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Aug '12

Great South(west) American Adventure Highlights

We have just returned to Texas after our whirlwind wild west tour. It was such an incredible trip that we don’t know where the time went and while we have tons of great stories, we wanted to share our top 5 highlights with you (in order of occurrence, not importance)

1. Camping at Molas Lake

After leaving balmy Texas, we headed West to find hopefully cooler lands. We met up with Abby’s mom outside of Durango, CO at Molas Lake, elevation 10,850 feet. We spent a few nights camping and hiking and poking around Silverton, CO. Other than forgetting blankets and the heater in our pop-up trailer not working (us Texans struggle to fathom this thing called “cold” in the middle of summer…), it was an amazing stay with views that can’t be beat.

2. Celebrating the life of a great man – Grandpa Benny

While we were in Durango helping Abby’s mom recover after back surgery, Aaron’s grandpa passed away. While the man was almost 94 and had been living with bone cancer for years, until very recently you would never know it from meeting him. His enthusiasm and love for life were absolutely infectious.  If you’ve been around our family long, you will undoubtedly have heard stories of this incredible man.  He was always the life of the party, staying up later than the rest of us and still beating everyone to breakfast the next morning.  We were able to join most of the family in Denver for a wonderful celebration of life and Christ’s victory over death where we were able to share our favorite “Benny-isms.” My personal favorite: “I’m so old, I don’t buy green bananas,” a saying that I’m sure I heard him say for more than 5 years.

3. My first ATV ride

After Denver, we were able to spend a few days visiting some good friends of ours from Albuquerque who have a cabin outside Pitkin, CO. In addition to the cabin, they also have four-wheelers and one morning, they took us out for a ride. Some of you may know that I am not very good at four-wheeling in a car, jeep or anything else where I happen to be the passenger. I’ve been known to simply open the door and step out if the road looks too steep for my liking. So, I was a little afraid of how I’d do when I was actually the one in the driver’s seat. But, I’ve been all about facing my fears lately, so out I went, stepped on the four-wheeler, pushed the gas and never looked back–I absolutely loved it! I’m pretty much hooked now and just need to find an excuse to buy myself one of these…

4. Aunt Abby and Uncle Aaron

My sister just moved to Sacramento in May and one of the main goals of our trip was to make it out to California to spend some time with her before the birth of my very first niece, Taylor Sophia. Well, turns out that Taylor wanted to meet us and so she decided to show up early. We had driven to Reno and were planning to spend the night and lose some money at the slot machines before heading to Sacramento the next day. We had just settled into our room when we got a message from my sister saying that she was heading into labor. We quickly checked out of the hotel and were able to be there for the entire birth-What an experience! We spent the next week oggling over baby Taylor and just enjoying time with family.

If this picture isn’t enough for you, you can check out the video slideshow we made for them to announce her birth here.

5. Big Trees

For our last big hurrah of the trip, we decided to spend a few days at Sequoia National Park. It was incredible to see such a unique part of nature and I don’t think I’ve ever said, “Wow, that’s a big tree” so many times. We loved camping and hiking in cool California (are you seeing a theme here..) and thought it was a great place to relax for a few days before the long drive home.








“Oh there they are! Thanks Sign!”

After Sequoia, we headed back through Arizona and New Mexico, stopping to visit Aaron’s family in Albuquerque for a couple days, and finally making it back to Texas on Friday night. We stayed in 15 different hotels, houses, campgrounds, etc., drove over 6500 miles and only got stuck twice with Jeep troubles (not bad considering it has over 225,000 miles on it). It was an incredible journey, but we are glad to be back and ready for this next phase of our lives!


2 comments to “Great South(west) American Adventure Highlights”

  1. Shelley Says:

    What a fantastic year you’ve had . . . such awesome adventures!! I love living vicariously through you, Abby!!

    Congratulations on your new niece. Taylor Sophia is SO Beautiful!! What a precious little miracle.


  2. Elaine Olson Says:

    Hi Abby and Aaron,
    Thanks for these wonderful pictures and your news of your trip west. So glad you could cool off a little this summer and that you could be there for Julie on her big day. You’ve made some wonderful memories–thanks for sharing. Keep enjoying life! Aunt Elaine and Uncle Wayne

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