Thursday, June 15, 2017

     It is day #25 of our 35-day trek out west in a six-cylinder roadster that Mr. Wonderful has named “Ma Belle.” Yes, his “beauty” is not little ole moi; it’s the car. That’s ok. I don’t mind playing second fiddle to a top-down beauty as long as she has no flesh:)

     The exclamations that are coming from this four-wheel home-away-from-home are becoming redundant, however. Here are the most common:

OMG, look at that!
I can’t believe that!
Did you see that?
How high is that?
Are you kidding me? 
I feel like I’m on another planet.
I guess they don’t have restaurants in this state.
How much?
Are we there yet?
Let’s plan our next meal.
This is unbelievable!
I have never seen anything like this, have you?
I’m running out of adjectives.
Who lives in a place like this?
Where do they buy groceries?
More cows.
There is no curve in this road. It’s 500 miles of straight.
Are you awake? Maybe I should drive.

. . . and the list goes on. These seem to be recurring, however, and they are all so appropriate for the exquisite scenery we have seen, the strange terrain we have passed and the lifestyles we cannot imagine. What an adventure!

     After six National Parks, at least 100 bison (including a bison jam), over 100 wild horses, 4,372 cows, a few sheep, one large elk, a big grizzly bear, a dozen prairie dogs and a tiny chimpmunk, we are on the last leg of our trip. It has been all the more thrilling as we have had the top down most mornings, and Mr. Wonderful has done his best to take every hairpin curve at top speed with me screaming “It’s my life too, you know!” 

     We visited two daughters and their families, stayed in 15 hotels, ate in Lord-knows-how many restaurants, drove over 6000 miles (7000+ at the end), laughed, napped, reminisced, planned, talked with the locals and bought two stuffed animals:  a prairie dog and a wolf (named Lisette and “Loup”). It has been quite a journey—one which we could never have imagined, but one which we will never forget. 24/7 with your spouse can be a challenge, but so far, we still like each other. There’s nowhere to escape if things don’t go well, as there’s only one set of keys:)

     Our takeaway so far:  Our country is vast and beautiful. We have so many natural resources to enjoy.  We recommend seeing as much as you can while you’re young enough to hike to the best lookouts, endure the longest drives and remember your room number and where you parked the car.

     We feel so blessed. With only ten days left, we intend to squeeze the joy and fun out of every minute. Stay tuned.