Colorado Road Trip
Over the next few posts I’m making a departure from my normal recipes and food to share our family’s Colorado Road Trip experience. Of course, there will be some food involved, it’s just part of everything we do.
Although they never lived more than a few miles from where they were born, my grandparents had a great desire to “see the country”. That’s the term they liked to use, today we might call it “road trip”. Like all grandparents, they wanted to spend time with their grandkids so I was blessed with the opportunity to take many of these road trips with them. Consequently, I developed my own love to “see the country”.
For three and a half years our family traveled together as a part of my husband’s ministry. (Maybe one day I’ll write some posts about that) It was a wonderful time for us and has given our children a love for travel. But, when that stage of our lives was over we settled down, here in Texas, and got busy….too busy! Our road trips ended and even short vacations were neglected for a few years.
Now our children are older (21, 18 &14) and we’ve realized we have no idea how much longer we’ll all be able to do things, like family vacations, together. So, we decided this was the time to do some traveling!
My daughters and I had been wanting to go to Colorado. It was one of our favorite places to visit when we were traveling. Its beautiful mountains and cooler weather make it quite the contrast to Texas. We had talked about a “girl’s getaway” but when my husband found a Father-Son Retreat in Colorado we decided to make it a family affair. We’d spend a day together in Colorado Springs, then my husband and son would attend the retreat at a camp in the mountains and the girls and I would “retreat” at a nearby resort…because that’s the way we roll. After the retreat we’d spend another day or so together then drive home.
There was only one problem…..
We don’t have a vehicle big enough to comfortably travel that far.
About a year ago, we had to get rid of our van. It had over 230,000 miles and needed expensive repairs. We replaced it with a KIA Soul….. in case you aren’t familiar with a Soul, it’s SMALL! WAY TOO SMALL FOR A FAMILY OF 5 TO DRIVE 800+ MILES TOGETHER! And FORGET about any luggage.
Our other “car” is a truck (almost a requirement to reside in Texas) and although, we love it, again not too comfortable for a road trip. We checked into flying….one airline was SUPER cheap! Great! But the cost of renting a vehicle when we got there (big enough for all of us and our luggage) was CRAZY expensive. Thankfully, my parents moved here this summer and were willing to trade cars with us for the week….our KIA for their Armada….plenty of room for us and our stuff.
With all the major details out-of-the-way, it was time to pack. As we prepared for our trip, it quickly became apparent…..We were out of practice! It took a couple of attempts to figure out what needed to go where and with whom. Thankfully, we did manage to get it all (or at least most) of it together. I should have consulted 5 Tips for Summer Road Trips! Finally, everything was in suitcases and the car packed to the brim.
We had about a twelve-hour trip ahead of us so we planned to leave at 8 a m. We were only a couple of minutes late, so we were pretty proud of ourselves. That’s about where our “on schedule” ended! We only made it about 20 minutes into the trip when we hit construction and tons of traffic. It took us over an hour to travel what would usually take us about 25 minutes.
After we got past that, things seemed to go smoothly for a couple of hours. Until, it came time to stop for “bathroom” breaks, gas and lunch. We just couldn’t seem to get things coordinated. After three stops in the same small town, everyone had eaten, the car was full and we were on the road again….only to find our road CLOSED! Yes, THE main road through the Texas Panhandle, closed! At least they had a well-marked detour for us (and plenty of others) to follow….good thing, too…it was about 20 miles of long, lonely back roads.
With the detour behind us, a few more stops for breaks and dinner, we finally arrived at our hotel in Colorado Springs, fourteen hours after leaving! It was a long day, but we were there and excited that tomorrow was going to be spent outdoors at Garden of the Gods!