Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Update From the Road

August 20, 2010 AM
We're on our way to West Yellowstone. Yesterday was a chaotic morning as we finished getting everything packed in the car and into storeage. All this week was chaotic, honestly, and very emotionally draining as we said good bye to all of our family and friends.
Although it was hard to say good bye to all our family and friends, saying good bye to Elli (my beautiful niece) was by far the hardest. Elli will be so much more grown up the next time we see her. Four months is a lifetime in toddlerhood.
Our drive to Walla Walla was a breeze, and we made it with no stops. Once we got there, we checked into our hotel, and then walked down main street. We stopped in at the Medicine Shoppe and said hello to Brian's Dad. Then we ate some pizza and headed back for a swim. Sadly, the outdoor pool was COLD, so our swim was short.
August 20, 2010 PM
Today was a long day in the car, about 10 hours. Yesterday, our check engine light came on, and Jody wanted to get it checked out, just to be sure it wasn't something serious. So, we didn't head out of town until about 9:30.
We took Hwy 12 through Idaho and into Montanah. It was beautiful, but lots of climbs, which were hard on the van. At some points we were only going about 20mph while flooring it! We stopped about 90 minutes shy of West Yellowstone in a town called Whitehall. It was about 7:30, and Jody was tired.
The kids did great in the car. They played their nintendo, watched a movie and colored. There was no above normal complaining, and no asking "are we there yet?"
August 21, 2010
What a day! We got up early and were on the road by 6am. We stopped about an hour later in Ennis, Mt. Jody wanted to get the car checked out because of the hard climbing yesterday. They did a few minor repairs, and told us we were good to go. The mechanic said that part of why we weren't able to go too fast (aside from the massive load we are pulling) is the elevation. We were climbing pretty high up.
While the car was getting fixed we are some breakfast at a local cafe. It was good, and must have been the hip place to eat. because it was full of locals.
To kill some time (no punn intended) we shopped around at the biggest store in town---the gun store. It bigger than even the grocery store! They were having a big sale and the place was PACKED!
On to Yellowstone we went. It was beautiful. I am really enjoying seeing new parts of the country. At yellowstone, we stopped at Old Faithful. We made it just in time to see it blow. It was AMAZING!! It is one of the wonders that solidify the existence of God. How can anyone look at His Creation and not believe.
After Old Faithful and some shopping in the gift shop, we finished out our drive through yellowstone. I had all but given up hope of seeing any wildlife, when on a hill beside the road was a small herd of buffalo. YAY! Our trip to Yellowstone is complete. Oh wait! What's this? Up the road about a mile. A buffalo walking on the street. So close, I could have touched it. It was truly one of the neatest things I had ever seen.
We got a bumper sticker at Yellowstone about the elevation. At the highest point it's over 8,800 feet! Our poor van had a time, but she made it.
We stopped in Cody, Wy for the night at Big Bear Motel. It is pure Cowboy Country in Cody, and that is about it.
Kids did great in the car again. We took a long walk and had a good swim to get some of their engergy out. Tomorrow, it's six hours to Mt. Rushmore!
August 22, 2010
Today was an intense driving day. We were on Hwy 14, which goes up and over a mountain. WAY up, 9,033 feet elevation up! With lots of curves and roaming cows along the way. It was so beautiful. From the top you could see into the valley for miles and miles. An absolutly breathless view.
Again, faithful big blue made it, but it was a slow go, and sucked a lot of gas. All this climbing has severely hindered our gas mileage.
After we got off the mountain, it was smooth sailing to Rapid City. A quick check in to the hotel, and we were off to see Mt. Rushmore. Did I mention that it is HOT in South Dakota? Very HOT.
The steep climb up to Mount Rushmore just about did us in. We reached our slowest speed yet 10 mph. But, again, the van is fine. God is being very merciful and gracious to our van! Praying over your car works!
Mount Rushmore was great, but the kids and I agree that it is smaller than we expected. I think, really, it's just further away and higher up than I pictured it being in my mind. I guess with the illusion created by TV I expected it to be closer, more accessible, and larger. I am very glad that we were able to see it, though. It's really an amazing piece of art, and a once in a life time opportunity.
We looked around the small museum and gift shop, and then headed back down the mountain.
After stopping short two days in a row, today we caught up and are back on schedule. We spent our evening swimming and doing some laundry (oh yay!).
Tomorrow will be our longest day of driving. We'll go all the way to Lathrop, Mo, nearly 700 miles! Oh, Lord give us grace!

No comments: