Milky Way sightings up ahead!
This was the first time I (Jennifer) ever saw so many stars. To see the Milky Way was somewhat unreal. When your eyes are beginning to adjust, it seems as if there's some kind of foggy stripe going across the sky. After looking more intently, you can begin to see individual stars. AMAZING.
Getting a glimpse of the Universe is awesome (in the awe-inspiring way), overwhelming, and humbling. My mind began to quickly question, wondering HOW ON EARTH our little planet doesn't just fall out of the sky. Earth seems so small compared to everything that surrounds us. Of course, I know that Jesus holds all things together, but the magnitude of space is just baffling.
I started reading in Genesis beginning in the New Year, and every time I read about Creation, I learn something new. Did you know that God created the Earth, heavens, light, water, atmosphere, dry ground, and vegetation before He created the stars, moon, and sun? I was reminded that all of God's creation is centered around Earth, the home of humanity. How's that for a little nugget? :)
Moving on to the second half of our trip at the end of October...
It was a LONG day. We woke up around 3:30am EST to make our early flight out to Colorado. We arrived in CO around 8:30MST and continued on to hike for the rest of the day before driving several hours to the sandhills in Nebraska (where Jon's grandparents and extended family lives). It ended up being about a 23 hour day for us, and I'm definitely not one to stay awake for so long...
If you missed part one to this trip, you can read it by clicking below! It includes beautiful CO, a hike, and elk!
We had a wonderful time with family at the ranch and enjoyed long walks, good talks, fishing, haybale jumping, and 4-wheeling!
After a few days at the ranch, we were on the road again! Next stop, Colorado.
We saw a bald eagle on the side of the road (sorry, no photo) and long horn sheep, also on the side of the highway (again, no photo - I first thought they were fake!). We saw elk on our first day in CO, and spotted some antelope in Nebraska (I was like, "What IS that?!"). We almost saw a mountain lion, but we saw the animal control truck going after it instead (it was across the street in a church parking lot - go figure!).
We stopped off at Georgetown to see some views and to walk the historic town. It's hard to see the real color of the water in the photos below, but it was a vibrant turquoise color when the light hit it. So pretty!
We drove into Colorado Springs area in hopes of finding a hotel. Let me tell you. I thought we were going to die on that highway. First off, the speed limit is 75mph on the highway (at least 4 lanes each way) as it winds in and out of mountains and up and down hills - so, of course, people are going 80-90mph. Second, there's some kind of light pollution law, so it's INCREDIBLY DARK. Third, there's signs for deer and elk all over the sides of the highway.
Jon found an amazing deal on a hotel, and we had to sit in the room and just BREATHE and compose ourselves before heading to dinner. That drive was stressful!
Here's a funny story from our dinner date at a delicious Mexican restaurant...
My birthday had just passed when we were at the ranch, so Jon mentioned that he wanted to take me out to celebrate. No complaints from me! :)
When we were finishing our meal, the young waitress came to check on us to see if we needed anything. Jon says, "We're here celebrating her birthday!"
I guess we just assumed she'd know to what he was referring...I don't know...a free dessert or something.
"Oh. (pause) Gotcha."
*Crickets* (as she's still standing there)
It took EVERYTHING in me not to laugh hysterically. It was definitely one of the most awkward moments. I kept thinking, "please walk away, please leave...I'm going to laugh...don't laugh...don't laugh..."
The moment she stepped away, Jon and I LOST. IT.
We finished our yummy dinner (or, rather, put the rest in boxes), when she brought out the bill. A few minutes later, she returned with the most tasty dessert - some kind of sugar/cinnamon pastry/donut with honey. So light, fluffy, and delicious (perfect for post-Mexican food). We looked at each other, wide-eyed, thinking, "OH, so she DID get it!"
You know when you laugh so hard after eating a big meal, your food wants to revisit you? Those were good times.
Ok! Done with the stories!
Jon rose early the next morning to take sunrise photos of Garden of the Gods. When he returned to the hotel, he enjoyed the continental breakfast a second time. ;)