Sunday, June 29, 2014


We are exhausted. Road trips are great about every three years or so, but this one has been tough. Granted, we haven’t had any major mishaps (like the flat tire in Topeka last time), and for that we’re very grateful. We’ve stayed on time and made all our connections. But it is truly exhausting.

The main exhausting factor today, just like yesterday, was the wind. It was relentless: for seven hours, we could only drive while constantly making sure the car stayed on the road. After many hours, I began to gain faith in my ability not to allow the car to go into a ditch or to crash into a guardrail. But it was nerve-wracking the entire time.

After a long morning chugging from Dickinson, North Dakota, as far as Billings, Montana (about five hours’ drive), and after a very late lunch at the ever reliable Denny’s, Christy recognized the need for our eight-year-old to do something other than sit in the car all day. We only had two hours of driving left to do, so we took an extra hour and stopped at a little zoo in Billings. We gathered that it’s a relatively new zoo: inexpensive and small, but with an impressive set of interesting animals. The greatest delight was watching Sarah and several other young girls “ooh” and “aah” over the otters. The tigers were also pretty cool!

And so, late in the afternoon, we spent two more hours driving through some of the worst wind of the day. But the payoff was the countryside. We switched from wide open plains to jaw-droppingly gorgeous valleys, and the Rockies began to loom in the distance. And at the hotel, once more, a pool awaited.

The wi-fi at this hotel is atrocious, so one reduced-size, representative photo is all we can manage for now. I'll update this post later with many better photos.

As a child, I lived in Idaho for ten years, but I never ventured any further north than McCall. Tomorrow I will see Northern Idaho for the very first time! We’ll spend tomorrow night in Spokane and hope to cruise into Bellingham, Washington, on Tuesday afternoon.

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