Road Trippin'



Denver Here We Come...

 

Leah:  So there we were with over 30 feet of vehicle, thousands of miles of open road and dozens of hours of uninterrupted side-by-side couple time before us. The night before we said goodbye to Steve’s family, an emotionally wrenching experience to say the least, then loaded up the Uhaul with our remaining possessions that hadn’t been sold, donated or trashed. We had been upgraded to a bigger Uhaul when the one we reserved wasn’t available, to which we hitched my beloved red Corolla. After an emotive early morning departure from our dear friends’ house (where we had been staying for a few weeks), we said a quick prayer that somehow we’d get all this safely to Colorado and bid adieu to our beloved San Diego as we headed north on the 15.


As everyone knows, the key ingredient to an epic road trip is the tunes, so naturally we forgot to get the iPod adapter for the truck in our frenzied packing flurry. This monumental failure meant that for two very long, exhausting days we were destined to fruitlessly scan all radio frequencies hoping for a magical movie montage playlist to accompany and motivate us across multiple state lines. What we got instead was a jumbled mess of country (we aren’t big fans), classic rock (love it, but there are only so many hours you can endure in a row), a mash up of hip-hop and Spanish when the stations clashed together just right, or the most grating static imaginable. Be jealous, it’s okay. With this convoluted soundtrack in the background we ambled our way from sunny California to fiery hot Arizona; the Grand Canyon awaited and if my car stayed firmly attached to the Uhaul and Steve’s masterful driving continued, we would make it there in time for sunset.       

Steve: Well, needless to say we made it. Short on sleep but fueled by conversation and a scenic drive we made it to our goal—the Grand Canyon (Note to Self: Trust your own judgment when you don’t think your 17’ U-Haul towing a car isn’t going fit in our camping spot!). We set up camp and called it an early night so that we could wake up at 4:30 and make it out to the Yavapai view point for sunrise. This is something everyone should do at least once in their lives. It was like being at a cemetery; not necessarily somber but it felt like we were on hallowed ground, sacred simply because of its scale and existence.

Following a stroll down some trails we decided it was time to keep moving and we continued our drive from the Grand Canyon through Utah and finally onto Grand Junction, CO for a final layover before arriving in Denver. We were able to participate in CouchSurfing for the first time as travelers (not counting our honeymoon in Aruba). If our first experience is a sign of things to come then we have a lot of hospitality and conversation in store for us. Our host Brandon was an interesting, humble and kind person who opened his home to us for the night and told us stories about his travels to Chile and Australia, all the while passing on tips and advice.

After a great night’s sleep we got back on the road for the last leg of our initial journey. We made it to Denver after 5 hours of alternating uphill and downhill slaloms through the Rockies. With a U-Haul and tethered car, this made for some interesting and long stretches of driving. And by long I mean maxing out at thirty miles an hour in a caravan of big rigs and trailers…sometimes it seemed like it would never end! Through it all we made it safely to Denver and Leah’s parents home where we will begin final preparations for our date with the world…

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