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Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Road Warriors

Last Monday, standing in the womens section at REI I began to tear up. Sweaters, warm jackets, adorable hats -and none of them belonged in Texas. At that point I knew I needed to head north and get cold. Since Brian mentioned about a month ago that his name is on the list to move to Ft. Carson, CO* (just below Colorado Springs) I have been fantasying about mountains and cold weather. That trip to REI pushed me over the edge and I was dead set on going -especially after I saw the high there was 55 and it got below freezing at night.

On Thursday, after a quick IM conversation with Brian, I had permission to explore the Colorado Springs area -do a little recon for Brian- and by Friday morning we were off! (above) Wilder enjoyed feeding himself yogurt and becoming the youngest Santa Claus look-a-like ever.

Day one consisted of getting to Amarillo, TX. Brian and I had done the same drive the last leg of our roadtrip from Alaska, so the sights weren't new. That said, it's a whole different ball game traveling with a wee one. I kept a steady stream of goldfish crackers, graham crackers, water and milk going to the back seat and Wilder was an excellent traveler.

Our first great adventure came as a result of a terrible mistake I made. Wilder loves munching on apples. I've always had him on my lap or right next to me when he does so, being careful that he doesn't eat the peel. In a desperate move to appease him, I took two big bites out of a golden delicious, handed it back and -for awhile- it did the trick. Fast forward 15 minutes. We're driving through a tiny little town and all of a sudden I hear Wilder start hacking. I pull into an abandoned parking lot and, not being able to get to Wilder in time, his gag reflex kicks in and he has a days worth of food all over him and his new carseat.

I quickly get him out, strip him down and attempt to soak up the mess in the carseat while holding a nearly naked baby right off the highway for all the world to see. Wilder couldn't be happier -really! He was just glad to get out of the carseat! He was talking up a storm and laughing, playfully wacking me while I rushed to clean up my first "Wilder Car Vomit." It was really funny, after knowing he was safe, and I quickly confiscated the apple. No more apples.

We ate dinner at the "Nuttin Fancy Cafe" about 40 min. outside Amarillo. Wilder made new friends with two older couples at the table next to us, and yelled at folks across the room to, "HEY! I'm over here!!! Aren't I FUNNY!", uh, get their attention. We lodged at a Motel 6, got clean and fresh, and enjoyed a relatively good night's sleep.

The next morning we headed out for the remaining 6 1/2 hours to Colorado Springs. We took a slightly different path than originally planned and ended up driving through the Texas Plains Trail. Golden fields surrounded us as they made way for rugged little hills dotted with stocky bushes. It was such a peaceful drive -the whole day!

We stopped for lunch in Texline, a small town on the border of New Mexico and Texas. We shared cheese enchiladas, rice and beans, and Wilder flirted shamelessly with the waitress and cook.
The restaurant was a converted gas station. It's amazing what you can create out of old service stations!
We saw a lot of these: small, old towns.
Hey! We're in New Mexico!
And the transportation dept. stinks! For miles we drove 30 mph, then 35, then finally making our way slowly up to 55, where we stayed for ages on a perfectly good road plastered with signs saying, "Road Work." There was no road work, sillies. But we weren't in a rush and I reminded myself that I was just annoyed I couldn't go 70 like Texas highways.

Finally! Some elevation!
This scene took my breathe away and I just about cried. Mountains!!!!! THIS is what I'd been dreaming about!

Thank you, Colorado! I feel SO very welcomed!!
Wilder (with a face covered in chocolate -I only let him have a small piece, really!) a little tired of driving. The view did nothing for him -but turn on some Salsa music and that boy rocks out!

At a rest stop just north of Trinidad -a beautiful town! I'd love to explore it on our way back home.

The signs said "no pets on grass" -I think he's allowed :)

Around 4:30pm we arrived in beautiful Colorado Springs. The surroundings are beautiful! Gorgeous mountains, lovely green hills, treed areas -I can't wait to explore!! Wilder loved playing on the hotel luggage dolly. Well, Wilder is raring to go and we should get our day started, but I wanted to share our trip -so far- with all of you! More adventures to come! Stay tuned....

*re: Ft. Carson and moving -it is not certain we will have to move. At this point there's a 50/50 chance, so we're just exploring options but not making set plans.


Anonymous said...

So much more beautiful high country to see. Enjoy!

I love road trips......ah.....okay I'm a little jealous.

My love, Mama

Anonymous said...

How fun! Ft Carson was one of our top picks too..that is *if* we ever left Alaska. :)


Roccy said...

You are seriously my hero. I'm stuck in AZ, so I feel for you - needing the cold weather and the elevation to get in the holiday mood. You're awesome and brave for taking this impromptu trip! I hope it helped and you don't feel so much like a fish out of water when you return to TX.


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