We almost didn't make it anywhere back in 1983; on our way to NY we were caught in the worst snowstorm seen in years. When the engine of our tiny Honda Civic stalled out under a thick and falling blanket of snow on a desolate stretch of highway our our eastbound motion disappeared but more importantly it took the heater with it. The car was tiny, so small that when our family of four moved across the country we didn't have room for luxuries like winter coats or boots. We huddled as much as we could, but it got cold really fast. A guardian angel trucker eventually picked us up and brought us to the nearest motel but I still see the look of fear in my mothers eye when she tells the story. Happily, I was oblivious to everything. My biggest complaint about the whole experience was that my feet were freezing when I had to walk across the snowy parking lot of the motel in sneakers.
Tyler and I both travel light or at least we thought we did. We've lived out of a shrinking backpack for much of the year and returned home to purge even more. We intitially figured that because our family of four could move to NY in a little Honda Civic the two of us would surely be able to move back to Colorado in something similar. But, the more we piled stuff up the more we saw it wasn't to be. Our computers and camping gear alone would fill out a trunk so when we added a couple guitars, three bicycles, a couple dozen books we couldn't bear to part with and a feast of Madre MacAllen cookies we reluctantly gave up. We rented a mini-van and still just barely fit it all.
The ride itself zipped by as quickly as 30 hours of mostly flat straight highway could. We drove in shifts, listened to a Harry Potter audiobook and daydreamed about what we're getting ourselves into. One odd highlight of the journey is a random rest-stop we pulled over in Iowa, the Herbert Hoover memorial rest stop.
I've been fascinated with Hoover for years, much to the chagrin of those I inflict Hoover trivia on. His life was incredible. He went from working in the bottom of a mine to being the most highly regarded international expert on mine engineering in the world within ten years. He found a treasure map to an ancient and lost chinese treasure mine and then proceeded to find it ( organizing the defense of a city during the Boxer rebellion along the way). Although he was a Republican he was also a pacifist, so when WWI broke out he focused his formidable energy and resources on keeping european non-combatants fed and healthy. By the end of the war he brought 34 million tons of food, clothing, and supplies to people in twenty nations. He was elected president on the strength of his massive humanitarian achievements and then muddled up his presidency so badly it soured his reputation ever since (even though he did equally amazing stuff after). He is one of the few people that has ever walked the earth that can count the human lives they've personally rescued in the MILLIONS. So, as I walked around his Memorial rest stop I couldn't help but think one thing... "I hope no one ever tries to remember me with a rest stop."
Undeterred, but slightly exhausted, we finally made it to the state of our birth. Tyler and I rolled into view of the mountains listening to John Denver's Rocky Mountain High trying to imagine what'll happen next.