When Bev and I decided to move in together, we, well mostly Bev, had to do alot of planning/packing/arranging to make that happen. We hired a moving company (scrapping our original idea to rent a Uhaul and drive it cross country) and a property management company to handle Bev's house in Washington.
On Monday, March 22, 1999, we set out at about 6:30pm from Spokane, WA to NY. Our trip took us through Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. We had beautiful, sunny weather for five straight days...how often does that happen, huh? The only clouds we hit were in Chicago. Our first destination was Butte, Montana. We made it there by midnight. We almost didn't make it though....about an hour into the drive, through Lookout Pass (a series of trecherous switchbacks through the Rockies), we came around a corner and hit a piece of concrete in the road. I thought for sure we would have a blow-out, but nothing happened. Thank God for Bev's Honda Passport!!
We set off from there on Tuesday morning, for Rapid City, South Dakota. That took us a day of driving, but we made it. Rapid City is a pretty nice town, and we plan on going back there one day for a mini vacation. Let me tell you, Montana and Wyoming...were boring! I think we counted about 12 cars or so in over 500 miles of driving. Though it was nice that Montana had no posted speed limit...we were cruising around 85 or 90 mph. We stopped for a rest in a town called Gillette, Wyoming. The most unfriendliest, nastiest people we'd met.. And, believe it or not, we hit major traffic!! What an awful place! We couldn't wait to get out of there!more...
Anyhow, on Wednesday morning, we went to see Mount Rushmore...and let me tell you, that place is frigging beautiful!! I never realized how big it is. We spent a couple hours wandering around there, and spent way too much in the gift shop, but we had a great time! By late Wednesday night, we made it to this obscure town called Albert Lea, Minnesota. The people were really friendly, there...probably the friendliest place we stayed.
Thursday, was our big "push" day, because we wanted to get home by Friday night. So we left Albert Lea and drove through, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and stopped in Cleveland, OH. We were trying to stick to about 8 hours of driving a day, but this day we drove about 11. And Bev had a marathon session of about 7 of them! She was so tired, and she ended up having to drive us through downtown Chicago...the traffic was awful!! We finally switched at the Indiana border, which was the coldest place on the trip...upper 30's, low 40's.
Let me tell you a little about Cleveland, and Super 8 Motels. We got off the interstate and stopped at the only hotel we could find...a Super 8. We should have known it was trouble because we had to be buzzed into the lobby by this toothless woman behind the desk. We got a room but went to check it out before we unloaded the luggage. It was disgusting! I won't even begin to describe the bathroom. We checked out right away, and despite how tired we were, drove another 20 minutes to a beautiful Raddison by the Cleveland Airport.
Ohio was the only state that didn't tell you what hotels were available at the exit. We had to request a brochure at the toll booth when we exited, and it only listed the hotels who wanted to participate in the damn thing. It was very frustrating. Two thumbs down for Ohio!!!
Friday, we slept late and deliberately delayed leaving because we didn't want to hit NY at rush hour. I've driven the Cross Bronx Expressway way too many times in rush hour....and this wasn't going to be one of them. We left around noonish and had a very nice drive through the rest of Ohio (good riddence to that state), PA, NJ, and finally NY!!!! What a relief it was when we started seeing signs for NY!!! We made it home about 9pm, beating all the odds. The movers told us we couldn't do it in less than 7 days!! HA!! We did it in 4 and a half!!!
So, that was our big adventure. Other than Gillette and Cleveland's Super 8, the trip was very fun, and we have no horror stories to tell. I recommend that everyone take a road trip across country, this is an amazingly huge and diverse country.