Sunday, June 21, 2015

Westward, Ho!

It's my last day in Utah. I am presented with an emotional dichotomy, to be sure, because leaving Utah means I bid farewell to mountains and endless skies and lots of my family and friends, but it also means going home to sheltering trees and fireflies and my family and friends waiting there. 

At times like this, I'm grateful to be able to feel at home so many places. It certainly makes traveling more satisfying. I can honestly say I've never felt homesick, even as a lone 16-year old on an exchange trip to Costa Rica. It was all thrilling, and generally still is. I do, however, get to a point just before it's time to go when it really feels right to be getting back.

I have reached that point. But all this started the Thursday before last, and I want to remember.
The turnpike travel plazas in Ohio have some cool architecture. 

We happened upon this peaceful little park at a bend of the
Mississippi River. This is a completely different view of this
river than I've ever had before. 

We tried so hard to get a pic with the river in view, but the
light was too weird. 

Our first Culvers, ever. Yum. 
When you zoom out,
this is what your blue dot looks like
on I-80 going through Nebraska. 
I can't get the pictures to load in the right order, but here is
where we were before the middle of nowhere. With dear
friends near Omaha. This was so fun. 
Later that day, we turned left at Cheyenne and went south
toward Fort Collins, CO. The mountains came into view and
I gasped with the same wonder and joy I feel every time I
see them again. 
In Colorado I stayed with a friend I met in New
Zealand. She's lovely and we had a great time with her.
I was so grateful for her loving welcome to us.  
The WAZE app took us back out to I-80 on a lesser-used road
that had some spectacular views. So fun. 
Sara got the hang of the manual transmission
so I got to ride for a little while. It was so nice
to get a rest for my accelerator foot. 

Finally, the road wound down through the
corner of WY into the corner of UT. We
turned left again just before Park City and
met up with family in Provo Canyon.
This is the whole reason we came. 
Evan and I attempt a selfie. Can you see me?

This is me, my brother, his wife, 2 kids, his nephew,
my nephew, his wife, and all my people
except Eric, Sam and Madison

My brother wanted an Awkward Family Photo.
I think he succeeded. 

This my friends, is alpenglow. The sun goes behind the peaks in the west,
and you think the sunset show is about over, then all of a sudden, the
mountainsides in the east light up with the most beautiful
golden-orange light. It was a lovely way for the west to
welcome me. 

It was quite a trip. And that was just the getting here. I'll write about the Utah part in the next post.  


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