Well, two weeks ago tonight we made it to Utah! I think this might be a long post, so, bear with us!
We left on the 14th after loading the goats, sheep, hay, and livestock fence panels the night before and having the moving crew in our house for 4 days packing our belongings (very haphazardly we must say). We stayed the first night in Iowa at the campground of a county fairgrounds right next to a water treatment plant! We finally collapsed in our air bed around 11:30/midnight that night.
The next day took us to Sydney, Nebraska. There we stayed at the county fairgrounds again after spending two hours driving around in the dark trying to find our camp spot that was supposed to have full hook-up to water and sewer(never found it). Thankfully, we had filled up our water tank halfway the day before. No showers for the little people, but Mom and Dad each got about 2 minutes of a lukewarm shower. 🙂 Then we sped off again. We stopped in Rawlins, Wyoming to visit the Western Frontier Prison for an hour tour. At this point, I had already fallen in love with the West! I’ve always wanted to go west,but never been farther than Missouri. The people in the West are all so friendly and helpful in the gas stations, on the road, at the rest areas, etc. They all were smiling too! I love the mountains, buttes, plateaus, and huge, blue sky. Our children were oohing and aahing as we continued to drive west. We took lots of pictures as we drove.
There were 7 trucks involved in this move-2 moving company semis, 1 livestock hauler semi for our goats and sheep, 1 horse hauler semi, Steve’s truck, my mil’s truck, and my van. The latter three all had a trailer, horse trailer or camper being pulled behind. We all stopped together to fuel up and eat lunch each day. We traveled as one long convoy most of the time.
When we reached Bridger, Wyoming, our friend who was driving Steve’s truck called to say the truck was overheating and not going to make it. We had to leave them behind and drive an hour on to our new home. Steve dropped us off and then went back with AAA to tow his truck. However, when he parked my 15 passenger van in our driveway before taking off to get his truck, all of our transmission fluid rolled down the driveway! Thankfully, Steve’s mom was there with us and he took her truck to go back to Bridger and meet our friend.
We arrived in the dark, so, I did not see the beauty that was surrounding us until morning. When I awoke the next morning and looked out, it was beautiful! We are literally on top of a mountain and surrounded by mountains all around us. Gorgeous! The children immediately began exploring our land. They found beautiful rocks everywhere they turned. Within a few hours of awaking, 24 people arrived to help us unload our livestock trailer, put up fencing, and unpack our camper. We were so blessed by all these Christian, homeschool families. Wow! We were left speechless the rest of the day. We were so exhausted from so little sleep for the past week, trying to unload everything, and then the Lord brought these amazing people into our lives that day!
The first new friend that showed up, handed me a basket of gluten-free goodies and some organic fruit. I broke down and cried, hugged her ever so tightly and through tears said, “God sent you to me. You are my first new friend in Utah. God sent you to us because you eat gluten-free too.” I didn’t want to let her go! She has been back again a few more times and we have come to find that we have a lot in common within both of our families. God is so amazing! Only He could make the first person to arrive that day carry gluten-free muffins and organic fruit! Only He could! Only He could bring so many people to our door to help unload our critters and belongings. Only God!
By the next day, our cows escaped from their pen. They ran off into the mountains. Steve and one of our sons went riding on our horses looking for them with our neighbor’s son (who rides bareback, hopping all over these mountains like it’s no big deal) all over the area near us. They did find them once, but they got away again. We were all battling sickness from the high altitude (we are at 6100ft. from sea level in IN) and our horses could not handle the mountain climbing for long. So, we had to stop the search. We did finally catch our bull and one cow two nights ago in the dark. We have two heifers floating around in the mountains still. Every morning one of them appears for water (hard to find here) and hay, we all grab our boots(some sandals) and run out the door to try and herd her in the pen, and she takes off into the mountains. We are praying we get both of them before winter as they will not make it through the winter.
We have tons of elk droppings on our property. We are looking forward to seeing the great spectacle of 100s of elk on our property later this year. Maybe we’ll even see some moose, who knows. They are not as plentiful, but have been seen here.
The children and I have not made it into the valley(I’m learning how things are spoken of here-valley, junction, mountains, etc.) yet, but plan to get there this week. We have made it to the library for library cards and found a chiropractor who has a lot in common with Steve. I must admit that leaving this mountain is a bit scary to me. Our driveway has huge drop-offs/cliffs on one side and driving this huge van up and down, swirling around the curves does cause me to sweat just a tad. 🙂 But, the beauty…ahhh, the beauty. You can sit for hours in the warm sun and stare at the mountains in amazement at what God has created and never be bored for a minute. Wow!
One son decided it might be fun to throw tires down the mountain. Yes, you read that right. We about fell over when he informed us of what he did. He learned his lesson though-he had to go carry those 5 tires all the way back up the mountain! You should have seen him afterwards! He was the color of the tires all over. Don’t know if his clothes will come clean either. However, on the bright side, it doesn’t appear that tire-throwing will be a sport he takes up again. It does make for a wonderful lessons-learned story to tell his children and grandchildren some day, doesn’t it? “The day I threw 5 tires down the mountain that we lived on and had to go carry them all back up the mountain….”
We are still unpacking boxes and dealing with a few repairs (had a leak in our roof and ceiling during the first rain of our arrival and our washing machine quit) , trying to finish catching our heifers, working on fences, thinking about how we will work on pastures next spring, finding missing items, meeting new friends, preparing for a long, cold winter on this mountain (think tons of wind, hungry children, and snow), finding someone to clear our driveway during the winter (found one and he used to do this driveway a few years ago-said we can count on him to need to clear the snow at least 36 times this winter and the driveway is .6 miles long), finding local meat (dear friends have offered to get us an elk this year as we did not get any tags this year from the former owner), and just learning our way around.
If you think you might like to come out this way, please give us a holler as we would love to see you! We know several of you all told us that you wanted to come out and see us and/or live out here eventually. So, come on out to Glory Acres Ranch! We’ll put you on a horse to go find our heifers, put some fence panels in your hand to put up another fence, put you in charge of unpacking a box, and…no, really, we’d love to see you without all that. We miss you all back in Indiana. We’ve had some sad days here too, thinking about you all. We know we are where we belong for now. God has made that so obvious every single day of this transition. We thank you for all of your prayers for our family and our move. Please continue to pray that the reason for our family being here becomes clearer each day. We are already starting to see some ministry areas that we are feeling led in to use our land for, but for now we are focusing on settling in for the winter.
I also have to say that even though we continue to deal with the high elevation issues, which are going away with time, the mountain air is just awesome! There is just something inside me that feels so good and healthy after being out on the land. I see why people that live here, stay here. The weather is awesome too. It reminds us a lot of New England. It is in the low 40s in the evenings and 70s during the day. Around 4:30 each day, a nice breeze comes in and then things cool off. Beautiful!
Oh, one more thing. If you come out, get yourself a pair of cowboy boots. Now, I know why westerners wear cowboy boots. I learned this halfway across Nebraska when I ran out of the camper in the dark barefoot. OUCH! The prickly plants! And don’t forget the snakes too! And the rocks everywhere. So, definitely get some boots. A few of us are anxiously awaiting for the time to be able to get some boots on our feet too. These sandals are not doing too well on this ground. 🙂
We have begun to get our paperwork ready to turn in for our homestudy here in Utah. Hopefully, they won’t mind a few boxes still not unpacked when they come for the home visit. 🙂 We will keep you posted.
So, that about sums up our walk in Utah the past two weeks. Let us hear from you!