July 15, 2020
Wide Open Wednesday
Starting Location: Riverton, Wyoming (Depart 06:30AM, Mountain Daylight Time)
Ending Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Arrive 09:30PM, Central Daylight Time)
Driving Time: 11 hours
Driving Miles: 710 miles (woof)
Today was a day of driving, bales of hay, stops in tiny towns, and super touristy attractions. Thankfully, Abby was up for driving through most of the day as I was pretty zonked after driving yesterday.
Our evening in our extremely disappointing Air BnB last night didn’t lead to as restless as a night as I anticipated. Abby and I resolved to each put the fresh sheets from the closet on the couch because we didn’t entirely trust the beds… considering the sheets weren’t really tucked in. We also didn’t shower there (don’t judge us) because (1) I found a smushed bug on the bathroom vanity, which neither of us killed. (2) There were hair strands on the towels, again that were not ours. (3) We were generally skeeved [<wait, is that not a word??] out by the place given the evidence that cleaning did NOT occur, such as random crumbs on the kitchen counter [surprise – not ours] and Axe smell that seemed to be covering up a discrete smell of cat litter or something worse. Who knows. I don’t want to know. Ugh. We are really grateful to have only been there to sleep. I am NOT picky about places to sleep and don’t often feel uncomfortable. Given the fact we are STILL in a global pandemic, I admit I am more sensitive… yet, this was definitely a breach of typical cleaning protocol – pandemic or not.
We woke up early and booked it out of the little apartment, contemplating how to artfully leave an appropriate review of the place. Still thinking on that.
Today, we had a LOT of driving. We basically drove the entire state of South Dakota and half of Wyoming (<not in that order lol). However, our biggest win of the day is OUR AIR BNB HAS A HOT TUB. #worthit
With more than double the amount of miles driven today, I am honestly impressed we carried through with so much energy. Having Abby as a travel companion is freakin awesome. We definitely tend to be on the same page with needs AND are good at taking turns making executive decisions. (Like when Abby makes the executive decision that I need food lol).
Yay for checking off more bucket list items, car naps, and 80 mph speed limits.More
July 14, 2020
Yellowstone + Teton Tuesday
Starting Location: Bozeman, Montana (Depart 08:30AM)
Ending Location: Riverton, Wyoming (Arrive 09:30PM)
Driving Time: It was 2 hours from our Air BnB to Grand Prismatic springs, then 2 hours to Grand Teton National Park, ~1 hour around the scenic drive, then 2.5 hours to our home for the night. We did a LOT of stopping today, so not AS much time driving today, as shown below by miles driven.
Driving Miles: 350 miles!
Today, we visited the first National Park and soaked in SO MANY beautiful views. Everywhere we drove from Montana to Wyoming, we were again struck with awe!
This post will have less words and not my BEST pictures because I haven’t gotten mine off the GoPro or camera yet…… AND it’s 10:30PM and we are just “settling in” for the night haha.
And so begins our North American safari…More
July 13, 2020
Starting Location: Whitefish, Montana (Depart 05:30AM, MST)
Ending Location: Bozeman, Montana (Arrive 07:00PM, MST)
Driving Time: Harder to count this today because there were SO MANY sights and stops! +/- 2 hours to the top of “Going-to-the-Sun Road,” 2.5 hours out of the park, then 5.5 hours to our next destination.
Driving Miles: 450! We’ve now hit 1,000 miles!
It’s going to be hard to beat today. The amount of times we were overwhelmed by the combination of mountains and water throughout the day had our minds constantly blown. Abby yelled “WATER” every time we saw water, which I didn’t mind one bit. We didn’t have enough eyeballs to take it all in. I kind of wish I had chameleon eyes so I could’ve been looking all directions, but then I guess I wouldn’t have been the safest driver. Also, the colors today were amazing. So many greens, blues in the water, and multi-colored rocks! PLUS, wildflowers everywhere – Indian paintbrush and glacier lilies were my favorite.
Today was a day of constant awe. It was awesome sauce.
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
Our FIRST national park on the trip! Woot woot! This is both of our first times visiting this national park (AND Montana)… basically, it’s our “first time” visiting pretty much all these places until we get more East.
Like I said in yesterday’s post, this was my GOAL of the road trip. Though I FULLY understand this is a mere taste of this park and I will definitely have to return, I was stoked to add this to the itinerary. Glacier National Park opened on June 8th, but the whole East side of the park is closed for the remainder of the tourist season as decided by the Blackfeet Tribe because of COVID-19. This means ONLY the West Glacier entrance (and, therefore, exit) is open right now.
However… as of TODAY, JULY 13TH… the Going-to-the-Sun road opened ALL THE WAY TO RISING SUN! Prior to today, the road was only opened to Avalanche. See more for reference and today’s journey…More
July 12, 2020
Starting Location: Edmonds, Washington (Depart 05:30AM, Pacific Standard Time)
Ending Location: Whitefish, Montana (Arrive 05:30PM, Mountain Standard Time)
Driving Time: 10 hours
Driving Miles: 550
Here we go… we are on our way! We’re off to great places across the country… the trip started TODAY!
I can’t believe it… I had my last day of work on Friday, July 10… and now I am sitting in Montana reflecting on our first day on the road! Amidst a global pandemic, I am moving across the country… and what a wild ride this is going to be!
About 6 weeks ago, I didn’t know if I’d be driving or flying across the country to the east coast. Because of COVID-19, some of my possible travel companions for the road trip had hiccups to their ability to join me (understandably) and I started thinking shipping my car and flying was the fastest and easiest option. Yet, the idea of sitting on a plane wasn’t really my favorite. AND I had never done the cross country drive (I always flew to Washington on my move), so I was itching to do the whole thing!
When I started sharing my news with friends in Washington, I expressed my desire to make the drive, but it wasn’t until I chatted with Abby that this became remotely possible! Because of the pandemic, many people have had to cancel travel plans. Abby was included in this, so when I told her I was going to fly across the country (but really wanted to drive), she suggested that she had time off to use….. and didn’t mind driving….. and would be a good companion for traveling (something we tested in Tanzania in 2020)….. But, I was hesitant. I kind of shrugged it off as I said, “Well, I really wanted to go to Glacier National Park and see some sights… but I don’t know if they’ll be open.” Abby suggested we look it up. Hey Siri, when does Glacier National Park Open?
According to the Glacier National Park alerts, the park was opening that following Monday… on JUNE 8TH. My jaw must have dropped through the floor. WAIT….. so this COULD happen!?
Abby spoke to our supervisor the NEXT DAY and we started planning for our cross country drive! I am SO STOKED we are able to do this together and have fun along the way.
Our greatest challenge? How many times can we listen to the Greatest Showman soundtrack / watch the movie in this trip? Stay tuned to find out. OH! And don’t forget to answer the “question of the day” at the bottom of each post!!! Read on, my friends…More