Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

June 30, 2012

6/30/11: Edgerton, WI to Westlake, OH

We left a little late in the morning of June 30th, because we were very close to Chicago and wanted the morning commute to die down.

Edgerton, WI


Entering Chicago.


Indiana's a fairly short state, so we pushed into Ohio.

Stayed the night in Westlake, just outside of Cleveland

Day 5:  Approximately 450 miles

Most memorable moments:  Leaving late to avoid traffic in Chicago only to get stuck in traffic in Chicago, accidentally going through a toll without paying (till I got to the east coast, then I paid it late), the guy in front of us who had his license plate covered so he didn't have to pay the toll, Russell repeatedly stating that this part of the country is 'boring', me running out of things to shoot pictures of.

June 29, 2012

6/29/11: Brandon, SD to Edgerton, WI

We were now in America's heartland, where it's all farms.  There wasn't much to take photos of at all.

Brandon, SD

Entering Minnesota



Crossing the Mississippi River into Wisconsin.


Welcome to Dairyland, USA

Shopped here.  It was sooooo hot outside.

My car at the hotel in Edgerton.

Day 4: approximately 444 miles

Most memorable moments:   Russell very sweetly pulling off in some podunk town in MN so that I could get postcards, adding a 4th state to my total states visited, buying cheese, sausage and souvenirs at The Mousehouse, our first Dunkin Donuts spotted in WI, weather got very hot in the midwest, so many windmills, farms, farms and more farms.

June 28, 2012

6/28/11: Gillette, WY to Brandon, SD

Eastern Wyoming, early on Tuesday, 6/28/11.

No time to veer off the highway to take in the many sites, like Devils Tower, WY.

Snow fence along I-90, WY

In the Black Hills.

Had to stop here!

Prairies of SD

Had a great time and lunch at Wall Drug!!! This place was fun!  Wish we could've stayed longer.

The Badlands

Crossing the Missouri River at Lake Francis Case.

Day 3: approximately 487 miles

Most memorable moments:  "I don't want to see the back side of Mt. Rushmore unless they are wearing pants!", Pepsi for him, Crystal Lite ice tea for me, Russell bumming hard at the guy sampling from the buffet at Wall Drug with his bare hands, sluicing for 'treasure' at the Wall Drug 'mine', Black Hills, Badlands, him craving prime rib because we keep passing cattle ranches, tons of road construction on I-90 in SD for repaving, I found a pheasant feather at one of our pit stops where we also saw a van load of Amish people, adding another state to my total states visited.

June 27, 2012

6/27/11: Butte, MT to Gillette, WY

Left Butte first thing in the morning on Monday the 27th.  Montana is a HUGE state.  But it's beautiful.  I have to say that the first 2 days of the trip were my favourite because of the breathtaking scenery.  We traveled about 7 or 8 hours that day; we'd stopped for about 45 minutes or so in Bozeman at lunch time.

Crossing the Continental Divide.

Leaving the Rockies behind.

Eastern Montana turns to grassland the closer you get to Wyoming.


Day 2:  approximately 457 miles

Most memorable moments:  The smoke detector wouldn't turn off in our room in Butte that morning, the scenic tour of downtown Bozeman trying to find somewhere to eat only to end up at a Safeway buying sandwiches & eating them in the parking lot, the 'giant golden boob' building in Sheridan, Russell quipping 'they named a creek after you!' when we passed the Crazy Woman Creek sign, Chinese food buffet in Gillette, oil rigs aka 'ka chunka chunkas', more bug carnage on the windshield and "Are you cleaning the windshield again? That was my snack!", needing SPF 50 because I got a rash from the sun.

June 26, 2012

6/26/11: Tukwila, WA to Butte, MT

We were on the road for almost 12 hours the first day, when we left Tukwila.  The goal was to get as far into Montana as possible.  I thought Missoula would be our stop for the night, but he felt like going further, so we went as far as Butte.  (Full descriptions of the entire trip with additional photos can be found in posts from July, 2011).


My last look at Mt. Rainier from eastern WA.

Columbia River Gorge, WA

Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Lost an hour crossing into Montana.

We stopped in Haugan, MT for about an hour to stretch our legs and check out this awesome kitschy casino/bar/shop, where Russell happily parked himself in the bar and play some slots while I browsed for souvenirs.  

Clark's Fork River, Montana (clearly Lewis lost the coin toss on naming this loooooong river).


Our Lady of the Rockies, Butte, MT.

Day 1: approximately 596 miles.

Most memorable moments:  The Buttered Fruit Incident (which actually took place the day before but I still like to tease him about it), getting pulled over by WSP in Eastern WA but given a warning, "You da ho?  No, I-da-ho", 2 more new states visited by me, Clark's Spork and "How big is this fork anyway? I'd hate to see the knife!", no restaurants in Butte but casinos galore and Russell's delight at getting to play in them, bug carnage on the windshield and his really strong cup of coffee that kept him talking, and me laughing, almost nonstop for at least 300 miles.