Hey everyone! Welcome to another fun and exiting edition of the Vicarious Travelblog!
On December 26th at 1:00 in the morning I flew out to Minneapolis where my boyfriend lived. I hung out with the family for a day and helped Jeremy pack (for moving to Seattle!).
I've had a lot of moving experience so I took charge of getting the rest of his things into his new Honda Civic. There were a few things to keep in mind:
1) There were certain items that needed to be accessible, like suitcase/backpack/sleeping bags.
2) Things in the back seat couldn't go above the level of the top of the back seat so Jeremy could still see out.
3) Nothing could go on the floor of the driver's side, but the passenger's side was fair game!
4) And of course we had to be able to access drinks and snacks and maps.
The contents of the car fit together like a really tight puzzle. Each night we had to excavate Jeremy's suitcase from the trunk which involved removing a blanket and pillow and yoga mat and some other random pieces and then tugging the suitcase free. Each morning we'd squeeze the suitcase back into its spot then place all the other items on top and around. I'd squat down and hold everything to keep it from falling while Jeremy slowly closed the trunk. The trunk hinges had to avoid a table leg on one side and part of the suitcase and some other thing on the other side. Once the trunk was down (and my hands were out of the way) we had to apply a little pressure to get it closed all the way.
My backpack was wedged in the middle seat between a computer and some other box, behind another bag with books and maps, which was under a bag or two of groceries and a gallon of water. So that had to be excavated and replaced each night.
I know it sounds complicated - but it made the most sense!
We couldn't fit all the groceries between the seat so I sacrificed most of the floor in front of me to a bag filled with chips, bread, butter, water, dried fruit and nuts, some fig newtons, a six-pack of club soda and a few water bottles, as well as a singing bowl from India. It was quite cozy.
We hit the road on Wednesday just before noon and headed south on I-35 to Albert Lea where we met up with I-90 west. Our goal was to make it to Sioux Falls the first day and we made such good time that we went on to Chamberlain, South Dakota where we stopped for the night. So that was a little over 400 miles the first day.
I should mention here that both our families, especially the mothers, were worried about this wintery trip of ours. The snow! The ice! The blizzards! Etc, etc. Every few hours or so I was requested to send an update to my family about what state we were in, what city we were near, and the mile post we were passing. This was so that if I didn't make contact for a long while my mom would be able to tell the search and rescue team where to start looking. I'm not joking at all.
So I sent messages like:
"leaving Rapid City SD; m.p. 51; roads good"
"coming into butte...'
"30 miles 2 missoula!"
"Almost to cour d'alene - passes were ice-free & dry!"
All that texting - I finally figured out how to use the text functions on my phone!
Back to our travels...
Thursday we headed out, making a brief stop at Wall and passing through Sturgis, before crossing into Wyoming. There was a bit of ice and snow to deal with in Wyoming though it wasn't too awful. We did have to slow down a bit at points. We were debating whether to stop in Buffalo or Sheridan but we had time so we pushed on to Sheridan. That put us at 468 miles for the second day.
Our goal on Friday was to make it Missoula where my aunt lives. The weather and roads were fine and we made it to Missoula in the evening. My aunt actually lives in Darby, about 60 miles south, so we headed down to see her and got in around 9:00. That put our third day miles at almost 530!
We only had to make it to Spokane by Saturday evening, since we had some Quaker librarian friends to stay with there. We went through a pass or two and the mountains and trees were incredible! We racked up 193 miles and a stop by the lovely Lake Coeur D'Alene.
Sunday we headed for Seattle and the last 271 miles of our trip.
Other than the snow and dodgy weather in Wyoming, we had great weather and great road conditions. I kept Jeremy awake and driving by searching for obnoxious radio channels, reading aloud from a book we had brought, and making sure we took plenty of breaks for walking around - which was quite invigorating since it wasn't much over 20 degrees for most of our trip!
I think that's about it. For those of you brave souls who made it this far, you are rewarded by getting to see the pictures! Enjoy! (Oh, and click on 'full screen' for better quality.)
Until next time,