Aug 17

Traveling Worm Farmer

Four kids in a Ford Explorer.  Six states.  2000 miles.  A jittery wife.  Bears and elk to spot.  This is the situation my Worm Farmer found himself in during the first week of August.  On top of that, it was his 50th birthday.

Back in January we started planning how we were going to celebrate my hubby’s big day.  We threw around lots of ideas, many which DID NOT include our tots.  While those trips were high on the wish list, practicality dictated that the kids were going to join us on this adventure.  I was totally okay with it.  Hubby was not so sure.

So after months of booking hotels, the rental car and a plane flight, we headed out the door to Sky Harbor International Airport for our kids’ first flight ever.  Except for a little panic on the part of our timid-of-heights son and some theatrics from our drama-queen-gotta-have-the-attention daughter, our swish through the air to Seattle was uneventful and quite enjoyable.  Especially when all four kids decided they would love to see what an airplane bathroom looks like.  That was fun.

Seattle was magical.  Clear blue skies, sunny and completely rainless.  We caught the Bainbridge Island Ferry and crossed Puget Sound, straining our eyes to spot orcas in the salty blue water.  While we saw no killer whales, our children did manage to morph into ravenous, grumpy beasts IMG_0776who demanded to be fed.  That was even better than the bathroom experience on the plane.  Tuckered out, with grumbly tummies, those kids were troopers while we found Doc’s Marina Grill and waited for our lunches.  It all ended well, though – and Seattle will remain a wonderful memory.

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho was next on the list of destinations.  Before we headed out, we stopped by a Walmart and bought some things we’d need for the car trip.  With little room in the back of the Explorer, my Worm Farmer was forced to climb up on top of the truck and strap our suitcases to the luggage rIMG_0801 - Copyack.  While he was tying down every stitch of clothing we’d brought with us, our little one stepped the wrong way on her flip-flops and broke the strap.  Back into Walmart we went.  55 minutes after our first trip into the store, we were tucked into the truck and ready to head to Idaho.  Idaho delivered!  Have you ever seen Lake Coeur d’Alene?!

After strapping those suitcases back up on the roof of the car, hubby drove our human wigglers through Montana to West Yellowstone and Yellowstone Park.  My faithful man was standing next to Old Faithful Geyser on his 50th birthday – a truly beautiful sight to experience.  TIMG_0966hough we spotted no bear or elk (NOT for lack of trying!) we did make our way through herds and herds of grazing bison.  How such large beasts can be so beautiful, I’ll never know – but the wonder of God’s creation has never been closer than in those rolling hills covered with those magnificent creatures.  He meant it when He said, “This is good!”

Nine hours later, we rolled our way past the Grand Tetons and into Jackson, Wyoming.  Tired (again) and hungry (AGAIN), we chose to stay at the hotel and dine in.  I’m not sure if it was because we’d found a place to rest, or if the grandeur of those mountains became another reminder of God’s love, but Jackson Hole was BY FAR our favorite stop on the trip.  Nestled below those giant heights, the town has a quiet and welcoming spirit that we were drawn to.  We slept well that night.

But every good-night’s-sleep must come to an end, and after throwing those suitcases up on top of the truck, my worm farmer was once again back in the driver’s seat.  Page, Arizona and Lake Powell was our final destination.  A stop-over in Salt Lake City proved to be an interesting experience, but the scenic drive through the canyon lands of south Utah proved once again that Canyonland Worms is named well.

As we arrived back in Arizona, I got to musing about all we’d seen and experienced.  While traveling through five states, we’d seen lots of farmland, forests, mountains and high desert.  It was all beautiful – amazing, glorious and spectacular!  As we drove, we talked about what it would be like to pull up stakes and buy a few acres of farmland – or find a cabin by a stream in the forest-covered mountains – or go off-grid among the canyons.  But there really is no place like home.  And THIS state we call home has everything we’d seen in our 2000 mile journey.  I think the grass is perfectly green on our side (although it’s really brown unless you water it profusely).  I’m so happy to be home.

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