From Sunday through Sunday to Sunday we travelled
to the West Coast and back,
out through the northwest and back through the south.
Two weeks, nineteen states, and 6,800 miles later,
we were home
with our hearts stretched wide.
God is so good.
I don’t know where to start, and can’t capture it all.
We spent several days in a beach house on the Oregon coast with Ryan’s siblings and parents,
a weekend in cabins with his extended Zook relations,
and a weekend in Ohio with most of my siblings and parents.
I could share family shots…
…or effect shots…
…or the coolest cell phone picture I’ve ever taken…
but they still don’t capture it.
Everything we looked at was free and big and wild.
We saw bison, elk, black tailed deer, a coyote in the night, hundreds of tiny baby prawns, a whale spout and tail, and a pet llama.
We watched our kids enjoy wonderful cousin time (both sides).
We shared a 50th anniversary celebration with Ryan’s parents.
We grieved the lymphoma diagnosis of my much-loved brother Andi.
There were hard times, like when someone looked too deep into the Sapphire Pool and came emotionally unglued, or when the van needed new spark plugs unexpectedly and lost us a few hours, or when we all got furious at each other, en route.
Most of the time, we were at our happiest. So much to praise for. So much good.
We savored wonderful foods – trademark saltwater taffy, Dutch Bros Coffee, Native American fry bread, grilled meats, and (on the CA coast) the best fresh seafood I’ve ever had – mine was calamari steak strips.
(And not to be too falsely gourmet: we also ate a couple of bushels of cheap American snack food, keeping ourselves sane on the trip.)
The northwest is my favorite place in America, always –
the peerless rocks and ridges of Oregon,
the tear-stinging beauty of Wyoming,
the morning sun on the grasslands of South Dakota.
Our special stop points, for those who want recommendations,
were Mt. Rushmore (SD) and Yellowstone National Park (WY/MT),
Horse Thief Butte (WA),
Multnomah Falls, Tillamook Creamery, Cascade Head, and Haystack Rock, (OR),
Redwood National Park (CA), the Grand Canyon (AZ), Four Corners (UT, CO, AZ, NM),
and Mesa Verde (CO), where the old Native dwellings wait quietly,
and the St. Louis Arch (MO).
We are happy to be home!
With that, I am starting an open-ended breaktime from blogging and social media, to clear the clutter in my mind and to focus on other things that matter. We have decisions to make, new routines and stages to adjust to, and many humans to love. My husband thinks I might be back in a month. I’m thinking more like the end of the year. We will see who is right! 😉