Resplendently Red

Today’s slice is brought to you by the letter R and the number 60.

My husband, Paul, and I have always liked to travel.  We drive everywhere we go.  We have driven east all the way to Maine, south to the panhandle of Florida, and west to Seattle.  Our trip to Seattle was by far the longest trip we took, lasting 3 weeks.  We took a very circular route to and from.  It started in Glacier National Park (MT), then Seattle, then Redwoods (CA), then Crater Lake (OR), then Canyonlands and Arches National Parks (UT), the Rocky Mountain National Park (CO), and finally home.  The trip itself was filled with memories and laughs.  We set up camp in the snow and rain.  We took a 5 hour detour to see Mt. St. Helen’s.  We got lost in Oregon.  We trailered a motorcycle the whole time.  (We were young and newly married, what else would we do?)

One of the memorable moments from this trip came in Canyonlands National Park.  The sun was shining, the air was warm, and we decided to use the motorcycle to tour Moab, Utah and ride out to Canyonlands National Park.  We rode for an hour or so to get there, soaking up the sun, enjoying the ride.  We arrived and took the main road through the park.  We rode until we arrived at the end of the road in a circle turn around.  We parked and decided to stretch our legs.  We were in a three sided red rocked canyon with no shade, except for the outhouses.  We wanted to see the view, so we start hiking up, following the trail based on the piles of rocks (cairns) that are used to mark the way.  Paul is in the lead, and I am following behind.  He reaches the top, turns around and starts yelling at me to run back down.  We reach the bottom and I ask him why we were running.  I fully expected to hear about a gigantic, poisonous animal that would have eaten us in one gulp.  That is how insistent he was and how quickly he moved.

The gigantic, poisonous animal was not to be the case.  Instead, it was a thunderstorm.  Having reached the top, he was able to see for miles and saw dark clouds and lightning bearing down on us.  Having ridden the motorcycle, and being the tallest thing around, we knew we could not ride out of the canyon.  A Park Ranger arrived and told us we should head out due to the bad storm approaching.  We explained how we got there and with a friendly wave, he wished us good luck.  We were shocked when he drove away leaving us there, with no way to leave safely and no shelter around, except for the outhouses.  So what did we do?  Yup, you guessed it, we stood in the outhouse for over an hour watching the lightning strike and listening to the booming thunder.  I have never heard such thunder before.  It echoed off the canyon walls and crashed so loud I felt the sound vibrations.  The rain poured down and we stood in the doorway and watched.  We watched in complete awe of Mother Nature.

After the storm passed, we dried off the motorcycle and drove away, enjoying the now damp air and returning sunshine.  We rode and looked at all the colors the rain brought out.  The greens, yellows, and oranges of the different plants around us.  But what was really amazing after all that rain was the red rocks, the resplendently red rocks sending out its warm hues, making the world appear even more alive and welcoming.  We enjoyed the beauty that surrounded us all the way back to Moab.

Today’s slice is brought to you by the letter R and the number 60.

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