Our drive into Utah was nothing spectacular. I’d powered through the vast, empty lands of Idaho before grandma took the wheel and we continued into the Promontory Mountains.
As storms moved in all around us, we kept cruising under a strangely calm but darkening sky. In the distance, grandma spotted a thick, short rainbow near the ground. “Take a picture!”
I whipped out the Canon and started snapping the best I could. The thing with photos is that they’re rarely good at 80 miles per hour. And when they’re even somewhat decent, capturing a clear, colorful rainbow through a bug-splattered windshield is nearly impossible. I tried anyway.
Attempting to avoid the windshield, I strapped my hand tightly into my camera grip and reached outside the passenger window. Click-click-click. Thpht. Within seconds, guts splattered my lens. Annoyance set in as I waited, impatiently, for the nastiness to dry so I could fleck it off. You know, instead of smearing it around like the bugs on the windshield.
Burying my head in the cabin of the truck, I examined the camera and debated a nap to take my mind off the disaster taking place on the lens. About then, grandma exclaimed another, “take a picture!”
Suddenly, we were chasing rainbows through the mountains. Roughly 4 of them, actually. My bitter pout quickly turned to astonishment as one after another revealed themselves. They danced over the highway, disappeared high into the sky and would return as we drove over each hill. At one point, two full arches spanned the road – like a giant welcome to the area.
It wasn’t lost on me that, just days before, we’d seen details of the Orlando nightclub shooting play out across social media. As friends and family flooded my newsfeed with LGBTQA support, I had to pause and fully appreciate what the universe was saying.
That night we landed in a small western-themed motel. It was nice. It was relaxed. In my own stress, I found peace — simply acknowledging that my struggles were hardly that. I snuck a photo of grandma and grandpa sitting on the edge of the bed as he exclaimed “move yer ass woman, I’m coming in!”
It was heartbreaking to consider that our trip was nearly over, but I was still so very thankful for the chance to have experienced such completely unreal moments with them.