We were so excited to use the bike rack that our friend Tracy gave us to facilitate some family mountain biking.
Here's the van all loaded up as we pulled away from the Andrus home early in the morning. I guess all of the grease spots in the driveway should have given us a clue. (Sorry about that, NomiAnn and Papa Kay. Just leaving you something to remember us by. By the way, that whole leaving thing was hard, and we miss you--a lot.)
Next picture Jason has on his phone is this one. This was taken about ten miles east of Sydney, Nebraska, where the minivan broke down and had to be towed by AAA. (Transmission stuff.) I was driving with all of the kids and the bikes, while Jason was ahead on the road toting a van full of stuff. To add to the inconvenience, the van broke down on a Saturday afternoon, so the shop wouldn't even look at it until Monday morning.
After some major juggling of boxes and seats, we all managed to pile into Jason's van and continue on down the road to Cheyenne, Wyoming where our friends, the Rawlings, had recently moved. It was so fun to see Rustin and Christy in their cute new home. Just wish we still lived half a mile apart!
The kids thought our breakdown was the best thing ever because they got to ride horses with the Rawlings' cousins. Annika was particularly delighted. For some reason, she'd been begging to ride a "horsie" for weeks. (Annie's very into the dimunitive "-y" right now. Last night she asked me to read her a story in her beddy.)
Annika the cowgirl.
I love those golden locks.
Next up was Brooklyn.
Eli got to ride with his pal Logan. So fun!
I enjoyed the depth of a Wyoming sky.
It was also fun to explore downtown Cheyenne a little bit. Their Richardsonian train depot is stunning.
The giant painted cowboy boots all around town were also pretty spiffy.
Early Monday morning, Jason and I headed back to Sydney (a hundred mile drive) to figure out the car situation. I love the grimace you can see on my face in the rearview mirror as we took this picture. Not that I don't love Nebraska, but gosh darn it--we were going the wrong way!
On the brighter side, our gold minivan hit 250,000 miles along the way.
Unfortunately, it looks like the silver van will never reach that milestone. This is the rig that eventually made it to Utah.
Monday night we stayed in a Fairfield Inn in Rawlins, thanks to Lance's great rate with Marriott. Sleeping in a hotel looks so peaceful...
...but trust me. When you are sharing a room with Annika, looks can be deceiving.
On Tuesday morning, we were grateful to see this sign at last.
I'm not much of a fan of selfies, but this deserved a picture with my first mate. Brooklyn was a huge help in keeping everyone going during this stressful time.
A few more miles down the road, and we were home at last.
Grandpa Charles and Grandma Susie made the fun banner. Thank you!