Trying a new young adult group. They have dinner, a bible study and then just hanging out until about 11 pm

Wednesday- Work 11-6
After work- Ditto Tuesday, but a different group! They are weeding the church gardens...we'll see how it goes!!

Thursday- Work 11-6
After work- Babysitting Chubster until midnight or so

Friday- Subbing for one of my co-workers so working 8-6
After work- Babysitting Chubster again until ??

Saturday- taking a health class at the local college from 9-4, it might be First Aid but I can't remember! My co-worker A is taking it to, so we'll carpool which will be nice. Plus, it's always more fun (ha, as if these classes are fun at ALL) if there is someone you know there.
After class, I'm babysitting the three C kids- that will be a late night, probably

Sunday- Doing a benefit walk with Aniya in the morning and then financial class again at night...

and then it starts over again!

Whew...I'm tired already!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Breakdown and Beyond

Yes, indeed. Our car broke down, just a few miles from the Wyoming state border. As you can see there isn't much to look at in the middle of the US.
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Let me explain. I know absolutely nothing about cars, but when the muffler area of the car began smoking, I decided that wasn't a good sign and nudged my brother, who had plugged into his ipod seconds after we got gas and switched drivers. We decided to pull over to the side of the road and since my brother doesn't know much about cars either, we called my dad. From the description of the white smoke, he thought it might have something to do with the oil...but since there was a town just 5 miles away, we kept driving, slowly.
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We made it to Wyoming! Yay!

I don't remember what the name of the town was that we stopped in, but it was VERY small. It had an Alligator Motel, a gas station, one church, and that's about it! Thankfully, after two hours waiting and less than $100 in repairs, we were back on the road! The car repair turned out to be something transmission-related, a tiny hole in some pipe or something?
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My brother and I wanted to see Colorado, so we took a detour not long after entering Wyoming. My plan was just to drive to the "Welcome to Colorado" sign and then turn around. My brother said that was boring, to drive back the same way as we came in, and chose a different road on the map to have us travel on. We were in Colorado for FOUR hours. Thank you, bro, for your mad map skills.

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We enjoyed the mountains from afar, and then up close!

Here's what happened. He wanted to visit the first town in Colorado that we'd come to, which happened to be Fort Collins. Fine. Then, he had us head West instead of North, but the road that was on the map was a TINY road, in the middle of mountains, with a speed limit of about 20. It was 60 miles long... thus, our 4 hours in Colorado!

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I have to admit though, it was gorgeous, and I enjoyed the lonnnng drive. My brother slept through all of it and when he looked at the map later to see where we were, he was sorely disappointed to see that we hadn't gone far. Who's fault was that?

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The sky was so open and gorgeous-- perfect!
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Before we knew it (HAHA!) the mountains seemed far away again and the wide open plains were our friends! My brother was STILL sleeping, so I snapped a few photos while driving- he would have gotten mad if I stopped.

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Isn't that cool?

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Woohoo, fun roller coaster roads!!!

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I can imagine the horses LOVE their home if they live here!

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My friend Jess would absolutely love to live right here-- my dad, too. While I enjoyed my visit, I'm not sure I could do it!

At some point, we re-entered Wyoming- but in some of these pictures, I'm not sure if we're in Colorado or Wyoming!
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The afternoon wore on, the scenery changing slowly

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I don't know why, but I really like this picture!

The sun began this point, I had no idea what time zone we were in or what time it was at didn't really matter though!

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Somewhere around nightfall, we entered Utah- our tenth state at the end of two days on the road...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Waking in Nebraska

After our first looong day on the road, my brother and I stopped around 3 in the morning (of course, I have no idea what time zone anymore- I don't know if it was 3 am Eastern, or Central...oh well, stick with me!) to gaze at the wide open space in Nebraska. I woke from a deep sleep when my brother stopped driving on a gravel road in the middle of nowhere, but I'll remember the scene forever. The sky was SO wide and open...of course, my camera does not have the ability to capture the wideness of sky and stars at three am...

Around five or six, my brother stopped driving in North Platte, Nebraska. We'd been on the road for sixteen hours, so we both fell asleep in a truck lot until the sun rose. Come morning, it was gorgeous!
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After freshening up just a bit, we hit the road again. It was a beautiful day for the first half hour or so, and we passed farm after farm. I'm from the country so usually farms don't faze me, but it was so early and with a light fog, the scene was gorgeous!
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However, it soon became REALLY foggy-- almost eerily foggy.

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That lasted about ten minutes, and suddenly we were back in the sunshine. I seriously have no idea what all the fog was about but it was WEIRD!

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The plains became fields and fields with just a few towns scattered throughout. For the most part, this was the boring part of the day!

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As we got closer to the Wyoming state border, the scenery began to change some.

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And then, six miles from the Nebraska/Wyoming border, the car broke down.
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We were so close...although from the scenery, you can tell there isn't much around!