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I-40

Cadillac Ranch

Cadillac Ranch

Speaking of out west, I finally got to see *Cadillac Ranch*.  We've drove by it several times but never had the time to stop, or if we did have the time the weather was not favorable.  Today, everything worked out perfectly.

Majestic Flagstaff

[For daily updates, more pictures, and humor follow me on Facebook and Twitterer (different content posted to each)  https://m.facebook.com/sierra.sugar ]


When I was in the 5th grade my parents and I went on a two-week trip from Florida to Albuquerque, NM, with a short trip over to Flagstaff, Arizona.  I don't remember much from that entire trip except the backseat of the Oldsmobile car my parents had at the time.  You see, the morning we left they woke me up to leave, I took two steps into the garage to get in the car and threw up.  And that was pretty much my entire trip.  I spent it sick in the backseat.

I vaguely remember stops in Texas, in New Mexico at the Carlsbad Caverns, the Grand Canyon, and even one day when my dad tried to take me snow skiing at Flagstaff, the mountain for which the city is named.  The only thing I remember about that morning is vomiting copious amounts of orange juice.  It seemed more than any 9 year old little girl's body could ever possibly hold.  My dad turned around and took me back to the hotel to stay with my mother.  I don't even remember seeing the mountain, or snow, or anything.

The other morning Allen woke me up with hot coffee and kisses.  “Baby time to get up, we're near Flagstaff and I want you to see everything.”  There at the truck stop I could see the mountain rising out of the flatland, sitting there like a snow-capped crown on a pillow of brown and green velvet.  I took some pictures but it was still so far away.


 As we drove, I kept taking pictures.  And driving and taking pictures.


And more driving and taking more pictures.  Distance is deceiving when you're out in the middle of desert land.  We drove for 80 miles with the mountain ever creeping closer yet still out of reach.


When we finally got to the base of Flagstaff it was more breathtaking than I could have imagined.


I tried to remember anything from my childhood, but sadly no images could be recalled.  I tried to imagine my dad skiing down the snow covered lanes towering so high above me.  I remember dad telling me his ski instructor looked just like John Denver.  As we drove around the mountain all I could do was smile and watch in wonder, my heart swelling with love for this man I share my life with.  One amazing experience after another, day by day, mile by mile, he is showing me the world.  I may not have many childhood memories but I am making uncountable new ones with him.  And that is what love, life, and happiness is all about.

~sierra

Cloud Making Machine


[For daily updates, more pictures, and humor follow me on Facebook and Twitterer (different content posted to each)  https://m.facebook.com/sierra.sugar ]

Have you ever seen a cloud making machine?  I bet you have and you just didn't realize it.  The magic is hidden from the more jaded mind of most adults.  Cloaked in innocence, only the innocent mind can see the beauty beneath the grime of the real world.  In a magical place not to far away the world around us is buzzing with all sorts of magic.  It's a place where children can grow up to teach the cows how to moo.  It's a world where shoes grow on trees.  It's a life filled with silver linings and pots of gold.  It's a world where underneath the ugly is unimaginable beauty.  And it all flourishes within the mind of a child and their unrestrained and untainted imagination.

Drive down any road around any city.  Look through the haze and smog and try to see it through the eyes of a child.  There in the middle of all the metal and dirt stands a majestic cloud making machine pumping out clouds of every size, sort, and color.  From white fluffy sunshine clouds to dark and ominous black storm clouds.  They form as thins wisps dancing on a blue stage, or bellow into the sky with a vengeance.  To you and me they are power plants, steel plants, paper mills, and other such mundane factory work places.  Oh but to the child they are where the clouds are made.  They are beautiful and special.  I mean, really, it isn't every day you get to see the wonders of a cloud making machine in full cloud mode now is it?

So the next time you see a sky covered in smog and smoke from the necessary but odiferous factories that populate our world providing jobs, materials, foods, and fuels, stop for a moment to look through the eyes of a child and smile.  In our grown up world smog and pollution are horrible things ruining the natural clean air and resources of our planet.  But in the world of a child they are the magical formations of clouds and all the magical cloud creatures they find in the sky.  Seeing it as a child doesn't change the facts of reality, but maybe for a moment it will bring a smile to you day.

And that my friends, that smile, is the magic peeking through.

~sierra

A cloud making machine for Eric.
*Inspired by our neighbor's little boy and his statement that it was a special day because he got to see a cloud making machine.  Out of the mouth of babes the world is a much simpler place.  Thank you Eric for the smile and the reminder that magic does still exist.

Main Street of America


Get your kicks on Route 66!

This morning while heading down a road in the middle of no where desert California I startled him with a squeal.  Blazed in white in the middle of this little two-lane blacktop was the unmistakable symbol of Route 66!  In my head I started singing lyrics from the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, John Mayer, and the Rolling Stones.  Of course the wonderful man that he is, he humored and stopped for pictures.  Even the dog got in on the family photo opp!  

Route 66 has nearly as many pop culture references and historical landmarks as it does miles. Officially opened in 1926, it was the first fully paved highway in America. The over 2000 miles of two-laned road from Chicago to LA was officially closed in 1985, but many patches of the original highway remain and there is a movement to reopen it and restore the historic landmarks. This a huge part of Americana and is quite literally a highway through time, miles and miles filled with glimpses into the history and progression of the American traveler. 

Well if you ever plan to motor west
Just take my way that's the highway that's the best
Get your kicks on Route 66
Well it winds from Chicago to L.A.
More than 2000 miles all the way
Get your kicks on Route 66
Well it goes from St Louis, Joplin, Missouri
Oklahoma City looks ooh so pretty
You'll see Amarillo and Gallup, New Mexico
Flagstaff, Arizona don't forget Winona
Kingsman, Barstow, San Bernadino

Would you get hip to this kindly tip
And go take that California trip
Get your kicks on Route 66
Well it goes from St. Louis, Joplin, Missouri
Oklahoma City looks ooh so pretty
You'll see Amarillo and Gallup, New Mexico
Flagstaff, Arizona don't forget Winona
Kingsman, Barstaw, San Bernadino

Would you get hip to this kindly tip
And go take that California trip
Get your kicks on Route 66
Get your kicks on Route 66


~sierra

The best part of waking up...


The year was 1993. I was barely 21 and getting ready for my first day at a new job and what turned out to be the start of a new career.  Mornings were hard for me.  I was lucky to get my clothes on right-side in and forward most days.  There I was standing in the tiny kitchen of my rented house trying to figure out if I had everything before walking out the door when suddenly there was a knock.

Anxiously I peeked out and there he was, all smiling and full of energy.  He came by to wish me good luck on my first day. I remember him straightening my scrub top and fixing the hem of my pants so they were properly tucked into my socks, hey it was the 90s.  He made sure I had my purse, my lunch, my keys, a big hug and loving kiss, then sent me on my way.

It is now 21 years later, mornings haven't gotten any easier, and he is still always thinking of me.

This morning I woke up and the truck wasn't moving.  He usually wakes up before me and drives for an hour or two before I wake up. Then we stop to get coffee or breakfast. But, this morning we were already stopped.  I poked my messy bed head out of the sleeper and was greeted with "Good morning my beautiful!"  A groggy, I-haven't-had-coffee-yet smile and I manage to ask why we were stopped.

There is a pass in North Carolina on I-40 heading up to Tennessee.  It is a gorge that follows the Pigeon River for 20 some miles.  He told me he didn't want me to miss it, so he stopped and waited so I could see it.  Always thinking of me.  Always taking care of me.  After getting dressed and getting a hot cup of coffee, made right here in the truck, he took me on a leisurely drive through the gorge.  As I sipped my coffee I got to see the mountain fall colors in all their magesty.  Ambers, golds, coppers,  and ruby reds, mixed in with the vibrant evergreens.  It was a gorgeous morning driving through God's garden all decked out in Christmas colors.
Morning in the mountains, 11/07/2014


And there he sat in the driver's seat pointing trees and mountains out to me, all the while with a smile of amusement on his handsome face. The road was narrow and curvy, and there weren't any scenic pull offs to stop and take pictures. While I managed to snap a few from the moving truck, the memory of this serene mountain morning will always remain.  And every day I hope I make him as happy and feel as loved as he does me.

~sierra