when the pruims came north

Although it’s not particularly my kind of holiday, I still feel that it’s necessary to wish you all a Happy Halloween today! & to give you something else to celebrate, our internet is up & running this week! I know, I know, it’s a much bigger deal than dressing up in creatively thought out costumes & consuming an unheard amount of candy. But with the wifi set up in our friends apartment, I’ll hopefully be able to devote a bit more time & attention to The Pruim Life. The past two weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind, mostly due to our second cross country move in less than a year – nay, less than half a year. I’ve been to more states in the past six months than I have been in my entire life combined! And these recent endeavors have been some like I’ve never had before, so I wanted to share some of them with you today.

The first leg of our trip led us to San Jose, California for two nights to stay with Adam’s great aunt. This gave us a prime location to check out two of the only things I knew about in Northern California: the Redwoods & the Golden Gate Bridge. We spent a Friday morning driving up the winding mountain roads to get to a state park that we could wander around & look at some of the most fascinating trees I’ve ever seen. I know I’ve said before that palm trees are my favorite tree, but I might have to reconsider that now. These trees are giants. They’re tall, wide, & some are unbelievably old. Their experienced in their old age too. Many of the redwoods we passed by were hollowed out & charred on the inside from past fires. Yet they still press on, and still grow. And they’re still something to marvel over.

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We then trekked up the California coast along Route 1 to see our last bits of the pacific shores on our way into the depths of San Francisco. The rush hour traffic had us scooting along the same road for two and a half hours until we finally reached the big red bridge before the sun went down. It was definitely cool to see this structure in real life & it was interesting to read up on how it was made. But after seeing the redwoods at the beginning of the day, I made the decision in my mind that I’d much rather stare at the handiwork of God than the handiwork of men. I had no idea at that point what we had in store for the rest of the trip that would confirm this decision in my heart even more.

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On a Saturday we gathered our stuff & set off for Nevada. We said a last goodbye to In-N-Out in Sacramento. It just so happened that after we left In-N-Out I got stuck at a light and then the highway split into construction traffic so Adam & I were separated & I spent approximately 45 minutes trying to catch up to his car which had the GPS set for our next stop. In the midst of my stress and frustration while trying to work my way through other cars to find him, we were passing through the Tahoe area. This was the second time on the trip that I was staring out the window with my jaw dropped at the pure beauty of the scenery. It was one of those “Ok God” moments where I gave up my stress, calmed down & just thanked him for His creation. Because guys, it was gorgeous. We pulled off on the side of the road to take some pictures shortly before we crossed over to Nevada.

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From here we moved on and made it to Winnemucca, NV after sun down. We stopped on the side of the road to give Boone a brief break from the car as the sun was setting over the mountains. This was the most enjoyable part of the state of Nevada for me, because to be honest, driving through the desert is just plain boring. & we learned that to be even more true on our Sunday drive across the never ending roads going through nowhere. Breaking into Idaho at least gave us cell service & a little bit more color other than sandy brown.

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We left Monday morning with the destination of Montana, but this was the day that we would pass through Yellowstone National Park. Friends, if you have never been to Yellowstone I strongly suggest that you go add it to you bucket list right now. Ready, go. Ok, have you added it? Great, let’s move on.

We entered into the park at the West entrance & drove south to visit Old Faithful. After many miles of trees, streams, and hot springs (as well as a moose sighting by Adam – I’m terribly saddened that I missed them), we reached the infamous geyser. We had to wait about a half hour for it to actually go off, but something so unique as this made the wait worth it.

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We headed back up the same path we drove down & stopped at a set of springs to take a closer look. I’ve never really seen anything like them before. The heavy amounts of steam and the bold colors in the rocks and water made for a pretty artsy view.

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We moved on and continued to work our way north. We didn’t stop anywhere else along the way, but for the third time on this trip my jaw was in drop mode and my eyes were not paying nearly enough attention to the road I was driving on (sorry mom & dad). Pictures could never do this place justice. Every bit of it was breathtakingly beautiful. My favorite part was actually driving through the mountain passes. After leaving a dry & droughty land in California, to see greens and yellows in the trees and water in the river beds made my heart feel full. I wished we could have stayed and stared off those mountain tops for hours. But alas, we had to move on. And that led us to a long, food-less drive to Billings, Montana.

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I anticipated Montana to be a bit more eventful in it’s views, but the southern parts that we drove through were long stretches of nothingness, with some sub par mountains along the way. I guess driving through Yellowstone makes other mountains a little less fascinating in comparison. This day, as well as a couple others, were supported by gas station food for lunch because towns with restaurants were few & far between. Chex Mix & I got real close on this trip. By our last day of driving we were antsy to get to Minot. We were tired of spending the entirety of our days in the cars. We were tired of staying in a different place every night. We just wanted to get there. When we reached North Dakota the land slowly started to level out and it quickly became littered with oil rigs errywhere. I knew that oil was a big deal in North Dakota, but seriously, I did not expect to see rigs every mile. The construction traffic we got stuck in made us all the more eager to get out of our dirty, bug covered cars. And by Tuesday evening we made it to Minot. A town that has ended up being much larger than I ever expected. So large that one of the first stores I saw as we pulled in was a Hobby Lobby. Now that’s saying something in my opinion, but that may just been out of pure excitement that the store I worked at for almost five years was once again at an attainable distance!

As a whole our travels were easy, smooth, & for the most part stress free (except for our 45 minute separation on the highway & the one day I went a real long time without food. That day wasn’t pretty). Everything went smoothly. We were pleased to find that Boone is a rock star traveler. The little pup spent most of the days sleeping in the front seat of Adam’s car. Then he’d have a burst of energy when we got into each hotel room, and then he slept all night. How he has the ability to do so, I have no idea. We think he also liked having king size beds to sleep on. He took full advantage of the extra space.

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As of right now, we’ve been in our new town for a week and a half. We’re currently staying in some gracious friends’ apartment until our house on base is ready for us to move in to. Don’t even bother asking me at this point when that will be because it’s been a headache of a situation to deal with. It’s one of those circumstances where I’m reminding myself daily that this is God’s will so I will be trusting & patient. The latest we should be moving in is November 20, but we’re hoping for an earlier date. We’ll just have to see what happens.

We were ecstatic to arrive in 70 degree weather. Our whole first week here was the perfect fall weather that I’ve been craving. 60s and just slightly breezy. That made a quick shift this week though as we’ve entered into the 20s and 30s. Needless to say, we’re already starting to make preparations for a North Dakota winter. But more than anything, we’re making preparations to start a life here. We’re welcoming any & all visitors that are willing to come 🙂

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