So. My computer has held up thus far. As it turns out, Lou and I are big chickens behind a camera so we don't have a lot of people pictures—it looks like we saw the road, Yellowstone, Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods, and the sky. The friends were our favorite part. But I promised you pictures, and pictures you shall have.
We did take nearly 300, but I won't bore you with the lot. Here's a sampling.
Starting point: Bellingham, WA. It looks like I took this around Mt. Vernon:
Heading east on 90:
The moon was big and beautiful as we neared Bozeman, MT. The sign made into the picture by accident, and I got a laugh out of the result:
For a moment, it even looked like we were driving to the moon:
Here's where my family and I lived in Bozeman. The wrap-around porch has been added since we left:
as has the sign:
In Bozeman, we also toured the da Vinci exhibit at Museum of the Rockies. They had made up a lot of his machines just from the drawings in his notebooks:
We stayed with Briana in Bozeman. I have to say, it was a blast. We had dinner twice with her family, played with her cat, watched Inkheart, discussed website design, read books, chatted, relaxed—and she treated me to a pedicure:
...and she went with us to Yellowstone, which we made a day trip of from Bozeman.
We saw elk:
a happy vacationing couple:
and best friends.
The next day Lou and I left... golly, it's hard to leave your best friend when you see each other only every couple of years. We drove through Wyoming, which looks pretty much like this:
I shouldn't make fun... I think Wyoming's beautiful, but it was very much a straight shot down those roads. It did make me more comfortable driving 75mph, I confess. Thanks to Lou's iPod, the Stuff Christians Like book, a Librivox recording of P.G. Wodehouse's Psmith in the City, John van Deusen, Alan Lastufka & Luke Conard's Erase This, and Hayley Westenra, I made it through with zero boredom.
We headed to Colorado Springs, where we stayed with Lou's college friend Bob. Another college friend, Mike, joined us and we all went up Pikes Peak:
...which may have been the most terrifying stretch of highway I've ever come across. Sheer cliffs down one side of the road. I buried my face in Lou's shoulder for most of it. It wasn't my proudest Gryffindor moment. If you look at the bottom right corner of this photo, you can see the road:
We made it safely, however, to the top (thanks, God and Mike):
After Pikes Peak, we went to the Garden of the Gods, a stunning rock formation outside the city:
...where a guy was climbing. I used to do that, fear of heights and all. Well, sort of—this guy was lead climbing, and I've only top-roped:
We stayed outside Denver that night with Lou's college friend Scott and his wife Annie. Mike and Bob came and Bob's girlfriend Ashley joined us; another college friend, Ryan, came with his wife Rebecca, and the lot of us had a very happy evening. I expected to feel out of place, but everybody made me so welcome and I wound up having so much in common with the girls that I felt at ease right away. I kind of wish they didn't live so far off.
On the way back, the sky was lovely for awhile:
but by the time we got back to Bozeman, it looked a heck of a lot like Bellingham.
But we had a good last evening with Briana—at which we decided that she needs to come visit so I can take her to Forks—and departed the next morning for home. We lost some time owing to an attempted detour to the house my family built in Belgrade, which turned out to be a detour to Belgrade Garage where we received exceptional service but also the unfortunate news that our windshield wiper motor was dying. That is not good news for a northwest Washington driver. Rain-X works miracles, however, and we made it home safely at about ten PM on Monday.
Regular posting resumes next week: Labor Day and all, if I can manage it. Have a happy long weekend, everybody. :)