Almost thirty years ago, when I was turning 9, my parents took us on a 10 day trip from South Texas to Disneyland and back. They were careful to plan out every destination, hotel or KOA stay, and every meal, making sure to let us see the major attractions along the way like the Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, and Sea World. It was a family trip of a lifetime, and I have some solid, amazing memories from those days on the road.
Well, this year out West has been such a neat opportunity for me to relive some of those memories from long ago. I noticed a very strong pull to go back and revisit Mesa Verde, take a picture in front of the sign in Cortez, Colorado, and stand at Four Corners like I had done before.
Why? I’m not really sure, but maybe to share something memorable with my kids. Maybe to make sure it’s the same way I remember it? Maybe something deeper, understanding the passage of time and the need to pass on something generationally, even intangible like an experience.
So, Don and the kids were all great sports as we took an almost two hour drive out through the “middle of nowhere” so that we could take a picture in front of the sign for Cortez Colorado, because that’s my maiden name, and then in front of the Four Corners Monument, and then also in front of this random gorgeous rock along the highway. My mother posed in front of this same rock those thirty years ago, and my dad enlarged and framed the photo, which has always been displayed in our home.
Aside from stopping at a Casino for $.99 strawberry shortcake on the way home, it was a pretty mellow, uneventful day, just enjoying the view from the car window and the company inside. A part of me feels silly for spending a whole day doing this, but another big part hopes that one day, thirty years from now (or less), our kids will do the same with theirs.