Babies and Road Trips

Alright folks, brace yourself, I’ve been writing on and off during the day during our drive, and it’s gotten a bit lengthy. <:o}
A new baby has been born! Welcome to the big world little Lucas! Lucas Nachtigal was born on Friday, the 8th. Eight and a half pounds and perfectly healthy! Proud mommy and daddy are Luke and Anita Nachtigal. Luke, of course, being Mike’s youngest son. So off to Oregon we go to see the little miracle for ourselves!

I just love babies. And I love road trips. My love of road trips began when I was just a little girl. My dad; being from a great big Mormon family in Idaho, would haul mom, my brother and I through the California desert, through Utah, home to Idaho for Holidays and summer vacations at least once a year. My brother and I loved the trips; first in the old 57 chevy. I’ll never forget that car. Then in the Rambler station wagon, in trucks with camper shells, and a myriad of other cars dad bought and sold over time. Now, this was in the days before seat belt laws. We would bounce around in the back seat trying to entertain ourselves with license plate games, counting red cars, or anything else we could think of. It was usually smoldering hot and we’d have a big bottle of water in the car which we’d wet a towel with to wrap around our heads and necks to keep us from passing out. Air conditioning was a luxury that my family just didn’t have. But, not many people did back in those days.

Mom was the one who just loved the scenery. She’d point out all the beauty along the way, and beg dad to stop and let her go look at things. Sometimes he did, but usually he was trying to break his record, and get to Idaho in some record amount of time that he could brag to his brothers about when we got there. I’m sure that part of the goal was not to have to spend precious money on a hotel along the way, since we lived by humble means back then.
Dad liked to hot rod. He’d tune up the car to run optimally, and check his mileage at every fill up. (This is all very important stuff to a male in the Virgin family.) In those long, Utah stretches, he’d decide sometimes that he needed to see “what it’s got”, and he’d put the pedal to the metal as we’d watch the speedometer, pass 90, then 100, then 110, 115…. telephone poles became a blur… at which point mom would be holding the ceiling with one hand, shielding us with the other, and had her foot on the dashboard, screaming “Clayne! Slow down!” Of course, as kids we loved it. We had complete trust in our dad. Of course we thought that mom was just silly for being so scared. Ha! I look back now and imagine myself in her place as a grown woman and mother! I think I might have killed him.
Fortunately, Mike just likes to poke along and enjoy the scenery like I do. He likes to stop and investigate things that look interesting, and stay here or there an extra day if we’re having a really good time. He also likes having our dogs with us, and spoiling them like two pampered kids. One of the good things about dogs is that when you spoil them (well, spoil them the ‘right’ way, from our point of view), you don’t end up with back-talking, smart aleck teen-agers, or ruined adults who can’t cope with the normal ebb and flow of life, or who expect everyone else to take care of them …No, with dogs, there is just none of that complication. You just love them and take them anywhere with you, and they’re happy just to be with you. They don’t whine “are we there yet?” They think you are the very best human in the world. They love you with complete, undeserved devotion. Yup, dogs are like kids with only about 2% of the responsibility and none of the grief.

We’ve been on the road now for over 3500 miles this trip and I’m still not tired of the every changing scenes outside my window. Farms, small towns, open land, mountains… I always try to imagine what it is like for the people who live in all the different places. So many neat little places, with warm, friendly souls who greet you with a big smile. When you’re stuck in a city, dealing with the daily ins and outs of business life and the rotten things that people are capable of doing to one another, it’s so good to get out and get perspective on why God loves mankind as much as he does. Out here you understand.
We met a lady here by the Columbia River who was exercising 6 gorgeous collies. She said she works with them professionally doing competitions. She also had a couple of chows at home, she said. So we asked her the big question that has been on our minds for 3 years now!! Namely: How do you train a chow to be off-leash?! She laughed and said “Chows can’t be off-leash. They’re too independent!” Mike pointed out how good our little Zion is off his leash. She didn’t believe know, gave him one of those “yeah-right” kind of nod and smiles. She just repeated “they just can’t be trusted”. It would be fair to say that we’re a wee little bit discouraged, seeing how this came from the mouth of a bonified professional and all. But being who I am…and for that matter being who Mike and I both are, we’re holding out for a second opinion! Haha Stubborn to the end!

It’s kind of strange terrain here, along the Columbia River. It reminds me a little bit of the Delta in northern California. The steep hills are covered with grass and sagebrush and are very rocky. Everything is gold, dry, half dead, but at a distance, the hills look like they’re made of tan suede. It’s real windy. There’s quite a bit of traffic for such a desolate looking place.
We met a family from Boise who had come from a wedding in Salem. Small world, since that’s where we’re going. I suspected they were Mormon by two clues: 1. They were from Boise. 2. The wife called her husband “dad”. Lol They had 2 cute boys and a beautiful little 4 year old girl who played with the dogs while we talked.

OK, now we’re in Portland, Oregon. We just visited with Jill, Tim and Justine. Justine chased Zion around the house until he wouldn’t run anymore, so he should sleep well tonight. The dogs love kids, it’s always so nice to watch them with kids; these chow chows, dogs with a reputation of being aggressive. I’m very proud of my dogs. They so are gentle, and good natured.

12 thoughts on “Babies and Road Trips”

  1. LOVED your pictures of the Columbia River area – Mo and I loved that part of the country and I remember so well coming down the hill into the yellow gold wheat fields too! 🙂 Did you go through The Dalles?

    Sweet to see your puppies loving on each other too…..

    Have fun with the baby!


  2. hi Sandy ;o) ja glad to be back, called Yvonne last night and she fixed it.
    Now we can yack again !
    Yesterday clear skies all around, I thanked God all day.. just loved it. When are WE going ;o) ?
    Would like to see Bryce and Zion ( Utah ) only thing is.. St.George. where u would have to get a room.. is full… will check on the web..other than this.. 50 miles north, uphill next town.. probably full w. tourists also.
    Even Death Valley.. in this summerheat is full of European tourists, can u imagine?

  3. Probably is wishful thinking for me anyhow….My kinds will be here until the end of August –

    I can’t imagine ANY tourists wanting to be in Death Valley this time of year – yikes!

    I’ve never been to Bryce and Zion – have always heard how beautiful they are…….

  4. yes Bryce and Zion run together, and a Must see.
    I don’t know if I dare make this trip alone.. I use to.

  5. I’d love to go – finances would be an issue for me too…. for now……. but… who knows what God has in store for next month? 🙂

  6. SRau und ich sind die einzigen die sich hier beteiligen, eigentlich schade, waere lustig, wenn auch andere sich mit beteiligen wuerden, ja? Bin froh, dass ich wieder rein kann ;o)

  7. hahaha ! I said, that you and I are the only ones who actively participate in writing.. the others are just being entertained.. something like that..

  8. ja, we are good chatters but u know what?
    We could make up some wild story, like I would start on a subject then you would add something.. then me again, and we could spin a tale.. that in the end could become a bestseller.. and be sold on Amazon for $100 a throw ;o) ok Subject :
    “Guess what happened to me today,I am on the 78 and here comes this limousine, windows rolled down.. a guys head sticking out, yelling something at me, I got scared , took the next exit.. and he followed me. Residential area w. speedlimits, and I am speeding.. cutting corners, tires squeeling.. this limo still on my tail. Now I try to use my cell.. and I remember that it’s now illegal to do so, so now what..
    just when I tried to…

Leave a Comment