A Travellerspoint blog

Chicago to California via Vancouver

When we left Chicago it was to set off on an epic 22 hour drive to Yellowstone National Park. We broke the drive over three days, but had a endless view of a whole lot of nothing that seemed to make it feel even longer. One 'highlight' was when for 200 miles there were adverts at the side of the road for 'Wall Drug'. At 100 miles they started counting down the miles to go, and therefore by the time we got there we were pretty intrigued. We decided to stop there for a late lunch, but were let down when all in Wall Drug was a 30 foot plastic dinosaur. Oh and a petrol station.  That night was spent in strip mall heaven, Sioux Falls. 

The next day didn't offer any more scenery wise for most of the day, but we did stop off at Mount Rushmore for an hour to meet the ex Presidents. It looks tiny when you first glimpse it from the road, but is much more impressive up close. We were only going to drive for another hour after that before finding a motel, however the sat nav took us on some really remote roads and we didn't pass through any towns for nearly three hours! We seemed to be chasing the sunset though and with the scenery picked up considerably, we had one of the most beautiful drives yet. 

It seems Montana just does beautiful scenery in general, and for the next three days we got to see a lot of amazing views when visiting Yellowstone. We stayed north of the park on a small ranch where we slept in a teepee! Every night we made a fire and toasted marshmallows to make Smores - so tasty! We drove around the park and checked out the incredible geysers, waterfalls, bears and bison for two days, however our favourite bit was probably the Beartooth Highway. This was a road that ran from the north east of the park over the top of a mountain range. The views were incredible and we were so high the mountains were covered with snow with people still skiing!

It was then time to leave the teepee and head North. We stopped off for a night in North Montana before heading across the border for our second venture into Canada. Our first stop was in Calgary where we met some very hedonistic locals, before heading up into the Rockies and stopping in Banff and Lake Louise. Both very beautiful. We spent a night in Golden, and then another on a Lake near Vernon in an amazing house with dock and big deck right on the lake.

It was then onto Vancouver for three nights where we stayed with Rob's friends Padraig and Katie. Vancouver is so pretty! My Mum and Dad lived there years ago so we went to see their old apartment and check out the beach.
Other highlights were walking to Granville Island, the Food trucks, great dinner at an Oyster place, and avoiding the considerable number of crazies that seem to congregate there. We also went to find the pulled pork pancakes we had seen on Diners, Drive ins and Dives at The Red Wagon - amazing!

Vancouver was our last 'corner' and when we left it was to head due south for the final leg of the trip. We had a brief one night stop in Seattle where we had great Italian dinner up on a hill watching the sun set over downtown, and visited Pike Place Market and the first ever Starbucks. From there we drove to Portland where we stayed at an Urban Farm in an Airstream that lived in the garden (along with their ducks and goats!). We managed to coincide with Pride weekend and there were quite a few sights in downtown! We also enjoyed incredible bacon maple donuts thanks to Voodoo Donuts - with actual crispy bacon on top, yum!

After two further days of driving and two nights on farms in the middle of nowhere, we crossed Oregon and made it into California. This is our final state, and we now have just over two weeks to relax in the sunshine before we head home.

Summary
States: Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Alberta (Canada), British Colombia (Canada), Washington, Oregon, California
Food: Still loving the Poutine in Canada, S'mores, Donuts and pulled pork pancakes
Accommodation: Our most random yet! Now booked up through airbnb till the end 
Running: Rob is now up to 10-15k everyday and I'm doing a more casual 3-5k every other day (with Yoga on the days inbetween)!
Tan: Rubbish - bring on the Californian sun
Twitter: @TheTweetOfGod is keeping us entertained
Audio books: Up to The Order of the Pheonix

Posted by RozandRob 09:38

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