Monday, June 1, 2009

Home Again

We have returned from our epic trip to Yellowstone and other parts unknown (to me). Our stuff is unpacked, the house is clean, and the pantry is restocked. Time to settle in for another couple of days before going to work. Was I sad to come back? Not really. I was sad to leave, especially Conifer, which feels like a new home away from home, but not sad to come back. In fact, coming home has never felt quite this good. If this sensation is normal, no wonder most people actually go somewhere on vacation. Add that to the long list of things I learned over the past two weeks.

I've got a journal full of observations written during the trip, so the next few posts will probably have a lot to do with those. For starters, here are some tidbits from Day 1, the drive from Duncan to Conifer, Colorado.

Hilarious Town Names. In Kansas, we passed a town called Bovina. In Colorado, we went by Arriba. A highway sign also pointed the way to Genoa, with Hugo underneath. Being the over-aged juvenile that I am, I said to Brian, "That sign said Genoa Hugo. Genoa is a type of salami...so that sign means huge salami!" He promptly called a penalty and gave me two minutes for insufferable humor.

Kansas = Boring. No offense to those who live there, but dang. I barely made it through the drive home without a nap, and was sadly unsuccessful in that endeavor on the way out. Weird car dreams are more entertaining than such a monotonous view, and this is coming from someone who loves grasslands.

Mountain Storms. These storms are very different from the type we see in Oklahoma. They move slow and seem to dump a lot more rain. The several that we ran into in Colorado and Wyoming had tons of cloud-to-ground lightning, too. Seeing them from so far away as they built and then running under them as they uncorked was an intense new experience. They're beautiful in their power.



Real Mountains. This one is for Char. As we rolled into Denver, very near our destination for the night, we caught a glimpse of shadowy mountain peaks in the distance. Marveling at the vitality of the city and the blue mountain backdrop, I was trying to look everywhere at once when something just off the highway caught my eye. How sad is it that, when faced with such human and geological glory, I stopped to squeak, "Oooh, a Target!"

Dinner and Dessert with a Twist. Upon reaching the home of Brian's mom and stepdad in Conifer, we enjoyed a delicious dinner that included severed biscuit heads. Marilyn likes to eat the top layer first and so gleefully decapitates each biscuit before consumption. Afterwards, she said, "Now I'll go make special brownies for dessert!" Brian's eyebrows went to the roof, and she quickly amended that statement to include the key ingredient: Bailey's Irish Creme. We still chortled, though.

Critter Log. Each day of the trip, I kept a critter log of all the animals we saw, excluding cows and horses. The list for Day 1 is short unless I name all the bird species, so I'll expound on the birds in another post.

• Pronghorn antelope
• Red squirrels
• Lots o'birds

And that pretty much sums up Day 1. I'll say again that I got a lot out of this trip and enjoyed it more than I could have dreamed. Next installment of the trip journal tomorrow! Trying to write with a cat laying across your wrist is hard. ><

~H
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