Trapped in Nebraska, Driving the Trail Ridge Road, and Not a Penny to Our Name

Okay, so maybe we had one penny.

Chris and I were happily married on Friday, August 13, 1999.  Yes, that’s right.  We chose to get married on Friday the 13th and you know what? 
It’s just a day!
11 years later, we are still married and have a plethora of children to prove that we love each other.
So there!

Anyway, back to our wedding.
We drove off into the night, away from our church and the crowd of people who came to see us do the traditional wedding stuff (can I just point out that we spend TONS of money and TONS of time planning our weddings and they are JUST like everyone else’s?  At least in the America.  I’m sure they do things differently in Mongolia.)
So our first night of wedded matrimony was, how can I say this?  Weird. So weird that Chris and I just got into our car at 3:00 am and drove to Colorado from Minnesota.  Good thing we did that, too, because as we were driving through Nebraska, we barely made it off I-80 into a service station to have them look at the broken car.  We were stranded in Nebraska with a broken water pump on a Saturday. 
Because God was watching out for these 21 year olds who had unknowingly just made the biggest committment of their lives, we were in and out of that little Nebraska town in 2 hours.

Chris had calculated that the trip was going to take us 13 hours–and to his credit, on paper, it should have–but that did not factor in a 2 hour car repair stop or dah dah dum the next big hurdle: Driving the Trail Ridge Road. 
There is one thing you should know about me. (Well, there is probably more, but for this story, you need to know this)
I am scared of heights.  Just mentioning heights makes me feet sweat.
I am not kidding. 
Right now my feet are tingling and sweating.

We were 30 miles from Grand Lake, Colorado at Estes Park, when our road led us to Rocky Mountain National Park.  Cool!  We got to drive through the park to get to our Lodge.  That’s awesome.
Oh, no no no.  Not awesome.  What the park ranger told us as we were buying our pass was we were on the highest paved road in the lower 48 states. 
Deep breaths.
Okay, I can do this.  It’ll take us 30 minutes. 
No big deal. 
Only it was becoming dark and it was starting to rain and we had been up all night, driving.
And the park ranger, being ever so helpful, “It’ll take you at least an hour to get through.”
WHAT? !!!!

As we drove into the beautiful park, I thought, this will be okay.  10 minutes later I was thinking, relax, relax, relax.  breathe, breathe, breathe.  don’t look down, don’t look down, don’t look down.  breathe breathe breathe.

By God’s providence and mercy, 19 hours after we left, we made it to Grand Lake in the dark and drizzle.  We finally got checked in and unloaded our bags.  We were starving.  But that didn’t matter so much to me because at that moment of sheer exhaustion, adrenaline let down, hunger, and sweaty feet, I sat down and started bawling.
It wasn’t a pretty cry.  It was an ugly, heaving, snotty, messy cry.
“What did we do?  We don’t have any money.  I don’t even have a job. How did we think this was going to work?”

After he let me cry a while, you know what my sweet, kind, and patient husband of all of 26 hours said to me? 
“let’s go get something to eat.”
And we did.

After we got turned away from one restaurant because they were closing, we went to the Sagebrush Cafe/Grill and had the best meal of our entire honeymoon.

I am joining Ginny at Janna’s for an adventure through my young adult years.


About giannarae

I am a child of God who has been given the humbling job of being a wife and a mother to 4. Those whom He has given to me are my Sweet Peas and Buddies and one Honey.
This entry was posted in my husband, My Piggy Tales. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Trapped in Nebraska, Driving the Trail Ridge Road, and Not a Penny to Our Name

  1. Arletta Rue says:

    after all these years I find out you had a beginning like our beginning!!! tension, no money, tears, fear of heights…….only thing different was we didn't have any car problems … on the honeymoon..we made up for it in the next 20 years!!

  2. Ginny Marie says:

    Oh, my goodness! We were on Trail Ridge Road this summer, and it was down to one lane…there was construction! It was nerve-wracking! We reached a viewpoint with snow (in June), let the girls play and make snowballs, and then we turned around and went back to Estes Park. We did not go as far as we had planned! I can not imagine driving on that road in the dark and rain!

  3. My dear, Gianna, thank you for the laugh tonight. Really. *grin*
    I can totally picture you doing this and it simply tickled me.

    Love you!

  4. I don't like heights either. So glad you made it through!! :o)

  5. Eos Mom says:

    What a wedding night! I had a similar experience driving Big Sur in California (thankfully NOT on my honeymoon)–my husband was driving and I was reclined with my eyes closed trying to keep it together. I've always been afraid of heights, but the combination of cliffs and narrow road and winding–whoa it was awful!!!

    Hope the rest of your honeymoon was a lot better!

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