I know I sure am.
So. Here’s the deal.
I moved to Virginia 3 months ago with a plan of growing up. Good plan, right? It was genius! And I really felt like this was the right and best thing for me to do. So I packed up my car, said some very watery goodbyes to everyone I love most and made the journey across the country to be a good girl and turn into a good, growed up woman.
But, on June 29th, after 95 days in the state for lovers, I was to make my grand return to the tops of the mountains…….
Or so I thought. Dun-dun-duuuhhhhnnnn
Let me give you some back story really quick. Go ahead and groan but some of this info is kinda important (to me at least). And since this is my blog I get to say whatever I want, however I want. Neener-neener!
Our story starts in a land full of mountains, desert, and a big, salty, stinky lake. There was a girl (that’s me!) who had decided that she was going to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was doing what she could to get ready to go. One day, her daddy called her up and told her that he had a way of helping her get her education (this was her next goal after her mission) paid for but she only had a very limited time to be able to take full advantage of this offer AND she had to move to the opposite side of the country. There was an age limit of 30 and, as it always does, time was sneaking up on her WAY too fast. It was a long, hard decision (especially since she really really really wanted to go on a mission) but she FINALLY decided that she had to jump on the chance to get the most she could out of this free education. Let’s face it, it’s ridiculously expensive to be learned and also 100% imperative to be able to make it in this world. And the moving thing? Well, she was already planning on taking an extended period of time away from Utah anyway, so, this just kinda falls into place with that.
OK. Now leaving the third person narrative behind.
I left Utah on March 23rd and drove for 4 days (approx. 2,415 miles) to Norfolk, Virginia. It was a good trip with only a few traumatic moments along the way. I was planning on driving out by my lonesome but my friend, Mark, (who is one of the greatest people on the earth, ever) flew into Utah from San Diego to make the cross-country drive with me. He’s an absolute angel.
We started our drive on Tuesday with the goal of getting to Denver in time to dance at the Mercury Cafe and to stay at my friend Lee’s house. It was a beautiful plan. Even decided taking I-70 was the way to go because I-80 was closed due to a snow storm and I-70 is quite a bit farther south. Safe. Right?
We get on our merry way (I did have to stop at In-N-Out before we left though. Never thought I’d ever have it ever again. It was a sad moment in time. Good-bye animal style!) and have a beautiful drive though Utah and the beginning parts of Colorado. If you ever get to drive through Colorado, I highly suggest I-70. It’s amazing. Anyway, we’re driving and it gets rainy and cloudy but there’s nothing to worry about. Until just before Vail, CO. It starts snowing. Of course. Because my story wouldn’t be any fun without some sort of crazy hinderance right at the beginning of the trip, right? (Most people tell me it was a sign that I shouldn’t have left Utah in the first place and that I should’ve just turned around and went home. Believe me, I almost did.) Know that all I wanted to do was make it to Denver. Vail is about an hour and 30 minutes away from Denver when you’re going freeway speeds. We were almost there. It was so close. Then they closed the freeway in Vail and made us exit. DOH!!!!
We parked and decided that all we needed to do was wait out the storm. Easy-peasy. No harm, no foul. All would work out in the end (the end being no more than a couple of hours) and we would get back on the road, get to Denver, and dance our little hearts out with some of the most fantastic dancers around and I’d get to see some good friends that I wouldn’t see again for quite some time. It would’ve been bitter sweet. But the snow kept tumbling down.
We decided to grab dinner at a pizza place that wasn’t all that great but fed us for pretty cheap non-the-less and Mark pulled out his laptop and found us an alternate route to take to get us back onto I-70 and back enroute to our plans of fun. We knew staying in Vail wasn’t an option. As we looked around to see if we should just stay the night there, we realized that all of the hotels were going to be charging around $350 a night and, well, I know I didn’t have that much to spend for a hotel and I wasn’t going to make Mark pay that. So we opted for the detour. It was only an extra 50 miles. Totally doable.
Little did we know that the detour was through a canyon in the middle of nowhere Colorado with a blizzard going on the entire way. I am just SOOOOOOOOO grateful to Mark for being amazing like he always is. He drove the whole thing calmly and, somehow, my sweet Trixie made it through the up-down-round-ice-covered-50-mile-detour-that-took-us-2-hours-to-drive-because-we-couldn’t-go-more-than-25-mph-or-we-would’ve-died-but-it-still-got-us-there-because-Mark-is-my-hero detour. We finally made it back onto I-70!! Yay!! I was so happy. 🙂
The night is still snowy but we’re on the right road now! Life is good.
The big barriers are down again shooing us off the freeway for the 2nd time. UGH! I just wanted Mark to be able to dance with some great follows. He was looking forward to it. We drove around Dillon and Keystone, CO (I guess that’s where they make the world’s most nasty beer.) and found that it just looped around back to I-70. There was no escape this time. We decided calling it a night was our only option so we started looking for places to stay.
Just or luck.
So we stopped to see if anywhere had some free wifi we could steal borrow to see if there was a place we’d missed. Mark pulled over at the Arapahoe Inn in Keystone and found they had some we could use. We also walked in to see what they had available and their pricing and the like. There wasn’t any one there but they had room keys available. Just sitting there. So inviting and looking at us longingly saying, “Come on, Michelle. You’re tired and cold and had a tough drive just now. Why don’t you just take me and go into one of the rooms and find a nice warm bed and not worry about anything more until tomorrow. Doesn’t that sound nice? No need to worry about the cost. We’ll deal with that in the morning.” I was centimeters from grabbing that key when Mark said we should at least look up how much it would cost us. Smart cookie.
We found out it was going to be more than either of us wanted to spend ($150/night + taxes. Those sneaky, enticing little devils) and decided to call around to see if there was even one space anywhere cheaper. By some miracle of miracles, there was one room left right next to the freeway and we happened to snag it. We were so lucky. Good thing Mark is so resourceful and charming. I was really lucky to have him as my traveling companion for this trip.
God really blessed me with that one.
To be continued…