That's right, Las Vegas or Bust 2008 was a success and we are home safe and sound. I'll try to document the trip over the next few days.
We left on Thursday, the 26th, after Lincoln got home from work. We had hoped to make it to Des Moines in time to settle in for the night, but after a little bit of a late start we made it to Oxford, Iowa between Iowa City and Des Moines. The kids chased lightning bugs while we set up camp. We crawled into our sleeping bags and made an attempt at going to sleep. Jesse, however made it very difficult. He ran around the tent diving over our stretched out bodies, laughing and having a grand ol' time. Finally Lincoln held him still long enough for him to realize he was indeed tired and he fell asleep. With the crazy baby restrained the rest of us fell asleep very quickly.
Long about 3am, Lincoln and I awoke hearing a storm in the distance. Lincoln stood outside watching the storm for a while, trying to decided where it was headed. After watching and dicussing, we determined we would rather pick up camp and head out than stay and possibly get rained on. By 4:00 we were on the road and happy with our decision. We drove across the rest of Iowa, Nebraska, and into Wyoming that day, 16 hours total. Nebraska was rough (not much to look at), but the kids were absolutely fantastic. And the reward for a long day was a beautiful place to camp in Wyoming. We stayed in Medicine Bow National Forest, between Cheyenne and Laramie. It was so gorgeous, the perfect place to camp.
After breakfast in the morning we took some time to take a quick hike and climb around on the rocks a bit.
In the late afternoon on day three we arrived in Salt Lake City. We took a whirlwind tour of Salt Lake, driving by the apartment I lived in 13 years ago, and visiting Temple Square.
After a long couple of days it was wonderful to relax with friends that evening. We drove to Orem and stayed with one of my missionary companions and her beautiful family. They made us feel very welcome and comfortable. They had a fantastic feast ready for us when we arrived and we spent a very pleasant evening visiting and eating in the breeze in the backyard with a great view of the mountains. Chari and I were companions for only a month but we had a great time together and I just love her. It was so nice to meet her husband who is every bit as fun and friendly and down to earth as she is. And of course, it was fun to meet her super cute family of boys destined to be hearthrobs. In fact, my girls had a discussion after our visit about which boy was their favorite. No secrets revealed here, but maybe an arranged marriage to plan? I hope it's not 12 years before I see her again.