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  • DJTommyP

Windshield Wing It

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

Road trip! Ride shotgun and "Windshield Wing It" from La Quinta, CA to Woodbury, MN. Join me and listen to some road reflections "In Awe, Part 1". The first photo is God providing an amazing rainbow amidst the mountains in LIttlefield, UT. Scroll down to see some select photos and deep thoughts of the trip...yet warning, this is not a turbo read. Treat it like an excellent cup of coffee. Okay, maybe it's not that good yet if you have ADD like me, then scroll reflect and come back to each part for another taste to savor...if worthy...

Starting point: home, La Quinta, CA

Desert cut. Leaving the Coachella Valley and heading to the High Desert via I-10W to 62 East. This road brings you to the west entrances of Joshua Tree National Park up to 29 Palms, CA. Then the road out of 29 Palms brings you to the road to Amboy, CA. A 90 mile stretch across parts of the Mojave Desert. It's like something straight out of a movie. Beauty combined with vulnerability as Joshua trees combine with thought of "Are there bodies buried out here?!". On this desert cut, you'll catch a part of the Historic Route 66. It's amazing how remote it is until 30 miles from Las Vegas. La Quinta to Las Vegas is about a 4 hour drive.

Las Vegas, NV. Not quite as exciting during the day. 4 hours not enough driving. Need to press on and I'm not a big Vegas guy anyway. Utah is much more exciting to me.

The opening photo and one of my favorites. A little rainbow in Littlefield, UT. As stated in Part 2 of Windshield Wing It, Utah is "Tocado por los dedos de Dios" or in English, "Touched by the fingers of God." Utah is a beautiful state with a lot of range on the way to Colorado. Moab, Bryce Canyon, Zions and many parks most of you have never heard of make this state quite an adventure.

Have you ever seen a more beautiful Denny's? Never thought I would ask that question. For those on a budget, I slept in my car outside a Maverick station. Put down the back seat and with a comfy air mattress and sleeping bag I could fully lay down and get my Z's. Got up bright and early and refreshed and this was my first view. Praise God!

Sun rising on the horizon of Orangeville, UT. A windshield that desperately needs some cleaning after too many bugs met their fate. Yet peer through that haze and you see quite the topography.

Oh yeah! Green River, UT and another breathtaking view as the Colorado border is approaching...eventually.

Welcome to Colorado! One of my favorite parts of a road trip is passing certain benchmarks...aka state lines. After every state line, I high five my roof and say thank you God for getting me this far. What's next?

Palisade, CO, and the lands of Mesas (aka Table Tops). Working my way into the Rockies and another epic stretch of I-70.

The Eagle River which feeds into the Colorado River which is a crucial source of water for much of the Southwest United States. And why I give God thanks for snow and rain. 2023 was a banner year for much of California, Utah and Colorado for snow. The wise prayed and gave thanks for that snow and rain and the rest of the population benefits. Yet make no mistake. God will use droughts in your life to get your attention so we shall see what the future has in store.

Vail, CO and approaching Vail Pass at 10,000+ft via I-70 freeway is stunning...well at least to me.

A rogue cone amidst the beauty of Vail Pass, CO. In an odd way kind of represents life. Do you focus on the rogue or the beauty of life?

Red Rocks baby! Just outside Denver and about to see my dear Cousin Wado and his family Daniele, Nixon and Harvey. Seeing a concert here is still on my and my wife Lori's 'To Do' list.

Healthy eating is something I truly do strive to do. Yet part of the fun of healthy eating is going for indulgence from time to time. Yes I love a good roller! Shout out to FriDude Alum and SaturDude 'Pause and Pray Marcus'. We both love a good road trip and windshield reflection time. From time to time we'll text each other a picture of the roller and guess which ones we ate. Hey, sometime you need to get a little insane to keep sane.

Wado Time! Denver, CO. A walk with Cousins Wado, his sons Nixon (near), Harvey (far) and dogs Bob (center) and Steve (left). Payoff time kicks in as Wade encourages me to slow down and invest more time with him. Extra thanks to Wade and his wife Daniele for their hospitality. The seeds planted here lead to Part 3, Cousin Wado, Skeptics and Deep Thoughts.

"You never fail until you stop trying." A variety of ways you can take this quote. Side note, it was simply the mural that caught my eye. God wired certain people to sing and others to paint. Wow! Whether they realize it or not, they were gifted by God, Jer 29:11. This one goes out to those thinking about giving up on life. Don't stop trying. Never cease praying. Give thanks for what is worthy. 1 Thes 5: 17-18. Brighter days are ahead. Think back to that picture of the rogue cone. Set your mind on what is good. Lift the negatives. If you do that enough, you will experience God's peace which goes beyond all understanding (Phil 4: 6-8). Skeptics I understand that you wrestle with parts of the Bible. Heck, I wrestle with parts of the Bible. Question, do we need more Hope or hopelessness in this world? Do we need more Love or more hate? the Bible says that 'Love' is greatest of all. That we are all flawed (Rom 3:23). That we are not to hate. That we are to love those different from us and even do kind things for our enemies including praying for them (Matt 5: 43-45). "Christians" when you don't reflect above, that is exactly the hypocrisy that my dear Cousin Wado, my dear brothers-in-law (Jonathan and Chad) call out. And I can't blame them. So let us focus on that 'Love' part better. For if you believe in Jesus that is exactly what He told us to do (Matt 22: 36-40). Everything else you are trying to do correctly hangs on those two commandments (Love God and Love Others). Especially when you are trying to win arguments.

Another mega bonus of slowing down and investing more time. Never would have witnessed this song by Wado, Nixon, Harvey and Bob. It brings a smile to my face every time. And ended with an awesome Deep Conversation later with my dear cousin.

Leaving Denver and entering Eastern Colorado, it prepares you fast for the flatness to dominate the horizon. Yet flat land with rain and fertile soil makes for excellent farming. You definitely see that as you move into Nebraska to Iowa. Also with the farming seems to naturally produce more affirmations of Faith such as this cross on along the I-80 Interstate in the middle of NE. As stated in Windshield Wing It 4, faith and family seems to get stronger in the heartland of America. From Nebraska to Iowa and up to southern Minnesota the crosses and churches definitely outnumber billboards for attorneys.

Minnesota! Where the women are strong, the men are good looking and the children are above average. Where clouds are needed to provide the rains for the fertile fields. And the color green dominates the landscape for the summer months. The Land of loons and 10,000 lakes...actually true locals will correct that to 15,000+ lakes yet they put 10,000 on the license plates to not brag so much.

The Pavilion #2 at Sandpoint Beach, Prior Lake, MN. An epic community and great place to raise kids. Certain FriDudes will gather here to study the Word, get real, pursue Truth and pray. A few of the earlier episodes were recorded here while the birds chirped in the background.

Father, son bonding time! Brockey Boy shows me an epic sandwich shop "Ham's" in Minnetonka. Seriously, one of the best sandwiches that I've ever eaten. Ranks up there with TKB back in Indio, CA.

Family time! Pre-game for Jon's 80th! He is the Dude Dad and that be him on the 'Fathers and Flaws' Episode. That is the Dude! And beloved family (Sister Julee, nephew Evan, bro-in-law Sly, niece Morgan, Mama Mia, niece Sweet Lexi Lu, Brother Jeff). Fun part of that video, you willl notice a very drunk woman in the middle of the shot. Too much wine and a post-Karen moment. Had to capture it. Don't be a Karen and drink too much wine. Side note, I'm not sure why, Minnesota does Italian food (such as pizza) better than California. Although Scandinavian descent still dominates MN for now, they do have a large Italian American population. The Minnesotans benefit. Case in point, check out Donatelli's in Mahtomedi, MN.

Sister Julee did a great job decorating. Yes, that is her normal energy level. Special thanks to Aunt Heidi and Uncle Chuck and cousins (Kammi, Brandon, Nicker Bocker, Chad and Estes) for cleaning up the shed in beloved Withrow, MN.

Surprise! The Dude (Jon) with our dear Mama Mia (Claudia). Going to be 57 years of marriage this November if my math is correct. 57 years?! And they still love each other. As I tell my atheist/skeptic friends, "Easy to debate God. Hard to argue His results." We had a room of 50+ year marriages. All tuning into Jesus' teachings highlighted in Matthew 7: 24-27. Side note, doesn't make them perfect. Simply guides them on how to navigate imperfection better than most. Noodle on that.

Honoring The Dude. 80 years of impact. Nice to see so many family and friends gather for a celebration. Deeper take, The Dude has made his impact, yet each one of those people attending have impacted our hearts in some way. God puts special people in your life to impact the heart in a positive way. It's part of the trade off of living on this broken planet. Life is a myriad of tastes of heaven and tastes of hell...and then you get to choose what you want more.

Are you blessed with great cousins? I am. This is the Dude Side Cousins and Siblings (Brother Jeff, Sister Julee, TommyP (Pedro, Paco, Tom, Tomas), Dre, Nicolle, RickyT, John, Lauren). I wish I would have been smart enough to get a picture of the Mama side cousins. Although they at least get a mention above and Wado gets featured!

Dad Dude Jon with his sister, our beloved Aunt Susie, his brother, our beloved Uncle Randy

This Road Trip complete! Giving God thanks for safe travels and priceless memories. Where do you need to travel? Where do you want to travel? Pray on it. Plan it. Do it and then get ready to give thanks.


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