The day began, really the night before. I don't remember sleeping. Before my head hit the pillow, my heart raced with anxiety at the next day's events.
Twin Falls to beyond Phoenix in a day. Nearly 1,000 miles, an estimated 14-hour drive. By myself. With my five children. A surprise for my parents and brother.
Baby woke next to me around 4am. I couldn't get back to sleep, the heart-bursting having returned. If I lay in bed another hour, that's just one less hour on the road.
We pile into the car, kids disoriented, suitcases piled in the back. We head out, and it begins to rain. Like torrential rain.
There's construction on the road and with the rain, I just have to trust Him at every mile. It's dark as midnight. The kids thankfully have fallen asleep.
There is a vast nothingness in Utah. Really. So much land one can barely believe that we face crowding here in Seattle; land is ridiculously expensive. A solitude on the road.
Off to the left, the east, the mountains are still topped with snow, yet so close they are touchable. Over their tips peeks the sun, and I realize I can't remember seeing a sunrise before now. "The day we saw the sunrise," I say to myself.
We trudge on, through Salt Lake City, a city I wish I had the time to explore. Then, more of nothing. Straight roads and lots of dry land. The baby starts to squawk, and I realize they must be hungry. We pull over to a rest stop in a teeny town called Scipio, grab some breakfast and stretch our legs. The sun is now higher in the sky, no longer a peek but it's face full upon us. In Scipio there is a petting zoo! The last thing I expected! A woman inquires of us and I share our journey, overwhelmed with emotion at the feat ahead of us. She wraps her arm around me and reassures me that He has this.
I text my friend before we head out again. We are safe. She replies with a sweet encouragement.
We continue on. Make little stops here and there. A library, a potty break. We get to a bridge overlooking a grand canyon. Indeed, an arm of THE Grand Canyon! The sun is highest in the sky now, edging the other way on it's way down.
To the east, again a mountain, but no snow on this one. We're in Arizona now, and this mountain is red as brick. My husband texts, "Look to your left," and I see the mountain. He's following along with us via technology. We've gone through all of Utah in less than a day. We've passed Grand Staircase, we're in native country now. The kids shout that they see a cougar!
The terrain begins to change from red and orange to brown and green. The sun is beginning to set and our tummies hunger for dinner. We stop at a drive-up and grab some burgers and fries. Two hours to go.
We pass through Flagstaff and the sun is darkening. I can see the sunset on the horizon, but there is much more to the landscape than when I saw that sun rise this morning. So many more cars on the road with me and much more noise in the the car with me. I have seen many sunsets so far in my life, this one I see but cannot very well appreciate because my body has reached a limit and I am only running on adrenaline and caffeine.
It's fully dark when we pull up to my parents' house in Maricopa, south of Phoenix. The day ending much as it began: quiet, waiting, heart beating fast and strong.
We knock on the door.