elisa jones

Tabegauche Unexplored

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” —Henry Stanley Haskins

Had the kids to myself again today. Love. It.

Decided to explore somewhere we haven’t been before. So we took the highway south out of town, and turned up highway 141. This is one of the most scenic drives in all of Colorado. The first time I drove it, we were in full retreat from Grand Junction.

We had packed up our home in Orem, UT, and moved ourselves to this town, out of the state, far from our home, family, and friends. We had arranged for a home to be ready for us, but little to our knowledge, the man occupying the home had not moved out. This was the middle of the month and he was supposed to be out on the first. Not much we could do.

We spent 5 days in the hotel at the expense of Dennis’ new employer. We played the tourists until our money ran out, and we refused to impose on the employer anymore. We tried to find other places, but nothing was available IMMEDIATELY. The moving company had driven the truck down, but with no place to unload it, they drove it back to Salt Lake. All we had with us were the things we had packed in our two cars.

The only answer I could think of was to retreat back to Utah, and live with my dad. We asked the people we had met in town- our awesome network of religious affiliation- for a room for Dennis so he could start his new job. And we drove ourselves to Monticello. Until the guy could get out of the house that we were contracted to rent.

The road we took to Monticello was highway 141. It was a beautiful day in June and the weather was as ideal as the scenery. I had one child with me (since the rest of the van was filled with our few belongings), and we listened to song after song after song that we could sing along to. It was peaceful. And my week living in Monticello would be restful. After so much relentless stress through leaving my home and finding myself homeless, I came to recognize the things that really matter in life: playing with my kids, taking care of my family, and being balanced. Also, I learned how few possessions we really need!

So that’s a little background on the road. At least for me.

We turned off of it up the Divide Road. Trinity sat in the front and played navigator. We drove as far up the road has had been plowed, and plotted for our return in the summer.

IMG_5971 IMG_5972

kids running in the snow
kids running in the snow

IMG_5975 IMG_5977

drift that shiz
drift that shiz
Trinity thigh-deep
Trinity thigh-deep
Group selfie
Group selfie

Instead of taking the highway all the way back, I decided we’d take the section of the Tabegauche Trail that runs somewhat parallel to it. This trail was very cool, and somewhat sad. The cool part was the climb up and up, exposed and steep and precarious in the snow. Once on top it was rather rolling, and challenging to keep smooth- just how I like it.

We drove past the TV towers, which we used for reference as we descended. We stopped to stretch and climb and play more than once, and I reminisced about when the kids were all so small that they were all in 5-point harness car seats and getting them out for a “quick stop” was a challenge only to be embarked upon when feeling extremely cheerful. Because it also usually required a diaper change, whipping out a boob, helping Trinity to squat, and then doing extensive clean up before being able to re-buckle them. Ah, I do sometimes  miss those days!

The sad part of the area was the many diverging trails. Clearly some were utterly unnecessary as they diverted off the main for only a short ways, then joined back again. There would be a lightly-used track up to almost every hilltop. Why? The funniest part was as we dropped down the road there were a couple of opportunities to drive up the bermed-side. Trinity and Connor both said “BERM IT MOM!”, but Tim, more adamantly said, “No! We stay on the trail!” I was so proud of my little man!

We made it down, and headed home.

IMG_5988 IMG_5989 IMG_5991 IMG_5993