Sunday, May 27, 2012

To Stop or Not To Stop That is the Question

To stop or not to stop that is the question.

When you know you have to cover 500 or 600 miles in a day,
you become a slave to the clock. We constantly are watching the GPS forour
estimated arrival time and gauge every stop to pee, eat or play by whether we
have enough time. Thankfully on the way to Canada time is our friend. As we
move further and further west we gain hours by the time change. Today is one of
those magical days where we have extra time. Already in the schedule we have
planned to stop at Seven Falls in Colorado Springs and in Denver for dinner
with friends.

On route between Texas and New Mexico we saw an Ornate Box
Turtle crossing the road while we were cruising along at 75MPH. Paul exclaimed,
“did you see that box turtle!” as he started to slow down. I could tell he was
considering turning around. But that would be against our main road trip rule:
NEVER BACKTRACK. So after much humming and hawing we continued on. This time
everyone was on red alert. Before too long we came across another. And perhaps
I should have started this blog with a note on how much we love turtles. We
have our little Shelly a red-eared slider at home that we found as a hatchling
by our lake. We have always wanted a box-turtle and have been looking for
several years to find one.

And so Paul slammed on the breaks and backed up (not
actually backtracking since we didn’t turn around). When we got to the turtle,
several cars were coming so he couldn’t get out to pick up the little guy. We
sat through 2 cars and a semi-truck straddle him as he skittered around the
highway in their tailwind. And the whole car breathed a collective sigh when he
survived unscathed. Having backed up to “save” him from oncoming cars only to
watch him get squashed would have been too much to bear.

He is not shy and quite friendly. We all wish we could just
take him with us, but he wouldn’t make the border crossing to Canada. I am sure
it would be quite illegal to try to smuggle a wild turtle across an
international border! Anyway, we couldn’t just part ways quickly, so it came
with us in the car between rest stops. He road with us in style in the clear
plastic bottom of a lunchable sandwich box. The girls have decided to call him
Mr. T and when we let him go at the rest stop they fed him some carrots.

Playing with the turtle is one of those stops that will be a
take-with-you-forever memory.

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