Tuesday, July 31, 2012

RR12-The Journey of a Thousand Miles

G&G Ross, home for the day, bid us farewell

We eagerly loaded up the camper in anticipation of the trip.  As is typical with all things Epic, we didn't get out of town as early as we would have liked.  But we did finally start for our Northern destination.  John and I were alone in the cab as everyone opted for riding in the camper itself.  The windows didn't match up well, but we were able to communicate and pass stuff back and forth.  It has been really warm and the camper really heated up as we drove, but no one seemed to mind.  

With all of our alone time, John and I were forced to chat.  We both talked about how the road North reminded us of our college days.  We both went to Rick's College and drove back and forth many on that route many times.  We had also been in touch with our friends the Kofords who happened to be staying in Island Park, Id. The lure was just too much and instead of taking I-84 west to Boise, we kept on our Northerly path.  Our GPS added a little time to the route, but we are just that crazy!

We drove until we got to Rexburg, Idaho.  Ah, the memories.  I mentioned that I once saw a moose trotting down the very road we were now taking into town.  John told stories of unsafe driving on poor road conditions, surprising from his college aged memories... ;)  

Many things had changed.  There was now a big road leading into town and up to a new Temple!  There were new buildings mingled with the old familiar ones.  We didn't have too much time, so we headed for the bookstore.  I was feeling sentimental and agreed to buy everyone a sweatshirt or souveneir.  Even though they now call the school BYU Idaho, the bookstore must have known that a sucker like me was sure to come through fondly remembering their younger years.  Yes, I did get the sweatshirt.

 After we got our rememberances of the bookstore, I convinced John to swing south out of town past my old apartment.  It was called Carriage Court back when I lived there, so I wasn't quite sure when I saw it.  But when we drove in, there it was, my old apartment-202! That place and Dorm 3 had a lot of really good times for me. I loved every second of my trip down memory lane!
But we had an ERT (Epic Road Trip) to keep on, so we bid farewell to Rexburg, but not without first doing our best to persuade our offspring that a church college is soooo much funner than a regular college.

Man it is beautiful in Idaho in the summer.  I lived there over the school year and often did not appreciate the surroundings.  We continued north until we reached a lovely cabin in the woods of Island Park where the Kofords were staying for a while.  We were so excited to see them!  And of course, cool Kofords that they are, they even fed us dinner!

Our GPS trip time estimator was prodding us to keep moving with the ERT, but it was hard to climb back into the camper.  That camper was quite a site with all of us piling out of it, and it earned us the nickname of the Gillybillies, which we loved! ;)
On the road again

On North to Montana.  We were in uncharted territory once we passed Big Sky, as neither John nor I had driven this was before. As the sun was setting, we were driving west and the Big Sky of Montana did not disappoint us.  We drove along a river and there were some clouds that scattered rain along the way.  We saw every color of the rainbow in the sky and the water as the sun went down.

We continued North until we hopped onto I-90, the road that would take us to our final destination out west.  We drove, and drove.  It's an ERT, remember?  Then we kept driving.  It was dark, so I don't know what we missed, but the map makes it look like there was some pretty good scenery. Lots of trees and mountains.

We finally crossed back into Idaho, way up in the panhandle.  It was here that we decided we had better get some sleep.  Even ERTers need to rest.  So we pulled off into a tiny town nestled under I-90. The kids all picked out spots in the camper and John and I slept in the cab.  It was chilly at that elevation in the forest, but I think everyone slept well in our new home away from home.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ross Reunion 2012

Note: Visiting with my parents last week, I realized that they had not seen pictures from the Ross Reunion as they were on a mission. I decided that I had better blog about it.  I will not predate the posts for a week or so to let them have a chance to see. :)

It's that time of year again: The Ross Reunion 2012!  It is something that we look forward to all year because there is something really great about renewing your bonds with your cousins.  I was really, really looking forward to it because this year it was hosted by Skip and Laurene who live up in Seattle. Much to my delight, they invited us all up.  I have never been to the Pacific NW and was anxious to see what it was all about.

As a family, we had discussed how we were going to get to Seattle.  It is a long haul from Durango and we toyed with the idea of flying.  But we kept coming back to the idea of an epic road trip, the kind you would always remember from your childhood.  We decided that was the kind of trip this would be...Epic!  Kim and Brad each had motorhomes to take, but we went with a little more old school option.

We got to Salt Lake in enough time for John to buy a new truck that we would be taking on our trip. We had to have a truck, because we had decided to buy a camper to put in it!  I know, just like when you were a kid, right? We had been looking for weeks online and in Colorado, but hadn't yet found one that was in our selected price range (as cheap as possible without being freaky).

Time was growing short, as we had to leave in the morning to make it to Seattle in time for the commencement of the Reunion.  I watched with a twinge of envy as Brad and Kim rolled out of town and headed North.  We looked at a few more questionable possibilities before heading up to Rose Park this evening. The hour of our purchase was growing late...

I don't know if you are familiar with the Rose Park area, but it is a rougher part of the Salt Lake Basin.... to put it nicely.We found the address as dusk was upon us.  After an inspection and a little dealing, we settled on a fair price for what was to be our home for the next week.  We had caused a bit of a stir cruising into the neighborhood in our brand new, loud diesel pickup.  The neighbors all came out to see what was going on.

Once we had decided on the price, John and the owner met at the tailgate of our new, conspicuous feeling truck for payment to be rendered.  I don't know if you have ever seen a few thousand dollars, but when it is in $20 bills, it makes quite a stack of cash.  I watched nervously as my husband counted out said stack of bills onto the tailgate in view of the whole street.  I walked over to create a visual barrier, but I can't help but wonder if the guy we bought it from is going to be robbed tonight.  Yikes.

Night falls in Rose Park as we close the deal
Thankfully, Gabe and Seth were with us as we needed everyone to load this baby into the truck.  It was pretty late by the time we rolled out of Rose Park and headed home to load it up for our road trip.  And we are all anxious and ready for our Epic Journey to begin!