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Remembering a Summer Road Trip

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As the summer ends, I find myself seeking out the heat.  There’s something so familiar and nostalgic about September heat in California.  It’s not humid and sticky like Savannah, or oppressive like Laughlin.  It’s a dry, blazing heat in the afternoon that cools off in the evening.  It’s  beaches and driving with the windows down and midnight bonfires.  It’s Bon Jovi and Tim McGraw and stolen kisses.

Summer is a time for vacations, and I’m reminded of some of the best times with family and friends.  In 2003 (the year I met Marco), my best friend Amy and I took a road trip from LA to Savannah.  We set out in my Ford Taurus with only three known goals: 1. visit Roswell, NM; 2. get to New Orleans in time for our hotel reservation; 3. make it to Savannah to stay with my aunt and uncle.  I recommend a trip like this to anyone who has the time to do it!

We made it to the Grand Canyon on the first day.  Amy is a camper, and I am not, but I agreed to camp to save money.  It turned out to be awesome!  We stayed two nights in a tent near the rim of the Grand Canyon.  We did not have a flashlight, so once our campfire was out, we couldn’t see anything.  Except for the millions of beautiful stars between the pine trees.  Yeah, there’s a reason there aren’t any lampposts.  While we were there, we attended an evening nature talk, and we did a sunrise photo walk with a guide.

We headed out toward Roswell, but the car’s transmission did something strange in Winslow, AZ.  We ended up waiting outside of a car repair shop for a few hours.  Amy was not pleased with me.  She was right…I should have had the car checked before we left.

The best thing about Winslow is the souvenirs everywhere that say “standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.”  Here’s the famous corner:

We finally made it to Roswell.  Oh my gosh…go to Roswell.  No, really, GO.  It is another world.  Everyone, and I mean everyone we talked to, told us a story of their personal experience being abducted by aliens.  Many of them moved to Roswell because of their experiences, but many of them were raised in Roswell.  We went through the museum, and Amy was getting pretty convinced that aliens had landed, but I was still skeptical.  I mean, something landed, but why couldn’t it be something from this world?  A crazy science experiment sounds more plausible to me than aliens.

Our next stop was Dallas.  We found a campground just outside of town and as we were getting things moved into the tent, I spotted my first firefly.  I had never seen them before, and they are truly wondrous creatures.  Amy and I decided to follow it, and we soon saw many of them around the campground.  They blinked on and off, leading us through a field toward a stream.  I am not a religious person, but I think I’m spiritual, and there are times when the “spiritual force,” or God, seems to give us glimpses of magic in the world.  If we are able to stop and appreciate these magical moments, our hearts are filled.  I know what you’re thinking…I don’t believe in aliens, but I believe in the force.

Until next time…

may the Force be with you…

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