It’s not the destination, but the journey.

rocky mountainsFinal resting place.

My family (Mom, sister with her fiancée and kids) were here this past week to spread Ron’s (my step father) ashes in the Rocky Mountains. Since he didn’t specify where to spread his ashes, it was left up to us to decide.

He really should have known better.

There was a plan, but the plan changed. We decided at the last-minute to head to Colorado Springs and visit the Cliff Dwellings, then find a place in the mountains to spread Ron’s ashes.

I hate to say that there wasn’t really a new plan; and I am a “planner personality”. We were flying by the seat of our pants. And, when you fly by the seat of your pants, your pants usually fall down!

The trip was a series of mishaps that was, in a way, in Ron’s honor. He never did anything easy. There was always a mishap, or two, along the way, although he always got where h needed to go. We joked that he definitely was with us in spirit. Who else could have this much bad luck on a simple trip to the mountains except Ron?

We (hubby and I) missed the correct exit to begin with.

Then I got us off on the very wrong exit after I decided it would be a good idea to get the map from the second vehicle traveling with us. (Yes, I will take credit for getting us lost! No longer can I give Carl crap for getting lost in Kansas.)

As we are realizing we are not on the right road, and in the middle of nowhere, our mini van began to over heat. We pulled over to put in anti-freeze, kept driving in the wrong direction, began to overheat again, pulled over to put in water because we had run out of anti-freeze, kept driving in the wrong direction, began to overheat again…you get the idea.

We were in the middle of nowhere, looking for anything that could help us fix the radiator. Let’s just make this long story short…we found a place called Stanley’s Auto Repair on hubby’s Smart Phone and limped to his shop.

We rented a car to sight see and “bury” Ron while the van was fixed. (New radiator and water pump.)

colorado springs

The Cliff Dwellings are interesting and not that expensive to visit. And, it’s kid-friendly. I think everyone had more fun shopping in the gift shop, but what can I say? We love to shop.

By the time we were finished with the Dwellings, it was late in the afternoon so we headed up the mountain without a plan to find a good place for Ron. We ended up outside of Divide, Colorado, near Ute Pass.

By accident, or divine intervention, we pulled off the road when a cop, lights flashing, came up behind us. Luckily, hubby did not get another speeding ticket. My hubby likes to believe it was a sign from Ron to slow down and look around because a great pull-off spot was just a few yards up the road.

We pulled off the road to take a look around. Down the hill, among a large boulder, was a spectacular view of the mountains and the valley below.

This is a view from the rock where we spread his ashes. Mom read from the Bible, then she almost fell off the rock when spreading the ashes. No doubt Ron’s final little jab at her. The wind was blowing and blew ashes all over two of the kids and in our eyes. His final hug.

Without a plan, it still worked out. True Ron-style.

It is a beautiful setting. And he will be spread all over the valley when the wind takes his ashes.

By the way, it is legal to spread ashes on any public land or National Forest. The National Forest Service does ask that you do not leave any markings of the “grave site” or pour the ashes in water. I did mark it on my Colorado map, though.

The car was not repaired until the next day and hubby had to drive back down to the Springs to pick it up. He noted that we should not have missed the correct exit. There is at least 3 signs indicating the correct exit. {sigh}

In my defense, I had 4 kids in the van with us. I am sure I was arguing with one or more of them when I missed the exit. {sigh} Two thing I have learned about this past week: 2 kids are enough for me…and always have a plan!

Categories: Faith, Photography, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “It’s not the destination, but the journey.

  1. rhonda witt

    JERRY SUE AND FAMILY,I AM SO GLAD THAT YOU SHARED YOUR LAST JOURNEY WITH RON WITH US.I WORK WITH YOUR MOM ,AND I KNOW THIS MEANT THE WORLD TO HER.SHE GAVE SO MUCH TO RON ,I DON’T KNOW IF HE REALLY KNEW WHAT ALL SHE DID FOR HIM.RON PASSED ON JULY 4 AND BLEW WITH THE WIND .FOR THOSE OF US WHO KNEW RON THIS WAS JUST THE WAY HE WANTED.THANKS FOR BEING THERE FOR HER .I TELL HER THAT YOU ARE A WONDERFUL KID. YOU ARE!

    • stunkard

      I am glad we were all there for Ron to “blow with the wind”.

  2. connie

    Ron loved the mountains and had many mishaps on his elk hunting trips out there with his freinds. I remember the time he had you all worked up because he wanted to put his horses in your back yard till he was ready to go home. You found a place to board them right away…. thanks for all you do. Love mom

    • stunkard

      Yeah, her really had me scared he was going to put horses in my city backyard! Remember the time he got lost elk hunting and survived on a can of Mountain Dew floating in the stream.

      • connie

        There was never a dull moment. Even when he could not move; or speak. His mind was what can we work on today? Or what can I stir up today. He was a handful. But remarkable…

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