Greetings from the road again!
Out on another adventure! We set off this morning before the sun woke to head South. I was very excited about this particular adventure because this was one Peter and I have been planning since shortly after we met. We’re heading to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta! In 2012 when Peter and I started dating he had brought up in one of our long late night conversations on the forward mess decks on the USS Abraham Lincoln. Upon our return to home port Peter had in his pack of things a calendar his grandma Patsy sends him every year of the Balloon Fiesta, as soon as I saw it I told him that we HAD to go to this one day. Apparently the 4th time is the charm!
Now that we live in Twin Falls it became more feasible to make the journey this year, however it became more of an adventure to think about knowing that when the Fiesta came up I now was going to be going into my third trimester of my pregnancy. Now ladies think about sitting, just in general when you are pregnant, after a while you get tired of sitting and you have to move around, not imagine that same feeling but being in your 3rd trimester and being stuck in the car of 12+ hours…this is why we are calling it an adventure!
This has been a great trip for the two of us but I can’t help but think about the last time I was on these same roads. It was only a few months ago in April yet so much has changed since then, in April I was rushing to Idaho to tell my husband that we were going to be parents. I was moving to a city that was completely foreign to me, with no prospects of a job and not knowing anyone. Needless to say the last time I made this drive it was a little more stressful than us making it now.
So many things to see this time around since I haven’t had to do all the driving. We went through this little town during a slight (and by slight I mean it took us an hour out of our ways because of a road closure) detour we took where I was able to see a sight regarding sheep I’ve never seen before. Before anyone laughs about that just remember I grew up in Alaska and seeing herds of sheep isn’t something that I am accustomed to seeing, five or six together yes but never much more than that.
Story time, so we were passing through the tiny town of Salina Utah and as the speed limit lowered from 65mph to 35mph I wondered why the car in front of me was starting to go even slower than that and suddenly came to a stop. To my great surprise there was a herd of sheep being driven down the middle of main street! There must have been nearly 200 sheep being herded down the road framed by several sheep dogs and the herdsmen! I’d ever seen anything like that before in my life! And just before coming into town I saw, once again hundreds of sheep walking in three-single file lines across a hillside. With no one droving them on or seemingly for any purpose whatsoever they followed one another nose to tail one-by-one. It then dawned on me why the Bible used sheep as a metaphor, I always though growing up it was because they were helpless and weak but seeing how they blindly followed one another made the analogy make a lot more sense.
One thing I have always loved about taking road trips with Peter is all of the future adventures we plan along the way. Things we see along the way but pressed against time we know we can’t stop. Making a mental note as we pass through, we also make note of other locations where we can stop on our return journey north. Short stops where we can stretch our legs and take pictures. But there is always another adventure to be had! This is how I know God brought me the man he designed for me because he is just as adventurous as I am! Driving through painted canyons and monuments valleys you can’t help but feel so small in a great big world. I find myself having to catch my breath, for more reasons than the pregnancy and altitude, but because of the natural beauty around me! And to think that people would rather spend their days inside glued to their phones or the TV, when there is a great big world out there just waiting to be discovered!
I don’t know what it is about the Southwest but there is something here that pulls on my heart. I don’t know if it the beautiful landscape, every photographer’s dream of painted sunsets against a painted landscape, or if it is the people. The heritage, the culture here which is something so similar to how I grew up in Alaska surrounded by the native cultures and traditions. My heart breaks for this generation, the Millennials are going to lose touch with the traditions of their culture and soon with the aging of the elders soon those traditions will be lost forever. This may be why my heart goes out to this area because I see the same heartbreaking scenario in Alaska that I see here, though I am not nearly as invested with the native communities here as I was in Alaska. I still believe that the biggest crime that can happen to this generation is losing their roots, traditions, languages, and if they don’t reach out to document and capture that knowledge, not only for themselves but for future generations the Native tribes of America will be lost for forever. Becoming only a story in a history book of a life that used to be.
Okay I am moving on from that deep moment in thought! Our Balloon adventures begin tomorrow but tonight we rest with family which is the best way to spend any adventure!
Traveling Photographer Out!