Last Thursday we headed out of Little Rock and it was truly a weird feeling! We were leaving everything we have known pretty much for our entire marriage and heading out across the country to a place of many unknowns…we are excited but there was trepidation for sure!
Here we are all packed and ready to go…Kadie kindly hogged the camera and put her cute face in front of Hank’s!
We made it to Dallas…saw my parents…hung out with friends…had some great Mexican food and hit the road the next morning for Kansas!
Guess where we went through in Oklahoma on the way?
We stopped in Norman, Oklahoma for some Taco Cabana and were back on the road. Originally we had planned to stop in Wichita but we drove through at 3:30 and decided we could make much more headway so we kept going. We thought we might stop in Salida, KS but decided we could make it even further. We did stop in Salida for some Red Lobster but kept on and spent the night in Hayes, KS. Some of our friends had teased about how there would be nothing to see in Kansas but I have to admit that I found beauty in the rolling hills and flat plains of Kansas and was intrigued with the numerous wind turbines that we saw. Perhaps it was the fact that we went through as the sun was setting that made it that much better of a view. I laugh now, however, because while I took in the beauty of Kansas I had NO IDEA how beautiful the next few days of driving would be!
I have to say we were amazed by how windy it was in Kansas…and we were told by the locals that this is the norm for that area. At one point I stopped to get gas and could barely even open the door to get out of my car…it was pretty crazy! Jason really felt it since he was pulling the U-Haul and since we were going against the wind it greatly affected his gas mileage…mine too but with a hybrid I was still getting 33 miles to the gallon…he was getting 8..haha!
Saturday morning we got up early thanks to Riley not having the best sleeping habits so far on this trip and decided to have breakfast at IHOP before we got on the road…Riley had her first funny face pancake and LOVED it!
Even though Riley had not been sleeping great at night she was AWESOME during the day…she was taking two naps in the car
...and then switching between our cars during her awake time…when she was with me we would sing songs and dance to music..when she was with Jason she watched movies and played with the doggies!
She tried to share her binkies with the doggies and that led to the death of 3 binkies so far…poor binkies!
We headed out to finish our drive through Kansas and make our way into Colorado…there were many lush green fields as we drove and while they were all pretty at first it got old and we were ready to see some mountains!
We stopped close to the Colorado border for a bathroom/diaper change/doggie walk stop and found this great field to let the dogs loose and play fetch with them…they loved it and were worn out!
As we made our way into Colorado it was fairly overcast and even when we arrived in Denver we could not even see the mountains because the clouds were lying so low.
We spent the weekend with Jason and Christy…Jason was in the Air Force with Jason…and now he is out in the civilian world and they moved to Denver last summer and are loving it there! They were actually in the mountains fly fishing when we arrived so we got settled at their house and headed out for dinner…they drove in late that night and we spent all day Sunday with them!
Their house was three stories (one of them being a basement) but it actually had 5 levels and LOTS of stairs so guess who was in Heaven?
Christy fixed a great breakfast for all of us Sunday morning and then the boys headed out to a gun show while the girls went shopping…they had a brand new outdoor shopping mall that was great! After we all played we met back up at their house for a wonderful meal! Jason is an avid hunter and has a freezer stocked full of all kinds of game. We had the privilege of trying bear sausage and eating moose for dinner…it was all fabulous! Christy even packed us some moose sandwiches for the road...scrumptious!
We went to bed that night and I checked the weather before I nodded off and saw that there was only a chance of rain…but when we woke up this was the view out of our window!
It was beautiful and I think it was a special gift from God just for us…I was hoping we would see snow and Riley could play in it for the first time but I didn’t want to have it interrupt our travel plans either! This was a perfect snow…enough to cover the ground…great for snow balls…and it was just around Denver and was 55 degrees by the time we left so we didn’t even have to drive in the snow at all!
Here’s some pictures of Riley playing in the snow…you better believe her daddy showed her how to throw a snow ball at me…we had a lot of fun!
On a funny note…here is a picture of this Texas girl dressed for the snow..in my flip flops!
I packed all of our shoes in a rubber tote and there was a slight miscommunication between the packer of the U-Haul and myself and the shoe tote was nicely packed away in the very BACK of the U-Haul so Riley and I were stuck for the whole trip with the shoes we wore on our way out of Little Rock…me with these flip flops and Riley with her pink crocks! I'm happy to report that we both survived that potential fashion catastrophe!
We hit the road after breakfast Monday morning and had the most beautiful day of driving…it was breathtaking. I have not road-tripped much in my life…I am more of a jet-setter! However, this drive was so much fun and I could drive all day surrounded by some of the scenery we have seen!
We headed due north out of Denver into Wyoming and drove the entire southern portion of the state until we crossed into Utah and ended up in Salt Lake City for the night! We crossed the Rocky Mountains and thanks to the snow we had that morning the mountains were all covered and it was so cool to see! I took all of these while driving...I'm talented I know...or dumb...you decide!
At some point Riley got a hold of the walkie talkie…uh oh!
We stopped for lunch in pretty much the only town we ever saw in Wyoming…Rawlins! In an attempt to stay away from fast food we ate at a local diner and it was in this historic house and the food was great! After lunch we were back on the road and we crossed the Continental Divide at 7000 feet elevation! It was amazing how much the terrain changed once we crossed…it went from snow covered mountains to more of a desert look and the rock formations were beautiful!
We even drove right through a mountain via this tunnel!
Most of our drive involved being able to see for miles and not seeing much civilization at all…just raw beauty!
We also came across more wind turbines…these pictures don’t even begin to show how huge these things are!
Once we crossed into Utah the terrain changed again and there was more color in the mountains!
We drove through Park City…I wish we could have stopped and skied!
Finally we made the steep decent out of the mountains into Salt Lake City!
Well that sums up the first part of our trip but there's more to come later! We did receive some great news on our drive up...our house is rented out...woohoo! It only took 5 days...such an answer to prayer and one less thing we have to worry about! Let's hope we have good tenants!