Our US Road Trip Adventures have been some of the best days of our lives. On this particular one we learned to look for the fun and enjoy God’s handiwork!
“Excuse me Sir, do you have any rooms available?” You might think I’m starting a Christmas story but no, this was the question I asked hand fulls of hotels one night while driving through the Rockies on tour with my hubby.
The early years of our US Road Trip Adventures
Early in our years of touring we fell in love with Road Trips. Our US road trip adventures, gave us the opportunity to see so much of America!
It wasn’t always as easy as it is now. We would print out our directions from Map Quest prior to our departure and always had a paper roadmap on hand. If for some reason our printed directions were wrong, or if my co-pilot skills were lacking…to my hubby’s chagrin, we knew what to do! I know he is grateful for my help, even if I can at times be directionally challenged.
We both had cell phones, dumb ones. Only good for an expensive phone call and a riveting game of snake. Back in those days there weren’t apps, and you really couldn’t search a map to find the nearest restaurant, hotel, or what number to reach them at.
We rarely knew how long we would drive on any given day. We would just stop when we were too tired to go on, and find a hotel.
This had worked on every US road trip adventure, until this time. Cue menacing music, dun dun dun!
The Adventure begins
Leaving from San Diego, we headed through Utah into Colorado stopping in Grand Junction for dinner. We were both tired and grateful to see a plethora of hotels around us.
Seeing a familiar chain, Holiday Inn Express, we headed in to book our room. We walked in with our bags and asked for a room. The front desk clerk looked at us blankly, “I’m sorry, we don’t have any.” Surprised, but not defeated, we lugged our things back to the large Penske truck and headed towards another hotel in view.
The next several we tried didn’t have rooms either. Thankfully we were able to pick up a Colorado hotel guide, this way I could call ahead and find us a room.
We continued towards the Rockies, me calling as many hotels as possible along our route, to no avail. We stopped at several we hadn’t called, which were visible from the road. At the beginning of our search it was around 10 at night, we were sure we would come across one before Denver.
We always try and stay positive
Luckily my hubby and I have a blast together, he is the funniest person I know! He kept things light and hopeful, although I was starting to worry about driving tired through the winding Rocky Mountains.
Once we started into the mountains there wasn’t reception anymore and we had to go back to pulling off and checking every hotel we could see. At this point hubby would pull up to the front door and stay in the truck, I would jump out and run in. From the door I’d ask, “Do you have any rooms available?.” Come to find out, an oil company had booked everything for miles and miles.
If you’ve never driven over the Rockies, it’s a magnificent drive, full of God’s beauty, and so peaceful. This was our first time through and it was pitch black. We could hear the Colorado River rushing, the beautiful landscape we were so looking forward to seeing was left to our imagination.
Hope on the horizon
As we hit Vail it was nearly dawn, we spotted a Holiday Inn Express and pulled off the road.
I ran in and asked the now too familiar question. Before the desk clerk even finished responding I was sort of making my exit saying “Thank you”, when I realized, he had said they had a room!
I went back in walked up to the desk asked to clarify if I had heard correctly, and received the most beautiful word “yes”. I burst out the doors grinning from ear to ear, and signaled to my hubby the good news. We got settled into our room and fell asleep hard.
The adventure continues
Waking just after lunchtime thanks to the kind clerk giving us a late checkout, we opened our curtains to reveal the most awesome scenery, it brought tears to our eyes.
Neither of us had allowed the no sleep and uncertainty of the night to affect our attitudes. We woke up refreshed and Blessed by this crazy series of events.
We dressed and headed East, stopping in Denver to eat.
We found the cutest brewery downtown with great food. You may have heard of it, Breckenridge Brewing
Finding and trying local breweries has now become a favorite things to do while traveling. We seem to get fun local flavor, have good chats with locals and we both enjoy beer.
After our leisurely lunch we continued on our trek, eastward into Kansas on our US Road Trip adventure.
Just on the horizon we could see storm clouds starting to gather. we neared the ominous clouds, we could hear thunder rolling and getting louder and louder.
Lighting all around but still distant at first, then it began striking the fields to the left and right of us. We both leaned forward in our seats, looking at the storm above and just ahead of us trying to take it all in.
At this point it was getting pretty dark, hubby leaned back and exclaimed “Look! Fireflies!” I sat back and also noticed the fields around us with hundreds of thousands of fireflies. They danced in the fields as the lightning was striking the ground right up to the edge of the highway.
We had never seen anything so wondrous, on any of our US road trip adventures. In fact we had never seen a firefly in person. Our only real encounter with them was on Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland. We love Disney, but nothing could compare to this scene only God could create, it seemed as if it were just for us!
Radio warnings, time to get off the road
It felt like this avenue of fireflies went on forever, until the rain started to come down. We began hearing warnings on the radio of hail the size of base balls coming our way and to get off the road.
Crazy enough, we saw a hotel, pulled off the road and they had a room available! By this point the water was coming down pretty good and it had just started to hail. Though beautiful, we were grateful to get inside, out of the storm and off the road.
By Morning, no damage to the truck and the skies were clear and blue as we continued East.
Seeing God’s Hand in all of it
As we have traveled on many US road trip adventures, we have seen many amazing sights, this one is definitely on the top of the list.
It was an adventure to say the least. While I can’t say we’ve always responded to each other with patience when drives were stressful or long, this particular night we just lived, loved and laughed.
I believe the fireflies were confirmation God had been with us all along. Even though we missed half of the Rockies in the dark, He orchestrated a more beautiful spectacle than we could have ever imagined.
Every time we see a firefly we are now reminded of His goodness, beauty, and of the adventures we’ve been Blessed to go on together.
Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.
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