With the impending storm targeting Long Island, I’ve decided to spend a little more time with my parents here in Chicago. This morning we went to their church (Willow Creek) and heard a fantastic message on wisdom by Bill Hybles. After church we had lunch then came home and dad and I worked on the van to try and permanently fix the radiator hose issue we had patched up in Arizona. (When I say Dad and I worked on the van, I mean Dad did the work and I handed him tools. lol!) I then went for a walk with Mom and the dogs (below is a pic of the dog Mom got Dad as a surprise). Afterward we ruined the exercise and I bought my parents their first 5 Guys burgers. They enjoyed them.
|Yes, she really is my mother. No, I am not adopted.|
|Mom and Dad’s New Dog!|
While at the Grand Canyon on Wednesday, my dad caught an incredible sight on video! Adriana said this is the real explanation for the impending Hurricane Sandy. Enjoy!
This morning we ate breakfast and visited with Barry and Lori. After saying our goodbyes Dad and I went to pay our respects to Lori’s late husband Jim Frew who was my dad’s best friend. Jim and his son Jimmy died tragically serving the Lord on a missions trip in 1995. We visited the baseball fields that were named in Jim’s honor by his church and also his grave site. I remember Jim well, but I so enjoyed hearing Dad talk about his best friend. (More to come on this in a future post.) We then spent the day driving to Chicago, IL. We saw literally a couple hundred hawks along the highways. Other than that, the highlight of the trip had to be stopping at Iowa 80: The World’s Largest Truck Stop. Every time I’m there I get chills down my spine. I am awe-struck. Speechless. Tears begin to well up in my eyes. So moving. lol!
We got to Mom and Dad’s house at about 7:30pm and Mom greeted Dad with a surprise: a new dog! Their dog Tyson passed away a few months ago, so they were ready to find a new four-legged friend. We had some pizza before looking at pics from our journey and watching a movie. Glad to see my mama!
This morning we drove up to Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. Stunning! We then headed to the Rockies. En route we saw a bald eagle, a coyote, and a prairie dog. As we got closer to the mountains, it began snowing quite a bit and we couldn’t see the mountains. By the time we got to the park (just after 5pm) the weather seemed to be improving a bit, and though the visibility wasn’t the greatest, we were hopeful we would at least be able to see some wildlife. We entered the park through the west entrance, however, we were greeted by a sign that said, “Road closed 10 miles ahead.” We drove in the 10 miles and spotted 2 herd of elk, a coyote, and 3 bull elk locking their antlers a bit and posturing for dominance. We then turned around and went for dinner in Grand Lake. At 7pm we drove to a gas station and inquired about the alternate route to Estes Park. The girl said, “Go back 20 miles. Then you can turn left and go through [she named about 10 towns]. Then you’ll go through a big pass. Then you’ll catch 70.” Then she said (I am not kidding!), “But I wouldn’t go that way if I were you.” She said, “If I were you, I would turn right, go through 2 towns and catch 70.” It reminded me so much of this scene in the movie Funny Farm:
I asked her which way was faster and she said they were both the same. So, what would Griswolds, I mean, Mahaffys do?
We came to a fork in the road. To the left was difficulty and near-certain death. To the right was easy. We turned left and took the road less traveled.
Dad drove. We climbed as high as 11,260 feet in a snow storm, and several times went up over 9,000 feet. It took us 5 hours to get to Estes Park. If the road through the park would have been open, it would have taken us 1 1/2 hours. O the fun memories and adventure! Love it!
On Wednesday we left my Aunt Cindy’s house and drove north in Arizona. We pulled off to go to Sedona and when we got to the stop sign smoke was coming out from the hood, so we pulled over. Radiator fluid had sprayed everywhere. We put water in the radiator and drove 5 miles to a service station and were met by just the kind of guy we needed to see at that moment – a true mechanic who said, “Pull it right in.” A plastic connector had cracked and was spraying. It was a dealer part, but the guy was able to disconnect the rear heater hose and do a temporary fix. We will call in the parts in Chicago and fix it ourselves permanently. It was a cheap fix and we were on the road with only an hour lost. Decided to bypass Sedona and get up to the Grand Canyon. We were just going to stay for an hour or so, but it was just too beautiful and we ended up staying through sunset. We then drove about 5 hours up to Moab, Utah for the night, arriving at midnight. Today we are going to Arches National Park then driving through the Rockies in Colorado and will spend the night in Estes Park. Having fun Father-Son time!