a late october adventure

NE Wheat mobile baking lab

The end of October was the beginning of a big adventure for me and Callie. Shortly after we got home, home from Colorado, I received a phone call from Caroline, the Executive Director for the Nebraska Wheat Growers Association. She had a plan and was wondering if Jim and I would be up for helping her out.

The plan involved a road trip from Lincoln, Nebraska to Las Vegas with their mobile baking lab. Ardent Mills wanted to use it as part of the Tim Horton Owners Convention. Would we be interested in driving the lab to Vegas, getting on a plane to come home, getting on another plane to go back to Vegas and driving the lab home? I thought it sounded like an awesome adventure and I was honored she even thought of us to help her out. I, however, didn’t want to get my hopes up because I knew Jim would be in the field and wouldn’t be able to help. I told her I would definitely be in…as long as I could find someone to go with me.

I asked the family if anyone wanted to join me. Callie was in! (As long as she didn’t miss very much school.)

The first part of this adventure had us leaving early on Sunday morning – October 29. We had a plane reservation set for Tuesday afternoon to bring us back home. We had two-and-a-half days to make our way to our destination. The gypsy in both of us was ready for the adventure and we were like little kids on Christmas morning when we drove out the driveway that early October morning. We had our snacks, our CD’s and two spare tires in the backseat.

Our first night was spent in Grand Junction, Colorado…more than half way!

NE Wheat mobile baking lab

Colorado Rockies

NE Wheat mobile baking lab

Taking a break at the top of one of several mountain passes

NE Wheat mobile baking lab

NE Wheat mobile baking lab

NE Wheat mobile baking lab

We got up pretty early again the next morning and were on the road before the sun came up. One of my favorite memories of that particular morning was Callie wanting to take a time-lapsed video of the sunrise. It took so long, she quit before it even peeked over the mountain. While traveling the interstate through Utah, we saw the sign – ” Arches National Park 30 miles”. We thought about it long and hard, debated and decided to take the detour. After all, who knows if we’ll ever be back this way!

NE Wheat mobile baking lab

Long morning shadows as the sun rose over the Utah interstate.

NE Wheat at Arches National Park

Arches National Park – Moab, Utah

We arrived at the park before it had opened for the day so we just enjoyed the morning sunshine before making our way into the visitor’s center. We knew we couldn’t spend a lot of time but wanted to go see the Delicate Arch – the most famous geologic feature in the world. The trail sign said it was a slightly difficult trail and would take over an hour to complete. After some discussion, we opted to just do it. It ended up taking us three hours to make the round trip but we were both so glad we did it!

NE Wheat lab at Arches National Park

Ute Indian Petroglyphs – Arches National Park

Arches National Park

Beginning our excursion to view the Delicate Arch

Arches National Park

What’s remaining of the Wolfe Ranch

This trail was not a real trail. We walked over large, smooth rock, through sandy, rocky areas and along a sort of scary, straight-down ledge to get to the arch.

Once we arrived, Callie wanted to go further – all the way to the arch. That’s when my fear of heights kicked in.  I thought about it too much instead of just doing and I chickened out. It looked like we would have to walk along a ridge…one wrong move, you’d be headed straight down. I had a very difficult time watching Callie head out.

Arches National Park Utah

Yes, this and the next three pictures are the trail. There were people of all ages making this trip – babies being packed, toddlers on their own and couples 20 years older than me. The trip up was much easier than the trip down. I worried about the older couples and how long it may have taken to make their way back. There were no handrails to ease the steepness the trail sometimes brought. 

Arches National Park

Arches National Park

This was the smooth rock that was part of the trail.

Arches National Park

After she returned, she told me I could have done it. It was more flat than angled and not nearly as scary as it looked from where I was waiting for her. I’m awfully glad she did it because now she can say she stood in the arch. And I chickened out.

Arches National Park

There she is – in the center of the Arch. She had to walk around the drop-off to get there. 

Arches National Park

Seriously, Cal? This was making my stomach do weird, flipping things!

Delicate Arch - Arches National Park

This was my viewing point. I wanted to do it, I just couldn’t make my brain agree. 

NE Wheat baking lab

I think she was pretty exhausted.

NE Wheat baking lab

The lights of Las Vegas.

We made it to Las Vegas that night. We arrived about 8:30 and the traffic was HORRIBLE. I was a nervous wreck pulling that trailer through the LV traffic. There were no patient drivers to be found! And I think my co-pilot was wishing she wasn’t along about then. We found our hotel room, left the trailer in the parking lot and made our way to the “new” strip. It was quite late by the time we walked many thousand steps up and down, in and out and over. Needless to say, by the time we got back to the pickup, we were exhausted. I had to wake Cal up to go to our room.

NE Wheat mobile baking lab

NE Wheat mobile baking lab

NE Wheat mobile baking lab

The next morning, we slept in a bit longer than we had the previous two mornings. Our job for the day was to get the trailer to the detail shop, head for the airport and make our way home again. Finding the detail shop was an interesting experience. GPS directed us to a shopping mall, much like the outside malls we have around the Omaha area. I didn’t think I wanted to drive that outfit into an area I would get stuck and would have to attempt to back out of. So, we parked it and started walking. We finally figured out it was in the underground parking lot…who would have known?

We stopped for a quick bite to eat at the In-N-Out before making our way to the airport. This was one thing Callie wanted to say she had done while in Las Vegas. After lunch, we made our way to the airport, parked the pickup where it would hang out for the next nine days and made our way to the gate. Our day ended rather late. Jim picked us up at the airport, we dropped Callie off at the dorm and headed for Manley. I believe it was almost midnight before we made it back home. Part 2 of this great adventure begins nine days later.

NE Wheat mobile baking lab

NE Wheat mobile baking lab

NE Wheat Mobile baking lab

NE Wheat mobile baking lab

See ya in nine days!

NE Wheat mobile baking lab

Airplane selfie.

NE Wheat mobile baking lab

 A much quicker way home!

3 comments on “a late october adventure

  1. Linda says:

    Aawww, look at you two adventurous ladies! What a wonderful experience. Cant’ wait to hear about the trip home. I would have gladly gone with you if Callie hadn’t. 🙂

  2. […] had a nine-day window of time before Callie and I had to be back to Vegas to pick up the Nebraska Wheat Growers’ Mobile Baking Lab from the convention […]

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