In December of 2005, Erin and I visited 22 friends and relatives in a 4,200-mile road trip through Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. She has written the trip notes below.
I’m finally unpacked. I have some mail reading to catch up on, and the Burpee catalogue arrived while I was gone, which will be hours of entertainment, but I’m making progress on getting caught up from vacation.
So, the run-down of the voyage. It’s going to be brief, I’m afraid.
2 days in the car to Pagosa Springs, CO, including me driving over a slightly snowy mountain pass in the dark.
1 day with Reid’s sister, Anna (friend/family #1). She took us on a stroll around her neighborhood that ended up being about 3.5 hours long. I guess that’s what happens when you’re walking around a lake - hard to cut the trip short.
1 more day in the car to Prescott, AZ and Reid’s mom’s (f/f #2) house.
Hiked up Thumb Butte and scrambled to to top, which was awesome. We didn’t take the easiest way up, it turned out, but we made it almost all the way and found the easier route on the way down.
Drove to Phoenix to visit my sister, her husband, and his family (f/f #3-7) for a night. Had a great visit with them, saw their apartment, Kev and I kicked ass at Cranium.
Drove back to Prescott, where Reid’s friend Charles, and his fiancee Jennifer (f/f #8 & 9) showed up. I’d never met Charles, despite Reid telling me repeatedly that I had. Of course, very soon after meeting both of them, it felt like I *had* known them for a very long time. I’m now a big fan of those two.
Charles’ family then drove in from New Mexico (f/f #10-12). We had a nice Christmas day of present opening, hiking back to Thumb Butte, turkey, and more dessert than we could manage, including a flamming figgy pudding. (piggy pudding! piggy pudding!/ no, no, figgy pudding. it’s made with figs./oh/...and bacon...)
Day after Christmas saw us driving up to the grand canyon, which I had never seen. I was the only one in the party who was new to the experience. I knew it was going to be grand, and I suspected that it was a canyon, but boy oh boy did they name it correctly. Stunning. We hiked down the Kaibab trail about 3 miles and 2000 feet. The hike was not nearly as bad as I’d thought. The only problem was that it was windy. Reid and Charles estimated gusts approaching 50 mph. A few parts of the trail were exposed on both sides, and there was a lot of bracing yourself with your legs spread when it started blowing. Also a lot of sand everywhere. My socks were pink by the day’s end.
One more day in the car took us past Meteor Crater and on to Albuquerque to visit my aunt, uncle, and other uncle who’d flown in from Chicago that night (f/f #13-15). One night there, and some yummy mexican food the next day.
That afternoon we drove to Santa Fe to meet Reid’s dad, brother, and step-mom (f/f #16-18) for some wandering around. Then off to their house in Los Alamos.
We spent 1.5 days hiking around Bandelier, which is about 15 minutes from Los Alamos. One was an all day hike with Reid’s dad and some friends of his, one was a half-day wandering around the ruins with Reid’s family. That afternoon we hiked in White Rock Canyon and saw some great petroglyphs Reid’s dad had just found out about - a really large rock with one face covered in birds, with a sun/compass in the middle.
We also spent a day driving around town with some old friends of Reid’s (f/f #19-20) and giving me the grand tour of town. Visited schools and houses they had spent time at - nice to put mental pictures with things I’ve been hearing about for so long now.
Nice mellow New Year’s Eve spent eating dinner with some friends of Reid’s dad, and back home before the ball drop - we dropped into bed - these people were keeping us on the go!
Left on new year’s day for 2 more days back in the car to the cities. 20 people, 18 days. Not too bad.
Well, not quite as brief as I’d expected. But now I have to go finish the laundry...