Tim and I arrived back on the Mesa at 10 pm Sunday night.  It was chilly and we were tired.  There was no better greeting than to drive into camp and immediately be handed two hot steaming bowls of homemade clam chowder by Dan.  Tim and I had thought we wouldn’t need to eat again ever after our weekend food fest, but on a cold night, soup a la Staebler hit the spot.

We spent the next day enjoying amazing weather, working, eating fabulous Dan Burgers and relaxing with BJ, Lisa and the Staeblers.

Grillmaster Joe
Grillmaster Joe

Tuesday we hit the road again for the longest leg yet.  We were driving South to Prescott for my Dad’s birthday on the 26th.  We packed up Frank after the work day, said goodbye to everyone and drove off the Mesa towards Flagstaff.  5 hours later, we’d setup camp near the Sunset Crater National Monument.  By noon the next day, we were comfy working in the Prescott Starbucks.

That night we celebrated Dad’s 72nd with Lisa, Dad, cousins Amy and Russ and their entertaining and very  precocious daughters Holly and Annie.  It was the start of an awesome weekend of family get-togethers.  We relaxed in Dad and Lisa’s welcoming home, dined on Dad’s delicious grilling, and laughed at great stories.  My brother Brett joined us with Peggy and kids, Joe, Cypress, Brittany and Timmy on Friday and the weekend was full of people, sunshine, biking and the occasional jello shot.

Patriot
Wearing the Colors

Colonel Duncan Wilmore
Dad

Lulu?
Lisa and Timmy Listen to Senator McCain

Mothers of the Deceased
Wreaths from the Mothers of the Deceased

Prescott is one of Tim and my favorite towns.  It’s big enough to be interesting, small enough to be friendly and very patriotic.  On Sunday we joined the festivities.  The entire family drove out to the VA hospital to attend the Memorial Day celebration.  John McCain spoke to the crowd, commendating the Prescott WWII veteran who was being honored that day and reminding us to never take for granted the liberty we enjoy thanks to the sacrifices of so many.  It was a powerful speech.

Duncan and John McCain
Dad talks to Senator McCain

Joe and John McCain
Joe and the Senator

Brett and John McCain
Brett introduces himself

After the ceremony, we had an opportunity to shake his hand.  When Dad mentioned the Wild Weasels of Vietnam as he introduced himself, the Senator’s eyes lit up.  He pumped Dad’s hand while sincerely thanking him for his service.  It was tangible moment of connection and was an honor for us to watch.

Thank You Veterans
Thank You Veterans

It was very reluctantly that we said goodbye Monday to make the long drive back home.  We’re leaving perfect 85 degree weather to drive to raining 50 degree Jackson.  We may even get a taste of snow.  I guess there is no place like home.