Day 1 - On The Road Vancouver to Yakima
Days 2-3 - Miles and Miles OF Miles and Miles (Yakima to Butte to Yellowstone)
Tips for visiting Yellowstone
Day 4 - Full Day in Yellowstone
Days 5- 6 - Mammoth Hot Spring to Aberdeen South Dakota
Days 7-10 - Food, Family, Farm & 4th of July Fireworks in Aberdeen, South Dakota
Day 11-12 - Five States In A Day, A Fake Palm Tree, An Exploding Tire, Traffic and Kingston Arrival!
Days 13-16 - Exploring Kingston and a Cottage Visit
Day 17 - Toronto - ROM's Chihuly and Tattoo Exhibits & Fab Dinner At El Catrin
Day 18-20 - Express Ferry, Crazy Water Tap, Weird Signs, Bugs and a Rattlesnake Warning Sign!
Days 21-23 - Long Days on the Road, a Respite in Missoula and Coming Home
|Border from Canada into the U.S.|
Once we drove round the clock - kids sleeping fitfully in the mini-van. Another time we drove long hours but stopped at night and explored Yellowstone National Park on our way home. Then one year we went without kids and not only drove to South Dakota, but continued on to Zion National Park in Utah. We had logged 7,000 kilometres by the time we returned to Vancouver. This trip will be even longer - around 10,000 kilometres.
Our departure the first day was delayed as we had friends whose family was throwing them a surprise anniversary party. Fortunately it was mid-day, so we could pop by for a few hours and then put in a half day of driving. I wanted to get as as many hours on the road as we could that day so we would have more time to explore Yellowstone National Park. If we waited until the next day, our time at Yellowstone would be very minimal.
|The scenery in Western Washington|
Our next big concern was driving half-way through Seattle to catch the I-90 going east. It was late afternoon on a Saturday and even though we would be taking the 405 along the east side of town, it again was unpredictable. Our second lucky break - we zipped through the Seattle section without even slowing down. That same luck continued as we headed east through Issaquah and out into Central Washington. On top of it all the weather was AMAZING! Beautiful blue sky, nice warm weather (hot at times) and the few times a cloud appeared it was those one of those fluffy white confections.
One of the most striking parts of the drive this day was seeing the change in eco-system. From Vancouver, B.C., to Seattle and east through Snoqualmie Pass, the countryside is pure north country. There are lots of lush evergreens with lakes tucked in here and there. As soon as you are on the east side of the pass it all changes. The trees get further and further apart. Then it slowly turns to scrub brush. By the time we reached central Washington state, it was truly barren unless watered.
|The very barren landscape of Yakima Valley|
All along we had tentatively been aiming for a stop in Ellensburg and as the we started to tire, that still looked about right. I was just about to go online to book a hotel when a text came through. One of the wives at the party we attended before we hit the road just told her husband there was a HUGE sports tournament in Spokane and everything within a 100 miles was probably fully booked. He immediately passed it on. Impossible I thought. Then I started checking. Town after town in that area showed all the hotels full. Now what?
|If you're going to be in hot places, don't forget the had, quality sunglasses|
and drink LOTS and LOTS of water.
|And don't forget some great music. I couldn't figure out how to get these CD's by|
Jody Quine and Matthew Kocel into my iPod for some reason, sodid it old school
and brought actual CD's along.