Saturday, January 15, 2011

Those Were the Days

My husband (boyfriend then) and I had more than one "hippie van" back in the day, both of which I painted up. They were Fords, not Volkswagens, but when my friend Mary heard about them, she couldn't resist buying this little toy and giving it to me. It cruises along the lid of my fish tank and always makes me smile and remember those days of reckless freedom.

Truthfully, however, things haven't changed so drastically. We may have bills to pay and more "stuff", but we still take off in our (mini) van and travel. In October we spent 3 weeks on the road. The first stop was Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. It was really wonderful and exceeded our expectations. After that, we headed down to Keystone, South Dakota which he have visited many times before, viewing Custer State Park, the Badlands National Park, the Crazy Horse carving, Mount Rushmore and more over the years. The next stop after that was Colorado Springs where we get up into the Rockies west of town to St. Peter's Dome for rockhounding and on to the old gold rush town of Victor and then Phantom Canyon. This year, however, I wandered farther into the mountains in pursuit of crystals and lost my bearings completely. My husband had stayed back at the van relaxing knowing I am usually gone for less than an hour. To make a long story short, when I finally found a way out and onto a road and hitched a ride back, it was 5 hours later and my hubby had search and rescue on the line and had found a hiker to help him search in the meantime. 

I'm making light of it here, but it was VERY harrowing. We were both so shaken that we abandoned the plan to head on to Victor and just decided to get in the car and start our drive back east to NC. This involves getting down to 40 which meant we had to drive south for a while. We aimed for Amarillo and severely underestimated time and distance. We didn't pull in there until 10:30 that night. You would have thought I would have been exhausted, but I hardly slept. All I could think about was that I could have been spending the night alone on that mountain instead of in a warm motel room! Thank you God and all my angels that helped me out of there!

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