Northwest Roadtrip

As I mentioned in my last post, Anthony and I are off on another adventure that is again taking us far from the home. As I may have mentioned before, Anthony was accepted into the University of Washington while we were abroad. This week he found out that he has also been accepted into their Community, Environment, & Planning (CEP) program, and he’ll be starting his studies at the end of this month!

So, in short, we are moving to Seattle, Washington for a while.

utica budget truck

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We might have a few too many books.

We had the truck for 10 days, so we made a few stops along the way and camped out as we went. Our friends Alyssa and Will accompanied us for the first couple of camping adventures. Below are a few photos from some of my favorite stops along the way!

Detroit, MI

We’ve never visited Detroit, and we were glad we got the chance to swing by in between campsites. We only had time to stop for lunch and then drive over to look at their famous train station, which is getting new windows put in!

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The abandoned train station, with new windows

Pinckney, MI

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Twelvemile Beach

Pictured Rock National Lakeshore on the Upper Peninsula in Michigan.

Since we were coming from Pinckney, MI (six hours away), we weren’t sure if we would be able to get a campsite at this extremely popular first-come-first-serve campgrounds, right on the banks of Lake Superior. So we left as soon as it was light out (don’t want to drive a Budget truck in the dark!). However we were incredibly lucky and got the very last available site, just as the last person was checking out!

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Sand dunes
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Lake Superior
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Sunset down on Twelvemile Beach, among the pictured rocks.
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The Pictured Rocks of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Minneapolis, Minnesota

We were very graciously hosted (inside, with a real bed and everything!) by a fellow Utican, Caitlin Mahoney, who even took us around the city on a bit of a tour in the short time we were there!

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The Badlands & the Black Hills, South Dakota

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View from our campgrounds down the road from the Crazy Horse Memorial
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The Badlands in South Dakota

Yellowstone National Park

This was a first time for both of us, and it was so cool! We saw buffalo/bison up close (almost hit one with the Budget truck, as it was hiding around the corner of a mountain O.O), examined many geysers, and camped in some of the coldest weather I think we’ve ever camped out in (low 30s F).

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tiny little icicles forming on the pine needles from the steam rising off the geysers in chilly early morning!
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Old Faithful!

Grand Teton National Park

Our most restful day of the trip, since we only had to drive an hour from Yellowstone to our campsite on Jackson Lake, with a view of the Grand Tetons.

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Jackson Hole

Bannack, Montana

When we got a state map of Montana that showed where all the ghost towns in the state were located, I learned that one of Anthony’s lifelong goals was to visit one. So we took a little detour to check out the former gold mining town of Bannack!

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Where there’s smoke, there’s fire…

As we headed into Missoula, Montana, we noticed an increase in smoke pollution from the forest fires in Eastern Washington and Western Montana. You can read more about the impact on the local communities affected by the fires here.

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And though I don’t have any pictures, when we got to the other side, we spent an absolutely lovely evening in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho with the parents of Anthony’s friend Joey, Jeanette & Joe, who also gave us an actual bed to sleep in! (which was a treat after all the camping).

And finally, here we are in Seattle! On our first day back, I returned the budget truck, and took a walk around the city while Anthony attended orientation for school.

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That night, with the help of several Seattlite friends, we had a little surprise birthday gathering for Anthony. Seems like we are always just arriving somewhere on his birthday!

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Anyway, here we are! We’re going to miss Utica, but we do plan to return and visit as often as possible (and someday, for good). So, drop us a line or come visit some time!

:) Sarah

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