Here is an update on the Stutz Tour Of the Country:
Stage 3 was a mixed bag of driving, swimming, and eating out in Salt Lake City. We had a good short drive which took us around the Great Salt Lake and into the capital of Mormonism. We took a quick look at the temple, but of course, we weren’t allowed to enter. Anyone else glad the veil is torn?
We broke up the day with a dip in a warm pool while the dog ran around us trying to get in. The rest of the day was spent chilling and watching Storage Wars, which has become a new addiction. And the highlight of the night was dinner at The Olive Garden when Chewbacca, Spiderman, and other space and superhero characters walk through and visit. It was strange, but I guess they are a club of people that go out to eat and do local appearances. It was funny cause Chewy was on stilts and a guy dressed as the grim reaper accidentally knocked him over. It was hilarious!
Stage 4 was a ton of driving. We literally drove to Colorado Springs most of the day, probably 10 hours on the road. We ended the day with a trip to the Garden Of The Gods Park. It’s a great place to hike, climb, sit, and just take in God’s beautiful handiwork. That was a great respite from the car for sure.
Stage 5 was fun! My birthday was Monday and everyone took off for it, which was nice. We took a day off from driving to hang out in Colorado. I got up early and road my bike around the area and through the Garden of the Gods. It was so much fun, best ride I’ve done in quite awhile. Then we went to the Royal Gorge Park and suspension bridge. There we traversed the 1100 ft gorge via zipline. It was a bit nerve-wracking but thrilling too. Of course we indulged in some funnel cake followed by a tram to the bottom of the gorge, a cheesy cowboy gun shoot out, and a mild magic show. All in all it was fun.
During the evening we celebrated my birthday with a great meal at Ted’s Montana Grill. We enjoyed bison burgers and tons of great food, maybe too much. Stage 5 was one special and fun day!
Stage 6 could best be described by one word: driving. We got up at 5 AM and drove, and drove, and drove some more. We left Colorado, drove through Kansas, and half of Missouri. The 14 hours on the road was broken up with a visit and dinner with my Aunt and Uncle in Kansas City. Uncle Bill is a card and Val’s spaghetti was great (she is such a host). It was fun chatting basketball and life with my cousin Logan, and his wife. Champ got to run around and got owned by a little feisty dog, pretty sad. He’s got to get used to other dogs, ha.
Later, about an hour down the road, I drove my family through my childhood home of Concordia. I showed my kiddos the old house I lived in, a two story colonial with 10 foot ceilings– amazing house. I took them down the streets where my passion for bike riding started, and where I delivered newspapers. We stopped at the local soft serve ice cream joint for a trip down memory lane with some old school and church friends. Wow, times have changed, but people are much the same– we just have kids now. That was good for my heart.
Stage 6 ended with 2 more hours on the road and a late night arrival at the hotel. Even Champ was exhausted.
Stage 7 started with a quick drive to St. Louis where we ate a blah pizza at an over-celebrated location, but got to go up in the Arch. That was fun. It’s such a trip to ride in those pods and see the wonder of architecture that it is. We then proceeded through Illinois, past the town I graduated High School, later to find out that they are demolishing it. It’s been condemned. Guess the building is older than I am, ha.
The day rounded out with a trip to Metropolis, the home is superman, and a bolt through Kentucky into north central Tennessee. Eli and I attempted a pool swim, but chickened out due to cold water. Dinner was the great Chick-fil-A. And the night was capped off with a Miami Heat win!
Stage 8, today’s final leg of this journey, will lead us through Nashville and into Knoxville mid-afternoon. Then its truck unloading time. Tomorrow I start work and Michelle starts work. There’s a lot to do. We have to get a second car, open a bank account, figure out what Internet and TV look like, visit a new church this weekend– oh and unpack a bunch of boxes.
So the STOC ends today, but the real adventure begins tomorrow; life, work, church, in Tennessee. Here goes…