As if an excuse should be needed
to spend
seven days and seven nights
with one’s
son and daughter.

A car bound for a garage in California
certainly needs a driver or two or three.
The calendar opened like the highway before
us and we jumped in
never looking back.

Tucked in our trunk was their childhood map
“It’s a Big, Big, World.”
Bright colors, no roads, sticky pages.
A big map sleeping behind a couch, recently re-opened.
The wonder years spilled out.

With three drivers we could have made it in
one day
But took four because we could.
I heard that old song in my ear,
“any way the wind blows.”
Thankful for a turn towards the Big Horn Mountains
of my youth rather than the hot southern plains
and more I-80.
A true Sunday drive.
Telling stories of my backpacking trips from over thirty years ago.
(Forget-me-not flowers pressed in a Bible lived up to their name)

A daughter in her 20’s, brave and kind,
on a grad school break
ever gracious with her time,
always ready to take the driver’s seat.
A son, just graduated from high school, decisive and smart,
weighing navigation options quickly and articulately.
I truly don’t need to be in this car.
They are all grown up but
I can’t stop
watching them.
I get
to watch them.
There are no childhood calls of “lookit me, Mom!”
but I am still
and I can’t stop

A Sunday night arrival to
Red rocked and dusty Cody, Wyoming
“Rodeo Capital of the World”
just in time to catch the second half of the nightly show.
The bucking broncos
the cowgirls barrel racing
a photo with the rodeo clown
all under the starlit Wyoming sky.
A prelude to the first of many good road trip sleeps.

Chatter over morning coffee and oatmeal and cowboy breakfast:
Yes…we do, we do have time to go to Yellowstone and then
through the Grand Tetons to Jackson and on to my bucket list state: Idaho.
It will be a long day but we can.

People hungry for time.

The shores of Yellowstone Lake welcomed us.
Wildflowers of yellow and pink but it was the rocks on the beach
that called us.
Skipping, skipping, skipping.
That one’s not square enough.
Mason wins at five skips.
What is it about water and mountains in the same view?
I can’t stop looking.

We are not alone at Yellowstone National Park
Families of all states and shapes and sizes.
All on road trips collecting stories. Looking.
Stopping for bears.
Bears that are not being fed out of the car windows like in our family
vacation movies from the ‘60s.

People hungry for time.

Scents of sulfur and pines.
Geysers, thermal pools, mud pots.
Looking for that blue one I remember from my youth.
That one that I was afraid I would fall into.
Looking for the lily pads on a pond where my mom’s
photo was taken.
Looking for the honeymoon lodge of my parents’ in 1946.
Found it. All of it.

Should we wait the estimated 28 minutes to see
Old Faithful erupt?
Well, of course. She’s been faithful.
We can at least wait
28 minutes.
We sit in the lodge and Julia (middle name Ilene) and I wonder if the old writing
desk is where Myrle (middle name Ilene) penned a honeymoon trip postcard
to her new in-laws;
Love, Juel and Myrle

Why didn’t we sit and write one?
People hungry for time.

The eruption of Old Faithful
New to Julia and Mason
They couldn’t stop watching.

Two minutes later the geyser hides and
the crowd of road trippers applaud.
Well done, good and faithful geyser.

Back to the car and curling turns.
Another change of plans as the sun’s rays spilled out behind Jenny Lake
and the protruding Tetons guard our way south.
The elk horn arches of Jackson frame the town square
just as they did in my memory.

A motor lodge sign blinks “Vacancy.”

Idaho can wait until tomorrow.


Becky Blue    7/16/17



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4 thoughts on “Road Trip

  1. You have painted a beautiful picture of your trip with words…such a talent! Your family will treasure this.

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