Sunday, September 15, 2013

the Trip

 The post "Bellingham to Centralia" told the tale of the first leg of the Trip, and now the rest of the Trip will be told in one post. Bear with us.

When Travis and I left Centralia, we headed to Coulee Dam, WA where my Grammie lives. As usual, we took the route over White Pass, so that we could say goodbye to Mount Rainier for a while.

We got to spend my 22nd birthday in Coulee swimming, playing frisbee, and eating delicious food. From there we went to Spokane to spend a couple of days with my parents, and we also got to see some other great Spokane folks that we already miss a lot. 
Isn't she a bit of terrific?

It was exciting and sad to leave Washington from there, but we got to Idaho and Montana pretty soon, so we were quickly on our way.

Our plan was to drive all the way to Yellowstone in that first long day, but after dinner in Bozeman, MT, rain and nighttime persuaded to stop early at a different campground. We did make it to Yellowstone the next day and spent the whole day driving around the park in awe. It is beautiful and so diverse there. I wish we could have had more time this trip, but we put the park on our list of places that we want to devote more time to someday.

Yankee Jim Canyon

Mammoth Falls

Warming up
Full steam!
Lots and lots of bison
After Yellowstone we went to Rapid City, where we met up with my mom's cousin Denny and his friend Jackie. On our way to Rapid City, we stopped and saw Mount Rushmore, which was breathtaking! The light was starting to fade but we caught it just in time to still be awed.

The next morning, we went through the Badlands before getting to the slightly less interesting parts of South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois.

What a shock!

This day was one of our longest days, during which we pushed through South Dakota (stopping to see the wonderful Luke Myre on the way), and Iowa, all the way the edge of Illinois. For this reason, we missed the Illinois state line sign because we arrived there around 3am.

We drove so much that day because we wanted to have a shorter day to Bloomington, IN, where my brother David lives. It was definitely worth the day and night of driving, because we got to spend more time with David and his girlfriend Laura!

Please excuse the bug splatters
If you ever have the chance to visit Bloomington, I must recommend the Irish Lion Restaurant & Pub and the WonderLab Museum! Done in quick succession in this order does make the museum even more fun, although I'm positive that it would be a great time even without some Irish beer before.

From Bloomington we drove through Ohio and Pennsylvania to get to Niagara Falls, NY. We arrived at Niagara Falls when it was dark, which meant there were lights on the falls and lots of other fascinated people out to see this beautiful place. When we returned to the falls the next morning, the mist from the falls was so abundant that we could not even see the falls! There were no other people on the lower viewing deck, which we thought was strange until we ventured down there and got completely soaked by all the falling condensed mist. For this reason we do not have any pictures of the actual falls, but hopefully that encourages all of you to go get drenched by this wonder of nature yourselves.

Intimidating all the truckers by parking near them

Just in case we wanted a closer look at the mist

From Niagara Falls, we drove to Somerville, MA, where our friends Claude and Kelsey recently moved to with their son Julian. We had a great time touring downtown Somerville, playing with Julian, talking with Claude and Kelsey, and resting before our last little trip to Hanover.

The last two hours of driving were exciting and a bit anxious as we tried to imagine what life would be like in our new home, so far away from our previous homes. So far Hanover, New Hampshire, and Vermont have all offered beauty and kind people, and we feel blessed to have been put into such a wonderful place. But we'll see if our tune changes once the snow comes...

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