Sunday, July 29, 2012

Still Rolling Toward Cali

Mom and I did have a good night's sleep in Flagstaff. There was a train whistle off in the distance, but nothing like Gallup, NM. This was a place we will stay on our way back to Colorado. We slowly got ourselves ready to go and stopped at Coco's next door for breakfast before getting on the road again. We talked about the rest of the trip home and if there were any other stops we were going to make.

Years ago, my mom and grandma had driven out to see me in Colorado. They had stopped in a little town called Williams and found it to be quaint. So, mom and I decided we would drive through so I could see it. It was only 30 miles down road from Flagstaff and wouldn't take a lot of time to go through, so it was worth it to take a look at this little town.

Because most of the Interstate also doubles as Route 66, there is a lot of memorabilia throughout the towns which the route originally took. Williams was no different. Most of the restaurant's and shops had Route 66 incorporated in their name or the items they sold.

This little town was also the gateway to the Grand Canyon's southern rim. Mom asked me if I wanted to give it a shot and take the detour. I took a look at the map and it seemed it was only a 1 hour detour to drive there. Who knew if we would be able to take this detour on our way back? So, we made the decision to go for it.

Neither mom nor I had ever been to the Grand Canyon, so tis was going to be a treat for both of us. As we got to the entrance, we talked with the ranger for a few minutes and found out that since I had a handicapped placard, we could get an access pass to America's Parks for a lifetime free entrance to most of the parks around that nation. This was too cool, so I filled it out as quickly as I could and we were on our way!

We now tried to follow the park map to the first location and lookout. Mom and I found a spot after going around the parking lot several times. The bad thing was the weather. Clouds had rolled in and cast a very heavy shadow over the entire canyon. As we got out and began walking toward the stairwell to the overlook, it began to rain. Mom ran back to the car as I headed to the rail as best I could. I was wearing a ball cap, so I was ok with a covering for my glasses. It was just awesome to be here and seeing this natural wonder God had created. We took pictures of each other and stood in amazement at this creation of our Lord. It was truly amazing.

Mom and I took a few more turnouts and then headed for the general store. We took a tour around the store and found some memento's we could take home. I was so excited to be here, I was beside myself. But the reality was that we needed to get to California because I had appointments for pre-op tomorrow and dad would start to wonder if we were ever going to be there. So, mom and I made the decision to not make any more stops in the park and begin the rest of the trip home.

We headed out and managed to get back to sun once we were back on the Interstate. We made it to Kingman, AZ where we ruled up the car, got a coffee from Starbucks and grabbed some food from my childhood (and still today) favorite, In-N-Out. After we did those few things, we got back on the road for the border of Calif. Soon we found ourselves in a major rain storm and had to slow the car down to the 40's. This was going to take a long time to get home if we were going to drive this slow. We finally made it t the California border, and as we were passing over the Colorado River the heart of the storm was overhead. Because of the noise of the storm, I placed my hand on my mom's hand at the exact moment of a lighting strike and scared the living daylights out of her. We had a great laugh over that and kept on going.

I love storms. I think rain storms and snow storms are incredibly cool. I love to watch the lightning strikes, but hate when they are too close. I'm also not much of a fan of being out in the storms. I much prefer to watch from the comfort of my home through a secure window. I just didn't have a choose with this one. I was driving through it as best I could with the windshield wipers on high.

We soon made our way out of the storm and saw a rainbow in the distance; nightfall was coming. We made one final stop in before arriving at my parents house. Mom and I switched places after fueling up the car and getting one last Starbucks run in our blood for the drive. We got back on the road and made our phone call to dad to let him know where we were and what time to kind of expect us in town.

We made our way over the Cajon pass and to the last set of freeways before we would be home. We were both pretty tired at this point and just wanted to get there. We knew our week ahead was going to be stressful, so we pushed ourselves to make the last 60+ miles to the house. But, road construction would detour us onto surface streets and a slew of traffic to go with it. We had no idea where this detour was taking us, and all we wanted was to get back on the freeway and head home. This detour ended up costing us another 20-25 minutes not knowing where we had gotten back on the road. Once we got our barring again, we got on the correct route and were off again.

By the time we exited the freeway near home, it was after 11pm and we called dad to say we were on the surface streets home. 3 more turns and we would be in our driveway and then soon in our beds for the night. When we arrived, we unloaded the car with dad's help, got everything into the living room and got out the necessities for the evening. I talked with dad a few minutes while mom took a shower and talked about what time we needed to leave for the hospital and all the tests. When mom was done with her shower, we told her what we had talked about and asked if she thought that time frame was good. She was agreeable, we all said our goodnights, and I was off to bed for the evening.

Tomorrow was going to be a filled day, so a good night's rest was important for all of us.

Next, "Pre-Op" and a special family night.

"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory." Ephesians 1:7-12

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