We are back from fun in the California sun. We started off with 8 kids and they are all still alive and accounted for, so I guess that means it was a success!
We left on Friday around 3 and were in St. George around 7:30 where we stopped for food and to let the kids run around a playplace for 30 minutes. Then back on the road on our way to Las Vegas for the night. At 9:47 as we approached Moapa Indiana Reservation, around Nevada mile marker 100, we came to a full and complete stop. We were there for over an hour. We and all the other cars around us turned off our head lights and got out of our cars to see if we could see what was ahead. When we could tell we weren't going anywhere anytime soon, we let the kids out of the car for a breather. We kept them close as they threw gravel into the bushes of the desert median. I didn't feel mad that we were stopped but was aware of the feeling that for someone who had been on the road up in front of us, their life was now permanently changed.
We could see the flashing of police lights, but in the night and on the straight road, I couldn't tell how close or far it was. I did soak up the chance I had to look up at the desert sky, I even saw a shooting star. We said hello to some of the neighboring car's drivers, the kids played with a laser pointer and we all had some yogurt. After an hour and 20 minutes all the cars suddenly came alive and headed forward. We hopped back in the car and followed suit. After 40 minutes of slow stop and go, we passed the scene of a terrible rollover accident. I remember seeing a pink fleece blanket in a heap on the street. I couldn't help thinking that there might have been a family just like us on their way, heading off on a fun trip, when suddenly the vacation wasn't what was on their mind and instead it was their kids or spouse, wondering if they'd be okay.
When we were first stopped we called ahead to Corey's parents to tell them there had been an accident. Wayne watched the news and told us what the news anchors reported. We found out more about it by searching the news during the week, they were from Utah from Spanish Fork. There were 7 people in the car, and one of them died, a 16 year old girl. So sad, all we could do was pray for them. So we were the fortunate ones that just got to drive by it and helplessly look, letting the officers do their work. 2 hours later and life continued the same as before for us.
I felt sad yet also thankful. We didn't get into Vegas until 1 a.m., but I'm sure they would love to trade us places, how fortunate we are to be exhausted waking up in a hotel rather than in a hospital room. So that was the first day of our trip and what I learned that day as I gave each of my kids an extra kiss on the head as we put them in their beds.