Friday, July 25, 2014

Driving (us crazy)

So, the second part of this adventure is the drive. It’s a long post for a long trip-so find a rest stop, get comfortable, and prepare for a lengthy drive.

After we did our Tour of Tacoma and Sights of Seattle, we had to get into a car-my small car packed to the gills and thrills-and drive ourselves 1700 or so miles from Washington to Minnesota. A trip I have been anticipating for many months.

So, plan to start out Thursday. And poor Laura-she woke up in the night sick sick sick. Nauseated, throwing up. My gosh. Poor girl. But like the trooper that she is (would we really expect any less??) she said-Let’s do this thing (ok, maybe she didn’t say it that way but she indicated that we should do this thing). So we loaded the car and off we went.

Dave and I have driven this route 3 times, and had pretty darned good weather. But, not so much this trip. It was a bit grey and drab to start, and we had sun breaks and heavy rain throughout Washington.

But over the mountains we had some pretty views--

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Trucks and mountains at the rest stop, just east of Snoqualmie Pass.

We flew through the Gorge and worked our way towards Spokane where we planned to stop and see a couple of sights.

It was raining really really hard there when we arrived but let up as we got closer to our destination.  Laura perked up and we hit Riverside Park with a vengeance. Sort of.

Hoopfest was getting ready to start and I’m sure the thousands of people there to see and participate in it cared about it, but us? Not so much. What we cared about was finding the giant Red Flyer. That’s what we cared about. Because, really, isn’t it all about a giant wagon with a slide?

The Spokane river was running high, but very pretty

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Dark Skies, Raging River.

We found the goat that eats paper. Laura pressed the button but we didn’t know how it worked-nor did we have any paper. Very unprepared.


But then-well, the picture says it all-

The Holy Grail of Radio Flyers--


Right? That is what I am talking about. Complete with a slide. And you know what that means--

Next best picture of Laura-EVER!!


She braved wet pants and feeling sick to say she went down the giant wagon slide. (The slide was wet, she didn’t wet her pants-people, she wasn’t THAT sick). I do love this picture.

After this break, we got a little lunch, and off we went to the next stop, which was Bozeman, MT

Eastern Wa-



The view from the Bozeman LaQuinta Inn. Which is a great hotel AND takes pets. Just saying. (We stayed there last March with two dogs and two cats. Laura and I saw two cats sitting in a hotel window. They looked annoyed)

Next day Laura was recovering nicely-still a little peaked, but better. Thinking she might live. So off we went for day two-destination Chamberlain SD. It’s a long day. (Long kind of a theme here)

Some Montana Hiway—still grey.


Grey Montana skies (Not the Emmy Lou Harris duet Wild Montana Skies but close)


We drove through some serious storms, black skies, lightening, heavy blinding rain. And construction, lots and lots of construction.

However-the skies cleared just in time for our trip to the Devil’s Tower. Which, by the way, the Garmin could not find on its satellites. We had to go by the phone maps. The Devil’s Tower had some serious anti satillite map mojo/cell phone reception interruption going on.

I have about a zillion pictures of the Tower-it doesn’t seem to mess with camera function. I’ll try to weed out as we don’t want this to turn into your typical vacation-yawn-slideshow.

Slow approach to Devil’s tower.


Harder to see when you get right up close-the mystery of the tower


"If everything's ready here on the Dark Side of the Moon... play the five tones."


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The views away from the Tower were pretty awesome too

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The hills were very red inside.


Me pretending there isn’t a large behemoth rock formation looming in the background. 


And no pictures of Laura. She’s evasive, or communing with the aliens while I wasn’t looking.

Oh, and what is the origin of said formation-glad you asked-


You gotta click to make that big enough to read. But it’s got what you need to know. Right there.

We left the Tower and found out way back to the highway. And though Dave and I have driven this a zillion times (ok, 3) we had never stopped at the Tower. It was so worth the trip.

We barreled through some seriously nasty weather and found ourselves here-


Freakin’ Wall Drug. This is the kind of picture I get of Laura. No scenery here, but a jackalope. The hell. I wasn’t completely sold on Wall Drug. But also never having been here before it was a must see.

I saw it.

I am not really sure why I have as many pictures of Wall Drug on here as the Devil’s Tower. Mainly because Laura was cracking me up with the posing on the various statuary.

Me on said Jackalope-I cut in front of small children for this.


Obviously Laura was nearly herself again by Wall Drug time-

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Words cannot describe-


Hey Pappy-you lookin’ at me?


We had to get out of there before being eaten by this-


We hit Chamberlain in style, rested, and the next day we headed for glorious Minnesota-

With a stop here-(I really did want to see this)


Dudes, it’s the corn palace. Which I kinda liked more than Wall Drug. Only because I found the blatant tourism less offensive. And less made in China.

Oh, but we did find these---

Which led to a phone search which showed that we had access to hundreds of games like this—ON MY PHONE. Are you kidding? We were dope slapping ourselves for not thinking of it, although Laura did have a rousing license plate game going on. You don’t realize how much you get into that kind of thing until you are on the road for 2.6 days.

I bought two for the car.

Who knew-at the Corn Palace.

Corn pictures above the stage.


Corn Murals outside.


Laura wearing a corn hat with corn murals in the back ground. It was all about the corn.


No raccoons were harmed in the taking of next picture.


We took off from there and stopped to visit the Jolly Green Giant-

He welcomes you to Blue Earth


Look, I’m a mini Green Giant.



And so it goes. We played games the whole way back through Minnesota until we hit our home town, Rochester. Which I just found out is the 6th happiest city in the 4th happiest state in the US of A.

We can’t stop being happy here.

So that’s what happened.

I was feeling pretty tired but I got in one final bad selfie to prove I made it back to Dave.

Photo: 1800 miles later

(I think I need my own hashtag-Sarah and Dave @ #badselfies)

Either way, it was an adventure and I certainly enjoyed it and I was sorry Laura was sick but ever so glad she was with me to see some new things…..


and convince me that some things are just worth doing!

Thanks girlfriend-I owe you 1700 miles.

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