Tuesday, July 20, 2010

From Fargo, to Butte, to Tacoma

We left Michigan and prepared for the grueling drive back to Washington state.  We had decided to take the northern route using I-94 instead of I-90, for a change of scenery.

We stopped off for the night outside of Chicago, and had dinner with my Sister and her family, before heading out to try to put some miles under us.  We ended up driving until 2 am, and stopped just outside of Madison, WI for the night.

The next morning we were on the road making our way through Wisconsin, then on to Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota, then straight through until we hit Fargo, North Dakota...where we stayed the night in the nicest motel to date.

The sights along I-94 were similar to those we had seen on the way out to Chicago/Detroit, but I tried to take a few photos along the way just the same.  We frequently saw farms near Fargo, ND that had a large pond or lake near the Interstate, that was surrounded by fields of corn or wheat.  Some of these farms were quite pretty.

Left Fargo, ND and soon we were in Montana...16 hours and we ended up making it to Butte, MT.  Geezes that was a long day.  Photos?  Well I was in no mood...but we saw some beautiful fields of wheat that seemed to go on forever, and after dodging the 18 wheelers that often seemed to surround us, we were even treated to a very nice rainbow after driving into/through a small storm.

When we left Butte, MT...I was on a mission to get back into Tacoma with little wasted time...and I drove across the Continental Divide, through the mountains, past Lake Coeur d'Alene and into Spokane, WA.  We had been along this stretch so many times, it just didn't seem inspiring.

A few hours and many, many insect impacts later...we arrived back in Tacoma, safe and sound...but tired of being in the car!  The car, with its bug ridden (looked like it was shot with multicolored paint balls!) front end...seemed tired as well.

It was a weary end to an adventurous, all American "road trip"...that led us through almost 5000 miles of the United States, including 11 different States!  We saw National Monuments, historic locations, small towns and big cities...thundering storms and peaceful plains.  We visited 3 National Parks and 2 National Shorelines including two of the Great Lakes...and we had eaten everything from hot dogs to caviar.

Most importantly, we re-connected with our family and got to look into each others lives and families...getting to know each other a little better.

It was a great trip.


  1. Such beautiful photos! I especially love the one of the rainbow. Saw the date, which is my birthday, and remembered how we were in Montana then, in Ronan. It's near Missoula. My husband's family has a cabin there and they gather every summer for a week. We canoe, hike, ride quads, and swim. I also love laying in the hammock reading. The silence there is so refreshing and it's really cozy at night when there are thunderstorms.

    I like your butterfly picture too, I took one like that in Montana except it was a red one. I feel the same way about that stretch of highway you mentioned. It is not inspiring for me neither, only a struggle to stay awake ( both as a driver and passenger).

    Looking forward to going this year which will be a bit earlier: June 27-July 4th. I can already taste the huckleberry ice cream!