Well, I most certainly CAN wait to get on the road again. When I was a teenager, I actually really enjoyed my various drives from Provo back to Montrose where I would crank up the volume on the radio and sing as loudly and as badly as I wanted to. In fact, most drives I arrived almost hoarse from those nearly six hour drives. I even thought, from time to time, how I would love to be a trucker just chugging down the road listening to my tunes, singing and chatting on my CV radio to other truckers...
How scenarios change when you add a four year old and a barely one year old. I knew the drive from Gilbert to Montrose would be long (it's 11 hours if things go well), but I couldn't imagine how poorly it would really go.
We started off by finding ourselves on major icy roads--in Arizona!!! I realize that northern Arizona gets snow, but I never really take it all that seriously since I don't live there. Well, just before we reached Holbrook (the town with all the dinosaur replicas for you who have driven this path) the roads were really bad. I was driving--I like to drive okay. Like I said, I was driving and we were last in a line of about six cars. We were all going about 25-30 miles an hour. All of a sudden, I see the car in front start to spin off the road. I gently applied my brakes and watched as our car started to fall off the road as well.
It was really a little bit surreal as I didn't panic and neither did Derek. It was like one of those action scenes from the Mission Impossible movies where everything is in slow motion. In fact, during the car sliding off the road, Derek looked at me and calmly said, "Audrey? Blah, blah, blah" (I don't remember) I said, "Derek, I am putting on the brakes." So lovingly spoken to each other--must be the Christmas holiday spirit or something.
When we finally stopped, I was glad to see no one was hurt although it did wake Owen up from his nap, which is plenty enough damage in my book. Out from the car that originally slid off the road emerges three of the skinniest teenage boys you'll ever see. I promptly employed these boys as well as Derek to try and push the car back on the road. Given that the total weight of the four combined was probably about 450 pounds, I wasn't giving much hope to this activity and sadly, they couldn't do it. We had to wait until the highway patrol came and towed us back on the road.
The fun doesn't stop there as we slowly wove our way to Cortez, Colorado. Upon our arrival there, we called my grandma only to find out that there was a crazy snowstorm by Telluride and they were requiring chains and possibly closing the whole pass, so we needed to turn around and go to Utah and venture through that way. Well, Moab was clear as the reports promised, but Monticello was a nightmare. Derek was about to fall asleep, so we switched driving again and I drove the rest of the 14 hour drive home. Yes, 14 hours in the car with the kids. In the first two hours Ryanna asked that terrible question, "Are we almost there yet?" at least five times until we mentioned Santa's route may be flying directly past our house if she didn't desist. Owen was actually an angel and cried a tiny bit on and off and slept a lot. This is quite an improvement since the last time this drive was made he screamed for two hours straight without stopping.
After all of this driving, I can most definitely attest to the fact that Willie Nelson did not drive in snow-packed roads nor did he travel with small children or his lyrics would be greatly altered. I would also like to offer my greatest thanks to the creators of the portable DVD player. Bless you.