Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The Trip Down
First, thanks to those who made the trip possible for me. You know who you are. It was a great week to be home. I'll post two more posts later: one about the stay in Arizona, one about the trip back.
I left Rexburg after the check-out inspection in the afternoon. A few hours later, I was at my Dad's cousin's place in Brigham City. Stacy and Cory let me sleep at their place. They fixed french-toast for dinner, with fresh-sliced strawberries. I love breakfast for dinner. It was a perfect break to make the trip that much shorter the next day.
I had a quick breakfast, got loaded with cookies from Stacy (with another bag to deliver to Uncle Floyd), and headed out. My next stop -The Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point. The director of the museum, Cliff Miles, took a look at the Phytosaur (ancient croc, basically) bone fragments I had collected. This was a fantastic time. For an hour and a half, we sat at a table and poured over bone fragments with the enthusiasm of kids on Christmas morning. Dead stuff is gross. Ancient fossilized dead stuff is fascinating.
After my longer-than-intended stop, I pressed on. Down to Panguitch. Through Kanab. On toward Page. Once I neared the Lake Powell area, I couldn't help but grin. I felt the excitement of being back in the beautiful state. From then on, I was home. These were the roads I'd traveled so many times before. Trips to Fredonia for sports, Lake Powell trips in the summer, any drive to Utah, all so familiar to me and the dull reddish glow of the sandstone beckoned me onward.
I took the short-cut and cut Flagstaff completely out of the trip. I went towards the Winona exit, but realized that a road connects to the Cosnino road / I-40 junction. I took it. I've never been more excited to get to the I-40. It's the road that leads home. Just a few exits down the way was my hometown and my family waiting.
I rolled into Joseph City and stopped at my sister's place. Mom and Jim were just leaving, but I got to see them first. Then came Little Lace. She was in the process of changing clothes (probably for the 10th time that day) in her room. I tapped on the window. She seemed confused. Why was her uncle from far away Idaho suddenly peering through that window? It registered quick enough, and full-blown excitement set it. "STEVE!!! Go to the Door!" She motioned toward the living room entry. I met her there opening the front door. She announced to the world, "He's HERE!!!" Did I feel special? Oh yes.
After hugs, laughs, visiting, and a few bowls of my sisters tasty chicken noodle soup, I headed for Porter Ave. I saw Grandma and Aunt Julie and got to visit with them for a bit. Grandma always has projects waiting for when I come to visit. I love it because she gets them done and I get a bit of mula to help finance the trip. Speaking of projects, her kitchen renovation was more incredible than I had imagined. Once she gets an idea, she gets things going. That's something I admire about her.
And then, it was on to home up on Baird Ave. It was so good to see all of my family again. To climb the steep stairs leading from the basement. To hear the annoying/endearing electronic chime of the clock in the family room. To feel the coolness of a beautiful Arizona night. To be home.