Multi-tasking: Day 5

We left the beautiful area of Arches in Moab, UT at the early hour of 10:15 a.m. when it was a mere 91 degrees.  Always good to get going before the temps get too hot! As we drove out of the hotel parking to find gas I could hear a disturbing “Thunp. Thump. Thump.” at very regular intervals.  It was disturbing enough that I got out of the car while the gas was being pumped and listened to all corners of the car.  And, the thumps continued even though we were sitting completely still with the engine off.  I imagined all kinds of “bumps in the night” that it could be when Randy realized he knew exactly what it was.  He had hastily packed his battery operated Waterpik Flosser without turning it off and it must have been lodged against something that put pressure on the “activate” switch.  And from inside the suitcase his clothes were enjoying a healthy cleaning and flossing. This, of course, necessitated pulling the suitcase out at the gas station and finding the Waterpik to turn it off.  I’m sure we made an amusing roadside attraction.

2015-06-20 10.56.44But, that didn’t stop us for long and filled with gas, we were on the way to Colorado’s Welcome Center in Cortez.  The ride was a stunning mix of varied landscapes, from the red-rock cliffs to sage brush meadows with single mighty rock formations, to lush hay and clover with occasional trees as we entered Colorado.

2015-06-20 13.42.44The Welcome Center guides were very helpful and sent us in the right direction to Mesa Verde National Park.  We found the park and thoroughly explored the Visitor Center. But, distracted by the heat, the altitude, and hunger, to say nothing of the difficulty of climbing ladders and stone stairs several stories high in order to gain access to the cliffs, where ancient cliff dwellers lived centuries ago, we abandoned the exploration and abruptly changed plans.

Grace comes in many disguises and today it came in the form of flexibility and a willingness to pass by something we had planned to see so that we might be able to look forward to seeing it and enjoying it thoroughly at a future time.  There is no doubt in my mind that grace was enfolded in that decision.  And when we come again, we will be sure to plan for a time when it will not be quite so hot.

We found a funky little diner in the next town and drank glasses and glasses of water as we waited for our sandwiches to come.  While Jack and Janelle’s Diner addressed our thirst and our hunger, that was it’s redeeming quality.  A place like that always makes us laugh and we think of an old friend who we knew 40 years ago. The year after we were married we were planning our first cross country trip and he advised us to remember to stop at some “local color” establishments. We were to do this instead of always pulling into a Denny’s or a MacDonald’s just because it was easy.  This was truly a “local color” experience.  And we were grateful for it.

2015-06-20 16.29.41We continued on through more grasslands with great rock formations and through Navajo ranch lands on our way to The Four Corners.  This is where we multi-tasked for the day.  At this one spot a person could stand in four states at the same time:  Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico.  The spot, however was little more than a plaza with lines in concrete.  That would have been fine, however, we were not the only people there!  The hard packed clay of the parking lot held cars from all over the country.  And the passengers of all those cars were standing in line for the thrill of standing on the SPOT where all four states came together.  And, it was 99 degrees IN THE SHADE!  And, every person in line was taking their sweet time for photographs in every posture imaginable.  2015-06-20 15.55.38Being of sound mind, we changed our minds again.  We elected for four pictures – one in each state – with the SPOT where they met in the background.

And, then we traveled on to Farmington, New Mexico, where we planned for overnight rest.  Multi-tasking is hard work.  But grace was a part of it all.