Monday, August 5, 2013

July 31 Petrified Forest & Painted Desert

We left my in laws house today after a 13 day stay. The break was nice, but I was ready to be back on the road. Our journeys end to Colorado is getting so close & all I want to do is hurry up & settle into our new home (wherever that will be) & start living the rest of our new life.

I didn’t realize how much crap we had brought into my in laws house. Having to pack up all our stuff & put it back in the trailer was quite the chore. I had to do all our laundry & put away in each bag that goes under the trailer couch (the 31 under storage bags are awesome) then pack up all the food as well as the mountain of toys (I was ready to leave them behind). We were on the road around noonish. Of course this time I won’t be relaxing as we drive. Since my in laws drove our Jeep from Illinois back to their house in Arizona, we decided to go ahead & drive it to Colorado now versus waiting until later. I want that extra set of wheels while hubby is out pounding the pavement looking for a job. I don’t want to be stuck in the trailer with all 3 kids waiting for him to get home. This way I can venture out with the kids & explore our new surroundings that will become our home. Anyway the drive wasn’t that bad in the long run, but I was a bit nervous as we turned the corner from my in laws house because the Jeep just died on me. I went to push on the gas pedal, but nothing happened. I had to pull over, put it in park & restart the ignition. It was fine after that, but just weird. I’m wondering if it was from sitting for a month or so. Seems fine now. I had Annika & Emry with me & Dalton was riding with hubby. I tried getting all 3 car seats in the jeep, but they wouldn’t fit safely so a seat had to be sacrificed. It was total peace & quiet…aaahhh so nice. Annika watched a movie with head phones on & Emry snoozed. Less than about 10 miles from our campground I smell something stinky & look out the window to see if we had passed a sulfur plant or something. I looked forward & notice some smoke coming from the trailer. That was the smell. I radioed to hubby & told him he was smoking. About the same time a guy driving next to hubby honked & pointed to the camper. He pulled over & sure enough a tire had shredded & was ready to blow. Yowzers! Thankfully there was a gas station on the other side of the freeway from where we pulled over so hubby change the tire while I got the kids fed & diapers changed. We had enough time to stop & see a couple dinosaur statues that were near the side of the road. We also saw a super fast lizard. Man he was amazingly fast. I’m sure he could have run on water; that’s how fast he was. We were back on the road & not soon enough since it was 97 degrees outside. Ugh! I don’t like the heat that’s for sure. We got to our campground & it’s a quirky place. It used to be a motel, but the motel closed & it was used as a chicken house. They simply put in some rv hook ups & called it a rv campground. They have lots of petrified wood for sale (we’ll be getting a couple small pieces as souvenirs) & that’s about it. Nothing fancy, but apparently the chickens are all gone. My in laws told us about this place since they had stayed here a couple times during their travels. Well no complaints for only $19 a night, which is all we need. We got set up then headed to the Petrified Forest & Painted Desert.

I remember as a young kid we all piled up in the back of my dad’s Ford truck (he put a camper on the back & rigged a fan back there to help keep us cool) & went to New Mexico & Arizona for summer vacation. I don’t remember it being hot, although I’m sure it was, but I do remember all 5 of us sitting in the back on a mattress & enjoying it. I remember we would knock & knock on the camper window, but dad couldn’t hear us because there was a gap from our window to the back of the truck window. I’m thinking he was ignoring us because how could he not see us in his rear view mirror? Hmmm. We saw the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, that HUGE meteor crater, some cliff dwellings & not sure what else. I think I was about 10 or 11 years old. The one thing that stands out in my mind from this trip soooo many years ago was watching my little sister (6 or 7 yrs old) run towards a building at the Petrified Forest & not seeing the small fence line (had she stayed on the sidewalk/path her injury wouldn’t have happened). It got her right on the ridge of her nose & she went flying backward onto her back. It was like a cartoon when the character gets hit & they’re airborn then *splat* onto their back. It knocked the wind out of her & I laughed soooo hard because it was funny to see. After almost 30 years that’s what I remember most. Yes she was in pain & it scared the crap out of her, but I couldn’t help it. She flipped back so fast. I thought of that as we were out seeing the sites & thought for sure karma would kick in & my 5 yr old daughter would get injured in a similar way. I warned her to stay on the path just in case. Thankfully no serious injuries occurred, except for Dalton not holding my hand & tripping over my foot. He scraped his knee a bit but was fine. We saw the biggest tree in the park “Old Faithful” as well as one that acted as a bridge, but was taken care of back in 1911 when they put pillars under it to keep it from collapsing. In 1917 the pillars were taken down & cement was put under it to reinforce it. It was getting really windy & in the distance you could see the dark clouds & sheets of rain coming down. Ahhh the familiar cloud that follows us on our trip across the country. I know it’s monsoon season, but still feels like the cloud is following us wherever we go. Thankfully no rain came upon us. We did notice a certain odor while we were there. It was stinky & we couldn’t figure out what it was or where it was coming from, but it was at every stop we made. Wait…hope it wasn’t us. I’ll have to ask my in-laws if they know since they were volunteer hosts there for several months.

We headed back to camp so I could make dinner. We were all hungry. Thankfully I had some left over potato dumplings & some brisket from the night before. Yummo fast dinner. Emry is a champ & ate almost a whole nectarine by herself. It was a big one too. She had a few bites of dumplings as well. Since it was kind of late I did the eenie meenie minie moe to see who would get a bath first & Dalton won. He did his usual screaming. I got him out & was trying to dry his feet when he lost his balance & he fell backward & hit his head on the side of the tub. Ooooh the guilt! I scooped him up & said sorry I don’t know how many times. He cried so much, but I do think it was also because he was over tired. I tried to calm him, but he wasn’t having it. He didn’t want to get dressed or put his diaper on. He was stomping his feet on the floor while he was butt naked. I quickly turned on the tv & put in the Cars movie. As soon as it started he stopped crying. It was like a switch. Whew! Thankfully his head was ok & I don’t think he has a concussion….or at least I hope not. My poor baby is going to be all head damaged before even getting into school. I’m gonna say no football for him. I think he’s met his limit on head bonks already.

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