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…
Both Abby and I have never been to Spokane in Washington, nor have we been to Idaho or Montana – so this was a big day for the both of us!
In typically PNW fashion, we left the rainy, gloomy, gray skies of Seattle as we drove across I-90. We were met with ominous clouds through the pass until we got to Cle Elum area where the skies cleared and the landscape became more open.
This was my first time crossing the border to Idaho! I kind of wanted to get Idaho potato ice cream, but decided not to when I found out it was just ice cream made to look like a potato and NOT potato flavored. Although the latter didn’t really make me excited either, haha! Reference:
We got our first coffee at 7:30AM in Ellensburg (yes, we made it from Edmonds to Ellensburg without coffee… Good music and company for the WIN).
Driving through Eastern Washington and Idaho looked a lot like this:
The combination of clouds and open plains seriously reminded me of my friend Ben’s (@bejamin) capture of Idaho’s landscape:
View this post on Instagram
Floating about Idaho. A friend recently requested a cloud image for a project she was working on. They’re fun to make, and I was happy to have the excuse. Funny how it captures my summer too, a back to school paragraph, the gist of it, or at least the shadow is, sliding up and down sage hills, racing after distant floating things. Sometimes we’re just cats chasing laser beams, and that’s alright by me.
Once we crossed into Montana, we were met with THESE EPIC LANDSCAPES. It was almost like nature turned on a light switch of trees and mountains and rivers and rocks.
We realized we were making REALLY good time and decided to add a little adventure onto our day. Because Abby loves kayaking and I love the water, we decided to rent kayaks on Flathead Lake!! We didn’t entirely realize we skipped a time zone and made reservations for 2pm when we weren’t going to arrive until 3pm… but quickly fixed that situation.
Today was a musical day! We started with listening to The Greatest Showman two times, then moved onto Maroon 5, then Justin Timberlake, then country music while in Montana.
ALSO my favorite book in the whole wide world sparked awesome conversations:
We will be adding to this playlist over time:
Breakfast will be pretty simple this trip. I had a protein bar and Abby had her PB & Banana wrap. For lunch, we made peanut butter & jelly at a scenic overlook in Montana, accompanied by Goldfish and applesauce. Yes, I realize this sounds like I am in second grade. No, I am not embarrassed.
For dinner, we got eggplant parm + salads from Ciao Mambo in Whitefish – really close to our home for the night! This was a SOLID recommendation from our host.
Abby’s friend’s house in Whitefish, Montana! He offered for us to pitch a tent in his backyard, but we opted for the beds. Solid choice. In general, our initial plans were to camp along the route, but we decided to aim for more comfort and restful sleeps. Having a fridge at every location will be helpful AND we found some wicked (<starting the Bostonian talk already?) deals in solid locations. I also feel this will help with efficiency! We won’t have to set up and then break down every day. Score, score, score.
The home in Whitefish is UNREAL. It’s surrounded by greenery and THIS is the view from the porch. *wipes drool off chin*
Overall, SUPER solid first day. It didn’t even feel like we drove that much AND we got to go KAYAKING!
Looking forward to what other surprises we encounter along the way. For right now, it’s BED TIME!
Side Note: The cover photo is NOT one I took. It is a stock photo I downloaded because I like it and I think it kind of looks like me anyways. And there’s mountains and a car in it. Felt cute, might replace later.
What is your favorite road trip song or playlist?
KRISTEN: “From Now On” from The Greatest Showman gets me hyped. Every time. Even when I listen to it 5 times in a row.
ABBY: “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by John Denver.