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
July 3, 2020
And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
– The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho –
When making big decisions in life, I follow my heart. Eventually, my mind follows with thoughtful evaluation, planning, and execution. Basically, lots of pros and cons lists on Excel (literally. I use this template to create a weighted pros/cons list lol). Yet, it’s not logic that solidifies when I’m ready to follow my heart. Usually, I follow the signs from God and the Universe to remind me that I am headed in the right direction. Little synchronicities begin to pop up and life seems to flow effortlessly in the direction of my heart’s desires.
EXACTLY four years ago, I stepped off an airplane in Sea-Tac airport with two suitcases in hand. I was ready to embark on my first travel Physical Therapy assignment in Olympia, Washington. I envisioned a nomadic lifestyle with plans to move every three months for different travel assignments.
What I found as I lived this reality was something profoundly beautiful. I saw possibilities unfolding right where I was. This led me to lengthen my first travel assignment, pursue a second one, and (finally) settle into a full-time job in the Evergreen State. I knew my heart needed to look no further for a home as I traded my idealized view of a nomadic life for stability.
With my heart planted in the Cascade mountains, I watered my wanderlust spirit with mountain adventures and connection. I have consistently stepped outside my comfort zone and into the unknown. Over the course of these four years, I experienced more beauty, loss, security, discomfort, connection, grief, and gratitude than ever before. Through the coexistence of pain and peace, I found my center and became grounded within myself. I relied on myself for love, compassion, and understanding. I sought the truth and meaning in challenging life experiences. I grew… and grew… and grew. Personally, professionally.
I grew in connection with myself and, thus, the world around me.
Now, exactly four years after I stepped off the plane, I am preparing for the greatest journey yet. In one week, I am packing my things (which don’t fit in two suitcases anymore, haha!) once more.
It’s time to bring my heart home.More