In the last three and a half weeks, Todd and I traveled on a big looping cross-country road trip to visit family and see some incredible sights. All of the driving went smoothly. We only had car trouble once, the first day, with our battery dying. Fortunately we were able to jump it (twice) and then get to a place to buy a new one fairly easily.
The coolest part about the trip for me? Todd and I getting to see all of our immediate family in one swoop. The second coolest part? Seeing two new awesome national parks (Rocky Mountain in CO and Badlands in SD) and one very cool national monument (Devil's Tower in SD).
The biggest disappointment was having to change our MI plans to stay three days with my brother, his wife and my adorable two-year old nephew Simon because they were all fighting some kind of bug.
In any case, I have been assembling in my head some interesting facts about our trip that I wanted to share with you while they are still fresh in my head. So here goes!
- Number of miles driven: well over 7,000
- Number of states visited: 15 (VA, WV, OH, MI, WI, MN, SD, WY, MT, CO, KS, MO, KY, TN, NC)
- Number of hotels stayed in (plus one cabin): 9
- Number of State and National Parks and Monuments/Memorials visited: 7 (Sleeping Bear (MI), Badlands (SD), Wind Cave National Park (SD), Crazy Horse Memorial (SD), Mount Rushmore (SD), Devil's Tower (WY), Yellowstone (MT/WY), Rocky Mountain National Park (CO))
- Number of post cards sent: 46 (I sent one home every day to myself to record our trip, and got in the groove and sent a bunch more to friends and family while I was at it)
- Types of wildlife seen: black bear, grizzly bear (3, mom and two adolescents), deer, pronghorn, elk, big horn sheep, bison, eagles, osprey, hawks, lots of other cool birds, badger (only Todd), muskrats, picas!, marmots, prairie dogs!, chipmunks, armadillo, frog, rabbits, but STILL NO MOOSE!!
- Number of serious rain storms that we drove through: 0! We were really lucky with the weather. But we did see one really cool massive storm in Kansas about 30 miles away from us.
- Highest altitude reached: over 12,000 feet! (Rocky Mountain National Park)
- Most unexpected thing to happen: accidentally coordinating our stop in South Dakota with the annual Sturgis Harley Davidson festival which attracts over 500,000 bikers.