We are trying to make an early start. Flathead cherries bought roadside yesterday seem like a good prelude to McDonald's drive through breakfast.
Shmoogie is happily chatting about seeing her new house today, "The first thing I'm going to do is look all around and pick out which bedroom I want to be mine."
Shmoogie is persuaded to take a second look at the Egg McMuffin she summarily rejected earlier. She pokes at the cheese and says, "Yuck." We get her to try one bite and she seems to like it. Three bites later she donates the rest to Daddy.
It got real rural real quick outside of Spokane. Passing a bright yellow field, maybe mustard??
Descending through rocky hills.
Lots of orchards despite the arid-looking surroundings.
Shmoogie's cardigan now only needs buttons.
I hold up the sweater for Shmoogie to see. She gasps in delight and smiles and asks to try it on.
"I like it," she says, working her second arm into its sleeve. "It's the best sweater ever... you ever made for me." She has it on now, if a little awkwardly, "I wear it for now. Thanks for finishing it so soon. How did you sew it? It's the best sweater."
Shmoogie is again "stuck" and wants to "do the homeworks".
North Cascades National Park. Pretty trees. Might have missed our last chance at lunch for a while. Also, can't sew on cardigan buttons until I find yellow thread because I've developed a fixation on yellow thread for sewing these particular buttons on this particular sweater.
And then there was that time when the van started rolling backwards with no one in the driver's seat. You'll have to ask in person if you want the full story, but let's just say that Mr. Right promises he will always check that the car is in "Park" before getting out (he says automatic transmissions "confuse" him) and I promise I will always check that the car is in "Park" before turning it off. Shmoogie says, "That was really dangerous, you know."
Trying to appreciate the scenery while discussing the various car design tweaks that could have prevented that incident or at least made it easier to stop once in progress.
Woah, Diablo Lake is a really brilliant color, almost opaque turquoise.
Sign: LEAVING APPLE MAGGOT QUARANTINE AREA
"Are we in Seattle yet?" asks Shmoogie.
"Not yet," we say, "one and a half hours left!"
"One hour?" Shmoogie gasps in delight, "That's AMAZING!"
Mt. Rainier straight ahead. It looks unreal, like a hunk of moon dropped on the horizon.
Mr. Right mentions it is a volcano. And now you can laugh at me because I didn't know there was a volcano near here. Immediate rush to Wikipedia is both alarming (Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanos in the world) and comforting (our neighborhood unlikely to be obliterated).
We turn off Harry Potter for the final approach into Seattle.
Shmoogie says, "I'm not even married, you know." Right, you're too young. "You and Daddy are married, though." Yep. "That means when I grow up I can move to a new family," she sounds huffy. Yeah, but you'll still be part of our family. "But you can only come and VISIT us," she crosses her arms, closes her eyes, and sticks her nose in the air.
"Hey, look!" shouts Mr. P, "The space thing!"
Mr. P wants to see his school first.
Kids are arguing over bedrooms they haven't seen yet.
"I know what mom's job should be!" volunteers Mr. P. "You should make your own yarn shop!"
And eventually we got to the house and we like it and we'll see where all our furniture goes tomorrow. Stay tuned. :)
Shmoogie is desperate to go outside our room in the morning. I keep having to chase her away from the door while I'm trying to pack things up. Finally, I have a realization, "Are you hoping to talk to the people we met last night?" Shmoogie pouts, "Yes." I promise her that very soon we will start meeting people that we will see more than once.
Pancakes have been requested for breakfast (actually, they were requested last night for dinner) and we are about to head out to find a restaurant. Shmoogie is upset, "I don't want to eat in a restaurant!" I agree, to be honest, but we don't have any other option. "I want to eat at someone's house!" Shmoogie announces. But we don't know anyone here. "But we could ask them their name!" Shmoogie's solution for everything.
Between visiting friends and family at the beginning of the trip and then staying at a bed and breakfast in Montana, I think she's a little confused.
Driving past cherry orchards on the banks of Swan Lake, bright red cherries heavy on the branches.
Daddy is buying a souvenir shirt, not so much for the souvenir but because he has run out of clean ones. Shmoogie is crying because she wants to "buy something!" and "It's not fair!" that she doesn't get to when "Daddy's getting something!"
My brain has switched from thinking "going West" to "going to the ocean". This unfortunately means I am terribly confused because in my world the ocean is always East. I realize this is a problem after I question Mr. Right's decision to get back on the highway going West and he looks at me like I'm totally daft.
Shmoogie's cardigan is nearly done, but there's a mistake I have to decide what to do about.
Went with a partial fix. Should be sufficient.
Mr. P has been listening almost silently to hours of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets but now interrupts to tell us, "I think it's getting close to the end! I think they're going to meet Voldemort soon." Moments later he wants us to know, "I think Ginny's alive." Astute.
We realize we've gained our final time zone hour. Trip winding down.
"Mommy," says Shmoogie, "I stuck again." She's gotten herself into the create-new-player screen of a math practice game on the iPad and doesn't know what to do. I tell her the game isn't good for her and she needs to try something else.
"But there's homeworks!" she wails, "I want to do the homeworks!"
I'd forgotten - she likes to pull up the "scratch pad", where she traces the problem and adds extensive decorations in the white space.
We seem to be leaving the impressive scenery behind.
Spokane goes on for MILES. It's AMAZING. We haven't seen a town anything near this big in ages!
Missed our turn. Distracted by listening to Harry Potter.
A yarn store. And I'm too tired.
Shambling into the last hotel. Can you feel the steam being lost?
I miss the wind of the prairie.
The children reject my instant packet cookery breakfast. I thought it was a really inspired way to make do with a pretty meager "FREE FREE FREE Continental Breakfast!" but they take one bite, make a face and turn away. I complain to Mr. Right, "How could they not like a packet of instant oatmeal mixed with a packet of hot cocoa with marshmallows?!" He looks horrified, "You put cocoa mix in it? Why would they eat that?" Because it tastes like chocolate cake batter! I tried it! No one appreciates my culinary genius.
We turn towards Glacier National Park and Shmoogie asks, "Where are we going?"
"Into those mountains over there!"
"Why?" she sounds distressed.
"Because those mountains are between us and Seattle and we wanted to see them."
"I didn't want to move, though," she quavers.
Shmoogie is crying because we won't give her the iPad. Or because we're moving, but she says it's about the iPad.
"I like that person," says Shmoogie about the park ranger who is manning the entrance to Glacier National Park.
"You like all people, Shmoogie," laughs Daddy.
"Not ALL people," Shmoogie is indignant, "Not boys!"
Coyote jogging down the side of the road.
We drag the kids partway up the Hidden Valley trail at Logan Pass. Mr. P is so awful that everyone we pass tries to jolly or shame him out of his black mood. Until he sees snow. Soon, he thinks this hike is the best idea ever. He is bounding ahead, scooping snow off the path (we are trying very hard to stay on the path to protect the fragile alpine flora) and generally enjoying himself. After a particularly steep and slippery climb through a slush field, Mommy and Daddy decide it is unwise to continue on. Mr. P strongly disagrees and nearly has as bad a fit about stopping the hike as he had about starting it.
We talk to a great ranger at the bottom of the trail who has a box of cool stuff to show us and tells us about the pika, tarmagants, ground squirrels (we've seen several of these already), and other critters living in the high meadows. As soon as the ranger shows us one thing, Shmoogie asks, "What else do you have in your box?"
Back at the visitor center, we pick up Jr. Ranger packets. We are lucky that Ranger Doug is there to sign them, one of the longest serving members of the park service. The ranger on the trail told us Doug has been a ranger since the '40s. I can almost believe it. Really nice guy. They should name something after him.
"I want the iPad," says Shmoogie.
We remind her that we are in a National Park and we have a family rule against iPads in National Parks. We tell her to look at the waterfall dashing down the valley wall across from us.
"I don't like that waterfall," she spits with fury, "That waterfall is stupid!"
It's actually an f-ing gorgeous waterfall, but you knew that already.
Shmoogie is asleep.
We're at the one part of the road where heading this direction the passenger side of the car is closest to the edge. I'm torn between terror and awe. Awe is actually winning.
I think the terrifying part is over, finally.
The river at the bottom sure is beautiful, rippling clear blue-grey over many-colored rocks.
Stopped for road work. Watching the river, listening to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Shmoogie wakes up crying.
Stop for long-overdue first real meal of the day. All of us would compare poorly to severely wilted plants at the moment. Except Mr. Right, who has an uncanny ability to do almost anything fueled entirely by coffee and shelf-stable snacks. He might be a bit irritated by the rest of the family's inability to deal, but our late lunch is delicious and we all revive admirably.
The children want to go wading in the beautiful glacial melt of Lake McDonald and I let them take off their shoes, thinking they'll get a toe wet and realize it's freezing. Soon Mr. P is up to his waist, grinning like it's the best day of his life, and Shmoogie is trying hard to keep up while keeping her clothes dry. It takes so long to persuade Mr. P to come out that I begin to fear hypothermia is addling his brain. Even back at the car, he tries to refuse to change into dry clothes, hoping to persuade us to take him back for another go.
Shmoogie is chanting, "HOO-tel! HOO-tel!" Four more miles.
Mr. P says it's a nice hoo-tel, "it looks kind of like Abraham Lincoln's house."
Within minutes, though, we are in complete and utter meltdown over going or not going to dinner. Mommy and Daddy nearly blow a gasket and/or cry, but somehow things get pulled together enough that we actually do go out to dinner. At a pretty nice place, too. The staff seems to sense how close to the edge we are; we are seated, served, and brought the check in record time.
There are tears over where people will sleep. I thought I had come up with a brilliant solution to the lack of a bed, telling Mr. P he could sleep in the spacious armoire, kind of like Harry's cupboard under the stairs.
The problem is that both children are enchanted with this idea. Thus, tears. No one gets to sleep in the armoire.
Bind off of circular scarf. Will now wear it constantly to decide if I really like it.
More gravel road! Oh, that was short, never mind.
Stuck in a particularly sulphur smelly place. Road work. Woman manning the STOP sign is very friendly and chatty. Thinks Shmoogie is hysterical when she pipes up with some thought from the back seat wearing a self-decorated superhero mask. Sulphur smell is from Mammoth Hot Springs, which is where we're going and is still miles away. Oh, boy.
We are finally on our way through the construction zone, behind a truck with a big orange sign on the back saying PILOT CAR / FOLLOW ME.
The two-mile work zone is impressive and a bit scary. A mountain face to the right seems to be a hump of shale (crumbly) that was covered with a thick layer of something igneous (it breaks in huge square columns straight up and down) and then more shale. Around the bend, a huge pile of black gravel is building up beside a disintegrating hill.
Really nice breakfast at Roosevelt Lodge. Shmoogie spies a dead moth on the window sill and wants to take it with her. She asks the waitress if she can take it home, which really freaks the waitress out because she thinks Shmoogie said "dead mouse." Once we've managed to get that straight, the waitress says sure we can take it home. Much of our breakfast conversation revolves around the moth, which Shmoogie decides she is afraid to touch, so couldn't one of us pick it up for her? But by the time we leave she seems to have forgotten it, which is a good thing because Mr. P has spitefully smooshed it.
A black bear wandering the hillside right next to the road! A smiling ranger is directing traffic and pointing at the bear so no one will miss it. Yellowstone is awesome. Slogan should be "Yellowstone - the true American safari".
Another bison. Maybe I should tell you I've stopped writing down all the bison. They're becoming quite ho-hum.
The road is suddenly at the very edge of a very high cliff. I have what I believe is a quiet little freak out in the passenger seat. Shmoogie asks, "Why are we saying 'Aaaaaaaaaaaah'?"
Mammoth Hot Springs are pretty neat (and not really so stinky). Kids are so fried they can barely be persuaded to look out the window, but they revive pretty well when it's time to turn in their Junior Ranger packets at the visitor center in historic Mammoth, a whole town of park rangers, with a post office (cute!) and everything, and elk mothers and calves grazing on the lawn.
We learn that the elk population is actually rather low and they don't know why. The wolves are doing ok, but have been reduced in numbers lately as hunting restrictions just outside the park are being lifted. The bison, which were also reintroduced, are "really flourishing" and no one knows quite why. There are so many that the park sometimes plays loud sounds near them to try to annoy them out of the park.
Goodbye, Yellowstone :(
Three thousand miles!!! 61 hours, 11 minutes.
No cell connection once again. We pass the town of Sieben, which has one of those blue signs at the exit that directs you to lodging, gas, food... except this sign just says, NO SERVICES.
Can see no other vehicles on the road in any direction.
The only building we've seen in a while appears - an apparently abandoned barn with a huge stop sign painted on the roof, except it says METH instead of STOP. The other side of the roof: "NOT EVEN ONCE".
We cross a ditch officially labeled "DRY CREEK".
We hit a rare and inexplicable pocket of good cell service and pull over to use it for a minute. I think I hear a car passing us, but it is actually wind in the grass.
We hit the large-seeming town of Choteau. Shmoogie asks if we can have a sleep over at someone's house here. We explain that we don't know anyone here, so, no. She says, "But we could ask them their name."
Another anti-meth sign leaving Choteau. That's as many anti-meth signs as anti-abortion signs we've seen in Montana, which is a dramatic change from every other state in the past week.
A Post Office!
We finally get a chance to stop for one of the historic markers we've been seeing. This is the spot of the only "hostile" encounter between the Lewis and Clark expedition and native people. L&C mistook the tribal affiliation of a group they met (they were actually Blackfeet) and camped with them, then shot them when they tried to steal their guns and horses. Seems L&C had unknowingly (because of not realizing who they were) informed them that their enemy tribes were allying themselves with the US and would soon be getting significant support, including guns, from the government. This was bad news for the Blackfeet because they had been the dominant tribe on the plains for 20 years, thanks to Canadian guns.
I want more details.
This reminds me of a bit of information at the Badlands visitor center, saying that the Lakota had ruled their area for a hundred years (prior to being forced onto reservations) because they had adapted quickly to using the horses brought by the Spanish, pushing out other tribes.
We should have learned more about the history of native peoples prior to direct conflict with Europeans. It's quite interesting.
"Is this our hoo-tel?" asks Mr. P.
"This is gonna be a good hoo-tel, I just know it," he says after I answer, yes.
And how does he know? "Because, look. It has flowers, and a 7 on the door. It's beautiful."
The Blackfeet Nation is starting their annual four day festival. Tepees, cars, RVs, and unleashed dogs fill up a big lot at the edge of town.
We drove silly far for dinner, but it was good. And ended with pie.
A sliver of a moon is up, the kids are fast asleep in the back, and we are driving back into Browning for the night. We open our windows as we approach the pow-wow lot, wondering what we'll hear. A hint of drums grows louder and we realize it's modern pop music fueling a small dance party on an open-air floor. Further down the lot, in the thick of the tepees, are the sounds of singing and drumming you'd expect. In the twilight a woman sits in front of her tepee with a child, another face looks out the round door hole. A group of young men heads purposefully off into town. Sirens bleep from somewhere down the block and we look carefully for street dogs as we make our way back to the hoo-tel.
We start the day by walking to breakfast (Mr. P moans piteously about being hot and being too tired) and talking about a hike. Mr. P puts in his two cents, "I think a hike in the car would be nice."
Mud Volcano walk. Kids not impressed. Adults pretty amazed. Kids whining like crazy. Mr. P says this is the worst place of our whole trip. He says it should be called "The Stinklands". The smell is petty gagging, it's true. I try to convince him that's part of the experience.
A New Hampshire plate!!!! Only Hawaii left.
"Why are you being so nice?" Shmoogie asks Mr. P, who is getting her back pack for her after Daddy insisted several times and finally pulled over to underscore the point.
"I didn't really want to do this, but my dad made me,"says Mr. P.
We cross the Continental Divide for the second time. We pull over and explain it to the backseat. The backseat gives us a perfunctory "Cool," then goes back to sniping at each other.
We have seen Old Faithful, twice, and had ice cream on the porch of the Old Faithful Inn, which is an astounding feat of log building.
Shmoogie is, blessedly, asleep as we make the long drive back to our cabin.
Firehole Canyon Drive - traffic jam as everyone stops to watch a coyote on the far side of the little river. A bit further on, we look down the canyon walls at a bunch of very happy looking human bathers. Wish we could join them.
Virginia Cascades drive is simply terrifying, not even pretty.
Oh, so it's flipping gorgeous at the end. And then the terrifying heights end quite quickly as the road meets up with the top of the cascade.
Just finished another vaguely adequate meal at a Yellowstone cafeteria. Children ate their fruit and thus got chocolate milk, because we have definitely reached the mostly-ineffective bargaining stage of this adventure. I get up to buy the chocolate milk and as I walk away, Shmoogie turns to Mr. Right and beams, "We're a happy family!"
We go for a walk (half mile) to the Grand View of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Mr. Right is whistling perpetually in case of bears. Shmoogie is yelling at him to stop it because she doesn't want the bears to find us. We manage to explain that the bears will go away if they hear us and that's the whole point. Both children proceed to make a truly bear-rattling amount of noise for the rest of the walk. Are we bad parents for telling whiny-won't-keep-up Mr. P that a bear will think he looks like dinner if he doesn't stay close to us?
None of us is eaten by bears and none of us falls into the canyon. I am definitely not a paragon of calm and reasonable motherhood near the brink of a canyon by this point.
We stop at dusk to try to see a wolf. A nice Frenchman lets us look through his spotting scope and I manage to see the brown lump that is a wolf but doesn't look like much. The kids don't seem to see anything. Shmoogie strikes up several conversations and going to the car her most recent acquaintance calls out, "Have a good night!" She calls back, "Have a good night, too!" then sighs heavily and confides to her dad, "I miss everybody." We laugh. She says it's not funny.
"Bison!!!" yells Shmoogie, "A whole crowd of bison! That's what you call a lot of bison."
(Almost no data service in the past two days!)
"This is the weirdest park I've ever seen," remarks Mr. P from the back seat.
"You know what that rock is called?"
"D-d-devil?" Mr. P sounds worried.
"Yeah, but remember, there is no devil."
"Right. It's just a story. The Devil isn't real."
"Is God real?"
Shmoogie wants me to take the apron off of her Raggedy Ann doll. It is sewn on. We try to understand why she hates aprons on dolls so much (this is the third she has tried to remove). She doesn't like that it says "Raggedy Ann", she wants the doll's name to be the same as her best friend that we left behind. I point out that she took an apron off a doll that had no writing on it. She says she just doesn't like aprons. I tell her she used to have a dress with an apron and it was very cute. Suddenly, she is intrigued. Can she have one now? When we get to Seattle I can make one. But she wants one now. Can I make one now? I don't have my sewing things. But, she points out, that thing I am knitting would make a very nice apron for her. I tell her it will make a very nice shawl for me, but thank you.
I have an argument with Mr. P, who sits next to Alex, about whether it is ok to put a pillow on top of Alex. (It is not ok. I win.)
We have been driving for 48 hours since this trip started.
We see a Mississippi plate! Only missing Hawaii and New Hampshire.
We pass the car and notice the front plate is Illinois. Hmmm.
Wow! First sight of the Rockies.
We stop for gas and ginger ale, find only gas and 7-up. It appears that Shmoogie has broken the lock mechanism on the sliding door on her side of the (very new) minivan. Luckily, we still have enough cell signal to Google the problem and it turns out to be a software bug which can be easily reset by using the remote key. Huzzah!
Suddenly, we are quite high up. Big Horn National Forest.
We stop at an overlook to answer Shmoogie's question, "How high are we?"
Alex, who has been sleeping all day, is the first to leap to the window when we say, "Look, guys!"
"Look, kids! Sheep!"
"That's a lot of sheep!" says Shmoogie, impressed.
We've been in a really flat basin for a while. This is not what I expected.
Stop for dinner at Subway, inside a Walmart. I ask the high schoolers behind the counter if they grew up here (this is Cody, WY). There's nothing to do here, they say. They want to get out, maybe someplace with a beach for college. They spend their free time skateboarding, playing basketball, and riding a moped.
I always wonder about what I would be like if I grew up someplace or sometime different.
We've been listening to Harry Potter for about four hours. Shmoogie suddenly wants to engage me in an extensive discussion about werewolves.
Shmoogie has a small cranky monologue. "I don't like this old new car! I don't like this door! I don't like where we're going! I like Austria*! I like my friends there! I don't like Seattle! I'm not going to make new friends there! I don't like this car! I don't like moving!" Then she spits for a while. Then she claims she's eaten her sandwich and asks sweetly for her chocolate milk. Now she is whining.
(*She thinks we just left Austria.)
Entering Yellowstone. Exhausted.
"The sun is still up," remarks Shmoogie, "That's amazing!"
It is 8 o'clock.
Sign says BISON ARE WILD AND DANGEROUS DO NOT APPROACH
Two wild and dangerous bison are grazing in front of a river backed by pine trees and steam vents.
Herd of elk.
Herd of bison. Entire herd. They are causing a traffic jam by being a herd of bison and by two of them deciding to cross the road very slowly. Alex decides to bark at the bison.
Alex is still standing on his hind legs looking out the back window where the bison were a mile ago.
We start the day with a geology walk in the Badlands Park (just to make sure our shoes are fully caked with clay), then head west and south to see more of the park and hopefully some bison on our way out.
"I don't see any bison," says Mr. P.
Mr. P is wailing. It's not about the bison.
The scenery is amazing, though. It's like what I thought the Grand Canyon would be like. I'll let you know if I ever get there.
Mr. P is, in his own words, "grumpy." "When can I have the iPad?" he cries. "Not until we've seen six bison," says Daddy, who is fed up with the complaining.
"SIX?!! Oh, no, this is gonna to take FOREVER!" moans Mr. P.
Big horned sheep!!!
Prairie dogs! Bison! (They're a long way off.). Bison footprints! Bison poop!!!
A bison!!! Really close!!
Bison are funny looking animals.
"Mom?" says Shmoogie, "How do you spell 'I want a helicopter for Christmas, a Hello Kitty one?'"
Finally, enough cell signal to post Day Five.
Back on paved road.
The town we had vaguely hoped might have a lunch spot (it is called Scenic) does not.
"Turn the music down; I have something to tell you," says Shmoogie, "The first day of my school this year, I didn't make any friends. I just sat alone on a pretend car. That was the day I was alone."
Stop at the White River Visitor Center, which is jointly operated by the Park Service and the Oglala Sioux Nation. It is a small collection of well-designed exhibits. It is a hard history, certainly. I didn't realize how heavy handed the US government was, interfering with daily life long after confining the tribes to reservations.
We are totally out of cell service. We think we're on the right road, but "You wanted to go off-roading in a minivan, right?" jokes Mr. Right as the road unexpectedly reverts to gravel.
"I don't want to do anything back here!" whines Mr. P. "I just want to get out of the Badlands!"
We finally consult the proper map and realize we are on the right road, but it is gravel for 40 miles, not sure how much of it we've done.
Back to gravel.
Mr. Right uses the windshield wipers to clear his view after hitting our second series of washboard puddles. I am worried about the tires, the alignment, the car in general. Mr. Right seems to think I am joking when I suggest maybe I should drive.
We leave the Pine Ridge reservation and almost instantly have cell service. The road is still gravel, but in much better shape.
"Didn't you want to have an adventure?" asks Mr. Right, "I'm having fun now!"
It's good we have snacks. And water. Don't go to South Dakota without snacks and water.
A town!!! An unpaved town, but a town.
Asphalt!!! A divided highway!!! Hopefully gas in the next 30 miles.
A gas station! Shmoogie gets out of her seat while Mr. Right is filling up and climbs on top of the pile of duffle bags and pillows in the back. She's been yawning for a while.
We have yet to reach the Wind Cave, our second of three sites for the day. I sigh after stuffing myself with a sandwich and say, "I remember when we were planning this, this seemed like the day that might be too much." Mr. Right grins and with forced cheer says, "But now you're realizing it's not? We'll call it the South Dakota hat trick!"
Entering Wind Cave National Park.
If you think two bickering kids in a car is bad, try two bickering kids in a narrow passageway with a whole bunch of other people 200 ft underground for an hour.
But, when I ask Mr. P at the end if he had a good time, he says, "Good activity, thank you."
I always feel a little nervous in caves, but they are cool.
We get out and Mr. P is whining, "I'm thirsty!" Shmoogie announces, "My legs are bored. Carry me."
Shmoogie yawns as I hand her her promised iPad. "Maybe you should take a nap," I say.
"I not going to," she answers matter-of-factly.
"Not funny," she says.
45 minutes to Mt. Rushmore. We're hoping for ice cream.
We pass the unfinished Crazy Horse mountain sculpture. We manage to get the kids to look at it and express some mild interest.
Mt. Rushmore. This is where we realize that three National Parks in one day is, in fact, too much. But we've seen it, the kids have stamped their passports, and we've taken some pictures. Also, saw an Alabama license plate. Four left.
The setting sun combined with traces of snow still on the ground in the trees sends very small but incredibly dense hunks of fog crawling across the roadway. I've never seen anything like it.
Mr. Right drives through a Starbucks because we still have 2 hours of driving left. He asks for the light roasted coffee, but they only have their regular brewed. The barista apologizes, saying, "We just don't sell much coffee this late." It is 8:30 and the sky is still light.
Now speeding west, into sky lightning over Wyoming. The kids are even asleep, though that wasn't easy.