We started our trip by driving to the very Southwest corner of Colorado and camping overnight on a Ute Indian Reservation.
Then, we drove to the Grand Canyon the next day and camped there for four days. We biked around the rim of the canyon, watched beautiful sunsets, and even went to a class where we learned about the summer constellations! It was a BLAST!
Then, we drove to Phoenix, Arizona, where we stayed on Luke Air Force Base and thankfully had a shower! It was 116 degrees outside while we were there, so we saw a movie, did some shopping, and hung out inside a lot! We did go to a 4th of July event the base was putting on, and it was fun watching fireworks together. While we were there, Dan had the amazing opportunity to fly an F-16 with some 2001 Air Force Academy graduates. He was in the air for a couple hours, and they let him have complete control for a while. Some other USAFA grads escorted me outside to take pictures before and greet him afterward! It was really cool. :)
Immediately following Dan's flight, we drove overnight to Albuquerque, New Mexico, because Dan said we had plans early that morning. We left Phoenix around 6:00pm, ate dinner in the car, and only stopped once for a gas and bathroom break. We got to Kirtland Air Force Base (where we were staying) at 2:30 in the morning, slept for less than four hours, and hopped out of bed! Dan said we had somewhere to be by 6:30, so I anxiously got dressed and THANKFULLY put on make-up and brushed my hair. Little did I know what was about to happen!
We ended up going on a private hot air balloon flight that morning. It was SPECTACULAR. The views were GORGEOUS... but not as gorgeous as the shiny ring I have on my left ring finger now -- thanks to that trip! While we were in the air, Dan asked the balloon pilot to take one last picture of us, and when he did, Dan dropped down to one knee and asked me to be his wife. I will never forget the excitement I felt in that moment!
We spend the rest of that day in Albuquerque celebrating our engagement, and we drove back to Colorado Springs the next day because Dan had to go to Combat Survival Training for the following week.
Wow, that was certainly time consuming and fun! I loved that trip more than any other so far, and I will always remember it fondly. Sorry for the picture overload! Oops! :)