Beginning on April 27th and returning June 28th, we spent nine wonderful weeks driving 11,000 miles around the country to see children, grandchildren, old friends, extended family, and a few scenic sites on the way. Our goal continues to be to make sure everyone is sufficiently tired of us by June 2013 that they'll be glad to see us leave for another mission in Guatemala! We saw a number of mini-miracles during our travels, some of which will be summarized at the end of this post. Photos follow of selected events. Unfortunately, sometimes we got so engrossed in visiting that we forgot to take pictures. Our apologies to those who are underrepresented.
This one is a dinner on our patio with Kathi's and Debbi's families before we left on our extended vacation.
Kylie helps with the cleanup. We trust Debbi and Greg will take advantage of her energy before she discovers that cleaning is work, not play!
Debbi graciously took us on a deep sea fishing trip off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. This is not her catch--it's her bait.
Happy parents with lovely daughter
Don did catch a decent sized fish--just not one that was considered suitable for eating.
Anya Adib practices ballet
AnnaSophia, Cyrus, and Anya
Dangerous Dimitri up to bat
Bathing beauty and grandkids
We were the only campers at this municipal camground in South Carolina
Hayride with the Yeardleys
Sage Yeardley helps juggling clown
Intrepid sailers set out to sea
Yeardleys in yard
Jacob Burrows with high school chorus
Manatees we saw on river boat ride with Burrows
Alligator lies in wait for potentially foolish swimmers
Sam and Eli Burrows operate free car wash
Janessa took this picture of the newlyweds. Unfortunately, we seem not to have taken any of their family.
Desert campground in bloom near Carlsbad, New Mexico
Living Desert State Park near Carlsbad
Denizens of Living Desert State Park
Large stalagmite in Carlsbad (on left)
Camping in the cold at 9000 feet in Colorado. Virginia's water bottle froze solid in the tent during the night.
Virginia prepares to launch snowy missle near summit of Pike's Peak
Gorgeous scene near Pike's Peak, plus lake and forest and mountains
Sarelle and Savanah Wilde
Free ferry which would take us across lake on Selkirk Loop in British Columbia, one of the great scenic drives in the Rockies. Unfortunately, it rained all day long.
Mackenzie, Kalani, Lane, and Alyssa
Robert and Rebekah Lindbloom, with Lane, Mackenzie, Kalani, and Alyssa Cazier and Gavin Lindbloom
Bison with hot pools in background in Yellowstone
Hot stuff! (Virginia with Tali Higgins)
Higgins and Virginia with bison behind
Baby bison learning to deal with life's obstacles
Higgins and Virginia in front of sign warning not to approach wildlife. Wild bison behind them.
Virginia aims snowball at Dallin Higgins. (Isn't this the second photo of her throwing snowballs in this blog?)
More lovely scenery, with lower Yellowstone Falls in background
Coyote in Yellowstone. Evidently he can't read the sign announcing that the road is closed.
Bear in Yellowstone
Steve Wilcox and some of extended family at Wilcox family reunion
Harvey and Kathy Mills with Liz and Bob Ingraham and kids
Nick and Debbie Wilcox and kids
Paul and Kenni Wilcox and kids
Brent Wilcox and family
Cindy Wilcox Bagnell and family
Lynette Wilcox Werner and family
Monte Wilcox and family
Don, Virginia, Marvin, Alice, Nancy, Mac, Sherryl, and Bob at Mac's and Nancy's home in Centerfield
Driving through Colorado we discovered the Colorado National Monument, where we camped for the night and enjoyed some spectacular scenery.
Photogenic site in Colorado National Monument
Don makes it back after accidentally plunging 1000 feet into the steep canyon. (Or else is pretending the same.)
Scene from simulated safari in sporting goods store. Virginia thought it better than a prospective real safari, as it had no insects!
Another shot from the same place
Still another. All the animals were once real.
Danny and Malisa and part of their family
Now for a review of some of the little miracles of which we were beneficiaries during our trip:
- Virginia had a sore infected hangnail for some time which didn't respond to any of the topical medications she treated it with. It turned out that Ginette was able to find out on line what would help it, and she happened to have the medicine on hand, along with probiotics to help with the adverse effects of the antibiotics, and before long Virginia's thumb was as good as new!
- We just happened to stop on the way to Regina's and find that the cable which connects the trailer lights to the car was dragging on the ground and wearing out fast. We were able to tie it up so it wouldn't drag before any serious damage was done.
- We felt helped and guided in finding campsites when neither our maps nor our GPS seemed adequate, including at Lynches River County Park in South Carolina, Indian Creek Recreation Area in Louisiana, and the Buffalo Springs Campground in the mountains west of Colorado Springs.
- Not having any serious damage to our tent or belongings in spite of the fact we camped in some fairly strong winds in at least three places.
- Being able to see Carlsbad Caverns, Living Desert State Park, get Virginia a new suitcase at WalMart, have a nice Chinese buffet, and shop at the Dollar Tree in Carlsbad and have everything work out perfectly time-wise.
- Surviving three nights at 9000 feet in Colorado with cold and wind at night but very pleasant temperatures during the day. Finding upon inquiring of Laurie that it would be a blessing to them as well as us if we skipped our last planned cold night in the mountains and arrived at their place a day earlier than planned, where we could help babysit while they attended to matters related to their move.
- Having a rest area appear out of nowhere near Sheridan, Wyoming, when torrential rains rendered the highway invisible.
- Getting our tent trailer put up in Bozeman, Montana, just before it started to rain.
- Finishing dinner and cleanup at the Newport, Washington, KOA just before it started to rain.
- Finding a convenient and inexpensive place we could have our trailer wheels repacked in Butte, Montana, with a WalMart nearby where we were able to shop while we waited.
- Making it to a gas station when all of a sudden we discovered the gas light on some 20 miles short of Pasco, Washington, miles away from the nearest station.
- Having the rain let up in Yellowstone long enough for us to see the Upper and Lower falls, before it started again, and having the rain let up long enough at our camp for us to eat before it continued once more.
- Finding an AT&T store in Sandy, Utah, where we were able to get a defective SIM card in Virginia's Ipad replaced for free.
- Having Tropical Story Debby cross the state of Florida a day before we had to drive through the state on our way home.
We could mention other similar "coincidences" that to us are evidence of the hand of a loving God who cares enough to bless His children even in little ways for their comfort and convenience. We are grateful.