In Colorado I was able to visit a friend of mine who lives in Greeley. We went to bible school together 14 years ago and it was wonderful to reconnect and to meet her kids. A few friends of mine and I drove down to Colorado for her wedding years ago and it was great to reminisce about that time together as well. It’s cool that connections that are made years ago still last throughout the years even if you don’t keep in touch as much as you would like. Thankful for the moments you get to have to see people again. I think it speaks back to how God weaves people in and out of our journeys and how even a moment together is significant.
After Colorado I headed to Wyoming. It’s funny because if you’re not in the mountains in Colorado, you are in farm area and it’s fairly flat in some parts (at least the parts that brought me to and out of Greeley). In Wyoming I went to Yellowstone National Park. What I wasn’t expecting along the way was to go to Grand Teton National Park as well. I am not the best researcher for trips and tend to stumble upon some of the places I end up in, so this was a wonderful surprise.
As I drove into the Grand Teton park, it was pure blue sky and sunny and I had amazing views. Later on as I drove through the park, looking back I noticed the mountains were pretty much completely covered with dark, brooding clouds and you couldn’t see a thing. Timing is a funny thing and I’m thankful for the moments when I hit it right. Although, had I hit the cloudy part, I wouldn’t have even known what I was missing either.
These stormy moments makes me think of grief and how one moment life can be sunny and pure blue skies and then next suddenly there are dark clouds that have rolled in and cloud your vision. I’m thankful that these moments of dark clouds aren’t as intense or as long as they used to be but I have to give myself grace in the moment and allow myself to grieve rather than wondering why in the world I’m suddenly in this place. Out of all the emotions, grief is the most unpredictable and uncontrollable. Anyway, my trek through the other national parks was lovely as well and I was able to see lots of bison and Old Faithful again.
Then I headed to Montana where I had lunch with a friend from seminary. Then I drove to Helena where I stayed with my friend Nate & Erin and their kids. It’s moment like these that I am reminded that some of my relationships are very random but I absolutely love it! I met Nate & Erin 7 or 8 years ago. My mom and I were on a cruise in the French Polynesian islands and Nate and Erin were on the same ship for their honeymoon. Anyway, we clicked and hung out a bunch on the ship and on some of our shore days. We have stayed in touch ever since and it was great to see them again and meet their kids. It’s funny too because they’ve been going to a church in Helena and last spring I took a class at seminary in Oregon with one of the pastors there. It’s a small world after all…
After my night at their place I headed west again through Idaho and Washington. I was on the home stretch. I had two days left in my trip, but my credit card ended up being compromised and I decided I would rather be home sooner, so I switched the musical I was seeing in Seattle to see it a day earlier and pushed through for a really long drive home with an evening stop in Seattle to see a musical. It’s funny once you’re on the home stretch, you just want to be home.
I drove through the border at about 1AM on June 30th. After being gone 71 days, it felt foreign to be back. As I drove home, I was noticing the grocery store and other places I frequent to run errands. My first thought was “Awe, I used to go for walks here, this was my neighbourhood where I used to live!” Apparently I was really tired but after some self-talk and convincing myself that I still lived here and my home was down the street, I enjoyed sleeping in my bed for a few nights before embarking on an adventure to my 49th state.