No Name, Zion and Santa Monica

Jennifer writes:

After 5 days of driving, we’re now here in my sister Alice’s apartment in Santa Monica. Our journey was not without car drama, of course. Second day on our road trip the little Aveo started having trouble climbing uphill in the mountains of Colorado. We had to pull into a small mountain town in the middle of nowhere, and Mark had to stand in the cold rain checking the car. Not a high point of the trip.

Because it was Memorial Day, nothing was open. We had to stay one night in this charming ski town, Frisco, so we could take the car to the mechanic the next day. By God’s grace, it was not the worst place on earth to get stuck with car trouble. We stayed in a charming, European style B&B. The next morning when the mechanic was checking on the car we sat by a beautiful marsh, visiting with a black cat and many beautiful birds, enjoying God’s amazing creation around us. The town was surrounded by magnificent snow capped mountains. I actually had a good time on our little detour.

Here are some other highlights on our trip. You may be wondering what in the world No Name is.

It’s a town in Colorado where we camped at halfway through our trip. So who was being funny when they came up with the name of the town? Anyway, our campsite was surrounded by mountains and right by the Colorado River. Mark and I walked about 2 miles trying to gather some wood for making a fire. It was pretty humorous when we walked across the interstate on an overpass carrying tree branches. Sleeping on rocks was not so funny though.

The next state we visited was Utah. The landscape was significantly different than that of Colorado. What welcomed us into Utah was hundreds of miles of barrenness. There was actually a sign that says no services for the next 116 miles! I’m very glad that the car behaved well on this leg of the trip! That night we camped at Zion National Park.

As soon as we entered Zion we were struck by the incredibly wonderful and magnificent mountains (see our Flickr pictures). The Creator is indeed amazing. The next morning we took the park shuttle visiting different scenic points, doing a little bit of hiking, and just enjoying God’s wonderful creation.

The driving that followed the amazement at Zion was not so impressive. Here’s a tip for you: driving through Utah, Arizona and Nevada in a black car without air conditioning is not the most pleasant thing to do. But we made it to Santa Monica last night. It was very good to finally see my sister’s little bump! Today we went to Google to have lunch with Lukas, my brother-in-law. I think he has the sweetest job on earth. They have a game room, a hammock on the deck, cool office decoration, great food at the cafeteria, and endless snacks.

Thanks for checking in, friends! Please enjoy some of the pictures we took on our road trip.


Where is home?

Jennifer writes:

While driving through What Cheer, Iowa (not kidding you, it’s a real town) today, I was struck by the feeling that we don’t have a home now.  Where is home?  Not here.  We have no abiding city here.  We are waiting for the one to come that will be much, MUCH better and more satisfying.  We are just sojourners here.  God is very gracious to remind us of that.  We are looking for a better country, a heavenly one (Heb. 11:15-16).  I think that we will continue to struggle with it, considering what our future might be like.  But God is always faithful and gracious.  Through our struggles we will learn to better trust him and his promises. 

First stop: Iowa!

Mark writes:

We’re here live-blogging from the middle of a cornfield in Iowa 🙂 We were happy to make this our first stop because my family lives here. Jennifer’s parents visited the last 2 days and really enjoyed getting a taste of country living. They visited some Dutch stores and drove our tractor and took a look at our neighbor’s farm animals.

This week will be a good break for us after a busy few months of seminary, international student work, packing, planning a trip, and Jennifer’s graduation. We’ll visit my extended family here, go mushroom hunting, maybe do a bit of camping, and speak to a youth group. Actually tonight we’ll be heading up to Williamsburg, Iowa to spend the evening with a community youth group. I’ll share for a few minutes with the high schoolers about how great God is and what He is doing in our lives. I want to give Him the glory any time I get a chance to speak publicly.

This was my first ever attempt at blogging! I think I’ll get the hang of it. Enjoy!

Katelyn, Olivia and Johanna








Jennifer at her SBTS graduation with Mark’s nieces: Katelyn, Olivia and Johanna









Mark’s parents’ pond at their farm in Iowa

It’s almost time

Today as I sit in front of the computer putting music on my iPod for our trip, it dawns on me how quickly the time for us to leave Louisville is coming!  In one week I will have graduated, packed up, and moved away from this charming little city I have called home for the past four years.  I have been amazed at how much I have grown to like Louisville.  It is even more amazing how many wonderful friendships I have been blessed with.  I am going to miss you all very much!

Before we embark on our Asia trip, we will first do some domestic travel.  Next week we will drive to Iowa to visit Mark’s family.  The week after we will drive to LA to visit my sister, Alice, and her husband, Lukas, and some other friends.  We will be camping on our way to LA.  It’s going to be so much fun taking a road trip like that with Mark in our little black Aveo with no air conditioning!  We then will be spending a couple of weeks in Vancouver with my family.  It’s looking like a great month ahead of us! 

The Traveling Stams welcome you to our travel blog.