Colorado or Bust: Day 2

Colorado or Bust!  Loading up the ‘ol Family Truckster to drive 16 hours there, 16 hours back, for a grand total of 32 hours in the car with three small children.  Will we survive?

Day 2 dawned bright and sunny.  We woke up early in our hotel in Amarillo, ready to burn the trail to Colorado.  Theoretically, we should make it there in less than six hours.


I insisted on stopping by Cadillac Ranch on our way out, thinking that it would be a fun site for the girls.  Turns out, it’s not.  We took a picture for posterity, and moved on.

Cadillac Ranch = lame

The drive was actually rather scenic and uneventful….until we hit New Mexico.  And then, once more, we became well aquainted with bodily fluids.

Hello, New Mexico!

Our first incident was when we stopped at a rest stop to use the bathrooms.   My husband went in first, so that he could watch the little one while I took the big girls to the potty.  He quickly came back out with a horrified look on his face: the men’s bathroom had about an inch of standing poo water on the floor.   I asked a woman coming out of the bathroom if she knew if the women’s restroom was clean.  She said that it wasn’t, but that it was the only bathroom for a good 40 miles.  Awesome. We had no choice but to persevere.

The one toilet in the women’s bathroom that wasn’t clogged with feces was cracked and filthy.  I papered it to the my best ability and prayed for the day when my girls learn how to hover.  I constantly barked at them not to touch anything but themselves or me, but little hands have a way of touching the exact thing that you don’t want them to touch.  You know, like cracked and dirty rest stop toilets.

Twenty minutes later, we were back on the road.  And, contrary to the oh so helpful woman’s potty location services, we found a nice, clean service station about five minutes away from the rest stop.  Figures.

We pressed onward and upward, exclaiming gleefully over every little “mountain” that came into view.

New Mexico Mountains!

It was surprisingly fun, until…..


I turned around in my seat to answer a question from one of the girls when I noticed that A was covered in chocolate.  She had some on her hand and was licking it off her fingers, smearing her face in the process.  How funny, I thought.

Then I realized something.

We hadn’t given her any chocolate.

It wasn’t chocolate at all.

It was poop.

I screamed in horror and yelled for my husband to pull over.  Only two days into the trip, and already we were quite familiar with roadside poop clean ups.  We went through yet another box of wipes getting her cleaned from head to toe and tried not to vomit in the process.   Once we were back on the road, I spent a good ten minutes trying to answer L’s questions about why somebody would eat their own poop.  I still don’t have a good answer.

Our venture into New Mexico was stinky but short, and then we found ourselves in…..COLORADO! It was pouring down rain and we were going around narrow mountain passes, but who cares!  It was 70 degrees outside!  In July!

Hello, Colorado!

We stopped in Trinidad for lunch, and found a cute little café downtown.  Where we ate OUTSIDE.  In JULY.  I cannot stress how exciting this is for a Texan coming from 106 degree heat.  I had my first taste of green chili, which apparently is a big deal in Colorado, and oh.  My.  Gosh.  It is freaking amazing.  I’m going to learn how to make it and put it in everything, including my coffee.

Two hours later we pulled into Colorado Springs, which is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen.  It’s surrounded on all sides by mountains – huge, gorgeous, green mountains.   We headed west to Waldo Canyon, home of our cozy little cabin at the base of Pike’s Peak.  Isn’t it sweet?

Home sweet cabin

And check out this view!

Love this view!

But then, disaster struck.

We were all unpacked, A was in bed, and my homemade chili was simmering on the stove.  The casement windows were thrown open to let in the cool mountain breezes, including the top of the Dutch door.  Everything was perfect. That is, everything was perfect except for one thing:  the shoes.  There were tiny flip flops scattered about the living room, so I thought that I would take a few minutes to tidy up.  Little did I know just how fateful that decision was…

I bent over to retrieve a piece of miniature footwear when I was struck by a strange sense of foreboding.  A dark presence loomed above me.  I straightened my spine, and it struck without mercy.


It rammed it’s sharp corner into the crown of my scalp, and I doubled over like the little girl I am.  I sat in the nearest chair and wrapped my arms around my head, waiting for the throbbing to cease and my vision to right itself.  I honestly wasn’t that concerned, because to be frank, I hit my head a lot.  I know, it explains a lot.  But when I removed my arms from my head, I noticed an odd, liquid sensation down the back of my neck.

My husband was looking at me in horror.  I brought my arms in front of my face, and they were covered in blood.  It was running in rivulets through my hair, across my forehead, down the back of my neck.  He ran for towels while I looked on in horror, visions of hospital visits and CT scans racing through my bloodied brain.   Two soaked towels and ten minutes later, the bleeding finally stopped.  My husband played the good doctor and looked through my matted, sticky hair, until he found a little cut in my scalp.   We assessed the damage and called my mom, the Wise Woman of all things health related, and decided that a concussion was unlikely; I probably cut my head more than hit it.  Still, fatalist that I am, I spent the rest of the night waiting for fluid to leak out of my ears or for one of my pupils to dilate (both signs of concussion according to Web MD).

While I convalesced in a rocking chair, my husband tended the two big girls and saw to dinner.  He was in the middle of chopping a jalapeno when I saw him race past me into the bathroom.  He emerged holding yet another bloody towel – this time, from a gash in his finger.

And thus we made a blood sacrifice to ensure nothing but good times from then on out.

Stay tuned for Day 3 to find out if it worked!