Approximately 45 minutes north of Chicago there is a small city in Wisconsin named Kenosha. I walk up and down these Kenosha streets every day. People greet me and I greet them back. They look at me and probably only see a common teenage boy walking down the street- nothing too special. If only they knew about the trip that led me to this city and this day allows me to walk these particular streets.
Prior to moving to Wisconsin, I lived with my family in Phoenix, Arizona. One day I arrived home from school and my mother told me very casually, “we’re going to Wisconsin.” My siblings and I packed our bags and in company of an esteemed family friend we cheerfully headed up to the “Second City” in my mother’s old, smelly car. The trip was underway and with a long road ahead of us, we had high hopes and towering enthusiasm. Little did we know that a trip that was only supposed to take two to three days would end up taking an entire week.
We drove on and on for countless hours in the hot, dry weather stopping only in gas stations to refuel and discharge- if you know what I mean. The first significant stop was in the San Juan River in southeastern Utah. Our companion informed us that apart from Utah the river extends to Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. We were mesmerized by this fact and appreciated the beautiful lake and the texture of the orange, sedimentary rocks that neighbor the river. We took pictures and continued on our way.
The next day we arrived to Colorado. We drove halfway across the state and were captivated with the sight of the beautiful, snow covered Rocky Mountains. Our companion told us that the mountains were covered in snow all year long and at that moment I knew it was one the most precious things I had ever seen. I could not peel my eyes off the mountains but we had to move on. Next in my memories, there is a beautiful park. We stopped in this park by chance but looking back now, this location was probably my favorite stop during the entire trip. The weather that day was perfect and the trees were alluring but by far what I remember the most is the duck-filled pond. With time I have done my research and I have reason to believe that the name of the park is “Washington Park” in Denver.
At this point we were already two days behind schedule and to make matters worse our old car was giving us various issues and we were being forced to stop very frequently. We drove all across Nebraska and Iowa which, no offense to either state, was probably the most boring part of the trip. Finally we arrived to Illinois after six days and that is where our beloved car decided that it could take no more and died on us. We were out of transportation in the middle of Illinois, only a couple of hours away from our destination.
I look back and laugh now but at the time it was an incredibly stressful situation. In the end we ended up calling a good family friend that lived in Illinois and she very willingly agreed to pick us up, saving the day.
It was a trip filled with ups and downs but I would not trade it for anything in the world and if I learnt one thing, it is this: 600 words cannot even begin to describe the significance of that trip.
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