Thursday, July 30, 2015

WEST COAST ROAD TRIP {Driving from Seattle to Montana}

After we left Seattle we were on our way to camp. our plan was to get to Glacier National Park for one night then on to Yellowstone, but as you read along you'll see what ended up happening...
We left around 9 am not too early and not too late, we were expecting a 10 hour drive to Glacier and were all ready for a L O N G drive in the car.
We started off well enough, some trees and cars and mountains.
oh and look there's some pretty logs.
and a cool car with some weird rocking horse thing happening on the fence.
whatever. let's keep driving...
and driving.
wait? are those bikes on the back of that truck?
and more driving, but look at those beautiful rocks.
sweet spot! we had the road to ourselves for a bit.
and then awww, a pretty stream.
I'd rather be swimming, at this point.
or at least listening to the water rush in over these rocks.
But first we stumbled on to Leavenworth, and adorable Bavarian town.
It was like a mini trip to Germany on our West Coast Road Trip.
If I would have known about this place I would have added a whole day for it on our itinerary.  Definitely a fun place to go next time we're in Seattle {it's a few hours outside of the city}
just kind of weird to see all the German architecture and American cars, but whatever.
they had Glühwein
even though it was in an epic mug {as opposed to the European portions I was used to} I drank it all!
and of course Husband ordered brats.
potato salad!
and they used dollar bills as decor.
but obviously we contributed.
ugh.  back on the road.
Spokane, here we come! 
Spokane are you out there?
Spokane why are you so far away?
Right about H E R E we realized we were not going to make it to Glacier National before sunset.
so as we kept driving to Spokane, we started looking up other options.
These graffiti rocks were cool.
Waterville was an empty antique town.
We saw a few cars, but no people.
spied some cool vintage cars, on the way out.
and more nothingness than anyone should ever experience, around here we decided to shoot for Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
but honestly it seemed like we were never going to even get to Spokane.
something about nothing, makes the drives seem longer.
and longer.
the drive was so bad I had to vlog about it.  {please excuse my lack of professionalism, sometimes I say "angry" words}
but we did pass a tiny town with a sign to Lind. so that was cool.
and every once and a while there would be a small town with an interesting building.
but mostly just fields. some with grass and horses but mostly without.
wish I could have got a better look at this little building.
and for my sister, Barker Road.
we had to stop in Spokane for sleeping bags {because mine was not cutting it, and even though it was summer it was cold at night!} once we got the supplies for camping we were back on the road, eventually getting into Idaho.
but notice all that smoke? as soon as we got into to Coeur d'Alene we realized we were not going to be able to camp there. So next plan was Lolo's National Park in Montana.
so we drove through Coeur d'Alene
and past the smoke,
and eventually we did get to Montana.

but still over 100 miles out from where we planned on camping at 7pm at 'night' we started to get concerned about light.
as we approached the golden hour around 8pm, we thought we were close enough to the campsite. 
and look a cow off the freeway.
and some horses by the water.
and as the sun was setting we thought we were almost there.
and it was beautiful.
but as we kept driving, we realized how truly far out we were and how much google maps had been tricking us on drive time. The directions to the campsite were on the fire road instead of a main road, so even thought we were only 15 miles out, we could only drive about 10 miles and hour, and then... started getting dark.  So for the best interest of the family, we were hungry, tired, lost, but we had our phones and some cell service, so I booked a room at the Hilton in Missoula, Montana.  It was clean, comfortable and sometimes, adventures don't work out exactly as planned but we had warm beds to sleep in, and a bath tub to relax in and we made a huge dent in our planned mileage so the good news was that we were even closer to Yellowstone than we planned, so first thing in the morning we were able to leave and camp for sure!

What we learned? make sure to get directions to camp site directly from park website, Husband knew this and thought I did too, but I thought google maps was fine, since that's what I was using to calculate drive times for the rest of the trip.  Also, in peak seasons such as summer, reservations are a must at national parks, so luckily we were able to make same day reservations at Yellowstone, but for future I'll be calling parks before the road trip.  Also since our annual pass covered admission to parks, I thought it also covered camping- it didn't but it did get discounts and with Yellowstone ringing it at $30 for admission just to the park not including camping, we broke even on this trip {and it's good for another 11 months}.

And we also learned that the 2 is the most boring drive after Leavenworth, and in the future we probably won't be driving to Spokane.

What are some of your longest drives, or disheveled adventures? Please tell me we're not the only ones this has happened to.

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