Perspective is everything. It is so easy to be discouraged and stressed when things do not go the way you plan or how you expect. I am learning so much about myself right now and doing a lot of self-reflecting while on this trip. I have faith, however the human nature inside of me still defaults to trying to react to things based on emotions. That struggle is real for me, and God is revealing that I have some things to work on in this area. This day was one of those days I had to fight managing by my emotions. 

Before I get into the story of the next day’s adventures, I am going to take the time to take note of a few things that I am thankful for. 

I am thankful for…

  • The first leg of our trip where we got to celebrate Anthony's birthday with friends, see some amazing sites, meet some new friends and connect with an old friend. 
  • My sweet husband who stops at every single place I want to stop to take pictures. Every one. Even if he has to turn around. 
  • This amazing earth we have. Just the tiny glimpse of things we have seen the last couple of weeks has just reminded me how vast this world is, how much I have not seen and how much I am ready to explore it, and a husband that is ready to explore with me.  
  • The time away from everything for deep reflection. More on that in another post later.
  • The simplicity of life he has shown us and what we actually need no matter how much we complicate it. We as a society have filled our lives with too much. We are ready to live differently. (What that actually means, I am not quite sure yet...)

The next day on our journey went from being a high of waking up in one of the most beautiful spots at Lone Rock Beach Campground at Lake Powell to an amazing sunrise and seeing the breathtaking Horseshoe Bend, to a breakdown in the “slap middle of nowhere”. (Take a minute to watch this to see how that happened!) Thankfully, that nice trooper from the video contacted a tow truck and helped us get to the nearest city of Kanab. Utah is five of seventeen marked off the list! At least the breakdown had a nice view.

It got a little worse that afternoon when we were informed that it was a “catastrophic engine failure” so we had to be towed another hour and a half away to St. George to the Jeep dealership to get it fixed. So we packed up some things from our trailer and took a ride with our new friend Nick from Ramsay Towing and traveled to meet another new friend Bob at the Steven Wade Jeep Dealership where they took very good care of us.

We needed to be in Montana the next day because our daughter (Alexa) was flying there where our son & his wife (Austin & Amanda) live, so we got a rental car (which happened to get upgraded to a Jeep) and headed that way to meet them.

After a quick stop in Idaho at the potato museum, we marked number six of seventeen off the list and then came the best part of the trip. We picked a meeting spot of Jenny Lake in the Grand Teton mountains where we found out we are going to be grandparents!!  They completely caught us off guard and brightened our trip with this amazing news. What a blessing despite the setback of our breakdown. 

We spend the couple of days with them exploring the Grand Teton mountains and Yellowstone seeing beautiful mountains, waterfalls, hot springs, geysers and wildlife. We visited the Cody Night Rodeo and and headed back to spend time at their home in Billings.  Before we left Billings, we were so excited to get to take a flight with him flying us to Sidney on Cape Air. We probably looked a little crazy taking so many pictures and video to all the other passengers but it was pretty cool to sit behind your son as a passenger flying a commercial airplane. Wyoming was seven of seventeen marked off the list.

We decided to head back closer to where our Jeep was being fixed to explore more of southern Utah. We got to the dealership to get a few things out and got the incredible news that it was ready 5 days earlier than anticipated. We were extremely happy to get back into our Jeep!

Though we suffered both a financial and time set back during this part of our trip that is hard to understand, we have intently focused on our surroundings of nature and the amazing time exploring we have had with family and the best part of all that our family is growing in 2024.

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