destination: beautiful

After a solid three hours of sleep, Alyssa and I got up, picked up Jeremy, and started on our sixteen hour drive.

 I felt awful. I had that disgusting feeling where my body isn't ready to be awake and my mind really never went to sleep. As hard as I tried I couldn't fall asleep again. I ate a waffle with syrup [yeah, not exactly road trip food] and wrapped the sticky, messy knife in a post it note for lack of better options. 

Alyssa's roommate Jessica/Ashley was a doll and packed us some fresh fruit

We weren't in any sort of hurry and stopped at any rest stop or landmark that seemed vaguely intriguing to stretch our legs, refill bottles of water [because I kept spilling them, not because we were drinking them], and take plenty of pictures. 

For those who aren't aware, Jeremy [my sister's boyfriend] is a pretty skilled jump roper [he was actually on America's Got Talent!] and so he starred in a lot of my pictures.

In efforts to get a good camera angle I scaled the side of a mountain and slipped a little. My stomach dropped further than I slid, since the prospect of a painful death was facing me. But. My trusty shin saved me, and I got the mountain equivalent of a rug burn. Ouch. 

It seriously felt a lot worse than it looked. And yes I was barefoot, which was probably why I slipped. And it was great coming home and seeing friends with a cool new scar. :)

 We stopped at the four corners for a bit. Alyssa and I went there with our family over ten years ago, and the only real memory we have of it was that my dad collected some rocks and stashed them in an empty cereal box. I did not remember the retaining walls, the per-person admission charge, or the little Native American shops set up around the monument.

 It wasn't until we were in New Mexico that I started to feel like we were close to home. It was mostly brought on by a disgusting dust storm. We were getting gas when we were hit with the first suffocating wall of dirt.

 These pictures don't do it justice. It was impossible to see anything; even the headlights of cars weren't visible from any sort of distance. 

It was disconcering and I was a little bit scared for my safety, but it passed fairly quickly.

 We passed this little scene and had to turn around and go back to take a picture:
Somewhere along the way I took some sleeping pills. They were fascinating, bright blue little bubbles that did absolutely nothing for me. I took double the dosage and still wasn't even able to sleep but for short periods of time. Just enough to be awake frequently enough to take pictures, change the playlist on my iPod, and sort out a few remaining agitated thoughts. 

Somewhere in New Mexico I woke up to some crazy rainstorm. As I watched, the rain turned to snow and the highway quickly became covered in a soft powder. Then, just as instantaneously as it turned to snow, it turned to hail. Um...what?

These aren't the greatest pictures, but it was a pretty accurate representation of how eerie the sky was [and how groggy I was during all of this. I think the sleeping pills finally kicked in].

We finally got home around 2.30 in the morning and, exhausted from so many hours of doing nothing, crawled into familiar beds made up for us by my darling little sisters. 

I learned later that while I was sleeping we drove past a fire, so on the course of our drive we saw a fire, a dust storm, snow, rain, and hail, yet we made it home in absolute safety. Makes for a pretty solid trip. 

[Title from Sun by Mae]

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