Once again, our blog fell silent for a week as we joined our combined families in our second 1800 mile caravan to the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas. Just like last year, Shelly & I planned to write and schedule posts in advance of our absence and expected to use this "vacation" as an inspirational opportunity for future posts.
If you've ever embarked on a similar journey, you know the amount of preparation and planning that goes into coordinating a driving trip of this length for four families: eight adults and seven children. All of the hustle settles down once we hit the road: the kids chat happily with their cousins, adults swap vehicles during stops, and there is a laughing banter back and forth on the walkie-talkies necessary for keeping in touch between cars. We stayed in the Marathon Motel and Chianti Mountains, before moving down the River Road into Lajitas for some Big Bend hiking and horse riding. On our last day we stopped in Sonora, where a first day of Spring snowfall caught us unaware as we darted into the Caverns for a short walking tour.
Last year my husband fell in love with West Texas and repeatedly announced we would be moving. This year he resumed this mantra as soon as we hit the Davis Mountains. As he announced his plan to move over and over, I grinned from ear to ear. It's hard to visit the West Texas/Trans-Pecos region and not fall in love with this special place.
As city girls, visiting this area is an amazing adventure. Everywhere you look there are breathtaking views of deserts and mountains, unbelievably blue skies and beautifully rugged individuals whose friendliness surprises even these fellow Texans. Having grown up in the fourth largest city in the U.S., I love imagining what life must be like in these towns with fewer than 1,000 residents. Even the nearest "big" city, an hour away, only boasts 6,000 inhabitants. With few people scattered between these towns, the development of technology keeps them from feeling isolated.
Shelly and I feel so extremely blessed to be part of our wonderful family, who embraces the togetherness that comes from sharing 1800 miles over nine days in three minivans. And we are equally blessed to have loving husbands who enjoy our loud, opinionated family even in very close quarters for a week.