Once we are packed, we hit the road. We shut it down at home. We close it up at work. We leave. I love leaving. I really do. In fact, it is something I fight. I like to go away from it all. I fight to stay present sometimes. I am good at being present sometimes. Sometimes, especially when I’m working for some reason, I am there with all that I am. Everything else fades. But not this week…or let me just say not the week of our vacation this past summer. So today, in the middle of a cold spell, heavy grad school writing, and crazy work, I need to tell you about my vacation this past summer. I need to.
This past July, we packed and we packed, and as usual, I had some major writing commitment due just before we left. It was cool. It always gets done, but I didn’t do the best at preparation for backcountry eating. We left on a Saturday morning, drove all day, and met my brother-in-law Cole and my sister-in-law Beth and their 3 boys in Wichita Falls at the Cracker Barrel. Somehow the Cracker Barrel has weaved its way into our vacation traditions. I like it. It’s yummy. This writing has got to get better.
Yep, there we were. Just four of us adults and only 7 children which is the smallest group we’ve had in a while for a camping vacation. It was a little quiet for us until we wanted to take a photo. Those kids are not very cooperative when it comes to photos. Don’t worry. I’m sharing it with you. But, it was a beating to take it, so you better enjoy it. Notice the pounding that my littlest one is about to give her big sister. Sweet kids.
When you live in the southern part of Texas, everything is far especially when your goal is the Grand Teton National Park. Do you take 30 hour car rides with your family? Are you crazy? We do. We are. And we ain’t always cheerful about it either. We are just normal, run-of-the-mill kind of parents. Seriously. We yell in the car and everything. But, I couldn’t wait to see those mountains again and to explore them. And we are the kind of folks who do whatever it takes for a good backpacking vacation.
BTW, I was really just trying to be cool in this photo. I wasn’t really even mad or grouchy yet. It was only like 3 hours in, people. Back at the Cracker Barrel we ate and then I took the late shift. I had been writing during the day driving. NOT blogging. School stuff. This grad school is really starting to get in my way, I’ll have you know. So, I took the late shift. I drove and I drove. I was so awake for some unknown, un-drug-induced reason. I drove for 8 hours all the way to Colorado. I was just driving along like a trucker and then all of a sudden, I thought I might die. Literally. So, I let Matt take over and I slept like I died. Just for a little while. I did take a picture of Beth and I that morning, but I deleted it. It was only delete worthy. If you saw it, you would thank me. All day and all night in a car is not good for the skin or for photogenic-ness. Just when our car was starting to smell, I saw them. I said it out loud, “Hello there lovely mountains. I missed you.”
Welcome to the most rugged of our camping trips….to be continued….