On the Road with Stuck.

20150402_131113[1]Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve

We recently went on a road trip, aiming to visit the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Bryce Canyon, and a few other places. We could have flown, but I hate to fly, so we opted to rent a car and take the scenic route. We put nearly 4000 miles on the rented Prius, and we had a wonderful time.

IMG_0939Death Valley

Capitol Reef National Park, Torrey, UtahCapitol Reef National Park

Constantly over the course of the trip, Mr. Stuck and I would marvel at not only the natural wonders we were seeing around us, but also at the improvement in our lives that allowed us this opportunity.  I don’t think we would have taken such an ambitious journey if we hadn’t lost weight and gotten healthier. I could not imagine doing what we did with all those extra pounds to carry around.

Capitol Reef Natl Park, UtahCapitol Reef National Park

IMG_0421Bryce Canyon National Park

Because we’re feeling good, we were able to walk around a bit and see the beauty of Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument, Death Valley, the Hoover Dam, and so much in between. We were so busy with things to do and see that we never made it to the Grand Canyon.

IMG_0467Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Bryce Canyon Natl Park, UtahBryce Canyon National Park

My point is that when I was heavy, I was tired. My body hurt. My feet hurt. I just wanted to sit down most of the time. I was so preoccupied with the voice in my head and the running tally of aches and pains, excuses, justifications, negativity, frustration and depression, that I didn’t enjoy things fully. There was always a ‘but’ — I’d love to, but… was my answer far too often. The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak. In time, the spirit became less willing and more discouraged as the flesh became weaker. I became a stick in the mud, unwilling to move out of my rut. It was just easier that way.

20150402_133737[1]Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve

I was a little apprehensive about riding that many miles; it had been a long time since I’d done so, and I was concerned that my back might give me trouble. We stopped often for breaks and made sure to move around, and I never had any problems. Even the hotel beds, another potential problem spot, were remarkably unremarkable. My healthier, more energetic self managed to do just fine.  Wow!

Zion National Park

The trip was a success on many levels. We got to see some of the best of God’s creation and man’s, as well.

IMG_0769That’s a long way down. Hoover Dam.

We saw things we’d never seen before, allowing our whims to inspire us to take side trips ‘just because.’ In Vegas, I got to spend time with my cousin, who was my best friend growing up; he’s still a lot of fun to be around.

Zion Natl Park, UtahZion National Park

We brought a cooler and had prepared a bunch of healthy snacks for the road, and we also stopped at some great spots.

20150404_143817[1]Turkey posole and chicken quesadilla with garden greens to share at Hell’s Backbone Grill.

It was fun sharing the turkey posole at Hell’s Backbone Grill, a gourmet restaurant in the middle of the Utah desert, and treating ourselves to iced mochas at Kiva Kottage. We put a few rounds through a P90 submachine gun at Arizona’s Last Stop and sampled beautiful berries at Godiva Chocolates.

20150403_175046[1]Capitol Reef National Park

This trip really showed us how much better things are, now that we are taking better care of ourselves. A road trip may not be a big deal to some folks, but it is to us. It started out as a fun way to mark our wedding anniversary, but it became much more than that. It became a celebration of our renewed health and spirit.

IMG_0763Hoover Dam and Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge

It gave us a little preview of how good the rest of our lives can be.