Epic Adventure Part 4
We left the Great Divide. We drove through Butte, Montana and there, high on the hill, looking over the city, was the giant statue of Mary on the Mountain. I wanted to tell the children how awesome it was for them to be here seeing this. One of our favorite musicians plays one of our favorite songs about this giant statue of Mother Mary. But I was so sad. Just sad of the car. The kids were rocking it and I was not. We drove through Missoula hoping to find a good pause. I found a park right by the Interstate right outside of town with a cold, clear miniature lake perfect for an afternoon pause. I jumped out of the car while the troops headed to play and swim and I ran into the wide open.
I ran in the noon sun beating on my back and I breathed in the dry windy air and ran. I ran away the miles. I ran away Yellowstone. I ran away the sad. I ran away the fact that we were still a long way from Seattle. I ran away all the regret that we were doing this. And then I ran back. We ate a lovely lunch and headed for the lake again.
I don’t know why I have energy running from my toes to the ends of my hair, but I do. George asked if I still had some left. The answer is almost alway yes (unless it is after 10 p.m.). He took Chacos and threw them as far as he could into the lake. I jumped into that lake over and over fetching Chacos like a labrador retriever. When we thought that one more fetch might really start to make the people on shore too curious, the kids and I dove for rocks in the cold lake bed. Sweet William was still stuck on shore with stitches in his foot. I couldn’t stand to watch him watch us, so I asked George if he thought we could dip in up and down in the water from his toes. William was thrilled. SO we did. And the people were curious. So we loaded up and hit the road.
Until now, I was sure we should stay in Montana for a few days. I was sure we couldn’t push to Seattle, but we are were charged with cold water energy and hit the road inspired. We soared through Washington identifying crops and gawking at the massive wheat fields with loads of wheat tagged and bound for China We stopped at the Columbia River Gorge and looked down deep at the water winding towards the Pacific Ocean. Here, we met the hottest temperatures of our trip yet as the 100 degree heat baked us on the rocks. And that heat pushed us on. We were in the cool pines of North Bend, Washington at our sweet friends at 7 p.m..
We had arrived. This was it. The beginning of Washington with our children. With dear friends from another life time and also just yesterday because we jumped in as if not a day had passed.
The children jumped on the trampoline with their son Thomas until their jumps grew sleepy. The kiddos crawled into bed on the Pacific Coast, 2,797 miles from home.
Wide awake in a far away time zone, I crept out into the cool piney woods and let all the lead out of my legs. Along the trail the Cascade mountains peaked out around me and the sun peaked through the cracks and poured warm down. And there was no regret. This Epic Adventure was totally worth every minute of grandness and gruesomeness.
We were here for a week to see and love this place George and I had experienced 15 years and just married and new at being adults and being brave and navigating our way through it all.