26 October, 2010

Vacation - Farmington, Part I

We arrived in Farmington on Sunday evening, just in time to get dinner at Olive Garden (thanks, Sheri!!).  As usual, it was delicious!  I hear that someday we're actually going to have one here in Anchorage, but I'm not holding my breath.  For years now, each new construction site is first rumored to be an Olive Garden.  Instead it becomes Arby's or TGIF (and I really hoped the IHOP by our house was going to be an OG, but that was just wishful thinking (not even rumors)).  Not that I'm complaining, just feeling a little let down.  So now we have a new shopping center on the other side of town, and supposedly one of the buildings is going to house an Olive Garden. *fingers crossed!*

But I digress.  M still had to work (bummer!!), so on Monday, Greg and I headed out to the Bisti (pronounced Bis-tie or Bis-tea, but I call it Beastie) Wilderness (aka Bisti Badlands).  The area is about 30 miles south of Farmington.  Since M couldn't come with us, I took her Sing-a-ma-Jig doll (we each got one from mom) and took pictures with it instead.  (Side note: I'm going to start a new segment on my blog called Adventures with Amy - the accompanying pictures will have M's Sing-a-ma-Jig doll representing her.  I left mine with M - she said she'd take pictures and post them too.)
We walked in (no motorized or mechanical vehicles allowed, including mountain bikes - not that we brought bikes with us...) about 1.5 miles, taking pictures along the way.  We didn't even get to the really cool stuff.  According to some information Greg found, approximately 2 miles in the formations get particularly interesting.  Even so, it was somewhat eerie in a cool way.  A combination of hard and soft rocks with some petrified forest thrown in on top makes for some interesting formations.  Almost as if we were on an alien planet - which was really easy to imagine since there was nothing man-made that we could see in any direction.
Because it was cloudy and threatening rain, the farther we got from the car, the more I started imagining a torrential downpour that created a flash flood and swept us away.  I countered it by telling myself we'd just climb up on some of the higher surfaces, but with no cell service then I worried that I wouldn't be able to let M know what was happening.  Shortly thereafter the winds kicked up something fierce and I just about panicked.  So Greg led us back to the car through the wind storm (talk about alien landscape!) - I had my sunglasses on, looking at the ground, squinting so I didn't get dirt and debris in my eyes (contacts sometimes are a pain, and mostly when something else gets in my eyes (cat hair, lint, dust, desert sand...)).  We were just about 5 minutes from the car when it started raining sideways...  Greg has pictures of our dirty, dirty faces - I had sand in my teeth and the loveliest dirt mustache you've ever seen.  I never thought about how abrasive towelettes can be until I was cleaning up the mess.
After all the fun and excitement in the Badlands, we decided lunch was in order.  Back in Farmington, we found brewery #3: Three Rivers Eatery and Brewhouse.  Good food, and some tasty beer.  It was nice to have a cozy place to sit and eat while we were warming up.  I found that I'd missed a bunch of dirt - particularly in my ears.
 From there, we picked up M from work to go on the River Walk.  Since this is a new town for her too, we wanted to see some of the places that are part of her natural habitat.  We spent a lovely evening wandering by the riverside, watching the sun set and chatting.  They have an amazing veteran's memorial, which we saw as it was getting dark.  I love the color of the leaves, the scenery, and the peacefulness of the area.  Of course, a lot of that may have to do with being able to spend time with M...
It's been fabulous spending time with M for a while.  We missed having her with us at the Family Project, and I know she missed being there with us.  It's also been nice to see her new home.  Her new digs are nice, and Farmington is beautiful - at least what we've seen thus far.  I wish she had had more time to spend with us; I wish we lived closer together; I wish it didn't cost so much to visit. I wish...  Love you, M!

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