Friday, June 20, 2014

Road Trip: Seattle to Iowa

A couple of weeks ago I made the tedious trek across the country once again. This time the goal : Return my mom's car to her. Good goal. Unfortunately is took four days of solid driving. However, there are so many up sides to driving across the country and that would be all the Amazing and wonderful things that you get to see when you are driving into places less traveled. This time I took a route that I usually don't take. I went the northern route driving through Spokane, WA where I stopped and visited a local car show and saw the musical Wicked for the first time which was fantastic! Then on through northern Idaho and into Butte, MT for the evening. There I stayed the night. The second day I drove south and went through Grand Tetons National Park and Yellowstone National Park which I have driven through twice before but it never gets old. Saw many hot springs, Old Faithful and even my first grizzly and her cub! Went on to Billings, MT for the evening and went on to see the National Battlefield of the Battle of Little Big Horn which was beautifully tragic. Set at the foot of the black hills and so beautiful. A must see, right of the highway and no reason not to stop. Then on to Rapid City where I stopped for a buffalo burger and then to see Mt. Rushmore National Monument which I have also seen before but was really nice to see now as an adult but of course I indulged in the amazing homemade ice cream that they serve there. If you have time definitely walk around the short trail that goes up right under the mountain face, it shows the monument in a completely different light. I stayed that evening in the Alex Johnson Hotel in Rapid City. A beautiful hotel that you feel completely luxurious in and takes you back into the old wild west. Day four I went on to Iowa! I stopped at Wall Drug a tourist trap 101 but a fun little town and the Corn Palace, both places I have visited before but if you have to choose, choose the Corn Palace. The art along is worth the quick little stop. Over all the trip was amazing, if not long. I would recommend taking even more time on such long road trips if you are wanting to make it into a fun road trip. 10+ hours in the car each day makes it hard to enjoy. I'd recommend not spending more than 7 hours in the car each day on long road trips. So you can stop and enjoy the sites and not feel rushed. 

On this trip I did use the handy website RoadTripper to help plan the sites that I wanted to stop and see along the way. It even has user reviews on the major tourist sties telling if it is worth seeing and it is very accurate. I highly recommend this site for road trips. 

Finally got to see Wicked after waiting 10 years!
The Grand Tetons!

Jackolope at Wall Drug, yee ha!

The beautiful Alex Johnson Hotel. 

Hot springs in Yellowstone.