Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Aimlessness Rewarded

Road trips are road trips. Doesn't matter if you are 20 years old without a care in the world, or 50 with your cares staring at you from the back seat with hungry mouths, munching Cheetos and asking "are we there yet?"

It still means freedom. Living out of your car, going wherever you want is just plain fun.

Utah weather reports said it was gonna be too cold to do much of anything for the first several days, so we meandered down to SW Colorado and saw the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings. My favorite conversation was if the ancient Anasazi had sports teams. The Coyotes? The Tricksters? The Cubs? Our consensus was that they did, though who knows what the game was.

We wandered further south into New Mexico and Arizona, then turned north into Utah just as that big snowstorm blasted the Southwest. Meaning we didn't even leave the motel the next day. The girls swam all day long, I bought a generic sci-fi novel at the grovery store to pass the time. The girls learned to blow into their swimsuits to make fake boobs, which would have been funnier if it weren't so deeply disturbing to my addled Dad-brain.

Hiked the Needles district of the Canyonlands the next day. My favorite spot in the world (and the site of our honeymoon!). A cold day, but the sun made it warm enough to hike. As a ruse to get them to pay closer attention to nature, we told the girls we'd pay them a quarter for each lizard they saw, a dollar for each Kangaroo Rat. They earned $1.75, all lizard based.

We headed north to the Arches next and had our Perfect Day. Hiked 3 miles, much of which was scrambling over huge boulders and stretches of slickrock. The l-hux and I are old hands at this, but we had no idea the girls would be such good climbers. Nor did they, so it was pretty exciting for everyone. They were scrambling like mountain goats at day's end. Big Fun.

Camped at the Arches, built a fire, ate hot dogs, toasted marshmallows, watched a truly glorious night sky slowly reveal itself, a thin crescent moon hanging low in the sky.

Froze our asses off that night.

But it was well worth it.

A final note: I watched the Disney Channel for the first time in our motel room. Specifically, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Two nights in a row.

Oh, my. May God have mercy on us all.


Eric Shonkwiler said...

I am jealous and extremely happy for you. We both know how wonderful it is out there. Even when camping out in the winter. I imagine you were better prepared than the Rockstar and I, though?

Welcome back.

Gordo said...

My fondest memories from growing up are out month-long road-trips about the US and Canada. We really have to take our boys out for one.

meno said...

There is something about a road trip...disconnected from the everyday world, going wherever the wheels roll...

You have my deepest sympathies re: Suite Life. i was forced to watch part of an episode once. I think i developed diabetes.

Maggie said...

i love road trips! replete with soda and beef jerky and plenty of chips. :)

looks like you guys had big fun!

Mona Buonanotte said...

You've only now seen Disney Channel, and the tween brain-suck of "Suite Life"? Lucky man. Unfortunately I've heard enough background noise of Disney Ch to have accidentally memorized dialogue, and it haunts me. Help me. Help. Me.

Clowncar said...

E, we didn't fare that much better than you. Froze our asses off too. Except for eldest, who slept soundly all night long. She's the one to be jealous of. The rest of us were miserable.

Month long road trips, Gordo? Don't know if I have that much family togetherness in me.

Meno, I had no idea popular culture had sunk so low. We actually forbade it the final night and made the girls watch Friday Night Lights.

No jerky, Mag, but all the rest. Plus Warner Brothers cartoons (the anti-Disney) on the portable DVD thingies.

Whenever I get too appalled, Mona, i remember all the brain-suck of my own youth. Partridge Family. Brady Bunch. Gilligan's Frickin Island. It's humbling.

Nancy Dancehall said...

Yay mountain goats! Looks like you guys had Big Fun.