Memphis, Tennessee to Vancourver, British Columbia


The details below are a true record but the names of people have been changed to protect their identity.

The numbered points are only there to force the map generating program to reflect the actual route taken and need not necessarily have anything to do with the text.

Day 1 - Saturday, May 29 - Memphis, TN to Lincoln, NE

0.0 9:30 Leave from the apartment.
1.1 9:33 - 9:43 Walgreen’s to get a prescription.
1.3 9:45 - 9:54 McDonald’s ($3.05), and ready to set out on my trip.
The mimosa trees (with the lacy leaves) are in flower - lovely fluffy pink flowers.
It is an overcast day, very muggy and a heavy haze is hanging over Downtown Memphis.
23.5 10:18 Starting to cross the Mississippi River.
23.9 Over the main part of the river and start of the water-covered flood plain ... it is not nearly as bad as I have seen it in the past, and, in fact, some of the flood plain fields are ploughed and look to be ready for planting.
28.5 The junction with I-40 from Nashville.
43.3 The rice is up both sides of the road.
47.9 10:41 Leaving I-55 at Exit-23 for US-63 to Jonesboro and beyond.
1937 De Soto ... Washer ... had the first air conditioner in a car and was commissioned by Plymouth to make and install air conditioners ... not accepted into the draft because he was more useful at home than at the war ... also, he was the first to install air conditioning in a crop dusting airplane ... his office is still in Memphis on Danny Thomas Boulevard.
92.9 11:19 A car, in the opposite direction, lying on its side in the ditch - police car and fire truck in attendance ... this is just before Exit-45 and going into the Crowley’s Ridge area ... lots of pink roses in flower in the Sedgwick area between the road and the railway line.
This morning I am seeing a lot of crop dusting planes at work.
128.3 Yuccas in flower, roses, also butterfly milkweed.
Passing through Black Rock it was 75°.
It is very overcast - very oppressive and there is a very fine, fine drizzle ... I am between Ravenden and Hardy.
156.0 12:30 Coming into Hardy - a tremendous amount of roadwork where a hill is being blasted away (when finished the main road will bypass the historic town). I am in a long string of traffic, ahead and behind me, and have come almost to a standstill.
Also between Black Rock and here there have been yard sales and flea markets all along the way - everybody has their tables out - another reason for slowing up the traffic!
157.0 12:34 At the start of Hardy’s historic main street, where the local stores have tables out for a sidewalk sale.
74° in Mammoth Springs.
174.0 12:55 The Arkansas/Missouri State Line ... more fine drizzle ... what a dreary day! But I would rather have it dreary than for there to be tornados.
190.0 I have just checked for Jo’s address on the GPS ... it is showing that I still have 637 miles to go and 10½ hours - am not sure which way it is taking me! GPS wants to keep me on US-63 up through Willow Springs, Houston and going east!.
193.1 There is something going on here at West Plains Speedway - camps set up , lots of trailers - the campgrounds and the parking lots are full ... of course, it is Memorial Day weekend. This also is probably another explanation for all the sales taking place along the road.
198.7 1:19 Entering West Plains. There is not going to be any cheap gas this trip - I haven’t seen any less than $1.989/gallon
220.0 1:42 The sun is trying to make its presence known ... it is still trying to penetrate the cloud, but also bright enough to be casting shadows.
220.5 A big intersection for the junction with US-60 from the east - overpasses, underpasses - to make for a smooth transition ... the work is still in progress.
The sun did not make it through the cloud cover ... 594 miles to go, 9 hours and 48 minutes and this is where the GPS is turning me off on US-63 north through Houston and Rolla.
234.9 1:55 Passing that exit.
236.5 Another exit to get onto US-63, which I am ignoring ... and there is a hole in the clouds with blue sky and the sun is right there shining through.
237.5 1:58 Recalculation: 457 miles, 7 hours and 49 minutes ... that’s a big difference! So I should be in Lincoln by 10 o’clock.
The sun did not last long and some of the clouds are looking even darker.
The last time I came along this road I was traveling in the opposite direction when I was returning from the N4C Springbrook weekend, returning via Lincoln, and everything is looking very green now and all the trees have their leaves, not that early spring green color any more.
270.9 A dead armadillo at the side of the road - I can’t remember if I have seen them any further north than this! Actually I am driving in a westerly direction at the moment ... and another one, so they are certainly in this area.
284.0 The road is divided and you can’t see the traffic going in the opposite direction, but there is a lot of construction under way so the road for the opposing traffic will be adjacent to this one.
296.0 2:47 By the GPS I have 400 miles to go, 6 hours and 54 minutes.
I am on the outskirts of Springfield and the day is looking a lot brighter, more blue sky and the sun shining - just a mile before the junction with US-65, which I will take north to I-44.
304.8 2:55 Left US-60 for US-65 and it is about 8 miles to the interstate ... the pink clover is in abundance on the embankments, very pretty pink.
307.0 The gas light has just come on!
313.6 3:04 Leaving US-65 for I-44 west.
318.5 3:08 Leaving I-44 for MO-13 north ... there is a traffic jam on this highway going south.
The GPS has me leaving this route at the junction with US-54, going to Fort Scott, then north through Kansas City! This is longer than the way I plan to go.
325.8 310 tickets issued since May 24th and just before that flashing sign there was another sign: Click it or ticket”.
There is a policeman with a stopped car not long after that sign! I wonder if they were wearing their seat belt or were stopped for another reason?
346.0 3:35 - 3:50 GAS - Bolivar, MO - $1.929/gal. - 17.5 gals. - $33.78
Since leaving Bolivar there has been lots of blue sky and the sun is shining. However, there is a strong wind blowing.
366.0 4:09 Collins is straight ahead now, and it is in Collins where US-54 crosses this highway and where the GPS is directing me to go - 331 miles and still 5 hours and 38 minutes! ... a little wee Bambi dead at the side of the road.
369.0 I can now see the traffic light ahead at the junction with US-54.
369.4 4:15 Entering Collins. After crossing US-54 I am “Off Route” and being directed to make a U-turn, so it will be a while before I know how much further or how much longer to get to Lincoln.
379.2 297 miles and 5¼ hours.
383.5 4:26 Pulled off the highway to go into the cheese outlet.
384.0 4:26 - 4:35 Osceola Cheese.
384.3 4:37 Back on the highway.
388.9 A thermometer showing 88° - this is in Lowry City.
Although there are signs to share the road with horse-drawn vehicles I have not seen any today, neither here not back before Springfield in the Mansfield area.
Lots of coreopsis in flower along the roadside.
399.0 Start of the causeway across Truman Lake and just as I approached that the coreopsis were just gorgeous.
400.9 End of the causeway - the only bird life I saw was one great blue heron.
402.2 Start of a causeway over another arm of Truman Lake - the South Grand River (the last one, I think, was Deepwater).
403.6 End of the causeway - no sign of any bird life.
417.1 Masses of wild pink roses.
So far today I have not seen any hawks.
439.4 The corn crops are up about a foot, maybe a bit higher.
446.3 5:31 Junction with US-71 north to Kansas City ... 231 miles to go, 3 hours 56 minutes.
471.1 5:52 78° and I am into a lot of traffic now, but I only have about a mile to reach I-435.
473.0 5:54 On the ramp turning onto I-435.
474.4 Some new buffalo sculptures to my right, Indians and cowboys with their horses to the left, carts, covered wagons - flat metal sculptures or cutouts - something quite new along here.
475.4 More of them to my right.
6:00 The sky is looking rather ominous and scary looking as far as I am concerned! It is also starting to rain a bit.
481.4 GPS wants me to take I-70 west in one mile, go into Kansas City then north on I-29 and it is supposed to be 196 miles from that point.
490.1 A tornado warning for Platte, Atchison and Buchanan Counties, which means I am in the path of it and I don’t know what to do - supposed to take shelter.
505.7 6:23 Entering Platte County.
517.9 6:34 The traffic has come to a stop ... there is a policeman directing everyone off the highway. As cars went up the ramp from the highway some were turning right, some left and some going down the ramp back onto the highway! I asked the policeman what was going on and he said there were tornadoes all over the ground ahead!
519.0 6:41 - 7:36 Holed up at a gas station waiting out a storm - I think from looking at the map that it was at Exit-19 that the police directed all traffic to leave the Interstate.
520.2 7:38 Back on the Interstate at Interchange 20. This is where the policeman made us leave the highway, but it seems to be clear now. I’m still a bit scared!
541.1 7:55 Pulled off the road because of a hail storm now.
542.9 7:59 I’ve pulled up under the next overpass, because I was out in the open where I pulled up before! ... marble to 1 inches size hail falling.
553.1 The road is now dry. It is hard to believe that just a short time ago I was driving in pelting rain with the windshield wiper on the highest speed and hailstones. It was horrible! And here I am driving on dry road.
580.1 8:36 I still have 105 miles to go, about 1 hour and 54 minutes and it is not completely dark yet, but it is nighttime ... too bad about having to leave the highway for that hour, otherwise I would almost have made it to Lincoln in daylight.
592.1 8:45 There is lightning activity ahead of me, so I may not be out of the wood yet!
8:48 I think that I have just picked up a Nebraska radio station and they are broadcasting thunderstorm warnings and flash floods for quite a large part of Nebraska, also including Otoe County where Nebraska City is, which is also along my route! So, I am going to continue while it is still fine - the lightning is ahead - and maybe when I get off the Interstate I could stop at one of those big service centers in Percival.
If I hadn’t been directed off the highway for the tornadoes and if I hadn’t stopped for the hail storm, I would probably have been just about there by now!
I just hope that the deer are as scared of the weather as I am and stay away from the road.
605.1 8:56 There is a lot of lightning, the road is still dry, but there has been a tiny bit of drizzle on the windshield.
606.9 The sky is becoming very black again.
611.7 9:01 I am leaving the highway because of the warnings about the weather in the Brownville area ... I am on the interstate, but just east of where they are expecting that weather!
612.0 9:04 - 10:25 Rock Port Subway and Cocono Service Sation, I-29 & US-136, waiting for another storm to pass over!
The storm is still going on - it just poured - not quite as bad now, and I have decided to head out and hope that I will be OK.
612.5 10:28 Back on the highway.
625.9 10:41 The Missouri/Iowa State Line. Ever since leaving Rockport there has been a tremendous amount of lightning, some of it sheet lightning, and then there would be streaks of lightning running parallel with the earth and forking out in all directions. I don’t think that I have seen lightning like that before. It is like a giant fireworks display.
635.9 10:50 Leaving I-29 at Exit-10.
639.4 Crossing the Missouri River.
639.6 Nebraska.
11:00 The lightning has calmed down considerably - there are still some flashes just when you think there aren’t going to be any more - streaks that look like arteries with veins going out from them, or the trunk of a tree and all the limbs getting smaller and smaller, the tree being upside down. At times the lightning was almost blinding.
Also the rain has stopped now. It is hard to believe that ½ an hour ago I had the wipers going at full speed and still could hardly see the road - the rain was pelting down so hard - and although there is still some lightning in various parts of the sky I am now driving on dry road again.
Although the road is dry there is water lying in pools on the shoulder.
684.9 Turned left on Pine Lake Road.
688.0 11:42 I have arrived at Jo’s and Sam’s ... What a drive!

The day’s total - 688 miles
Trip Total - 688 miles

Day 2 - Sunday, May 30 - Lincoln, NE

After yesterday’s scary drive and late arrival, I slept in this morning. We had a pretty lazy day, but did go out to do some grocery shopping.

The day’s total - 0 miles
Trip Total - 688 miles

Day 3 - Monday, May 31 - Lincoln, NE to Tremonton, UT

688.0 7:35 Leave from Jo’s and Sam’s ... a clear blue sky and the sun is shining and I am hoping that today’s weather will be pleasant for the whole day.
698.4 7:50 Joined into I-80.
784.6 8:56 Left the highway to get gas. It is 60°.
786.0 8:59 - 9:13 GAS - Grand Island, NE - $2.099/gal. - 16.676 gals. - $35.00
Since getting gas the temperature has gone up to 61°.
787.4 9:16 Back on the Interstate.
813.0 A field with some llamas in it to the left of the road.
It is a very pleasant morning traveling across Nebraska which is beautifully green at this time of the year.
892.0 10:35 It is 3 hours since I left from Jo’s and Sam’s and I have done 204 miles.
907.6 10:47 Puling off for a Rest Area. I have never been into this particular rest area before.
908.1 10:48 - 11:05 Fort McPherson Rest Area - It is beautiful with lots of trees, picnic tables - I walked over to look at the granite sculpture and took a picture of that and the Fort McPherson & North Platte Historical Marker.
908.8 11:06 Back on I-80. That was a very nice little break.
953.9 11:40 Entering Mountain Time Zone, so now it is an hour earlier, that is 10:40.
I have done 266 miles in 4 hours and 5 minutes.
957.5 I am passing the Paxton Cemetery where there are long lines of American flags fluttering in the wind and there are a lot of people gathered there as if a Memorial service is being held on this Memorial Day.
1,004.0 Passing an oil pump to the right - I don’t recall having seen any quite this far east. Also at that point as the road starts to rise up from the South Platte River the wild yuccas on the embankment are in flower.
1,011.0 Some pronghorns to the south of the road - again I don’t think I have seen pronghorns this far east before ... and a hawk overhead.
1,051.3 A number of oil pumps to the north of the road, also irrigation sprinklers operating with a fine spray on a circular field.
1,080.4 Tumbleweed rolling across the road.
1,082.7 Exit-22, one of the Kimball exits ... there are seven big power generating windmills above the town. The sky is no longer clear blue and has had a lot of white fluffy clouds for some distance now. Ahead I had been noticing that it looked a bit streaky as if it was raining and now I am getting a few rain spots on the windshield.
1,105.0 12:35 6 hours since leaving this morning - 417 miles.
1,106.1 12:36 The Nebraska/Wyoming State Line.
1,107.0 12:36 Exit-401 - leaving the highway to get gas.
1,108.0 12:38 - 12:50 GAS - Pine Bluff, WY - $1.88/gal. - 15.881 gals. - $30.00
1,108.4 12:52 Back on I-80 ... a very strong wind was blowing whilst I was getting gas, and now, driving on the highway I can feel it buffeting the car and see it pushing tumbleweeds across the road.
1,132.6 Looking to the southwest I can see mountains with snow on them.
1,140.2 63°.
1,144.5 Cheyenne the next 4 exits.
1,157.5 Pronghorns to the right.
1,160.4 A larger group of pronghorns to the south of the road.
1,161.7 Left lane closed for the first roadwork I have encountered, that is the first for which part of the road has been closed - and, of course, noone is working today. Speed imit reduced to 65 mph from 75 mph and there are some people going at 45 mph!
1,165.9 End of roadwork.
1,171.7 At the top of a crest and looking towards the Sherman Mountains ... ever since crossing the State Line Wyoming has been looking beautiful and green. All that is needed to complete the peaceful scene of blue sky with scattered white clouds, mountains and green grass would be a herd of pronghorns!
1,178.4 The tree growing in the rock in the median is still alive and well.
1,187.9 Elevation 8,640 feet (8,579 feet on the GPS).
1:56 I have just passed the Lincoln Monument (the one where Lincoln is taking a shower! In 1992 when my cousin from Perth was with me she made the comment that the monument looked a bit like Lincoln was in a shower stall and that’s what I remember every time I pass by this way!)
1,202.2 A herd of pronghorns to the right, more than I could count, all sitting down in the green grass.
1,207.6 A lone pronghorn to the right ... there are less clouds in the sky than there were earlier.
1,210.4 This is the second lot of low ground which is all white, salty or alkaline, like a dry white lake.
1,211.8 Roadwork, left lane closed again and two-way traffic for 9 miles ... and now there is another low-lying area, but this one has water in it and is white at the edges.
1,213.8 Another patch.
1,216.4 A much larger herd of pronghorns to the north, all grazing on the green grass.
1,217.5 More to the south and just after that a lone big buck to the north in a field where there are a lot of cattle.
1,220.8 End of the roadwork - that seemed like a really long 9 miles!
1,223.5 More pronghorns to the north ... this is quite an exciting day in that I am seeing a lot of pronghorns, more than I have seen in some time. Sometimes you drive through and don’t see a single one.
1,224.5 Two more.
1,232.5 I am approaching Arlington, and from this direction there is a better view of the long string of windmills at this wind farm.
1,233.9 More pronghorns to the south and I am driving at the north end of the Medicine Bow Range and the windmills are still ahead of me.
1,240.2 Exit-272 for Arlington - location of all the windmills ... to the left of that exit there are still some small patches of snow on the green hillsides.
1,246.4 There is still a lot of snow on Elk Mountain which is ahead of me and I guess the township is about 14 miles from here.
1,284.7 Crossing the North Platte River and I have decided to get off at the Rest Area here to get out something to eat.
1,285.0 3:11 Exit-228 and I am leaving the highway ... I have never been off the road at this particular Rest Area ... double back on the highway for about ½ mile, I think. The next Rest Area is about 82 miles.
1,286.0 3:13 - 3:32 Fort Steele Historic Site is in this area as well ... Fort Steele Rest Area - 2 pictures.
Funny - three men all standing against fence posts, their legs apart, presumably peeing!
1,287.0 3:34 Back on I-80 ... near milepost 228. The wind is pretty ferocious today - I could hardly stand up at the Rest Area and now I need to keep the car under control as the wind buffets it!
A sign: “Strong wind possible”
There have been numerous police cars on the eastbound road, all with vehicles stopped - I think I have seen about five of them! None on this side!
1,309.5 The Continental Divide, El. 7,000 feet (6,952 feet on GPS). This is the Divide on the eastern side of the Red Desert Basin, which has no outlet for any drainage, either to the Atlantic or the Pacific.
1,320.1 A lone pronghorn to the south.
1,342.4 Some pronghorn bucks to the north of the road - just before Exit-173 for Wamsutter
1,349.8 4:23 ½ mile before Exit-165 and I have just completed listening to the entire set of Vinyl Street Café CDs. I started them just after getting onto the Interstate in Lincoln.
1,351.6 4:24 Rock Springs is 60 miles, Evanston 161 miles.
1,353.9 To the south a mother pronghorn with two babies.
1,357.9 4:29 Continental Divide, El. 6,930 feet (6,968 feet - GPS) - the western Divide, that is to the west of the Red Desert Basin.
I have just plugged into the GPS West Yakima Avenue, Yakima, Washington, and waiting to see what will come up.
1,376.0 4:43 879 miles, 13 hours and 36 minutes.
So far today I have been on the road for 10 hours and I have taken a few breaks, and I’m not done yet for the day. If I drive for another 2 hours, that would still only be 7:45 and then I would have the same time to go again tomorrow! I think that I am doing well.
Because of the extremely strong head winds today, and, of course, climbing into the mountains, I am not getting a very good mileage. I have just been thinking about lots of other things and forgot to say there was road construction again with two-way traffic on the eastbound lanes - don’t know for how long!
Two-way traffic the next 8 miles going our way and 7 miles going east, so that is 15 miles of two-way traffic.
1,408.5 Rock Springs next 4 exits.
1,410.4 Returning to our own lanes.
1,411.5 Left lane closed again ... two-way traffic in our lanes.
1,414.1 End of the road work.
1,414.8 5:16 Leaving the interstate in Rock Springs.
1,415.0 Lv 5:27 GAS - Rock Springs, WY - $1.999/gal. - 17.257 gals. - $34.50
5:29 Back on I-80.
Sign across road - left lane closed.
1,425.5 Both lanes open again.
1,427.2 Reduced speed just before entering the tunnel at Green River.
1,436.0 I can see the Uinta Mountain Range now and there is a lot of snow there still.
1,452.5 Left lane ends again and two-way traffic for the next 10 miles. When I came all the way across Nebraska and well into Wyoming without any roadwork I thought that it was too good to be true. It was!
Some magnificent views of the Uinta Mountains even if they are in the distance.
1,461.4 Entering Uinta County and end of roadwork.
1,471.1 Lots of pronghorns south of the road, also a police car stopped where a ewe and a lamb are out on the interstate - he was trying to get the sheep off the road!
1,476.4 Passing Exit-41 for Lyman, beautifully green at present and lots of cattle grazing with the backdrop of the snow-covered Uinta Mountains and there is a lot of sprinklers working in large fields, I suspect for hay - a lot of irrigating being done throughout this area.
1,491.5 At the top of a big hill and I can see where the road goes down then up the other side and at the top of the other side, and going for several miles, I would say, along a ridge north of the road numerous (too many to count) windmills.
1,494.3 More land to the south being irrigated.
The road going up the other side is three lanes wide with trucks allowed to use only the right two lanes - none of this with two trucks blocking both lanes preventing cars from getting by!
1,498.4 At the top and around a corner and the windmills are still ahead.
1,501.0 6:35 12 hours since leaving - 813 miles.
1,502.8 Ogden, UT, is 91 miles.
1,503.9 Small aspens on the north-facing slopes of the hills to the south - their leaves still have that spring green color, having not fully leafed out yet.
1,504.7 Another three-lane uphill climb and to the south on the slopes lots of sheep grazing amongst the sagebrush ... more aspens.
1,511.7 6:43 Evanston the next 3 exits ... and the sun is still fairly high in the sky.
A sign for Historic Downtown Riverwalk - sounds interesting and maybe I should look into that sometime on one of my trips!
I’m driving on tonight to see how far I can get before the sun dips behind the mountains!
1,514.6 Crossing Bear River - that is probably where the Riverwalk is.
1,521.0 6:50 The Wyoming/Utah State Line.
1,523.8 An animal to my left - it looked too big for a pronghorn. My first impression was an elk, but then it was lighter in color than what I thought an elk was!
1,526.0 Start of the long descent tp Echo, lots of red embankments and I know there are red promontories or cliffs further down.
I am trying to remember when was the last time that I traveled this road in this direction - mostly I have been traveling west to east having gone south several times through Arizona then west of the mountains to Vancouver.
1,537.3 Still going down, down, down ........ Weigh Station Echo Port of Entry and there was a sign out on the road to say the ramp was full and for other trucks to bypass the port of entry!
1,539.3 Although the sun is still high in the sky, the road, which is still continuing to descend down through Echo Canyon, is in shadow.
1,545.0 Still going down, but now in the area of what is more like the canyon with the red rocky bluffs to the right of the road.
1,550.8 7:14 Left I-80 for I-84.
1,551.5 Ogden is 43 miles. Of course, I-84 from Echo winds through a canyon before it gets to Ogden so I don’t expect to see much of the sun, but it should still be up after I get through the mountains.
1,563.5 Twin Falls, Idaho, is now only 216 miles.
1,564.0 The canyon has opened up into a bit wider valley and there are farms here, fields, cattle and at the end of the valley and around the corner there will be mountains again and I can see some of them now and there is still a lot of snow on them.
1,566.6 Around the corner just before Exit-103 for Morgan and the snowy mountains are in front of me. I have stopped to take pictures of these in the past. The sun is still high above the mountain tops yet.
It is beautiful to see the green valleys with sheep and cattle and the rugged mountains with snow on them as a backdrop.
The road is still going through this valley and Exit-96 is coming up for the ski areas, Snow Basin and Nordic Park. The valley has more or less come to an end at milepost 97.
1,574.2 Passing Exit-96.
Before turning onto I-84, there was a sign that this road was under construction and suggesting travelers to find an alternate route. However, it is not blocked off so you can’t come on it, but for the most part it is two-way traffic and the lanes in the opposite direction look as if they have been all ripped up and are being rebuilt.
1,579.0 7:39 End of two-way traffic and Ogden is 8 miles, Brigham City 31 miles. I will be looking for a motel somewhere between Ogden and Brigham City.
1,582.6 7:42 Through the mountains and the sun is still high in the sky.
1,585.5 There are places here where you can pull off the interstate and there are wooden stiles over the fence allowing access to the creek or river. In some places there are a lot of cars pulled off and people with fishing lines.
1,587.5 Still seeing wooden stiles every 50' or so along the road for going over the fence and down to the river.
The mountains to my right are rather lovely with the glow of the sun on them.
1,590.5 7:49 Junction with I-15 north.
1,603.5 Coming this way, that is driving north, you can see the water of the Great Salt Lake better - don’t notice it as much when coming south.
1,606.5 I am driving right alongside the lake now.
1,630.2 I left I-84 for I-15 and I have exited at the wrong place - I should have stayed on I-84, and taken the Tremonton exit off that road so will take the first exit I come to here and will work my way back! I have done an about turn and will go back down I-15 to I-84.
There is still some snow on the top of some of the mountains
1,633.8 Back on the interstate.
1,633.9 8:25 Leaving the highway for the motel.
1,634.3 8:27 Pulled into Western Inn, Tremonton, UT.
1,634.0 8:41 Room 123.

The day’s total - 946 miles
Trip Total - 1,634 miles

Day 4 - Tuesday, June 1 - Tremonton, UT to Yakima, WA

1,634.0 7:35 Leave Western Inn, Tremonton, UT.
1,634.6 7:36 I have joined I-84 West. It is another glorious morning with the sun shining.
1,636.9 Boise 265 miles .... GPS: 626 miles and about 9¾ hours.
1,643.6 I was thinking how green all the hills are, and at this point there is such a contrast of greens because there is grass growing between the sagebrush bushes - two totally different greens and there are a lot of black cattle grazing between the bushes as well.
1,653.1 I am just noticing a dear little pioneer house, a wooden house, the third of three old pioneer houses that are no longer lived in. Two of them were actually quite attractive looking places with trees growing around them, and, of course at present, with the green grass and pleasant surroundings, they looked as if they were very pleasant places to live at one time.
1,653.6 2 pronghorns to my left.
1,655.9 Fields both sides of the road all tilled ready for planting ... coreopsis and lupines in flower. I find it strange how many of the hills are bare - green with grass but don’t have any trees or shrubs growing on them - then you get some hills which have sagebrush on them - makes me wonder if the sagebrush was completely cleared or just didn’t grow there and now at ..........
1,659.5 There are junipers growing on a hillside. You can always tell when some of the mountains are higher because they still have some snow on them, which are the ones in the distance in front of me at the moment.
1,667.6 Snowville just ahead and there are two or three ranges all with a little snow on top.
1,668.9 Road construction, left lane is closed.
1,669.9 End of roadwork - a bridge is being rebuilt.
Sprinklers working ... lots of cows grazing, all with calves.
1,673.5 In a broad, fairly flat valley ... there are a number of homes ... sprinklers working, but with a very fine spray coming out of pipes hanging down from the main pipe. The mountains directly in front of me have a bit of snow on their tops, but I am noticing that there are also some mining operations on the slopes ... The mountains with the snow on them are all in Idaho ... just saw a largish bird with a very long bill!
1,676.2 8:08 The Utah/Idaho State Line ... Burley is 67 miles, Twin Falls 102 miles.
1,677.9 A lot of red wildflowers in bloom. It isn’t Indian paintbrush, but maybe that red one, the name of which always escapes me! A stalk coming up with a lot of bell-type flowers hanging down from it with little buds at the top.
1,681.6 Severe storm area the next 20 miles ... also passing the exit for the Rest Area which is tucked in among juniper bushes and which is a geological site with interpretive markers regarding the valley to the southwest which was part of the ancient Lake Bonneville.
Well I don’t think I need be concerned about any severe storms today - the valley is looking very calm and very peaceful.
1,687.2 Some deer to the left in a field of tall grass.
1,687.9 Embankments covered in those red flowers, both sides of the road.
1,688.8 A pronghorn by itself, lying down resting and that is in a ploughed field!
Some beautiful blue flowers in the median ... my first thought was lupines, but they are the color of gentians ... there is also flax in flower. You might say this is a very colorful drive this morning.
1,690.6 Ploughed fields to the left, circular fields where the hay has been cut and the hay is in long circular lines ready for being picked up and baled. Then there are the beautiful colored flowers alongside the road, the mountains as a backdrop and snow on the tops of those and well kept homes and farm buildings - beautiful.
1,692.3 Deer Migration Crossing for the next 3 miles ... and I have just seen the first truck with three trailers, something which is often seen in this area and the northwest.
From that valley the road has been climbing.
1,694.7 8:22 Sweetzer Summit - 5,339 feet (GPS - 5,475 feet) and from here the road is going down through the hills which are now covered with sagebrush. Up to that point farmers were ploughing the rolling hills, which are foothills to the mountains to the left.
1,704.1 “Frequent High Winds” ... “Occasional Dust Storms”.
1,705.6 Barely visible on the horizon ahead to the right are the snowy peaks of a long range of mountains.
1,707.8 Just passing an exit where there is also a Sinclair gas station, something worth remembering.
1,711.6 8:35 I have been on the road for 1 hour now and have done 78 miles.
1,716.6 More ploughed fields, planted fields, irrigation pipes, sprinklers working, more heavily populated ... again, another delightful area ... some circular fields.
1,720.6 Three huge sheds, very long, open at the sides for cattle, huge haystacks and rows and rows of plastic homes for calves - I think a very large dairy farm and the fields all have sprinklers with a fine spray watering circular fields of alfalfa for the production of hay.
1,723.9 Passing a weigh station combined with a Rest Area and Tourist Information - I don’t remember this place from previous trips. Maybe it has always been here but it seems new. Next Rest Area is 168 miles. So it is a long way to the next one! The weigh station was open and a number of trucks were stopped there. I am getting much better mileage on this tank of gas than on the previous two. I think the strong head winds were against me yesterday.
Wow! I am on the curve now to join up with the road from Pocatello and the mountains which were to my left are now to the south of me and there is a lot of snow on the top of the highest part which you can’t see from the other road.
1,732.2 Junction with the road from Pocatello, that is I-86 - it is also US-30 to Pocatello and now, although I can’t see the Snake River, this very broad balley is the valley of the Snake River and I think that I will be crossing it just ahead.
It is interesting seeing all the farming, irrigation.
1,737.3 Starting to cross a very full Snake River. The contrast between the land that is cultivated and that which is left in its natural state - it is very rocky and covered in sagebrush and doesn’t look as if you could do anything with it at all, and yet what the farmers have done is absolutely . The road also crosses a number of canals which are full of water carrying water to various areas.
1,751.1 Ploughed fields which are sand colored, then I thought that is a silly color to call it! Through my travels I have seen white sands, pink sands, coral sands - I guess the best description is biscuit colored - milk arrowroot biscuits.
My! What a busy area! Ploughed fields, crops up, sprinklers working, some on the long wheeled sprinkler system, others pipes poking up out of the ground. I am trying to recall if I have ever been through here at this particular time of the year. When I came up for (my daughter) Anna’s wedding it was 2 months earlier; when I came for Rose’s birthday I came through Arizona; I can’t recall having been through here at the time of the year - it is just beautiful.
1,761.6 A huge field to the left where the hay has already been cut.
1,769.4 Twin Falls the next 2 exits ... 45° ... snow capped mountain range to my left in the far distance ... lots of hay has already been cut.
1,774.2 Someone’s garden with a long row of peonies all in flower.
1,776.6 Now the land is covered in lava hillocks - I guess you could call it Malpais.
The next exit into Twin Falls is for US-93 south to Wells, Nevada, and those snow-capped mountains are now to the south of me and probably, if one was traveling on US-93 into Nevada they would pass those mountains.
1,783.9 Passing a very large dairy farm, Holsteins, on the left, huge haystacks like you wouldn’t believe, sheds for cattle and feeding stations.
1,784.4 Another big dairy, also on the left ... so is a big dairying area.
1,786.2 9:33 Leaving the Interstate at Exit-168 to get gas before continuing because there are not many gas stations between here and Boise.
1,787.0 9:35 - 9:47 GAS - Jerome, ID... also rest stop and cleaned windshield
- $2.099/gal. - 14.293 gals. - $30.00
1,787.3 9:48 Back on I-84.
1,792.2 Another very big dairy farm, to the left of the highway, a huge one.
1,794.5 More dairy farms, all with mountains of hay bales, the super-sized rectangular or cubic bales.
1,796.1 The field to my right looks as if it has potatoes growing in it and irrigation sprinklers are watering the plants.
This morning I am going to make note of the various exits where it is possible to purchase gas. I remember coming along here one time and panicking because I couldn’t find any, so I want to see how often they occur!
1,798.3 A Sinclair gas station at Exit-157 for Wendell and Gooding.
The clouds which were white and fluffy when I set out this morning have all disappeared now and I am driving under a clear blue sky.
1,803.2 Another big dairy operation to the left.
1,805.5 Left lane closed.
1,806.0 Two-way traffic starts ... also at that point another big dairy to the left. I had thought about leaving the highway to visit the Malad Gorge State Park, but with the road construction and the two-way traffic it is probably better that I have decided against doing that.
1,809.3 Crossing the Malad River, which, of course, is in the gorge and you can’t see anything from the road.
1,814.7 Exit-141 for Bliss and Hagerman and I can see a Texaco station, also a Philips 66.
1,818.3 End of the roadwork and two-way traffic.
1,825.4 Right land closed and there is going to be two-way traffic again on the eastbound lanes. The road has all been torn up.
1,827.7 Crossing a river - not sure if it is the Snake River or not, but I think it is. It sure is a long stretch of torn-up road.
1,834.2 Starting to cross the Snake River.
1,836.0 Crossing back to our own side of the road and hopefully this will be the end of the roadwork.
1,840.5 I’m not sure whether I should believe my eyes or not - I just saw four pelican flying above the Snake River.
1,844.1 Passing Exit-112 for Hammett ... there was a sign for gas - didn’t say what kind and it is not near the highway.
1,845.0 10:35 Now 3 hours since I left the motel this morning and I have done 211 miles.
1,846.0 Passing a wreck on the side of the road - car looks as if it has been totaled ... police cars ... all the rest of the stuff has been cleared away.
Passing a truck from Ayr, Ontario, also registered in Cambridge and just back a little bit before that the road started to rise up away from the Snake River valley and passing through more desolate hills now.
1,855.2 The right lane is closed.
1,855.4 The cones are being picked up so the road is open again.
1,856.6 Passing Exit-99, the first exit for Mountain Home, and I believe the exit I took when I needed to get gas one time. I did find it eventually, much closer to a later exit!. Mountain Home is not right on the highway. That was the same trip when I should have found a motel here in Mountain Home as well because I didn’t want to stay in Boise and I went on to Caldwell and I had trouble finding somewhere in Caldwell.
1,858.2 Have just seen a Gambols quail at the side of the road.
1,861.1 Passing Exit-95 where there are a number of different gas stations and where Mountain Home is much closer to the highway - Chevron, Pilot and others. There are also motels here.
Mountain Home is like an oasis in the high desert with lots of trees throughout the community.
1,866.5 Exit-90 for Mountain Home and there is a Chevron gas station.
1,886.1 Passing Exit-71 and there is a gas station here which is less than 20 miles from Boise ... 74°.
1,896.6 Looking through the hills to the valley where Boise is located - it is very hazy, maybe even some pollution.
1,899.5 Boise City Limit.
1,900.2 Right lane closed.
1,901.3 The end of roadwork.
1,913.7 The end of more roadwork ... a great big motor home pulling an SUV behind it. The licence plate on the SUV was - POOR 1 and the licence plate on the motor home - POOR 2.
1,916.2 A herd of elk in a high-fenced yard to the left - this is brtween Boise and Nampa.
1,919.0 Nampa City Limit - the population is over 51,000; the population of Boise was over 185,000, and I think there is still Meridian ahead which is another large city, so it is a fairly heavily populated area through here. Also the speed limit remains at 65 mph which started back east of Boise and it was even less than that through the construction area. Meridian must have come before Nampa because the next city is Caldwell
Sign: “Click it, Don’t risk it” - a different one from “Click it or Ticket”.
1,930.0 Caldwell, pop. 26,000.
1,931.6 A lot of water in the Boise River.
1,938.3 Dairy farm to the right.
1,942.0 Passing a mansion on the left and a hovel on the right!
A small van with an Oregon licence plate - Batesville Casket Company.
Not wanting to buy gas in Oregon I will be leaving the highway at Exit-3, which is also the exit for US-95 to Fruitland and Payette.
1,955.8 12:03 Pulled off I-84.
1,956.0 12:05 - 12:16 GAS - Fruitland, ID - $2.119/gal. - 6.147 gals. - $13.03
1,956.5 12:18 Back on I-84.
1,959.1 Starting to cross the Snake River.
1,959.3 End of the bridge and entered Oregon.
1,959.6 12:21 Leaving the Interstate in Ontario at a Rest Area and Welcome Center - time for me to make myself some lunch.
1,960.0 12:21 - 12:39 Welcome Center ... lunch.
1,960.2 12:41 Back on I-84.
Exit-374 is for OR-201 to Weiser. This is the other end of the road I have come out on when visiting Roger’s sister.
There are a lot of yellow flowers blooming, but just driving past I am unable to identify them. Since leaving Ontario I am driving through mountains and on the way downhill from a high point and way ahead in the distance I can see where the road goes up again. Besides the yellow flowers there is some sagebrush, a little bit of grass, quite a lot of bare land, no trees or shrubs.
1,975.6 2,473 feet - about as low down as the road will go and now the road is starting to climb to the next summit.
1,977.3 2,798 feet - a high point, then dipping down a bit before going up again.
1,978.6 I could look out over a very fertile valley, valley of the Snake River.
1,979.4 The road is looking straight downhill towards the Snake River. It is wonderful to see so much green. Most of the hills are bare because they have nothing at all on them, but if there is any grass they are green.
1,981.3 Passing Exit-356 for OR-201 to Weiser.
1,981.8 Where the road from Weiser joins the highway, the Interstate is right alongside the Snake River.
1,984.6 There are gas stations, also a motor inn at Exit-353 for Huntington.
1,987.2 1:04 Entering the Pacific Time Zone, so now the time is 12:04.
2,006.3 Boy! Is there ever a lot of mountain being carved out here near this cement works.
2,007.1 Passing the cement plant.
2,009.0 A red-tail hawk hovering overhead.
2,009.3 Another one. I am always able to identify the red-tail hawks when they are flying because you can see their distinguished red tails.
2,014.3 Lots of those red flowers on the hillside to my right, also on the embankment. There is also some Indian paintbrush flowering on the embankment.
Since the cement plat I have been seeing a lot of trains, going in both directions and they have both steep descents and steep climbs. They have to travel fairly slowly going downhill and probably can’t go fast uphill. They are also fairly long trains.
A little way back I could see this little point of white sticking up and thinking that looks like a mountain but it can’t be, rather just a whiff of cloud showing up and now at ...........
2,021.6 I have come around a corner and sure enough what I was notic9ing was a snow-covered mountain ... and here is another train, this one going east (or south!)
Wow! This time of the year is really very beautiful because the mountains are that much more impressive when they have snow on them, then the dark areas where the snow has melted, then the green hills and wildflowers everywhere. Beautiful. It is absolutely beautiful!
2,025.9 Wow! I am driving straight towards the mountains now - Baker City is only 8 miles, so I am thinking these mountains are some of the ones I went through when I went west from Baker City to Sumpter and on to Ukiah.
2,032.2 12:43 Exit-306 - leaving the Interstate to go down through Baker City. I am doing this because Anna has asked me to get something at a drug store for George.
2,033.6 On US-30 - entering Baker City.
2,034.3 A mass of purple irises in flower, deep purple and white irises, peonies, roses.
At the junction with OR-7 to Sumpter. I have found a pharmacy and there is a Wells Fargo bank as well ... gas here is $2.199!
2,036.0 12:56 - 1:00 Rite Aid in Baker trying to get melatonin for George, my grandson - no luck
2,036.7 1:05 Bi Mart - still nothing.
2,036.9 1:11 - 1:17 Albertson’s - No joy! I am returning to the Interstate now. That was very disappointing - I went to three different pharmacies and not one of them carried what I am supposed to be getting for Anna, the melatonin.
There are snowy mountain ranges on both sides of this valley in which Baker City is located.
2,037.8 1:19 I am back on I-84.
2,039.5 A house by a large dam ... green fields ... other farms beyond, then the mountains, the kinds of pictures for calendars or postcards.
2,043.9 La Grande is only 38 miles and in that distance I have to finish crossing this beautiful valley, go up into some hills, then down through Ladd Canyon and across the wildlife marshland. So it is a very interesting drive and very pleasant.
2,054.2 1:33 Crossing the 45th parallel - halfway between the North Pole and the Equator ... the equivalent parallel in the southern hemisphere passes through the southern end of New Zealand’s south island ... Australia is entirely between the 45th parallel and the Equator.
It is now 7 hours since I left the motel this morning and I still have 3½ hours to go.
2,061.6 Truck Safety Corridor the next 67 miles. The last time I saw a Truck safety Corridor was in Arizona.
2,066.1 Over a high point and now starting the descent into Ladd Canyon.
2,067.3 Am starting to see some pine trees. I am enthralled with how green everything is except for the higher mountains which have snow on them.
2,069.1 Downgrade the next 3 miles, Rest Area in 5 miles, which is after going through the canyon.
2,073.1 Beautiful yellow and lemon colored irises at the entrance to the Rest Area.
2,082.2 Right lane closed ... crossing the Grande Ronde River.
2,082.5 Being crossed over to the eastbound lanes.
2,083.5 A high bridge completely out, so that part of the road will be closed for some time.
2,084.0 End of roadwork and switching back to our own lanes.
2,085.9 The left lane is closed now and the eastbound lanes are all torn up as is also a bridge.
2,086.8 End of roadwork.
Trains! Trains! And more trains! I have seen more trains today in this area than I have ever seen before.
2,096.8 I believe it is yellow lupines that I can see on the embankment on the other side of the road.
2,101.7 2:14 Summit Blue Mountains, El. 4,193 feet (GPS - 4,127 feet).
2,110.9 Entering the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
2,114.8 Pendleton is only 18 miles and this is in the first warning area for 6 miles of 6% downgrade ahead. The weigh station before the trucks start the descent is open.
There is a lot of balsamroot flowering.
Test! Test! ... depending on the number of axles a vehicle has so the speed is set at various limits.
2,117.5 This is the second warning for the 6% downgrade for 6 miles and this is right by where the “up” lane come back to being close to the down traffic. The speed limits range for 37 mph down to 18 mph depending on the number of axles.
2,118.8 The downgrade begins, and except for the haze you can see right down to the bottom and for a long way beyond. Also I am looking out over Pendleton. I don’t think I will see anything of the big mountains today because of the haze and the little bit of cloud which is sitting on the horizon.
2,121.4 Patches of pink on the slopes high up above me as I come around a bend, but I don’t know what flowers they are.
2,125.3 More or less at the bottom of the descent.
2,128.8 Pendleton is the next 3 or 4 exits - you wouldn’t even know it was there because it is tucked right down in a valley.
2,130.6 Leaving the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
2,148.0 Right lane closed for a short distance - bridge work being done.
2,148.5 End of roadwork.
2,151.6 Huge field of potatoes or that’s what it looks like to me.
2,152.0 There is a shed half buried under the ground which would be a good storage shed for potatoes.
2,164.0 3:08 Leaving I-84 at Exit-179 for I-82 and the fianl leg into Yakima.
2,165.1 3:10 Yakima is 109 miles - 1 hour and 45 minutes (111 miles on the GPS) - should be there around 4:55, plus whatever extra time it is to get to Sarah’s!
2,172.4 There’s the bridge over the Columbia River - can’t see the river yet, but I can see the superstructure of the original bridge.
2,173.3 Crossing the Umatilla River where there was quite a lot of white water to my right as I crossed the river.
The old bridge is for the lanes going in the opposite direction.
2,174.7 Start of the bridge over the Columbia, a pretty full looking river at present.
2,175.1 The Oregon/Washington State Line in the middle of the bridge.
2,175.4 End of the bridge.
2,183.7 Roadwork - left lane closed.
2,186.1 End of roadwork.
2,190.8 I am just amazed at the steepness of some of the hills which have been ploughed - not sure how the tractors can stay upright!
2,205.8 An interesting way the trees are trained for easy picking - there is a pole or post by the trunk of the tree, then about 3 feet up there is a V made with poles from the main one and the tree is trained in a V direction so there is nothing down the center of it - it would be easy for picking fruit - I know what I have just seen, but don’t know how to explain it.
2,226.7 Crossing the Yakima River.
2,230.8 I have finally spotted Mount Adams - the top of it is hidden in haze and cloud.
2,233.3 The hop vines are about halfway up their trellises ... still can’t see Mount Rainier.
2,251.8 Can still easily pick out Mount Adams, but Mount Rainier remains elusive. Every now and then I think I can distinguish what I think is a snowy slope in among the clouds, but I can’t be 100% sure.
2,284.0 4:52 Arrive at Sarah’s and Dan’s, but noone was home, so I went for gas to save me having to get it when I left.
2,286.0 GAS - Yakima, WA - $2.279/gal. - 13.601 gals. - $31.00
2,286.9 End of the day.

The day’s total - 653 miles
Trip Total - 2,287 miles

Day 5 - Wednesday, June 2 - Yakima, WA

I didn’t want to play bridge today, but rather have a relaxing day just visiting with Sarah.
We did run around a bit trying to get the melatonin for George but without any success. I called Anna and she phoned me back later after going on the web to say she had located some at a store in Bellingham where I could pick it up on my way to Vancouver.
Sarah packed a picnic lunch for us to take with us to the Yakima Valley where we did some wine tasting at Sagelands Winery. We purchased a bottle of wine to enjoy with our lunch on the terrace.

The day’s total - 0 miles
Trip Total - 2,287 miles

Day 6 - Thursday, June 3 - Yakima, WA to Vancouver, BC

2,286.9 10:18 Leave from Sarah’s and Dan’s.
2,296.7 Mount Rainier is up in the clouds, but you can see a little of the lower slopes.
2,297.6 You can see all of Mount Adams in the rear vision mirror immediately behind me and its peak is not in the clouds.
Hillsides or mountains after leaving Selah on the way from Yakima to Ellensburg don’t change - bare with virtually nothing on them other than sagebrush.
2,302.4 South Umtanum Ridge, El. 2,265 feet. The road climbs to go over the ridge, then it winds its way downhill to cross a canyon before going up again and over another ridge
2,304.2 At the bottom on a bridge over Burbanc Creek.
North Umtanum Ridge, El. 2,315 feet.
2,306.4 I have just noticed some pointed peaks which have disappeared from view now out to my left - maybe the Stuart Range north of Ellensburg. They still have snow on them. There are a few wildflowers blooming in between the sagebrush.
2,308.4 Crossing Lmuma Creek before rising to the next ridge.
2,312.3 The hazy top of Mount Rainier can be seen from this point, that is looking to the left. It is a beautiful sunny day with scattered cloud cover - very pleasant for driving.
2,314.8 Mount Rainier showing up above the nearby hills and now it is quite clear with no cloud cover.
2,315.5 The Manastash Ridge, El. 2,672' and from here the road descends to the valley where Ellensburg is located.
2,315.9 Coming around a cornerand through a cutting, the Stuart Range is ahead of me.
2,318.2 An orchard to the right on the slopes overlooking the valley.
2,319.2 Some young trees on the left - a young orchard.
2,319.6 Cleared hillside, then orchard to the left - it seems that people are clearing the land and planting orchards further up the hillsides increasing the area of agriculture.
2,324.7 10:54 The junction with I-90 going west.
2,339.2 Passed a car from Shelby County, Tennessee ... more balsamroot flowers blooming.
2,342.4 Sign: “Mountains to Sound Greenway”.
2,342.7 Elk Heights, El. 2,359 feet and the view of the Stuart Range is much closer now. Also the sagebrush covered hills have been left behind and the slopes are covered with pine trees - a big change in the landscape!
2,343.8 I have just noticed the high fence alongside the road, high enough to prevent deer jumping over it.
Roadwork ahead!, so I still have not escaped that!
2,345.6 The left lane is closed.
2,345.9 Indian John Hill, El. 2,141 feet and I am right by the exit for the Indian John Rest Area. It was just a short distance of roadwork and it was back to two lanes soon after the exit for the Rest Area.
2,347.5 Lupines in bloom on the embankment. The air is thick with the white fluff from the cottonwood trees.
2,375.5 Passing the dam which is on the left - there is a lot more water in it than there was the last time I saw it, but it still is by no means full.
There are odd patches of snow on some of the upper elevations.
2,379.1 More of larger snow areas on the higher peaks.
2,383.5 I am over Snoqualmie Pass and starting the descent to the ocean.
2,384.6 Water dripping out of the rocky cliffs on the right, also a small waterfall coming down from the mountainside.
2,386.0 The water is seeping out of the rock but it is literally dripping - not just a slow seep!
2,386.5 More waterfalls - two of them.
There is a rock cliff at the side of the road where it has been carved away or exploded to make way for the road and water is seeping out of them all the way along.
2,388.7 A convoy of army vehicles going east.
2,394.2 Broom in flower, also eggs and bacon.
Coming down from the pass there have been three lanes.
2,395.6 The left lane is closed
2,396.2 The second left lane is closed.
2,396.4 All the cones are gone and all three lanes are open so don’t know what that was about!
2,402.5 Roadwork the next 18 miles, but so far there isn’t any sign of any of it, but in that area I would be going through Issaquah where I remember a lot of construction being done, I think maybe for rerouting the highway - just a guess!
2,405.8 The right lane is closed.
2,406.9 All lanes open again, that is four lanes now.
2,407.3 Foxgloves in flower.
2,410.4 The embankments are orange with Eschscholtzia.
2,411.2 The right lane is closed again, both right lanes.
2,412.2 Back to three lanes ... buttercups, foxgloves, broom, daisies.
2,419.2 The new overpasses look to be complete and it has nothing to do with this road except for some exits - it is three levels high.
2,421.5 Now there are various lanes closed and some construction going on.
2,425.5 Can see the snowy peaks of the Olympic Mountains.
2,427.0 12:19 Leaving I-90 at Exit-10 for I-405 north - 2 hours since I left from Sarah’s.
2,428.5 Deep pink of wild sweet peas on the embankment.
2,430.0 In Bellevue more major road construction.
2,434.0 First view of Mount Baker directly in front of me.
2,444.9 Fireweed in flower, also blackberries.
2,447.2 12:38 Junction with I-5 north.
2,448.9 End of roadwork.
2,454.0 It is incredible to see Mount Baker right in front of me, no clouds covering its peak. When I think of the number of trips I have made up this road and never seen sight nor sign of Baker and recently I have seen it far more often.
2,462.2 People out in a field picking strawberries.
2,463.9 Another “End of Roadwork” sign.
2,468.0 Lots of white daisies all along the way.
2,472.0 1:00 Leaving the highway at a Rest Area to get out my lunch.
2,472.0 1:01 - 1:07 Rest Area.
2,472.5 1:08 Back on I-5.
2,487.2 5 miles to Mount Vernon and out to my right at 45° a marvelous view of Baker.
2,520.7 1:49 Leaving the Interstate at Exit-255, Sunset Boulevard.
2,521.0 1:53 - 1:57 GNC, Bellingham, to pick up melatonin.
2,521.7 1:59 Back on I-5 ... that was 10 minutes - got what Anna wanted without any problem.
2,541.6 I can see The Lions from I-5.
2,541.9 2:16 Leaving the Interstate at Exit-275 to go to the truck crossing,
2,543.0 2:17 - 2:22 GAS - Blaine, WA - $2.279/gal. - 9.653 gals. - $22.00
The trucks are lined up all the way back to the gas station where I got gas so it is a busy time at the crossing.
2,543.8 2:25 - 2:30 Duty Free.
2,543.9 2:32 Waiting in line to go through Customs,
2,544.0 2:41 Finished with Customs ... he asked me how long I was staying and when I said, “A month,” he jokingly asked, “Do you have enough luggage with you?” I said, “Yes.”.
2,549.3 People on their hands and knees planting (vegetables, I think) - they are all wearing those straw coulee-type hats.
I just saw an Indian guy with a great long white beard and wearing his turban on a tractor working the field.
2,550.9 Coming into Cloverdale ... I wonder where abouts from here that Viv and Rob live! The traffic is rather heavy today and coming through Cloverdale, it is backed up at the traffic light when this road crosses BC-10. There is so much traffic it is moving along very slowly,
2,553.0 3:01 9 miles in 20 minutes! There is a long line of traffic on the cross road as well - I don’t know if it is a four-way stop or a light.
Yes, it is a traffic light at BC-1A, the Fraser Highway.
2,553.6 3:07 - 3:09 First car in line at the traffic light.
2,557.3 3:14 Junction with Trans Canada 1 into Vancouver.
2,558.8 A lot of lupines blooming on the embankment.
2,566.0 3:26 At least the traffic is moving fairly well now and certainly better than the traffic going in the opposite direction where the lanes seem to be pretty well packed - this is just before getting to Gagliardi Way. The traffic really hasn’t been bad for the last part.
2,575.5 3:36 Start of the second narrows bridge, the Ironmongers’ Memorial Bridge. There is still a little snow on the mountains.
2,576.6 On the circle leaving the highway and going onto Main Street and the dark blue/purple vetch along with the deep pink sweet peas make a pretty combination and add a splash of color.
2,579.0 3:45 I have arrived at Anna’s - 2,579 miles from home.
2,586.0 Arrive at Stu’s - end of the day.

The day’s total - 299 miles
Total in Vancouver - 7 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,586 miles

Day 7 - Friday, June 4 - Vancouver, BC

2,586.0 Leave Stu’s to take LP to the Social Security office. I left him there and drove to Anna’s to pick up the keys for her place.
2,586.0 We returned to Anna’s and later went to see Kate, the babysitter, and meet with, a care giver, Sigrid regarding care of George.
From Kate’s we went to the Avalon for a family supper. Stu joined us there, but Holly had gone away for the weekend.
2,602.0 At Stu’s - end of the day.

The day’s total - 16 miles
Total in Vancouver - 23 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2602 miles

Day 8 - Saturday, June 5 - Vancouver, BC

2,602.0 Saturday started out as a rainy day, so LP and I delayed our leaving as early as we had intended originally.
We drove downtown late morning, found a parking spot near the Science Museum which was near the finish line for that day’s dragon boat races in the hope of seeing Stan, an old friend, in one of his races.
We met up with Stan around noon and he took us out for a wonderful brunch at the Sequoia Grill, formerly known as The Tea House, in Stanley Park overlooking English Bay.
2,634.0 Back at Stu’s.
Anna, Walt and children came for supper and stayed later than usual. The children went down for a sleep and we played Cranium.
After they left LP watched West Wing on DVD as he had decided it wasn’t worth going to bed since he had to be up so early to go the airport!

The day’s total - 32 miles
Total in Vancouver - 55 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,634 miles

Day 9 - Sunday, June 6 - Vancouver, BC

2,634.0 Stu drove our car to take LP to the airport for his return flight to Memphis.
2,672.0 Car back from the airport.
I am on my way over to Anna’s ... as I pass Park & Tilford it is 62°.
2,679.0 Arrive at Anna’s.
2,681.0 Car back after Walt had taken it to check air in front tire.
2,681.2 Parked in the underground garage.

The day’s total - 47 miles
Total in Vancouver - 102 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,681 miles

Day 10 - Monday, June 7 - Vancouver, BC

Walt returned to work today after being home with the children for several months and this was my first day of being on duty. The day went smoothly and I felt confident that I had done a good job. However, I did not attempt to take the children out of the apartment at all.
2,681.2 Leave on an errand for Anna.
2,684.0 Safeway.
2,687.0 Back in garage.

The day’s total - 6 miles
Total in Vancouver - 108 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,687 miles

Day 11 - Tuesday, June 8 - Vancouver, BC

The car did not leave the garage today.
Today I took granddaughter Rose and George to the park opposite the apartment and Rose really enjoyed playing on the equipment.

The day’s total - 0 miles
Total in Vancouver - 108 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,687 miles

Day 12 - Wednesday, June 9 - Vancouver, BC

Rose went to Kate’s so I only had to look after George today. With George in the stroller I walked down to Lonsdale Quay and back - an enjoyable outing, but found pushing the stroller uphill rather tiring.
Two therapists came at 4 o’clock to visit with Walt and Anna (she came home from work early).
After that we all went as guests of George to an indoor picnic for the disabled sponsored by the North Shore Center for Disabled.
After we returned home, I went shopping.
2,687.0 Leave to do some shopping.
2,690.1 Super Store to buy cold cuts for sandwiches.
2,691.8 Save-On for potato salad items.
2,694.0 Back in garage.

The day’s total - 7 miles
Total in Vancouver - 115 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2694 miles

Day 13 - Thursday, June 10 - Vancouver, BC

Today I had both children to care for, but managed to make potato salad while they slept.
2,694.0 Leave on an errand. Drove to M & M Meats on Marine Drive - they were closed!
2,699.0 Back in garage.

The day’s total - 5 miles
Total in Vancouver - 120 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,699 miles

Day 14 - Friday, June 11 - Vancouver, BC

2,699.0 Leave to drive to Kate’s to pick up Anna. She had gone with Walt to drop off the children, this being the first day for George to go with Rose to day care!
2,716.0 Hospital (via Kate’s) to leave Anna at work.
2,731.0 Back at Anna’s, parked on the street.
2,733.2 Kate’s to deliver some diapers.
2,736.4 M & M Meats to get the meatballs.
2,739.5 Finally parked (hard to find a parking space) to leave LP’s Canada Pension application at Social Security in the BC Rail Building.
2,741.0 Back in garage.
3:09 Leaving to pick up Anna at the hospital.
I have just come through the Hastings Street tunnel, and up to that point the traffic was moving fairly well, but since the end of the tunnel it is slow and now stopping and starting quite a bit,
This evening I am going out with Stu and Holly and Genna (Holly’s Mum), or as Holly said - Stu, her and the mums! The mums and their kids!
2,755.0 3:25 Arrived at the hospital ... it did not take as long as Anna had predicted so I had to wait for some time! She wont be finished work until 4 o’clock.,
2,769.0 Back in garage.
Anna's neighbors were away for the weekend and offered for me to sleep at their place. Thus I would have two nights without sleeping in the same room as the children.
Before making the final decision to go to Vancouver at Anna’s request, I has asked Stu if I could spend weekends at his place to give me a break.
I was pleased to be able to stay at the neighbors this first weekend because Holly’s mother was in town and staying with Stu and Holly.
After supper with Anna and family I went out for the evening, Stu, Holly and the two mums. We went to Bard On The Beach to see Shakespear’s “Much Ado About Nothing.”.
When Holly first invited me to join them I did not know about Bard On The Beach, Shakespearian plays performed in a large tent overlooking English Bay, and not having heard her very well thought she was asking me to a BBQ on the beach! It would not have been a good night for a BBQ on the beach as there was some rain and it was a cold evening.

The day’s total - 70 miles
Total in Vancouver - 190 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,769 miles

Day 15 - Saturday, June 12 - Vancouver, BC

Anna phoned for me to go for breakfast - toast and omelet with onion, mushrooms and cheese.
After breakfast we went to two different locations for garage sales, then to the Norgate Pre School Fair. We bought hamburgers there for lunch ... Rose got a set of dominoes for playing golf (!) ... a local fire engine came and children were able to climb into the cab ... a man entertained children and adults in the school room with a number of different snakes ... there was a garage sale at the back of the school and here Anna and Walt found a double stroller for $20.00. This would make it easier for me to take both children for walks!
We were out for most of the day, so when we got home Anna spent time with the children whilst Walt got supper ready - corn on the cob, steak, potato salad, ice cream for dessert. I cleaned up whilst Anna and Walt attended to the children’s baths and got them off to bed.
I slept at the neighbors.
The car did not leave the garage.

The day’s total - 0 miles
Total in Vancouver - 190 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,769 miles

Day 16 - Sunday, June 13 - Vancouver, BC

2,769.0 Leave to get breakfast.
2,771.3 McDonald’s.
2,773.9 Home in garage.
Walt offered to wash my car, but only got the windows done (no time!)
2,774.0 Car back in my parking spot in the garage,
Anna phoned after I returned from McDonald’s for me to bring my things back from the neighbors and to wait there until Holly and Stu arrived.
Genna and I went with Stu and Holly for a drive north on the Sea to Sky Highway going only as far as Brandywine Falls. Originally it was planned to go as far as Pemberton, but ran out of time because we had all been invited to supper at Rob and Pat, Genna’s friends, in Tsawwassen. We had already stopped at Shannon Falls, which Genna had not seen previously, and again at Tantalus Range Overlook.
On the return drive we stopped at the Brackendale Eagle Watch area, then went to the Shady Tree Pub in Squamish for a late (very late) lunch.
We then stopped in Deep Cove where Genna and I each bought a bottle of wine at The Raven whilst Stu and Holly went home to change and to collected Genna’s things as she would be staying with Pat and Rob for the remainder of her BC visit.
Pat served a lovely dinner ... chilled carrot soup, chicken casserole, rice and two kinds of salad, and fresh fruit and dip for dessert ... I thought it very nice that they had included me in the invitation.
I arrived back at Anna’s around 10 o’clock.

The day’s total - 5 miles
Total in Vancouver - 195 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,774 miles

Day 17 - Monday, June 14 - Vancouver, BC

I had both children for the day. I went for a long walk with them in the double stroller along 1st Street to Lonsdale, up Lonsdale one block to 2nd Street, then east along 2nd Street to St. Patrick, down one block to 1st and back along there to the park opposite the apartment. Men with mowers and edging tools were working in the park and Rose found this too noisy, so we went home!
Car in the garage.

The day’s total - 0 miles
Total in Vancouver - 195 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,774 miles

Day 18 - Tuesday, June 15 - Vancouver, BC

I had both children for the day. I played matching cards with Rose, a game she enjoyed very much. I set out about 12 cards on the bed in her bedroom and took the matching cards with me to the living room. Then I would show one of them to her and send her to get its mate. She ran back and forth doing this until she had matched every card. She did this without a single mistake running back and forth at full tilt and laughing all the while.
Tuesday is Dominoes 2-for-1 pizza, so when Anna and Walt got in from work we picked up two pizzas and drove to Mahon Water Park where Rose was able to play in the water and we had a picnic supper.
Car in the garage.

The day’s total - 0 miles
Total in Vancouver - 195 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,774 miles

Day 19 - Wednesday, June 16 - Vancouver, BC

Rose went to Kate’s for the day so I only had George and was able to do a few chores during his cat naps. George drops off to sleep when he is really tired but during the day does not sleep for long periods.
In the afternoon I took him out for a long walk in the stroller, going first to the OAS office in the BC Rail Building on Esplanade then to Lonsdale Quay. I got back to the apartment about 3:30.
Walt did not arrive home with Rose until 4:40.
Car in the garage.

The day’s total - 0 miles
Total in Vancouver - 195 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,774 miles

Day 20 - Thursday, June 17 - Vancouver, BC

I looked after both children today but did not leave the house, not even to go to the playground in the park opposite ... Rose did not want to go anywhere!
We (I helped Rose) make some birthday cards for friends and a Father’s Day card for Walt. We also did some puzzles - Rose loves puzzles and is very good at completing them on her own without assistance.
Supper was ready in good time tonight and Anna was able to go to yoga. Also with finishing up early the children were in be in good time and Walt was able to go to the gym.
I had not heard from Stu all week so by the time he phoned today about the weekend I had already accepted Viv’s invitation!
2,774.0 Anna left with my car to go to yoga.
2,778.0 Car back in garage,

The day’s total - 4 miles
Total in Vancouver - 199 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,778 miles

Day 21 - Friday, June 18 - Vancouver, BC

Walt took my car to work this morning so Anna could have their car to take the children to Kate’s a little later and Anna and I change cars after that!
2,778.0 Start of the day.
2,780.0 Picked up the car from Walt’s work.
2,792.7 Arrive at hospital to drop Anna off at work.
8:50 Temperature is 81° - I have just arrived back in North Vancouver.
2,808.0 Home to pick up my things for the weekend at Viv’s and Rob’s ... parked on the street
10:50 Leaving from the front of the apartment.
10:54 I am on my way out again, this time to go to Viv’s and Rob’s for the weekend ... the temperature is now 89° at Park & Tilford.
2,821.3 Back at the exit for the Brunette Highway, Exit-40, where I leave the Trans Canada 1 when I drive Anna to work.
2,829.7 11:19 Exit-53 for BC-15 south.
2,835.0 11:29 Arrived outside the gate and at the moment I can’t figure out how to get in! Saw Viv walking down to check her mail and she let me in!
2,835.0 Arrive Viv’s and Rob’s. They let me park in the garage so I did not have to worry about all my stuff getting hot in the car.
Viv took me with her shopping at Save-On in Langley. We also went to London Drugs to look at electric heating pads and found one the same as Rob uses, but decided against getting it right away. I wanted to try his out first.
Viv and Rob took me out to supper at a very nice Greek restaurant where we had a wonderful meal.
It was a beautiful evening and we sat on the patio at the back after we arrived back home. Later Viv’s sister and her husband Glen dropped in for a visit and Glen took Rob for a drive in his convertible, the one which was originally Rob’s!

The day’s total - 57 miles
Total in Vancouver - 256 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,835 miles

Day 22- Saturday, June 19 - Vancouver, BC

2,835.0 Leave to take Viv to a nursery along BC-15, the Truck Route I take between Vancouver and the US border.
Viv bought some beautiful begonias and an arrangement of flowering plants in a small wooden wheelbarrow plus some hanging baskets to take up to the lake.
2,844.0 Back home. I did some laundry and I enjoyed sitting on the patio. Viv planted her begonias. Later in the afternoon Viv took me to tour two of the townhouse models as well as the clubhouse.
For supper we had Greek BBQ ribs which were very good.

The day’s total - 9 miles
Total in Vancouver - 265 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,844 miles

Day 23 - Sunday, June 20 - Vancouver, BC

2,844.0 Leave Viv’s and Rob’s.
86° as I drive along Main Street.
2,872.0 Parked on the street when I arrived back at Anna’s.
2,872.2 Parked in the garage.
Today is George’s 1st birthday and Anna had organized a luncheon party with just a few adults, all relatives ... Stu and Holly, Viv and Bob, Hilda and Roger. Anna’s friend from upstairs also came with her little girl.
2,873.0 GAS - North Vancouver, BC - $0.859/lt. - 62.858 lt. - Can.$54.00
Safeway to get milk.
2,873.8 Sai Kor to pick up order of Chinese food for dinner.
2,876.0 Home in garage.

The day’s total - 32 miles
Total in Vancouver - 297 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,876 miles

Day 24 - Monday, June 21 - Vancouver, BC

I looked after both children today. Anna arrived home early from work today as she had been to a doctor’s appointment.. The doctor had told Anna she was to be off from work for the rest of the week and possibly for up to four weeks. This was because she was so tired, also very stressed and was in the throes of changing her medication from which she had been trying to wean herself!
The car did not leave the garage.

The day’s total - 0 miles
Total in Vancouver - 297 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,876 miles

Day 25 - Tuesday, June 22 - Vancouver, BC

2,876.0 Start of the day
2,877.0 Canada Trust at Park & Tilford,
2,877.1 Save-On.
2,879.0 Back in garage.

The day’s total - 3 miles
Total in Vancouver - 300 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,879 miles

Day 26 - Wednesday, June 23 - Vancouver, BC

2,879.0 Start of the day.
2,883.0 Edgemont Village. Anna went there for a massage (doctor’s orders) and I walked around the village with George in the stroller. Rose was at Kate’s.
2,887.0 Back home.
2,889.0 Sears for George’s 1 Year portrait. This seemed to take for ages as the photographer did not seem to understand that George could not respond to her antics for trying to have him smile! We had taken his special chair and we came away having managed to get one relatively good picture.
2,891.0 Home for the day ... in the garage.

The day’s total - 12 miles
Total in Vancouver - 312 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,891 miles

Day 27 - Thursday, June 24 - Vancouver, BC

2,891.0 Start of the day.
We had a terrible day with the children and it was very hard on Anna. I finally convinced her to go out for a couple of hours ... she walked to Lonsdale Quay and had some lunch there ... I stayed with the children.
Anna had a strata meeting in the evening. I stayed with Walt until after Rose got over her rage and tantrum before I left for Save-On. I was too tired to do the rest of my errands.
2,892.8 Save-On to do a little shopping.
2,894.0 Back in the garage.

The day’s total - 3 miles
Total in Vancouver - 315 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,894 miles

Day 28 - Friday, June 25 - Vancouver, BC

2,894.0 Start of the day ... I drove to Save-On for Anna to leave some prescriptions, then back to the apartment. I dropped Anna off and drove down to Esplanade for my 9:00 am appointment at the OAS office. I had to drive around for a bit looking for a parking spot and found one just in time!
2,900.0 Parked near the OAS office.
2,902.0 London Drugs - to buy electric heating pad.
2,903.9 Lynn Valley Safeway for cereal (shredded wheat) on special.
2,906.4 Canadian Tire for seat belt adjusters.
2,910.1 Wal Mart at Capilano Mall to get coffee.
2,910.9 Save-On near Pemberton Street trying unsuccessfully to get LP’s coffee (decaffeinated).
2,911.4 Blondelle’s for hair cut.
2,914.0 Back in garage.
2,920.8 Parked downtown ... Anna and I walked around Coal Harbor looking at all the latest development along the waterfront. We enjoyed lunch at an open air restaurant near where they sometimes take Rose to play in the water park.
2,930.0 Back at the front door of the apartment.
2,931.7 Save-On to pick up some things for Anna.
2,933.3 Back at front of apartment.
2,936.6 Super Store to get LP’s coffee.
2,940.5 Cates Park as I was still a little early getting to Stu’s!
2,942.0 Arrive at Stu’s.
2,959.0 Silver City theaters in Coquitlam to see Harry Potter 3.
2,960.0 Cactus Club Café for supper of appetizers - hot wings, Szechuan green beans and calamari.
2,977.0 Back at Stu’s..

The day’s total - 83 miles
Total in Vancouver - 398 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,977 miles

Day 29 - Saturday, June 26 - Vancouver, BC

2,977.0 Start of the day.
Stu left early as he was sailing all day and Holly had left at the same time to take Ella for a walk. I was waiting for Holly to return and in the end left before she did so. However, just as I was setting out Holly came along the road so I turned around.
2,977.4 Back in the front of their place ... stayed for a while and had something to eat before going to Anna’s.
2,984.0 Arrived at Anna’s, but noone was at home.
2,984.8 Lonsdale Quay where I had some lunch.
2,985.0 Back at Anna’s, but still noone home!
2,992.0 Back at Stu’s and Holly’s.
Anna and family came over for supper - they fed the children before they came so they did not have to worry about the time that supper was served. Stu was wonderful with Rose - he had a board with paper and crayons for her to draw on: he also gave her a bubble bath.

The day’s total - 15 miles
Total in Vancouver - 413 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,992 miles

Day 30 - Sunday, June 27 - Vancouver, BC

I went with Holly in her car for a day’s outing ... Stu was sailing again as it was a two-day regatta.
Leaving from the house it was 121.1 km (75.2 miles) to Minter Gardens located up the Fraser Valley near the Agassiz exit off the Trans Canada Highway 1. What beautiful gardens! We had lunch before setting out to roam through the 35 acres of manicured gardens. I took a lot of photographs, particularly ones of roses. On arriving back at the entrance we each had an ice cream, then browsed in the gift store before leaving.
We decided to return to Vancouver via a different route, crossing the Fraser River and joining BC-7 near Agassiz. However, after driving 32.9 km (20.4 miles) traffic came to a halt. We waited for some time watching cars ahead turn around. Then finally someone stopped to tell us there had been an accident ahead and the road would be closed for some time. We turned around and, of course, had to return all the way back to the bridge over the Fraser.
We arrived home having driven 304.3 km. (189.1 miles).
2,992.0 Leave Stu’s and Holly’s to return to Anna’s. As I drive along the Dollarton Highway I had several glimpses of Mount Baker glowing with the last rays of the sun.
2,997.0 Save-On.
2,999.0 Parked in garage.

The day’s total - 7 miles
Total in Vancouver - 420 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 2,999 miles

Day 31 - Monday, June 28 - Vancouver, BC

2,999.0 Start of the day.
2,999.7 Post Office on 3rd Street to check about registered mail LP had sent but which had not arrived..
3,000.0 Back in garage.

The day’s total - 1 miles
Total in Vancouver - 421 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 3,000 miles

Day 32 - Tuesday, June 29 - Vancouver, BC

Went shopping with Anna and the children in the morning. We visited a friend of hers in Deep Cove, in late afternoon to take Lily’s birthday present over. We had to go up a lot of steps to get to the house and Rose was so sweet. Anna asked her to take my hand so she could help me up the stairs!
My car stayed in the garage all day.

The day’s total - 0 miles
Total in Vancouver - 421 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 3,000 miles

Day 33 - Wednesday, June 30 - Vancouver, BC

3,000.0 Start of the day.
3,004.0 Edgemont for Anna’s massage therapy - the children were at Kate’s.
From Edgemont we drove over to Costco on Grandview to do some shopping for Anna. I was able to stock her up with a few things.
3,020.0 Home to unload and get things in the frig before going somewhere for lunch. There were some telephone messages, however, which indicated that the therapists were expecting to see Anna at Kate’s. It was already getting quite late so we just grabbed a quick bite to eat at home before leaving.
From here we went to Kate’s for special therapists’ visit with George. After this we drove down to Tim Horton’s on Main for iced cappuccinos then to Stu’s Craft Store and to the Dollar Store (NOTHING over $1.00),
3,027.0 Home (in garage).

The day’s total - 27 miles
Total in Vancouver - 448 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 3,027 miles

Day 34 - Thursday, July 1 - Vancouver, BC

We, Anna, Walt, the children and I, went to 13th Street to watch the Canada Day Parade which lasted for 2 hours. Fortunately I managed to find the shade of a tree across the road from where the family sat on the curb in the sun! The best part of the parade happened right at the very beginning, a series of maneuvers by the police motor cycle team. They were amazing.
After watching the parade we went to Waterfront Park for the rest of the Canada Day celebrations. Anna bought Polish sausages for lunch and we lined up for a piece of Canada’s birthday cake ... this was delicious, nicer than an ordinary slab cake, and it had fruit and whipped cream in the center. I don’t know how many cakes they had altogether but they were all decorated with a chocolate Canadian flag on top.
Next we walked over to the waterfront to watch a large helicopter demonstrate several times how someone in the water is rescued. Whilst the helicopter was hovering in one spot during the rescue its spinning blades sent up a lot of spray. After this we headed for home.
3,027.0 Leave to go to Stu’s to water the plants ... decided to do it today as it had been very hot and I was not sure if I would be able to do it tomorrow!
3,030.0 GAS - North Vancouver, BC - $0.845/lt. - 35.503 lt. - Can.$30.00
3,034.0 Arrive Stu’s.
3,040.0 Home in the garage,

The day’s total - 13 miles
Total in Vancouver - 461 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 3,040 miles

Day 35 - Friday, July 2 - Vancouver, BC

Walt had the day off from work, but it still took a long time to get everything organized for our day trip and finally we made it to Horseshoe Bay in time for the noon ferry to Bowen Island. It was a cloudy day and drizzled on and off throughout the day.
We were just getting settled on a beach on Bowen Island for a picnic lunch and it started to rain! We had to pack everything back to the car and decided to drive to the south of the island in the hope of the weather being better there.. We did manage to have our lunch without it raining. Anna attended to George and Walt spent time with Rose by the water and with her sand toys whilst I made up the wrap sandwiches for our lunch.
We did a little bit of driving around before returning to the line up for ferry. Leaving Walt with the car and the children Anna and I went for a walk until it was time to board the ferry. We arrived home around 5 o’clock.
Anna and Walt went out again almost immediately as I had given them tickets for Bard On The Beach (Much Ado About Nothing) and they were going to have supper in Kits first.
I gave the children their supper and put them to bed and had gone to bed myself before Anna and Walt came home.
The car did not leave the garage.

The day’s total - 0 miles
Total in Vancouver - 461 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 3,040 miles

Day 36 - Saturday, July 3 - Vancouver, BC

3,040.0 Start of the day.
3,041.8 Save-On.
3,044.0 Home (via 3rd Street) ... left for Stu’s late afternoon after Anna and I had gone to some Open Houses!

     All the Open Houses we visited were above $½ million! And some were pretty horrible places except for the new duplexes on Mahon Avenue and the $899,900 place on 13th Street near Grand Boulevard.

Arrive at Stu’s ... I watered the plants and stayed the night (Stu and Holly had left about 3:00 pm Wednesday for a long weekend in the Columbia Gorge, Oregon - so much for me spending weekends with them!)

The day’s total - 11 miles
Total in Vancouver - 472 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 3,051 miles

Day 37 - Sunday, July 4 - Vancouver, BC

3,051.0 Leave Stu’s.
3,055.7 Tim Horton’s near Canadian Tire to buy donuts for breakfast.
3,057.0 Parked in the garage.
The donuts were a huge success and went well with the rest of the breakfast Anna had prepared - strawberries and slice banana and scrambled eggs.
It still takes ages to get out of the apartment! We finally left at the time we were supposed to arrive at Hilda’s and Roger’s in White Rock! It was a good visit and Rose loved playing with the hose. Hilda is absolutely wonderful with her and with George and it is great watching her interact with the children.
We had a very nice lunch on the deck - rolls, cold cuts, cheese, potato salad and fresh fruit (8 different fruits) salad for dessert.
Walt went out for a ride on his father’s motor cycle and seemed to have a good visit with him talking about cars!
We were supposed to be home around 2 o’clock or soon after but did not get there until 5:00 pm! Anna was pretty upset about how late it was!
I left right away to return to Stu’s.
3,064.0 Back at Stu’s. Holly and Stu had not returned from their weekend away, but Stu phoned to say they were just north of Seattle so wouldn’t be home for two to three hours. I went back to Anna’s for supper.
3,070.8 Parked on the street at Anna’s. When Stu phoned again they had just got over the border.
3,077.0 Back at Stu’s - the end of the day.

The day’s total - 26 miles
Total in Vancouver - 498 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 3,077 miles

Day 38 - Monday, July 5 - Vancouver, BC

3,077.0 Start of the day.
3,089.0 Arrive at Ambleside where we took Ella for a run on the beach and had her swimming out to retrieve her ball.
3,089.2 Parked at Park Royal Mall. Stu left Ella with her leash over a post - we were gone for about an hour so she was pleased to see us return.
3,095.0 Park & Tilford - attended to some business at Canada Trust, had Thai chicken wraps from the Bread Bin for lunch and did some shopping at Save-On.
3,097.3 BC Rail Building to drop off the POA forms at OAS.
3,097.5 Lonsdale Quay to buy salmon for supper and bread for bruchetta.
3,104.0 Liquor Store on Dollarton.
3,104.0 Back at Stu’s - wonderful supper: bruchetta for appetizer, grilled salmon with broccolini for main course and ice cream and chocolate sauce for dessert.

The day’s total - 27 miles
Total in Vancouver - 525 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 3,104 miles

Day 39 - Tuesday, July 6 - Vancouver, BC

3,104.0 Leave Stu’s.
3,109.1 Canada Trust at Park and Tilford to get some cash.
3,111.0 Anna’s.
3,113.0 Sears, Cap Mall to pick up George’s pictures. Anna went to the gym here and was either going to either walk or take the bus home. This was my starting point for my return drive to Memphis.

The day’s total - 9 miles
Total in Vancouver - 534 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 3,113 miles

Day 39 - Tuesday, July 6 - Vancouver, BC to Yakima, WA

3,113.0 Leave Sears, Cap Mall, after picking up George’s pictures. This was my starting point for my return drive to Memphis.
10:25 I am just pulling out from Cap Mall onto Marine Drive and setting out for the trip to Yakima.
3,117.0 10:35 - 10:47 Tim Horton’s for a rest stop and to get a coffee.
10:50 And I am on the Second Narrows Bridge.
3,131.4 11:04 The start of the Port Mann Bridge over the Fraser River.
3,132.7 11:06 The end of the bridge.
3,136.8 11:09 Leaving Trans Canada 1 for BC-15 to the border.
3,150.0 11:29 - 11:46 Duty Free - bought a bottle of brandy for US$14.20.
3,150.2 11:48 Stopped in line for Customs and Immigration.
11:51 Proceeding.
11:53 Finished and on my way. It rained a lot during the night and today the sky is cloud covered. It was raining this morning when I got up, but I haven’t been in rain since then. With it being cloudy, there is no sign of the mountains, so I wont be seeing Mount Baker today
12:16 The sun is poking through the clouds, momentarily at least. A lot of cloud is covering the mountain tops and some cloud is drifting down into the valleys.
3,180.3 12:20 A very fine drizzle hitting the windshield and the road is not completely dry.
3,184.0 The road is wet and it is raining - not a heavy downpour but constant rain.
3,234.5 1:06 Almost to a standstill - near Everett - then proceeding slowly.
3,235.6 1:09 Speed picking up a bit again.
3,245.5 1:19 Leaving I-5 at Exit-182 for the ramp to I-405 south to Renton and Bellevue.
3,265.1 1:37 Leaving I-405 at Exit-11 for I-90 east to Spokane.
The hillsides for the most part are cloud covered as the road starts the ascent to Snoqualmie Pass.
Between the rain and the cloud I won’t be able to see much today.
3,305.0 2:10 First reduction in speed from 70 mph to 65 mph since leaving the Seattle area. Cloud or fog is completely obliterating the westbound traffic on the other side of the valley.
3,308.8 Exit-52 for West Summit ... 55°.
3,309.3 Snoqualmie Pass, El. 3,022 feet.
3,312.5 Ellensburg is 55 miles, Spokane 226 miles.
3,313.0 There appears to be a bit more water in the dam on the right side of the road than there has been for a while.
3,331.0 2:33 On this side of the mountains the day is starting to look somewhat brighter - quite a bit lighter and not as much fog. There have been a number of fairly heavy showers throughout the trip. There is a fine drizzle hitting the windshield now but the sun is shining from somewhere!
3,346.5 2:46 Leaving the highway at a Rest Area.
3,346.0 2:47 - 2:59 Rest Area, Indian John Hill.
3,346.4 2:59 Indian John Hill, El. 2,141 feet - just as I entered I-90 after leaving the Rest Area. There is still a lot of cloud about, but it was hot and sunny at the Rest Area.
3,366.9 3:17 Leaving I-90 at Exit-109 for Canyon Road in Ellensburg,
3,367.3 Sent on a detour - Canyon Road seems to be closed. The detour road is winding around a bit.
3,368.7 3:21 Back on Canyon Road, but there’s yet another detour!
3,368.9 3:21 Turning off.
3,370.0 Passing a herd of goats in a field.
3,370.4 The end of the detour at Canyon Road and the start of another one, this time on the opposite side of Canyon Road (to the right)!
3,371.0 Fairly close to the Yakima river at this point and it seems to be quite full; there are pull-offs for public fishing and nature trails.
3,371.6 3:26 Back on Canyon Road.
3,371.7 End of roadwork - it looks as if they have been widening the road and re-paving it.
3,371.9 3:27 Entering Yakima Canyon.
Whilst there are a lot of trees including Ponderosa pines both sides of the river in the valley the steep cliffs and hillsides coming down to the river have a little bit of sagebrush, but mostly are pretty bare.
3,375.1 The road is right alongside the river at this point.
3,377.1 Still right on the bank of the river ... the current seems to be quite strong ... there is railway line on the opposite bank.
3,380.9 The road is above the river a bit and there are some steep cliffs between the road and the water, with signs on for boaters to make sure they take the corner.
3,381.5 Steep vertical cliffs overhanging the road on the left ... the cliffs, basalt, are very rugged in this area.
3,382.0 Although I have been seeing a lot of the lava rock cliffs since coming into the canyon the columnar jointing seems to be more visible in this area.
3,382.5 From here the road is rising up the cliff and a cutting has been made where the road will leave the actual river as it makes a large bend.
3,382.6 The road enters the big cutting. After the cutting the road follows down what you could call a ravine and at .......
3,383.2 Rejoins the river.
3,383.7 The canyon has opened up and now there is a nice flat field which is being irrigated ... there seems to be at least two farms in the area, might be more.
3,384.3 Passing the geological site ... I have stopped here previously and taken pictures of the interpretive marker. Although by the river the road is still quite a bit above it.
3,385.6 The road is almost at water level ... this is certainly a much nicer drive than taking the Interstate into Yakima,
3,388.5 Another area where there are homes, maybe about five, but not sure that these are the homes of people farming the area though.
3,389.0 A raft in the river.
3,389.7 The road leaving the river to rise up the hillside again and another cut rather than following the curve of the river. The train line on the other side is right down by the river.
3,390.5 There looks to be a dam across the river, maybe a small hydro- electric plant - I don’t recall having seen that before - maybe just for irrigation purposes!
3,390.9 Turning through another cutting high above the river then descending again. Also, after coming out of the cutting and looking down to the river which is way below the train tracks are now on the same side of the river as the road, so there was a bridge there somewhere out of view!
3,392.2 Entering Yakima County ... steep, rugged, rocky cliffs with stone slides in between some of the precipitous cliffs.
3,392.9 It looks like a gap and the canyon is opening up and I can see the river and a lot of houses, farms and orchards ... I guess this would be Selah.
3,393.7 Above me on the left a stone wall which has been built and it looks like a tunnel going into the cliff as if it was for a railway line. It might just be for a road, but I don’t know what it is or where it goes ... I can just see there is something up there! I think it is just a road, so probably going up to someone’s place.
3,394.5 Leaving Yakima Canyon and now there are homes with green grass, a seniors’ home as well, and definitely into Selah. Now there is also some blue sky as well ... lots of fruit trees ... no sign of the big mountains.
3,396.9 3:58 Turning onto the ramp to join I-82 ... well, that was a very pleasant little drive, much nicer than going over the ridges.
3,401.2 Crossing the Yakima River.
3,401.3 4:02 Crossing the Naches River and immediately leaving I-82 at Exit-31A for US-12.
3,403.6 Leaving US-12 for North 40th and Fruitvale Road.
3,405.0 4:08 - 4:18 GAS - Yakima, WA (Paid cash at Arco - cheapest gas in town by at least 10¢)
$1.879/gal. - 15.966 gals. - $30.00
3,408.0 4:27 Arrive at Sarah’s and Dan’s.

The day’s total - 295 miles
Vancouver to Long Lake, Wisconsin - 295 miles
Total in Vancouver - 534 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 3,408 miles

Day 40 - Wednesday, July 7 - Yakima, WA

My car did not leave the garage.
Sarah and I went to play bridge which started at 10:30. Sarah also took lunch for us as the bridge did not finish until 2:00 PM or so.
We went home for Jasper, took him for a walk then went to Union Gap to go to the mall and to Costco.
Back home we sat on the deck for appetizers, but had supper inside as it was becoming chilly.
We spent the evening looking at my pictures on the TV by hooking up the camera.

The day’s total - 0 miles
Vancouver to Long Lake, Wisconsin - 295 miles
Total in Vancouver - 534 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 3,408 miles

Day 41 - Thursday, July 8 - Yakima, WA

3,405.0 Leave from Sarah’s to take the car to Honda for service.
3,415.0 Terrace Heights Honda. They are having a lot of construction done here so the waiting area was in the Sales building. Their car wash was also out of service.
3,415.1 Pick up the car - was given a coupon to have a complimentary car wash at the Shell Service Station.
3,416.0 Shell Car Wash - a no touch wash and they sprayed my car for bug removal before entering the wash and another attendant wiped windows, etc. with towel cloths - a very nice job.
3,424.0 Back in the garage at Sarah’s.
Whilst I was out having the car serviced Sarah made biscotti. She had got all the ingredients ready the night before and put them in the oven overnight. Next morning whilst talking on the telephone she turned on the oven, the broil burner because the bottom burner doesn’t work, so before she realized what she had done the flour and almonds were broiled!! In spite of this the biscotti turned out just fine even if a little browner than usual!
Had a wonderful day with Sarah. Our first stop for the day was Jitters for coffee and a pastry (free with coffee). From here we went to the Arts Council where we play bridge to view the current art show and from there we went to a gift store which was holding its annual sale.
Then we headed for Yakima Valley, making our first stop at the old fashioned store in Donald so I could get some licorice. As it turned out there is also a winery there now, Piety Flat, and we were able to do some wine tasting. Their bottles have a picture of the local hop kiln on the label. The lady there also told us how it came to be called Piety Flat. A minister had arrived in the area in the early days when the first irrigation canal was being dug and because of his work the area became known as Piety Flat.
Leaving the store in Donald Sarah drove down a side road so I could photograph the old local hop kiln.
Then it was on to Maison de Padget, a new winery, not yet opened, with a beautiful garden setting for weddings. It is being opened by the daughter and son-in-law of a lady Sarah knows through Newcomers. We enjoyed walking around the garden and I was particularly intrigued with the unusual colored sunflowers of which I took some pictures.
By now it was past lunch time so we headed up to the Silver Lake Winery (previously Covey Run), did a little wine tasting then bought a bottle to have with our picnic lunch. What a great way to spend a day and certainly a super outing for tourists. When in Yakima I don’t consider myself a tourist any more, but I sure love our days in the Yakima Valley.
From Silver Lake we went into Toppenish to see some of the new murals. We also had a brief look around the Hop Museum (closes at 4 o’clock).
Upon arriving home from Toppenish I helped Sarah with supper preparations - julienne carrots (by hand) for peas (snap instead of snow) and shucked the corn to have with broiled salmon filets - very tasty. For an appetizer Sarah made bread or pizza dough, flattened and garnished with herbs for foccaccia.
David and Elsa visited after supper and had dessert with us - fresh fruit salad and ice cream.

The day’s total - 16 miles
Vancouver to Long Lake, Wisconsin - 311 miles
Total in Vancouver - 534 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 3,424 miles

Day 42 - Friday, July 9 - Yakima, WA

Sarah made a second batch of biscotti this morning before we went out. This time the dough was very dry and crumbly and Sarah decided to add an extra egg. The it seemed to be OK. However, the finished biscotti was as hard as nails and in no way could it be eaten without dunking it in something. It tasted fine!
This was another wonderful day with Sarah. She took me to a luncheon at The Country Tea Garden in Selah where we met a group of friends who were getting together to celebrate five of them who had July birthdays.
We ate at tables under a willow tree. Most of the ladies chose tea sandwiches, a plate of eight small different open-face sandwiches, served very attractively on plates with handles. Included with these was a scone for dessert served with whipped cream and lemon curd - wonderful. We had English bone china cups for beverages - very nice.
We stopped at home to pick up Jasper on our way to a nursery to look at plants as Sarah is trying to decide what to grow in her new garden beds. After that I sat on a bench near the park where Sarah took Jasper for a walk.
We stopped at the supermarket on the way home as I wanted to do some shopping as well as Sarah, ready for my trip next day.
Supper was an easy meal of hamburgers cooked on the George Foreman grill, but whilst Sarah was putting things together she discovered the melted butter, vanilla and almond essence which should have been in the biscotti! No wonder the dough was so dry and why the finished product was so hard!
After supper went downtown to the theater to see Michael Moore’s award winning documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11 - very interesting.

The day’s total - 0 miles
Vancouver to Long Lake, Wisconsin - 311 miles
Total in Vancouver - 534 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 3,424 miles

Day 43 - Saturday, July 10 - Yakima, WA to Great Falls, MT

3,424.0 8:34 Leave from Sarah’s and Dan’s for my trek back to Memphis via Wisconsin where I will visit Jo and Sam at Long Lake.
It is a bright sunny day, the sun already high in the sky and not a cloud to be seen anywhere, although there was some cloud covering Mount Adams.
It has been a very good visit, very relaxing, and nice to spend some time with some dear friends and enjoy adult company. It was a beautiful day yesterday with Sarah and her friends.
3,429.5 8:43 Entered I-82 and crossed the Naches River.
3,439.6 8:51 South Umtanum Ridge - 2,265 feet.
3,443.3 North Umtanum Ridge - 2,315 feet.
3,452.7 The Manastash Ridge - 2,672 feet.
3,455.6 It is truly beautiful looking out over Ellensburg, all the green in the valley, beautiful patchwork - I have mentioned this a number of times previously - just a beautiful view in the sunlight. There are some clouds over the mountain ranges, like the Stuart Range - I did not see either Mount Adams or Mount Rainier this morning.
I always find it incredible to see these lush valleys as the result of irrigation between the barren hills which have a bit of sagebrush on them, no trees, and are very rocky with lava rock.
3,460.4 9:08 Leaving I-82 to join I-90 east to Spokane.
3,461.1 9:09 Junction with I-90 and Spokane is 170 miles.
3,467.6 Leaving the lushness of the valley and going into hills again, sagebrush covered, not dense coverage.
3,474.1 Roadwork for the next 11 miles - roadwork is starting early in my trip and I wonder how many times I will encounter such before I arrive back home!
3,476.0 9:21 Ryegrass Summit - 2,535 feet.
3,476.6 Left lane closed.
3,484.6 End of the single lane,
3,486.2 Around a corner and the Columbia River ahead.
3,487.1 9:32 Start of the causeway across the river.
3,487.6 Start of the bridge ... the causeway is across the water as well.
3,488.1 End of the bridge.
3,489.2 There is water gushing over the cliff, the waterfall I thought I could see from the other side.
3,489.7 9:35 Leaving the highway at Exit-139 for a Scenic Viewpoint.
3,491.0 9:36 - 9:44 Scenic View over the Columbia.
3,491.5 9:46 Back on I-90 and Spokane is now 141 miles.
Since leaving the Columbia River the road has been running parallel with it, but high up the cliffs.
3,493.8 The road makes a big curve and turns away from the river which continues to come from the north.
3,499.3 Cornfields in addition to lots of hay, irrigation schemes all over the countryside.
3,504.2 “Crop names on fence lines the next 14 miles” ... wheat ... potatoes ...alfalfa ... wheat ... alfalfa ... alfalfa ... sugar snap peas ... sweet corn ...........
Two cyclists on the other side of the road, loaded to the hilt with saddle bags.
........ potatoes ... potatoes ... wheat ... potatoes ... sweet corn ... alfalfa ... wheat ... sweet corn ...
3,521.5 It is truly amazing to see the barren land, that is land which has not been cleared of the sagebrush and strewn with lava rocks, and right next to it a lush looking field which has been irrigated. If the soil is worked it can be productive, but there must be a tremendous amount of work done to get it to that stage!
3,528.4 The road crosses Moses Lake.
3,529.4 Crossing another arm of Moses Lake.
The variety of crops continues both sides of the road, but now there are no names along the fences.
3,545.6 Most of the hills in this area have been cleared and are covered with crops, mostly, I would think, alfalfa.
The hills are under cultivation.
3,560.0 Exit-206 is for Lind and for Odessa. Traffic on the road is very light.
3,565.6 Around a corner and there is a State trooper sitting off the side of the road waiting for anyone coming too fast around that corner.
3,573.0 10:52 Passing Exit-220 for US-395 to Ritzville and Pascoe.
3,576.4 Most of the land is under cultivation.
3,578.8 Rocky mounds of lava scattered across some of the landscape ... and again some sagebrush.
3,580.6 Golden fields of wheat, not flat fields, but gently rolling.
3,588.0 Many more outcrops of lava.
3,588.6 The amount of traffic seems to have increased, maybe because of the junction with US-395 from the south.
3,590.8 The start of a lake, probably Sprague Lake. There is still a lot of land under cultivation, but that which is not cultivated is certainly more rugged.
3,594.6 The road is continuing to follow the shoreline of the lake.
3,595.0 Even though the lake continues the road veers off from it.
3,595.3 11:10 Leaving the highway for a Rest Area.
3,595.0 11:11 - 11:30 Rest Area.
3,605.1 Starting to see a few pine trees scattered over the countryside. There are still outcrops of the lava rock and there is sagebrush here and there as well.
3,608.8 Entering Spokane County and the number of pine trees has increased considerably. Also cattle are grazing in the open areas. Various wildflowers are blooming.
3,615.1 The forest is much thicker and you can’t see beyond the trees both sides of the road. The only signs of wildlife are those that have met their match along the road, so far a deer and a racoon.
In some of the low-lying areas there are marshes or swamps with cattails growing in them.
3,621.4 More cleared land and cultivation under way, and cattle grazing,
3,622.1 A lake to the north of the road and homes around the lake ... lots of birds ... beyond the lake and on top of a hill there looks to be a missile silo.
3,622.9 It is quite a big lake and now there are farms right down to the water’s edge where hay has been cut already and rolled.
3,625.1 Spokane is 10 miles and I can now see the faint outline of mountain on the horizon.
3,628.2 Passing the Spokane International Airport to the north.
3,631.2 Speed reduced to 60 mph as the highway goes through Spokane.
3,631.9 12:02 Entering Spokane ... 74°.
The day continues to be sunny, but there are white fluffy clouds scattered across the sky ... a lot of road construction on I-90 east of the city.
3,647.3 12:18 Speed increased from 60 to 70 mph and now the road is entering the hills which could be seen on the horizon from the other side of the city.
3,653.7 Passing Exit-299 for State Line Road and leaving Apple Maggot Quarantine Area.
3,654.3 The Washington/Idaho State Line.
3,660.6 As I get closer to Coeur d’Alene the traffic has thickened, and even in the passing lane traffic is moving at 60 mph ... 75°.
3,663.8 12:31 Coeur d’Alene the next 5 exits.
3,665.3 Speed reduced to 65 mph.
3,666.6 Driving under US-95 (This is the highway almost the entire length of which I have driven from the Canadian border to the Mexican).
3,669.7 Starting to go up Potlatch Hill and the first glimpse of Coeur d’Alene Lake and Missoula is 164 miles, so about 2½ hours, plus the time change would be 3½ hours - about 4 o’clock in Missoula ... Beautiful drive around the shores of the lake.
3,674.5 Start of roadwork and the right lane is closed so we can switch over to the westbound lanes and there will be two-way traffic.
3,675.1 Crossing the lake.
3,675.3 Switching back to our own lanes - work being done on the bridge.
3,676.4 I think that could be the end of driving along the lakeshore, although there is a bridge over what could be an outlet from the lake ... no, that was the end.
3,679.3 Entering Idaho Panhandle National Forest ... the road is going through a valley ... also a lot of cuttings have been made to make it wide enough for the road to go through ... all the hills are fairly thickly forested.
3,683.1 Fourth of July Pass - 3,081 feet ... this is followed by a 6% downgrade the next 4 miles.
3,688.1 Speed increased to 75 mph ... more or less at the bottom of the long descent and just before Exit-34.
3,691.7 Crossing a marsh with water plants and water lilies in it.
3,693.1 There is also quite a large river to the right of the road.
3,694.8 Crossing the Coeur d’Alene River.
3,701.1 The valley has opened up somewhat.
3,703.1 1:05 Kellogg City Limit.
3,703.6 Silver Mountain next exit with a sign for “The World’s Longest Gondola Ride” and looking to my right I can see ski slopes.
3,705.1 I can see the route of the gondola and gondolas going up and down.
3,706.6 I now have another river to the right of the road - much smaller one and I don’t know what that is either! The water is flowing to the west so probably eventually flows into Lake Coeur d’Alene.
3,714.1 Speed reduced to 65 mph.
3,716.1 Exit-61 for Wallace, an historic town nestled in a valley at the foot of the hills and where there are a number of Historical Markers.
3,716.9 The road which is built up on stilts, similar to I-70 through Glenwood Canyon in Colorado, is at the level of the roofs of the two-storey brick buildings.
3,717.6 Back to ground level.
3,717.9 Lookout Pass is 12 miles and I think I mat stop there to get out a bite of lunch.
3,718.7 The road is now winding through a narrow valley.
3,719.9 Speed limit 60 mph as the road continues to wind around in the valley at the base of the hills.
3,722.1 Just passed a policeman who was hiding around the corner.
An enormous fountain and there are pipes with water coming out of them!
3,724.7 The road starting a gradual climb and I think it will continue to climb for about five miles up to Lookout Pass which is near the Idaho/Montana State Line.
3,725.5 Speed reduce to 55 mph and the Pass is four miles away.
3,726.0 Entering Coeur d’Alene National Forest.
3,727.0 Passing a turnout for an Historical Site with two Historical Markers - I think I have stopped there on a previous trip! Not stopping this time.
3,728.9 Right lane is closed and the speed limit is 45 mph.
Exit-0, Lookout Pass is the next exit.
3,729.6 1:28 Left the highway, Lookout Pass, El. 4,680 feet (GPS - 4,701 feet) ... there is a ski area here with chair left, restaurant - no picnic tables ... nothing much here at all, so I think that I will just get back on the highway!
3,730.3 1:32 Back on I-90 and immediately the Idaho/Montana State Line. Here also I have entered Mountain Time Zone, making it an hour later, so now the time is 2:32.
Because of the roadwork am being switched over to the westbound lanes and two-way traffic.
3,731.2 Lolo National Forest. There is a Rest Area in 2 miles, but because of the roadwork it is closed and it is another 56 miles to the next one! I need to have something to eat so may just leave the road at a town if I come to one.
3,734.7 Lots of wildflowers along the side of the road - white daisies and red Indian paintbrush.
3,736.2 Crossing back to our own lanes.
3,740.5 Crossing the St. Regis River.
3,741.1 Crossing the river again and now the speed limit is 75 mph ... Missoula 93 miles.
3,753.1 Sharp Curves Ahead - Recommended Speed For Trucks 45 mph ... the road is also going downhill as it winds through the mountains. Along with the river the road is winding through a fairly narrow valley.
3,759.7 More roadwork and speed reduce to 45 mph ... left lane closed.
3,760.5 Two-way traffic in the eastbound lanes.
3,761.8 A big truck in front dictating a much slower speed than the set limit - down to less than 40 mph ... down to 30 mph now.
What beats me is there doesn’t appear to be anything being done on the westbound lanes.
3,763.9 3:04 Passing Exit-33 is for Glacier National park.
3,764.8 Passing Clark Fork which is a much larger river.
3,765.6 End of two-way traffic.
3,766.3 Finally passing the truck which had been holding up all the traffic!
There are more clouds in the sky than there were earlier.
More roadwork ahead!
Lots of lupines in flower. The embankment in the median is purple with the lupines.
3,769.9 Left lane closed.
3,770.5 Speed limit down to 35 mph ... and two-way traffic again.
3,770.7 Crossing Clark Fork - start of the bridge.
3,770.9 End of the bridge.
3,771.4 End of roadwork and resuming 75 mph.
3,773.9 Crossing the Clark Fork again which is now running parallel with the road on the south side.
3,775.5 Crossing it again ... all the purple flowers are vetch, not lupines.
3,779.9 Crossing Clark Fork again.
3,784.3 And again. One wonders if it is cheaper to build all these bridges rather than the road winding around with the river!
3,787.7 A cleared area where there is baled hale.
3,788.5 3:25 Leaving the highway.
3,789.0 3:27 - 3:48 Quartz Flat Rest Area. There is also a campground here at this rest area, a Lolo National Forest Campground. This is the first Rest Area which has been open for some distance - the two previous ones were closed. I have now been able to have some lunch! But the actual rest room is still closed!
3,789.2 3:49 Back on I-90.
3,789.5 Crossing Clark Fork ... carpets of purple vetch ... lots of small wild sunflowers add another bright spot. The steep hillsides are scarred by the forest roads that criss-cross around them.
3,796.7 A large hawk or eagle nest on the top of a power pole.
3,797.4 Clark Fork! And to the left it is very rocky - pinkish coloring with what could be slides between rocky points,
3,800.9 Stacks of beehives to the north of the road, but each hive was a different color, a fairly bright color - a very colorful stack of hives!
3,802.0 Clark Fork again.
3,807.4 The valley is quite pretty at present with Clark Fork, a relatively large river to the south of the road, farms with their barns and other farm buildings, narrow flat fields at the base of precipitous mountains, some of them very rocky, some of them tree covered ... Some of the precipitous cliffs have talus slopes below them ... Someone in a canoe on the river
3,811.7 Crossing the Clark Fork again.
3,813.2 And again! All of these crossings tell the story that the road is going through the valley of the Clark Fork.
3,814.2 An interesting rock face to the south where it slants off gradually to the right, but drops off steeply to the left as it comes down from the summit of the mountain.
3,815.4 The valley is also more densely populated though still fairly spread out.
3,817.4 The valley has broadened considerably ... there is some haze in the valley ... also the day is feeling somewhat hotter.
3,819.9 There is a park where lots of people are picnicking to the north of the road and there is a lake where many are swimming - just before Exit-89 for Frenchtown - the exit is for Frenchtown State Park.
3,821.1 Passing Exit-89 now.
3,823.0 Sprinklers watering green fields ... cattle grazing ... this area looks more like a big basin surrounded by mountains.
3,827.7 Passing Exit-96 is for US-93 to Kalispell and for MT-200 west to Sandpoint, Idaho.
3,828.4 I can see Missoula in the distance to my right.
3,831.4 On the outskirts of the city ... a big new development with a lot of new houses being built.
3,833.9 The gas light has just come on ... that’s fine because I was planning on getting gas here anyway.
3,837.3 4:26 Leaving the highway at Exit-105 Van Buren Street which is also US-12.
3,838.0 4:28 - 4:38 GAS - Missoula, MT ... plus a rest stop - $1.959/gal. - 16.078 gals. - $31.50
Gas at the Conoco here on the corner is $1.999, and a block ahead of me I see that it is $1.899, so I could have done better!
3,838.4 4:41 Rejoining I-90 off Van Buren, Exit-105, which also happens to be the last Missoula exit! Although there is another one at Exit-107 for East Missoula, but the road is back in a narrow valley by this time.
3,840.8 Clark Fork again and there are people rafting on the river.
3,842.0 Crossing Clark Fork and there’s a tremendous number of cars lined up along the side road and a lot of people rafting on the river.
3,842.4 4:44 Leaving I-90 at Exit-109 for MT-200 East through Bonner to Great Falls.
3,842.8 Crossing over I-90. Gas here is $1.899, so I could have waited.
3,843.2 Great Falls 160 miles.
3,843.4 Crossing the Blackfoot River and I think I’m going to turn around for a moment and go back to an Historical Marker.
3,843.6 4:46 Turning around.
3,843.7 Back over the Blackfoot River.
3,844.0 4:47 - 4:53 Two Rivers Memorial Park, established 1996, and Bonner Historical Marker ... a very nice little park with a number of historical markers - Louis with his dog.
3,844.1 Crossing the Blackfoot River again.
3,844.2 Entering Milltown.
3,844.5 Big lumber mill to the left of the road. It is the Stimson Lumber Company and it is a very big operation.
3,845.7 Wow! A big cutting or precipitous cliff on the right and a drop off to the river on the left and there is a speed limit of 70 mph on this road which is a winding road! This road, MT-200 is also following the course of a river. I am guessing that it is the Blackfoot River.
3,848.2 5:00 I am driving in the shadow of the mountains, shaded on one side and sunny on the other side of the valley, but at this time of night I’m sure there is going to be a lot of shade.
3,849.8 A deer in a field to the right ... the field is also being irrigated. I think it has already been cut once for hay.
Yes. It is the Blackfoot River.
3,850.2 Crossing the river now.
3,850.3 A herd of mountain sheep, ewes with their young ones, on the left hand side of the road.
3,850.6 A deer on the other side of the river down by the water having a drink.
3,853.5 At least three rafts on the river going downstream.
3,854.1 More rafts and canoes, also people in inner tubes, about half a dozen.
3,854.7 Sign: Deer for the next 20 miles.
3,855.8 High rock cliffs just above the river which people are climbing ... more people in the river ... a great recreation area ... there are also numerous places for people to pull off to go fishing.
3,856.8 The road has entered a wide valley - a beautiful valley with a backdrop of pine clad hills or mountains.
3,858.4 More multi-colored condos for bees - beehives! Also a lot of cattle grazing.
3,862.1 The sky is changing very quickly, some of it becoming very dark and almost looks as if rain is falling. I would say that before I reach my destination I will probably be driving through rain! I am also starting to collect some bugs on the windshield. The people going in the opposite direction are driving towards blue sky and sunshine.
Of course, between here and there I do cross the Continental Divide.
3,870.1 Opening into a cultivated basin again where all the hay has been cut and rolled. As well as pine trees there is also some sagebrush.
3,871.6 Crssing the Blackfoot River - it is very rocky looking upstream and there seems to be a lot of markers in it. Big horse ranch in the valley ... irrigation sprinklers.
3,873.6 Leaving the wide part of the valley and starting to wind between the hills.
3,874.7 Another valley ahead, partially bathed in sunshine.
3,876.4 Crossing the Clearwater River.
3,876.8 Passing a turnoff for Glacier National Park. Also since coming onto this road I have started to see more white crosses.
3,879.2 Leaving the valley to wind in between hills again.
3,880.5 Another camping area ... more rafting on the river ... fishing access.
3,880.9 A flash of lightning!
3,883.4 5:30 It is now starting to rain, big drops plopping on the windshield. It is too bad about the rain because it is a really beautiful drive.
3,887.7 The landscape is partially flat, but also gently rolling in a big basin surrounded by hills again. There are a number of houses or ranches in the area, cattle grazing.
3,890.1 Stopped raining. However, the road is wet. There are also Lewis and Clark signs along this route.
3,892.9 Passing a lot of horses to the left of the road, maybe about fifty of them. The road continues to cross a series of wider valleys which narrow and go over a hill or two or between the hills, then another wide valley.
3,895.1 The North Fork of the Blackfoot River.
3,895.9 A particularly broad valley and I am in the middle of it at the moment. There are businesses in this valley making log homes.
3,897.3 Starting to see some aspens.
3,899.0 In a swamp land or marsh area to the south of the road.
3,899.6 The road is now dry and the rain and dark clouds are somewhat to the south and maybe I would have seen more rain had I stayed on I-90!
3,901.4 5:44 Lincoln is 16 miles, Great Falls 103 miles ... lots of tall yellow clover in flower.
3,909.6 The left hand shoulder is a carpet of yellow clover.
3,910.1 Now on both sides of the road.
3,911.3 Entering Lewis and Clark County ... there haven’t been as many valleys for a while and there are fewer homes.
3,914.0 Opened up again ... a few homes or ranches ... I guess there is a bit of a town here now, because there are restaurants and other businesses ... log homes ... motel and trading post, Lincoln Sand and Gravel.
3,915.7 Crossed Keep Cool Creek! There are a lot more horses around, more homes.
3,916.6 Entering Lincoln ... campgrounds and motels ... quilt shop ... a number of motels.
3,918.1 Great Falls is 86 miles, Flesher Pass Road is 10 miles.
3,927.6 Another sawmill ... there is a lot of access along this road to either the rivers and creeks or to the national forest.
3,932.4 A chain-up area in half a mile - I think this is where the road will cross the Continental Divide.
3,934.1 The GPS is showing an elevation of 4,908 feet.
3,935.8 Historical Marker - “Record Cold Spot” ... I did not stop and am cross with myself for not doing so!
3,936.3 6:15 Crossing the Continental Divide, El. 5,610 feet. Driving up to the pass is a lot more gentle from the west than it is coming from the east ... the road is really winding a lot as it descends eastward,
3,939.7 Passing the chain removal area.
3,944.0 Another chain removal area and there is another one a mile further ahead.
3,944.1 The hills are becoming lower and they are covered more in grass now and there are very few trees on the east side. Just before that I crossed a branch of the Dearborn River which is slightly below the road to the left and there are rolls of hay on the river flats.
3,947.6 Milepost 101 ... Great Falls straight ahead ... 59 miles.
I can’t see any cattle around but it looks to be great ranching country.
3,948.7 Black lava soil as the road descends to cross the Dearborn River.
3,949.1 Crossing the Dearborn River. The formation of the hills are precipitous hills facing the east and more gentle slopes to the west.
3,950.6 A flash of lightning ahead to the left.
3,951.2 It is raining again.
3,953.1 There looks to be some sort of crop to the left - not sure if it is a grain crop or alfalfa - it is hard to tell just driving past in the rain ... there are cattle to the right.
3,955.8 Crossing over US-287 north to Augusta, south to Wolf Creek ... Simms now 18 miles, Great Falls 48 miles ... a hill to the north has a lot of rocky outcrops on it ... rows of rock walls uplifted.
3,960.6 Some very black clouds to the left of the road ... sometimes the road goes up quite high, winds slightly then it sort of straightens out and follows the undulations of the surrounding countryside ... it is all very green and the black cattle against the green look wonderful.
I guess I am slightly surprised that I haven’t seen more deer or any pronghorns.
3,966.4 Another flash of lightning in the very dark clouds which are still to my left.
3,967.4 Now I can look out to my left and back over to the left see the row of Rocky Mountains and what I am traveling through now are basically the foothills.
The people who have ranch land through here must have very large holdings because I haven’t seen very many houses.
3,974.1 Coming into a wide flat area, which is also a community with a number of houses.
3,974.8 Entering Simms ... there are some very big cottonwood trees in this town.
3,975.3 Great Falls now 31 miles and the junction with I-15 is 20 miles ... sign: deer for the next 10 miles.
3,978.1 A very strong wind is buffeting the car ... since passing through Simms there have been a lot more homes along the route.
3,985.5 The little community of Sun River.
3,986.0 Crossing the Sun River.
3,987.0 A turnoff for Glacier National Park ... since crossing the Sun River the road has become a four-lane highway with a fifth lane in the center for turning.
3,991.6 There are some cows, Belted Galloway, to the right of the road, that is the ones which have the white band all around them.
In spite of the rain this has beena very pleasant drive.
3,994.3 Entering Vaughn ... I-15 to Great Falls or to Shelby is just ahead.
3,995.1 7:09 Leaving MT-200 to join I-15 south into Great Falls.
4,004.3 7:16 Entering Great Falls.
4,005.8 Crossing the Sun River - it is a good size.
4,006.9 7:19 Leaving the Interstate at Exit-278 to follow MT-200 east.
4,008.8 Starting to cross the Missouri River.
4,009.0 End of crossing the river, but the bridge continues over other roads.
4,011.0 7:27 Stopped at Skis Western Motel, Great Falls, MT.
4,011.0 7:35 Booked in and parked outside Room 2.

The day’s total - 587 miles
Vancouver to Long Lake, Wisconsin - 898 miles
Total in Vancouver - 534 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 4,011 miles

Day 44 - Sunday, July 11 - Great Falls, MT to Aberdeen, SD

4,011.0 7:39 Leaving Skis Western Motel, Great Falls, MT to continue east on MT-200.
4,011.7 7:42 - 7:47 McDonald’s ($2.90).
4,014.7 It is another lovely sunny day and I am heading out and at the US-87 Bypass, which goes past Malmstrom Air Force Base ... the buildings and businesses of Great Falls end here and I am out on the rolling prairie ... it is now 104 miles to Lewistown ... there are mountain ranges to the south ... everything is green, unless it happens to be a ploughed field! And there are a few of those.
Montana is as beautiful as ever.
Actually the brown areas are not ploughed fields but rather areas where crops have been cut and just the stubble left.
4,018.3 End of four lanes and start of two-way traffic ... speed limit is 70 mph.
4,023.0 A museum on the right - it looked as if it was a private house, but very well kept with different sized small engines, train engines that is, but miniature ones - maybe ones which were used in mining areas.
4,025.3 A sign naming the Highwood Mountains which are to my left and forward.
4,026.4 I now seem to be driving straight towards the southern end of the mountains, but wouldn’t be surprised if the road goes around them.
It is just gorgeous. It is so green. There are cattle grazing in some areas. It is hard to see the homes or buildings which go with the farms because they seem to be tucked down in coulees or in behind tree wind breaks - not many of them on the tops of hills.
Little Belt Mountains are now ahead of me so the road curves ... vast area of rolling prairie interspersed with a number of mountain ranges.
4,030.4 The start of a long what I call a Wyoming snow fence to the right and the next road is to Belt.
4,031.6 3,868 feet - the top of a hill as the road descends into a large coulee with side coulees going off from it. There is a railway line and a creek running through the coulee, Belt Creek I would say.
4,033.2 3,513 feet and starting to go up out of the coulee again.
Actually the road has not left the coulee, but is going up and down a bit, but going more through the coulee.
4,034.7 8:10 Left the highway at a Rest Area (24 miles out of Great Falls). A sign said something about a scenic viewpoint, but I couldn’t see anything, so I am just going to return to the road.
4,034.8 8:12 Back on the highway.
What a beautiful area! The road has climbed a little but is still going through the coulee, if that is what you would call it. The road and the railway line are running parallel, the railway line on my left, and it looks as if it is going to continue winding through this valley or coulee, which is not very wide, but it has had alfalfa grown in it and there are rolls of hay on the small flat areas, first one side of the road then on the other ... a home is built back against the hills or slightly into a coulee coming down into the valley.
4,043.3 Still driving through the valley ... I think I am going to call it a valley because of the length of it.
4,044.7 8:20 Entering Raynesford. There is a grain elevator by the railway line and a few houses here, also a Bar and Grill and gas station, maybe a small store.
The main creek running through this valley is Otter Creek, so Belt Creek must have come in at a different angle at the beginning when I first came down into the deep part of the valley.
4,047.0 The road is climbing and it looks as if possibly it is climbing out of the valley now.
4,048.0 The road has turned off the main valley and is climbing.
4,049.3 A lot of cows and their calves.
4,049.8 I can now see the mountain range to my right.
4,050.8 Crest of that climb - 4,448 feet - and the road is going straight ahead now, descending slightly and a mountain range to the left is also visible now.
Traffic on this road is negligible and yet it is only 5 mph less than on the interstate where you would be contending with all the traffic. Here you can relax and really enjoy the countryside. I have just noticed some gaillardia or blanket flowers in bloom at the side of the road.
Of the mountains to the left there is one which has a very flat top like a mesa, but here in Montana, I think they call them buttes ... that is definitely one of the buttes.
4,057.0 Passing the road which goes into Geyser which is just to the left of the road. There is also a large building which is the school for the area.
4,057.5 Sign: Little Belt Mountains - guess those are the ones to my right.
Stanford is 15, the junction with US-191 is 43 and Billings 159 miles, but I wont be going to Billings.
In the distance on the Little Belt Mountains I can see walls of rock, fins which always fascinate me ... and the land now seems to be flattening out more and I can’t see any mountain ranges ahead at this point.
4,058.8 Pulled off the highway for an historical marker.
4,059.9 8:33 - 8:42 Historical Marker - “Mining Plays Second Fiddle”
4,062.9 At the top of a rise and now, faintly on the horizon, is the outline of another mountain range.
4,063.8 4,475 feet before the road dips down into another valley, but immediately goes up again.
4,065.0 4,222 feet.
4,067.4 4,196 feet and the road is now climbing, Also at that point was a hedgehog which had met its demise on the road!
231.34,471 feet on the crest of a hill and going down again and there is a town ahead where I can see three grain elevators.
Again, another very beautiful area, very fertile, nice homes ... a sign at the side of the road: “Stop at the Historic Basin Trading Post”.
This is the area known as Judith Basin. The road is passing to the south of that town, Stanford, and there is at least one motel here. The next town is Windham.
4,077.6 One of the mountains to the right still has snow on it - just caught a glimpse of it, so it must be fairly high.
4,078.9 Passing the Windham elevator. Moccasin is the next town.
4,083.8 There looks to be a couple of mountain ranges ahead, slightly to the left and another one to the right.
4,084.8 Road to the left goes to Benchland ... this could be part of the land written about on that historical marker I stopped to look at. Besides all the hay being grown in the area there are numerous crops ... many grain crops.
Another hedgehog has met its demise by the road.
4,088.4 A field of flax.
4,088.8 In the middle of a fairly flat area with a lot of strip farming and all grain crops, many of them starting to ripen so it wont be long before harvesting.
252.6 9:08 Entering Moccasin. There are five or more grain elevators by the railway line here. There are also a lot of tanks for holding grain, otherwise the town, with some very old buildings and not many people living here, almost looks like a ghost town. The town is not indicative of the prosperity of the town as a whole.
4,094.0 9:11 - 9:14 Historical Marker - “Judith River” (2 pictures).
4,094.2 Crossing the Judith River.
4,101.0 The junction with US-191 from the south from Harlowton. Lewistown is now 17 miles. There seem to be a lot of small towns throughout the area or along this route and all of them have railway sidings where there are grain elevators. I am approaching a little town which has more grain elevators than at any other town I’ve seen so far, the town of Moore.
4,103.1 The turnoff for Moore.
There are two mountain ranges to the north, one more or less to my left and one more to the northeast, and there is a mountain range to the south as well. They make a wonderful backdrop to the green and ripening grain fields.
4,107.4 Sign: Big Snowy Mountains - I don’t know if this is referring to the mountains to my right forward, right backward or immediately to my right!
4,110.2 A farmer raking his hay ready for baling.
4,112.9 There looks to be a patch of snow on the mountains to my right.
4,117.1 Turning into a Rest Area.
4,117.2 9:37 - 9:41 Rest Area.
4,117.6 9:42 - 9:44 Historical Marker - “The Judith River Basin”.
4,117.7 Entering Lewistown.
4,118.4 4,032 feet - at the top of a hill as a bright dome and clock tower came into view, making this, I would say, the county seat.
Fergus County Courthouse, and there is a really neat Carnegie Library building, dated 1905.
4,118.8 9:49 Leaving after pictures of courthouse and library ... great lamp posts all along the main street, a lot of two-storey brick buildings ... 72°.
4,119.2 9:51 - 9:55 Don’s Sapphires - not open - I forgot that it was a Sunday and that is why everything is so quiet! I only stopped because I thought it would be nice to see the deep blue sapphires.
4,119.3 9:55 Back at the highway ... Lewistown looks to be a pretty nice town, a very nice historic downtown area ... a number of motels, nice looking ones ... a Pamida grocery store, like there is in Nebraska City.
4,120.7 Grass Range is 30 miles, Billings 129 miles.
4,122.0 9:59 - 10:01 Historical Marker - “Lewistown”,
4,123.7 Chain up Area - 4,140 feet ... a lot of pink flowers blooming - I think they look like wild geraniums (not positive).
4,125.8 A lot of cattle grazing as the road goes uphill.
4,126.0 Judith Mountains.
4,126.9 Start of pine trees ... these mountains are all tree covered. There are a lot of cleared areas in the foothills, cattle grazing, green grass.
4,127.7 4,956 feet.
4,128.4 4,678 feet ... as the road descends there are banks of regular type snow fences to the right of the road. It is a long winding descent from the high point.
4,131.5 Chain removal area - 4,178 feet - but the road is continuing to descend.
4,132.7 4,071 feet.
4,133.7 4,005 feet.
4,135.9 10:13 - 10:17 Historical Marker - “Fort Maginnis” - 3 pictures.
4,139.2 Starting to see some sagebrush, and it is looking more like ranching country rather than fields of crops ... many herds of cattle.
4,141.7 Grazing land to the left, hay to the right.
4,142.2 A pheasant just started to walk across the road, then took to flight.
At various points along the entire route there have been stacks of beehives.
4,145.2 A really large grouping of stacks of bee hives.
4,150.8 The turnoff for Grass Range just ahead.
4,151.1 10:30 A STOP sign - Malta to the left, Jordan straight ahead (100 miles) and Billings to the right ... At this junction US-87, which has been part of MT-200, turns south - Roundup 46 miles, Billings 100 miles.
Between Great Falls and that junction the surface of the highway was excellent and I assume it is the main route between Billings and Great Falls. The road which I am now on and which is the continuation of MT-200, is still a good road. I suspect that I will see even less cars now than there were on US-87.
4,156.7 Small wild sunflowers in bloom ... following a valley with bluffs on each side of it - I am right at the base of the ones to the left, which are grass and sagebrush covered ... there is a creek running through the valley ... lots of rolls of hay in the flat areas, and there are some pine trees on the bluffs on the other side of the valley ... bindweed ... sunflowers ... flax ... vetch - quite colorful. The goatsbeard for the most part has already gone to seed and now there are the big balls of fluffy seeds. There’s not really anything much to say at present - there is grass, cattle, sagebrush, milkweed in flower, pine covered bluffs, a few trees along a creek bed, a number of wildflowers blooming - a quiet country road in Big Sky country.
4,165.0 An oil pump to the right of the road. A little further back I did actually cross the county line into Petroleum County.
Since the road is more or less following the valley ... you can’t see what is behind the horizon of the bluffs.
4,170.2 The road has gone up on the bluffs to the left of the road and the valley has broadened way in the distance - there really aren’t any bluffs any more.
4,171.5 There is another butte or bluffs with steep rock cliffs, then sloping down has appeared on the right hand side, but the broad valley still goes to the south. The hill I am talking about is pretty flat on top, then it has these steep rocky cliffs, then a more gentle slope away from the base of those.
4,173.7 There’s a little township nestled at the base of those cliffs, or I should say at the base of that butte.
4,174.2 Turnoff for the town of Winnett. Jordon is now 76 miles.
4,175.7 A huge colony of beehives.
4,176.2 Some hoodoos in one of the cliffs to the left of the road.
4,178.8 A big irrigation pipe to my right, and another one - so these are being used to irrigate the hay.
4,180.8 Distant views to the left now and there are huge rolls of hay pretty much as far as the eye can see.
4,183.9 Crossing Box Elder Creek and along parts of it there are steep eroded cliffs ... lots of small sunflowers ... a bird, like an American kestrel flying overhead with something looking a bit like a small snake hanging out of its mouth.
4,186.7 The countryside is pretty rugged at this point, the road going up and down and roundabout - if it was rocky I would call it badland area as it is very similar to badlands with some of the erosion, lots of sagebrush ... coulees all over the place and a few cottonwood trees here and there, where there must be a bit more water from the streams that make their way through the area.
After Winnett the road narrowed, not so much the road but there was no longer any shoulder and small sunflowers are bordering the road where normally there would be a shoulder.
4,191.7 Rugged badland cliffs in the distance to the left ... I am wondering if it is the Missouri River.
4,194.5 2,811 feet as the road starts to descend into a flat valley.
4,197.2 Crossing the Musselshell River - El. on bridge 2,477 feet then the road climbs again. After coming up out of the river valley there are pine trees to the right, also some to the left a little further ahead. The exposed soil is looking very black - I’m wondering if it is coal bearing at all! There are lots of hillocks all over the landscape. The road also has a shoulder again.
4,205.2 El. 3,083 feet - just a high point along the road ... lots of flat topped hills ... rolling hilly country, but not as gently rolling as it was earlier in the agricultural area.
4,206.8 The beginnings of .........end of recording!
4,207.7 A lonely abandoned ranch house to the right of the road.
4,212.7 This could be called the land of sagebrush. Occasionally you see a road into a ranch house and there is grass growing between the sagebrush, so it is still green. The summits of the various hills are rocky and appear to have maybe a foot thick layer of rock on top which falls away when the softer soil beneath erodes. There is a lot of yellow clover flowering both sides of the road.
4,214.7 A lot of cattle both sides of the road, white ones as well as black ... the road just goes on and on! Sometimes it disappears out of view but you can see it in the distance as it goes over another hill. There is sufficient traffic on the road that you know you wouldn’t be stranded if you broke down. Outside of that it is wonderful to feel as if you are the only person out here, enjoying the beautiful sunny day and the wide open expanses of the land.
4,218.3 Another pheasant just went across the road. I must say that I am surprised at not seeing any deer or pronghorns.
4,223.4 A lonely tree to my left, and not another tree in sight anywhere.
4,223.9 An outcrop of rock - quite a heap with softer soil worn away from underneath.
4,226.7 Some old abandoned buildings right by the turnoff for Devils Creek.
4,229.7 Very little sagebrush to the left and it looks like a crop has been planted. There is sagebrush to the right whilst the cultivation to the left is very extensive.
I am assuming that because of the lack of historical markers this is not a particularly historical route. Whilst it looks to be good ranching country and I am seeing lots of cattle all along the way, the ruggedness does not lend itself too well to agriculture.
To the left is a beautiful blue sky with little wisps of white cloud, but to my right and ahead a bank of clouds is forming.
I don’t know how to describe the landscape - there are these hills which have a bit of grass on top, then rocky cliffs with badland-type soil erosion below them.
4,239.5 Pronghorns! Finally! About a dozen of them to the right. Yea!!
4,241.1 A small area of badlands both sides of the road.
4,245.0 Half a dozen pronghorns to the left amongst the sagebrush.
4,249.7 Coming up a hill and there are about seven big tanks or elevators and now there are a number of houses - I believe I am coming into Jordan.
4,250.9 The turnoff for MT-59 to Miles City. Circle is 68 miles and Sidney 141.
4,251.2 11:51 Entering Jordan.
4,251.0 11:53 - 12:01 GAS - Jordan, MT - $1.959/gal. - 15.822 gals. - $31.00
There’s not much of a town here in Jordan, but there is a motel and I was able to get gas ... pretty old houses ... there is a museum and some nicer homes - new ones ... farming right into the town.
4,251.5 A lot of big machinery for doing roadwork or something on both sides of the road - over a dozen pieces of big CAT equipment on one side and a whole bunch more on the other side. I have no idea what all this is about out in the middle of nowhere! Maybe they are just going to remake the road because the current one is not in the best of conditions! Mind you, it is surfaced and isn’t too bad. There is no shoulder and a lot of clearing is being done on both sides.
When I got gas I was able to clean the windshield a bit of all the bugs I had collected, so now I can begin to collect some more.
4,257.0 I’m driving through a pretty rugged area now, some badland erosion, lots of rocks which have toppled down where underlying softer soil has eroded ... holes right through the cliff where sot soil has worn out - badlands continue for some way. Some of the soil is red but a lot of it is dark gray to black as if it could be coal bearing.
4,259.0 A sign: End of roadwork, but being Sunday noone is doing anything.
4,260.5 Badland hillocks topped with harder rock throughout the area, but there is some cultivation being done in the valley to the south.
Some of the formations are absolutely fascinating - not all that big but sitting on the top of a hill and the rest of the hill eroded away.
4,266.7 12:16 Glendive, my next destination, is 101 miles.
Ahead in the distance on the horizon it is all badland country.
4,267.4 Although at the moment, I’m passing some cultivated fields.
4,269.2 Some pretty coloring in the cliffs, beige and yellows, to the north of me ... and there is a field right against the road with big rolls of hay and behind that sagebrush with cattle all through it, then the badland cliffs.
4,274.5 More extensive badlands to the north of the road ... there is farmland between the road and there and the eroded cliffs are yellows and blacks, beige. There is more at a 45° angle to the northeast, and though I am still driving in sunshine there looks to be some rain falling from the clouds in the northeast./td>
4,276.9 A very large flock of sheep to the right, also a lot of lambs ... and this road is heading towards an extensive badland area and looks to go right through the badlands.
4,277.4 I can see a stream running through the valley ... the stream is Little Dry Creek and it is not dry at present.
4,278.9 Right in the badlands now, both sides of the road - reds, yellows, blacks, also white. One wonders what causes the land to erode in these weird fashions in certain areas of the country and not in others ... the badlands just go on and on.
4,284.5 The landscape is less eroded now and the road goes up and down over the land in a straight line for a number of miles ... you can see it away in the distance. I am going to stop at the Rest Area just ahead to have my lunch.
4,287.7 12:34 - 1:03 Rest Area ... had an open-face sandwich for my lunch of 3 historical markers, one about the Lewis and Clark Trail, one about the Fort Peck Dam and Lake and one about dinosaurs ... I now have 78 miles to go to Glendive ... I wasn’t able to put the car in the shade, but I was able to sit at a picnic bench in the shade of a cottonwood tree - very pleasant, a little bit windy but not so bad that it spoiled my lunch break.
The road continues on being straight ... I feel much better now for having eaten. It is just after 1 o’clock, 5½ hours since I left this morning, so if I go for another 5½ hours, it will be interesting to see where I get to.
4,290.3 A hawk soaring overhead.
4,291.8 Cacti - small cacti with lovely yellow flowers just on the other side of the fence to the right - not sure if it is prickly pear or not, but it has some beautiful flowers.
4,293.0 Hay has been cut to the right, and it looks like a crop to the left.
4,293.5 A slight bend in the road, the first one in that long straight stretch, and now it is straight ahead again.
4,295.9 Over the crest of a hill and the road continues straight ahead.
Lots of lovely grasslands but wherever there’s some lower land it is small eroded coulees.
4,299.2 A lone pronghorn to the left.
4,302.7 The next bend in the road.
4,304.2 More strip farming.
4,306.2 Grain elevators 45° to the south in a small community.
4,306.5 The next slight bend in the road.
4,307.2 The turnoff for Brockway ... now 13 miles to Circle and 60 miles to Glendive. After Brockway the road winds around a bit ... there is some soil erosion giving that badland look to some of the cliffs to the right but well back from the road. Also there are more cattle grazing ... the dark cloud bank I was eyeing earlier seems to have dissipated.
4,313.8 To my right is a red and yellow cliff face and to the right of that there seems to be a seam of black running through the cliff.
4,318.4 1:29 Entering Circle.
4,319.0 1:30 - 1:35 Historical Marker - “Circle” - Museum - about 6 pictures. The museum, which looked as if it could be rather interesting, was closed because it was Sunday - actually it is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
It is not a very big town, farm machinery outlets, a gas station ... I haven’t noticed any motel yet ... more big John Deer harvesters.
I guess I am following the back country byway.
4,320.4 Wolf Point, on US-2, is 53 miles to the north.
4,320.6 Crossing the Redwater River and there is a trestle bridge for the railway line over it.
4,321.4 1:39 The turnoff where MT-200 turns north to Sidney and I am taking MT-200 S to Glendive. That was east of Circle.
4,324.3 Another trestle bridge for the railway over Buffalo Springs Creek. The road is crossing rolling, cultivated country.
4,328.7 More badland cliffs in the distance to the left.
4,329.9 Parts can be seen of the old road as it wanders around a bit more and the new road cuts over the top of it as it winds from side to side.
4,331.9 A sign for a living snow fence - basically a hedge along the fence line, but it shows how the swirling snow is kept off the road.
4,332.4 Yuccas in flower - I think these are the first yuccas I have seen in the wild.
4,333.4 Starting to wind through more badlands/
4,335.7 The badlands are mostly of the yellow coloring now, but I am right in the thick of them and it is continuous rather than interspersed with grassy areas.
4,336.3 However, when I come up a hill from there I am once again crossing rolling prairie and a lot of cattle can be seen grazing.
4,340.2 Another trestle bridge for the railway as it crosses a coulee ... and I think I saw a dead antelope (pronghorn) at the side of the road something you rarely see!
Glendive is still 27 miles ... colorful vetch and bronze grasses add to the beauty along the side of the road.
4,345.5 Passing the grain elevators at Lindsay - a small community here with a few houses,
4,349.8 I can see some mountains in the distance on the horizon ahead of me.
4,352.9 A farmer cutting hay in one field and another one in an adjacent field.
4,360.9 Starting some badlands and there are certainly badlands ahead.
4,363.1 Badlands all around the road.
4,363.5 A deer munching on a shrub off to the left. The high badland cliffs ahead are probably along the Yellowstone River.
4,366.7 2:16 Leaving MT-200S for I-94 to Bismarck.
4,367.0 2:16 On I-94, so I don’t actually go into Glendive.
4,368.3 Passing Exit-213, which is the exit for going north to Regina, Canada ... the road is built up like a causeway over flood plains.
4,369.9 Start of the bridge over the Yellowstone River.
4,370.2 End of the bridge.
4,371.4 Wibaux is 25 miles and there I will leave the Interstate to go south on MT-7 to Baker where I will pick up US-12 ... badlands both sides of the road, There are more oranges or orange-reds showing up in the badlands now.
4,375.9 I have just plugged in Aberdeen, South Dakota, to see how much further it is and as soon as the GPS has finished calculating it I will know how many miles.
4,381.5 It is 286 miles to Aberdeen ... actually it is 388 miles I think, which I won’t be able to do - just over 6 hours yet!
4,395.2 A large herd of cattle to the left, also about 8 horses.
4,396.6 Exit-241 in one mile and according to the GPS Aberdeen is 373 miles and 6 hours 6 minutes ahead. I will be interested to see what happens when I change course.
4,397.4 2:40 Left the Interstate - 372 miles to go!
4,397.7 The junction with MT-7 south.
4,398.6 Baker is 44 miles.
4,401.9 A golden grain crop to my left.
4,403.4 I have decided to run the air conditioning for a while - the first time that I have had it on.
4,406.2 A lot of yucca at the side of the road.
379 miles - 6 hours and 9 minutes at the junction with a road going east which the GPS is directing me to take east then north again to the Interstate! ... and now has changed immediately to 406 miles and almost 7 hours as it attempts once more to get me back to the Interstate!
4,412.4 The turnoff for Pine Unit Oilfield. Here it is getting almost to the middle of July and it is wonderful to see everything so green ... lots of farms lining this route - a lot of crops.
4,422.4 I am just thinking that when you see an area covered in sagebrush, then you see farms it makes you realize the mount of work the early landholders had to put in to clear the land before being able to use it for agriculture.
There is a turnoff here, Iron Bridge Road, for Carlyle and Golva - again GPS wants me to turn here! More recalculating! 331 miles - 6 hours 12 minutes and I am not sure what route this is until I enlarge the map - basically it appears to be the way I want to go now.
MT-7 sure is a quiet road! No traffic!
All agricultural or ranching between Wibaux and Baker.
4,433.0 Suddenly coming into a valley with a lot of badland formations on the northern side of it.
4,434.0 3:11 - 3:16 Historical Marker about the gumbo buttes.
4,438.7 Oil pumps to the right.
4,439.1 Two large oil pumps working to the left of the road and coming over a rise there are numerous oil pumps scattered across the landscape as the road descends slightly towards Baker.
4,442.1 Welcome to Baker - 94 years old.
Before that there were a number of places with all kinds of equipment for oil pumps.
4,442.6 3:24 Entering Baker. Besides being an oil area there are grain elevators here as well.
4,443.1 3:25 Junction with US-12 and I am turning east on US-12. I have done a small section of this route before but only as far as MarMarth about 5 miles beyond the North Dakota state line. There is a lake to my right just beyond to first two blocks of houses.
4,444.0 Working oil pump to the right just on the outskirts of town and there are some in the fields to the left.
4,444.2 Marmarth is 18 miles, Bowman 46 miles and after Marmarth it will be all new road for me on US-12. a route I have completed all the way from its western terminus to here.
4,445.8 The oil pumps scattered across the countryside are too numerous to count.
I will not be stopping in Marmarth today because I spent some time there previously and took pictures of the historic buildings.
4,451.0 In addition to the oil pumps there is also strip farming with crops.
4,454.3 Back into a small area of badlands, mostly black and gray, and back behind the cliffs to the left is a drilling rig.
4,455.2 Passed a sign: “Howdy Montana” - already have a picture of that, I think!
4,455.8 3:37 The Montana/North Dakota State Line - 205 and 240 is 445 traveled in Montana today since leaving Great Falls.
Badland cliffs continue, also at least one oil pump that I can see. There are a number of horses in the area, cattle grazing, cows with calves, lots of badlands.
4,461.2 3:42 - 3:43 Pictures of cowboy.
4,461.9 Entering Marmarth - signs of a few people living here but for the most part a pretty ghostly looking sort of a town! The old depot is still up on blocks.
4,462.5 Starting to cross the Little Missouri Scenic River.
4,462.6 End of the bridge and now Rhame is 14 miles and Bowman is 27 miles.
Extensive badlands to the north.
4,463.0 Passing a cutout of a dinosaur on a hill to the right.
4,464.0 I am in the midst of badlands.
4,465.3 A fascinating pudding bowl shaped hill on the left and at various levels there are platforms of rocks sticking out from it.
4,469.3 Another oil pump.
4,470.9 A huge lot of beehives.
4,476.9 Entering Rhame - Bowman now 13 miles, Hettinger 53 miles.
4,478.5 Beautiful countryside ... green, green ... gently rolling, but with a number of higher points also across the land ... the homesteads that have red farm buildings add to the beauty of the area, making it more colorful. One of the green hills to my right has a patch of red soil showing through at the top of it
4,481.0 Elevation (GPS) - 3,100 feet.
4,482.1 Old, disused building to the left.
4,482.8 An abandoned wooden house on the right - no doors or windows left on it.
4,486.4 Cattle, rolled hay and Bowman just ahead. Although there are a dew buttes around the land is a lot flatter and more like prairie.
4,489.8 4:09 Junction with US-85 south to Belle Fourche.
4,490.5 US-85 turns north whilst US-12 goes straight ahead ... cattle, crops and hay on the prairie ... I think I just saw a meadowlark on a fence post.
Some big elevators ahead - not sure whether they are on either side of the road or whether the road will go around them ... lots of elevators, the kind which always remind me of Alberta as well as the big concrete ones you see around Nebraska and Kansas. They are all to the north of the road.
A sign for Rea Hybrids - soya and sunflower - all these are in the town of Scranton.
4,503.4 Just going under the overpass for the road into Scranton.
4,506.4 On an overpass above the train tracks and now I am north of the tracks.
4,507.0 Gascoyne and more elevators ... American Colloid Company, Gascoyne Plant. The road is crossing over a spur line going into that particular company. There is also a big plant to the right as well.

     "American Colloid Company is one of the world’’s leading producers of bentonite clay. Bentonite’’s unique chemical structure gives it a diverse range of capabilities, enabling it to act as a thickener, sealant, binder, lubricant or absorbtion agent. The Company’’s principle markets include metalcasting, pet products, oil and gas well drilling, industrial specialties and agriculture. With mining operations throughout North America and a sister subsidiary with mining operations throughout the world, American Colloid’’s trademark Additrol line is an industry standard in the metalcasting industry. Ferro-alloy bricks and briquettes are also part of the Metalcasting Products Group’’s product line. American Colloid’’s Premium Gel is ideal for multiple applications in oil well drilling. The Company’’s Pet Products Group also offers a complete line of traditional, scoopable and alternative cat litters."

4,512.0 4:29 I have now done 500 miles today - 9 hours. Aberdeen is still 243 miles, 4½ hours.
4,514.9 Entering Reeder . Actually I am just bypassing it to the north.
4,517.5 Currently there seems to be a lot more trees, trees which have been planted for windbreaks and trees around homes, more trees than I have seen on the prairies so far.
4,518.6 Dickinson 65 miles to the north,
4,519.7 An abandoned pioneer home and farm buildings, all wooden.
The road is running parallel with and to the north of the railway line.
4,523.4 Bucyrus and there is a rather disused looking grain elevator in this little town ... I saw a church on the other side of the tracks!
4,530.3 Approaching a town ... houses are a little closer together ... looks like a grain train moving along the tracks going east.
4,532.0 4:46 Entering Hettinger.
4,532.4 Passing Adams County Courthouse. There are some motels here and there is a lodge.
Land to the north of the road out of Hettinger seems to be gently rolling whilst to the south there seems to be a number of buttes, some flat-topped, some a little more rugged.
4,540.2 Passing the turnoff north on ND-8 for Enchanted Highway - The World’s Largest Metal Sculptures. I have heard of these before, but unfortunately I don’t have time to detour and see those today. Keep in mind for another time! US-12 is turning in a southerly direction now.
4,542.0 A large herd of black cattle to the left. Perhaps if I ever go to Medora again I could figure out how to come along US-12 here and turn north on ND-8 and see that Enchanted Highway.
There is hay, and there looks to be some crops.
4,544.3 A big lot of beehives, but no sign of any homesteads anywhere, so I don’t know where the people live.
4,544.7 4:59 - 5:05 Historical Marker - “The Last Great Buffalo Hunt” - sign and land both sides of the road.
4,545.8 Crossing back over the railway line.
4,546.4 5:07 The North Dakota/South Dakota State Line ... the road turns east immediately and runs parallel with the railway line on the South Dakota side of the state line.
4,548.5 A male pheasant just ambling across the road ... there appears to be a lot of grasslands here ... haven’t seen any cattle yet ... I have seen a field of hay ... and I am getting more bugs than ever splatting on the windshield.
4,552.0 A large pronghorn, alone by itself, to the north of the road ... now crops both sides of the road.
4,553.5 Numerous rows of trees for windbreaks with one field strip between each row ... strip farming ... soy bean crops ... Lemmon ahead.
4,556.0 At the top of a hill and going down into a valley where Lemmon is situated.
4,557.4 Entering Lemmon, pop. 1,398.
4,558.5 Mobridge is 96 miles ... that might be a good stopping place!
Even though this is a US highway the various counties are responsible for the upkeep of the road and you can certainly tell the difference in the quality of the road when you go from one county to another. It is really bad at present - just as I came into a new county - Corson County, but it is also the point at which the highway entered Standing Indian Reservation.
4,571.3 A lot of horses to the north of the road.
4,573.9 On an overpass above the railway line again. The railway line is now in South Dakota and the highway is between it and the State Line.
4,575.8 Keldron - one house and one business. Morristown 4 miles.
4,579.6 Morristown - boarded up buildings. I guess there are a few people in town.
4,580.3 A cemetery alone on the prairie to the left ... milkweed in flower as well as the yellow clover and some purple vetch.
4,588.6 Entering Watauga.
4,589.9 Prairie dog town to the left - I could see all the little prairie dogs standing up outside their burrows ... also a flock of sheep.
4,592.2 Some round haystacks to the south of the road ... I had hoped to see some of these coming across Montana.
4,592.4 A number of mares with foals to the north of the road.
4,598.0 Entering McIntosh ... the gas station there was closed.
Walker is 11 miles, McLaughlin 26 miles.
4,602.6 Nice body of water to the left of the road.
4,605.9 I am seeing some sagebrush again, all of which would have to have been cleared away from where crops are now growing. Basically the road is crossing a broad expanse of agricultural land, occasionally interrupted by a bit of rocky cliff or sagebrush, particularly where there are any coulees. Otherwise the land is undulating and looks to be very productive.
4,610.3 A large group of corrugated iron storage tanks, about twenty of them.
4,611.0 6:05 Entering Walker.
4,611.5 Tumbled down house, an abandoned barn to the right.
McLaughlin now 15 miles and Mobridge 44 miles.
4,616.2 Another very large prairie dog town this time to the right and lots of little critters are outside their burrows and playing around.
4,626.5 6:18 Entering McLaughlin.
4,626.0 6:21 - 6:30 GAS - McLaughlin, SD - $1.929/gal. - 16.150 gals. - $31.01
4,626.6 Mobridge now 29 miles and Aberdeen 129 miles.
This is a very large Indian Reservation and there were Indians hanging around outside the gas station and one fellow came up and said, “I see by your licence plate you are from a long way away.” Then he asked me if I had any loose change to which I replied, “I don’t carry loose change with me.”.
Since this is all part of a very large Indian reservation I am wondering if the Indians are actually working the land or if they simply rent it out for other people to do all the work!
4,631.4 A large herd of black cattle to the left.
4,632.9 A lot of grassy buttes to the south of the road, all with flat tops and in the foreground are big rolls of hay.
Even though the grass or alfalfa has been cut and rolled the next crop is coming up, so you see all these brown rolls scattered across green fields - very beautiful and particularly so in the evening sunlight.
I was thinking of staying in Mobridge tonight, but if that is still on the Indian Reservation I will probably go further.
4,634.6 Have left the buttes to the south behind now.
4,636.7 Elevation 1,988 feet as the road descends into a broad valley ... lots of coulees coming down into this valley from the rolling plains.
Junction with SD-20 is in 11 miles.
4,639.7 Down in the valley - elevation 1,584 feet - and crossing a flood plain Oahe.
4,640.3 Crossing Lake Oahe and the Grand River and immediately after the bridge the road starts to go up hill to return to the plains.
The GPS shows it as if there is a lot of water, but there was very little.
4,642.8 Now I can see out to my left as if there might be a dam further up stream.
4,644.0 Masses of tall yellow clover along the shoulder of the road, and out into the fields as well ... there have also been some small wild sunflowers, too.
4,646.2 Some Indians doing some fencing or replacing some fence posts.
4,647.7 Since the Grand River the countryside has been hillier with slightly deeper valleys.
4,649.3 Another prairie dog town, this time to the north of the road.
4,650.3 The hills are certainly much bigger now and there is a lot of water out to my left - obviously dammed up.
4,652.3 Can see al the water to the left now ... it would appear that the water level is quite low.
4,653.2 Now there is a lot of water to the right as well and I will soon be going onto a bridge to cross the water - Lake Oahe and the Missouri River.
4,653.5 Starting to cross ... Wow! ... and I am leaving the Indian Reservation.
4,654.0 6:55 Entering Central Time Zone which means it is now 7:55.
4,654.5 End of the bridge.
4,655.2 7:57 Entering Mobridge ... I didn’t see any motels that took my fancy, so since it is only just 8 o’clock and the sun is still quite high in the sky I have decided to go on a bit further.
4,661.0 It is 96 miles to go and 1¾ hours, that is to Aberdeen. I don’t think I will be going quite that far and will be looking for a motel somewhere along the way now, but at least I am not in too bad a shape for tomorrow.
4,663.0 The sun is still high in the sky, I’m driving in sunlight and looking back over my right shoulder to the southwest, the sky is looking very black.
4,664.0 Corn to the south, beans to the north.
4,665.0 Glenham, pop. 134 ... the junction with US-83 is 10 miles ... south of me the black sky seems to be moving eastward quite rapidly - I’m still in sunlight and there is blue sky to the north.
When US-12 meets US-83 it turns south so I could be running into this bad weather!
There seems to be a lot more farms throughout the countryside since I crossed the Missouri River and the lake whereas before whilst in the Indian Reservation there didn’t seem to be many houses around at all ... mixed farming - hay, corn, beans, and cattle.
4,675.1 8:16 The junction with US-83 from the north ... the darkness in the sky is very eerie (which is now to my right).
I think that I have been on this section of road previously because I remember coming from Aberdeen to Selby and continuing north to Bismarck.
4,677.5 8:18 Entering Selby, pop. 707.
4,679.6 An abandoned wooden homestead and other buildings to the west of the road. It is too bad about the weather which is blowing in because the sun is still fairly high.
4,682.0 US-83 continues south and US-12 turns east again ... Bowdle 19 miles, Ipswich 49, Aberdeen 76 ... the countryside is now somewhat flatter, maybe very gently rolling and looks to be under cultivation.
4,687.5 8:28 The black clouds are now covering the sun ... another abandoned homestead, quite a large one and I wonder what stories it could tell!
A large body of water out to the right and a little to the left ... the road crosses over a channel ... a nice sized lake.
4,691.3 Starting to cross the causeway.
4,698.5 It looks like a field of wheat to the right.
4,701.5 8:40 Turned off the highway to go into Bowdle, pop. 571 - it was the old hospital at the end and I didn’t like the look of it, so I guess I am going to drive until dark and hope I can find something in Ipswich which is another 30 miles! Aberdeen is only 25 miles after that.
4,703.6 8:47 Back at the point where I turned around to go into Bowdle ... lots of crops - corn and beans.
The countryside has become hilly again and there are a number of lakes or ponds in the lower areas and I am seeing a number of water birds, not just ducks.
It is amazing just how many lakes there are.
4,707.5 Lakes on both sides of the road and it looks as if the road has been built up to cross the lake.
4,712.7 More cattle.
4,714.5 Another place where there is lake on both sides of the road ... lots of ducks in the water. Just after that there are a lot of beehives in a field of yellow clover.
4,718.8 8:59 Roscoe, pop. 324.
4,729.3 9:09 I don’t think the sun has set yet because there are some rays from the sun shining down through the clouds.
It is now just 29 miles to Aberdeen and just over ½ an hour so if there is nothing in Ipswich which is only a couple of miles ahead, I will still have another ½ hour to go. It won’t be quite in daylight but it won’t be far behind. My main concern is LP worrying about me, also Jo wondering where I am!
4,733.8 9:13 Entering Ipswich, pop. 943. There is nothing here, so, Aberdeen, here I come!
4,735.0 Aberdeen 25 miles.
4,742.7 A mother duck with her ducklings on the side of the road - they are trying to cross the road so I hope they don’t get scuttled.
There’s a lot of color in the upper clouds to the north of me from the sunset, but I can’t see what is behind me. The sky is still fairly dark to the south of me.
There are two different layers of clouds and each layer has its own color, the upper level being a pale flesh color and the lower level clouds a deep purplish color
4,747.6 9:25 Mina - maybe one or two houses and some grain elevators ... oh! There are a few more houses to the left of the road, also a lake.
123.2 A sign to watch out for deer - the first sign I have seen. I was just hoping that there wouldn’t be one of those between here and Aberdeen.
9:30 Still not really dark, dusk certainly and it won’t be long before it is dark, but only for the last 8½ miles into Aberdeen.
4,755.8 The road becomes four-lane, divided and it is 5 miles to US-281.
The color is disappearing from the sky now, but with still 2.8 miles to go there is still a lot of light in the sky. I guess that I could say that I made it in daylight! But only just by the skin of my teeth!
4,760.2 9:36 Entering Aberdeen, pop. 24,827 - “Home of US Senator Tom Daschle”.
4,761.0 9:38 Arrive at Sundown Motel, Aberdeen, SD - the sun was already down!

The day’s total - 750 miles
Vancouver to Long Lake, Wisconsin - 1,648 miles
Total in Vancouver - 534 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 4,761 miles

Day 45 - Monday, July 12 - Aberdeen, SD to Long Lake, WI

4,761.0 7:21 Leave Sundown Motel, on the west side of Aberdeen, SD and am continuing on US-12 through that city.
4,763.3 7:27 - 7:35 McDonald’s ($3.05).
I woke up to rain this morning and already, within one block, I see lightning strikes ahead,
4,770.2 It is 66 miles to the junction with I-29, so that is not far to go across South Dakota. However it is not a particularly nice day, lots of different kinds of clouds in the sky and even a patch of blue sky where you know the sun is shining above that. There is also a cloud from which rain is falling - quite a swathe of it - so I don’t know what the day is going to turn out like!
Jo was saying that they hadn’t had very nice weather at Long Lake in Wisconsin, and I am supposed to be bringing the sunshine with me! I don’t know what happened to it overnight!
4,773.4 Crossing the James River and both before and since that the area seems to be kind of marshy,
4,774.2 Lake both sides of the road, much larger to the right.
So far since Aberdeen US-12 has been a four-lane divided highway, the east bound lanes being the original road whilst you can tell that the west bound road is new both by the bridges and by the fact that the road is more level compared with this side following the undulations of the land. It looks as if the sky could be clearing to the south and southwest.
4,781.2 Entering Groton.
A picture of a baby on a billboard with the words: “Be my voice. Choose life.”.
I was thinking about my drive across South Dakota last night and for the most part it looked very good with all the green fields and crops, and I recall my drive across the state with Anna in 1993 and how I thought South Dakota looked much poorer than Minnesota! It will be interesting to see what I think when I drive into Minnesota this time. This morning there appear to be lots of crops and places well generally well cared for, but it is also darker because of the clouds and the rain, so I am not seeing the countryside in the best light.
4,787.2 A mother pheasant and one baby just scampered across the road in front of me.
4,791.2 Two-way traffic on the east bound lanes.
4,796.7 There is still a mixture of sky - white and dark clouds, blue sky where the sun is shining through but that is not where I am at the moment - I can just see it to my right, and I am driving in rain again.
The west bound lanes are either a new road or it is being rebuilt - all the concrete has been laid and is waiting for the paving and the shoulders.
4,800.2 The countryside is a little hillier again.
4,801.2 A lake to the left of the road and an egret at the edge of it.
4,802.2 Bristol, pop. 419. The next place is Holmquist.
4,803.4 Another lake to the left.
4,804.5 Lake both sides of the road ... several egrets.
4,806.2 Lake both sides of the road, much larger to the north.
4,806.9 Holmquist - several houses and a railway siding.
4,807.2 A lake to the right ... Webster the next town.
4,807.5 A lake to the left ... this is a bit like the sandhills of Nebraska with all the lakes in between.
4,808.1 Lakes both sides ... also the end of the laying of the concrete - the big piece of machinery is there for laying concrete along the rest of it ... and there are more lake all along the way.
4,810.9 Now the road is not even ready for laying the concrete.
4,812.6 The traffic has slowed right down and we are being taken off the east bound lanes and the road is just a quagmire of mud, no pavement.
4,813.2 Back onto pavement and entering Webster, pop. 2,017.
4,814.2 Shunted over to the west bound lanes and now the east bound are all torn up.
4,816.7 Two-way traffic continues on the west bound lanes ... and there are still numerous lakes to be seen either side or both sides of the road.
4,817.9 A great blue heron.
4,820.6 The start of a causeway across a very large lake, and looking at the GPS, this is only one of many lakes in this area of South Dakota. The water looks to be quite rough from the winds that are blowing.
4,822.4 There’s a house and a farm on an island in a lake, well not quite an island because you can get into it off this road.
4,823.0 Pelicans on the water.
4,823.5 End of the causeway but there is still water both sides of the road.
4,823.9 This is the true end of the causeway and there are houses along the shoreline of the lake on the east side here.
4,824.5 Waubay, pop. 647.
4,824.7 A rather nice looking motel - The Circle Pines Motel ... and this is still the shoreline to the left of the lake with a number of places around it
4,825.5 More pelicans.
4,826.2 Driving in a bit of sunshine which is breaking through some of the clouds.
4,827.5 Rolled hay both sides.
4,830.0 Ortley, pop. 63.
4,831.0 Lake to the left with pelicans and some egrets ... fast moving clouds have hidden the sun again and now most of the sky is grey - without the texture of lots of different clouds - no blue sky.
4,836.0 The clouds are hanging very low and there is mist or dog right down to the ground.
4,837.6 Crossing over I-29 ... gas $1.839/gal. - it’s coming down!
4,838.3 Entering Summit, pop. 267 ... lots of lakes in between the hills.
4,843.2 The fog seems to have lifted a little, but the sky has remained gray ... cornfields both sides of the road.
4,844.7 A 4% downgrade for 2 miles ... this must be down into a river valley ... the elevation is 1,604 feet.
4,846.2 The sky is looking a little clearer ahead.
4,847.9 A wild turkey at the side of the road.
4,848.2 Down on the fertile flood plain ... this part is still slightly undulating so I think I still have a bit further to go before being on the flat flood plain.
4,849.7 It is pretty flat now ... this is a very wide flood plain ... the elevation just keeps getting lower and lower - I keep checking it and checking it and we keep dropping and dropping, even though it appears to be flat.
4,857.7 Elevation 1,099 feet.
4,858.7 1,085 feet.
4,859.2 Milbank, pop. 3,640.
4,860.2 1,072 feet.
4,865.7 974 feet ... and the sun is poking through again.
4,867.3 A power plant out to the north.
4,870.2 908 feet.
4,870.5 Entering Big Stone City, pop. 605.
4,870.7 7% downgrade the next ½ mile ... and more road work ... 1910 City Hall.
4,871.2 9:19 879 feet ... I am crossing a river, and entering Minnesota ... 5 hours and 20 minutes or 290 miles to go.
4,871.6 Entering Ortonville, pop. 2,158.
4,871.8 Crossing the Minnesota River ... US-12 is a Scenic Byway.
4,872.7 The junction with US-75 and at that point the Scenic Byway turns south with US-75 but I am continuing east on US-12..
Driving through Ortonville the road climbed quickly up from the river flats and now is crossing hilly or undulating country - lots of crops - corn, beans and grain crops ... everything is very green ... also lots of lakes ... pelican flying overhead.
Whilst I am driving I don’t know the difference between wheat, barley and rye, so I can’t distinguish what the grain crops are. I think I would recognize oats as different..
Another thing I have noticed there are many more trees, areas of trees between fields, around homes and wooded areas, too, something you don’t see much of in South Dakota.
4,888.9 Great blue heron ... another lake, this to the right.
There is a variety of wildflowers blooming along the roadside, but I don’t know what they all are ... some look like pink clover and there are the mauve asters and there are others with which I am not familiar ... also a number of grasses with the pinkish/purplish coloring to them - very pretty,
Irrigation sprinklers working.
4,895.7 Crossing the Pomme de Terre River.
4,896.2 A heap of field stones - stones about 6" in diameter, nice and smooth like glacial rocks.
4,896.5 Chicken sheds - about 10 of them - huge sheds for raising chickens.
I think I just passed a field of oats.
4,899.0 Crossing over US-59.
4,906.6 9:53 Danvers, pop. 108.
4,913.8 The Chippewa River.
9:59 Benson, pop. 3,376.
4,922.6 De Graff, pop. 133 ... grain elevators between the road and the railway line.
4,927.2 Murdock, pop. 303.
These small Minnesota towns appear to be much more prosperous than those in South Dakota.
There has been and is a lot of that little yellow flower like I had in my garden in Lincoln (never did know its name and can’t seem to find it in my flower books!).
4,931.7 Kerkhoven, pop. 759 ... nice little park in the heart of town.
4,933.8 A big windmill, one of them, 45° to the right.
4,935.2 Two huge two-storey sheds for chickens on the right.
4,936.0 Four big ones on the left.
4,936.7 Four more big ones on the right.
4,938.5 Passing now more left and right ahead.
4,939.6 Pennock, pop. 504 ... a long grain train going in the opposite direction.
4,943.6 More chicken sheds.
4,944.8 10:31 Stopped for a traffic light at CR-5 - 219 miles to go, 3 hours and 58 minutes.
4,945.5 Welcome to Willmar, pop. 18,351 ... a rather nice city - lots of trees.
I have just noticed that the GPS is wanting to take me north on US-71, probably to join a freeway, but I am going to stay with US-12.
4,948.8 This is where the GPS wants me to turn - I don’t what the distance to go was but now that I am staying on 12 it is 216 miles and 3 hours and 55 minutes if I do a U-turn!
4,949.6 10:39 216 miles and almost 4 hours.
4,952.6 Entering Kandiyohi, pop. 555.
The GPS is still trying to turn me north, this time on CR-8 ... now it has given up and is taking me on US-12. Now 194 miles and 3 hours and 37 minutes.
There are certainly a lot of chicken sheds around here.
4,954.7 Another group on the other side of the railway - four or five of them. The railway line is on the left.
4,955.6 Two more to the right.
4,957.0 Overpass over the railway line.
4,960.0 Atwater, pop. 1,079.
4,961.9 To the left, too many chicken sheds to be able to count them.
4,962.3 Same thing to the right ... just so many of them.
4,963.7 A lot of squares of corn plants at different stages ... a sign up for test plots and men walking around looking at them.
4,965.0 Grove City, pop. 608.
4,966.0 10:56 79 miles to the Twin Cities, and it is 182 to Rice City in Wisconsin - 3 hrs. 28 mins.
4,968.4 Lake to the left, chicken sheds to the right ... although the land is only gently rolling, you don’t get that feeling of wide open expanses and the big sky like you do in Montana because of the number of trees at the various homes, grown for windbreaks and wooded areas. There just is not that same feeling of openness. It is very lovely, however.
4,973.4 Litchfield, pop. 6,562 ... 82° - 27° Celsius.
4,974.3 11:05 Stopped at a traffic light ... driving into the main street there are beige colored brick buildings with lovely brick designs in them.
4,980.5 Darwin, pop. 276.
4,980.8 Passing a road which points to The Home of Ball of Twine - sounds like something interesting.
4,985.2 11:18 Dassel, pop. 1.233.
For the last little while the most predominant crop has been corn.
4,988.8 A pelican on a lake to the left.
4,989.7 Passing the Garst Seed Company.
4,990.2 A police car on the lookout - that is the first one I have seen in hundreds of miles.
4,991.5 Cokato, pop. 2,727.
4,992.1 11:26 Pulled off the highway to get gas.
4,992.0 11:28 - 11:38 GAS - Cokato, MN - $1.749/gal. - 16.007 gals. - $28.00
The countryside is becoming more densely populated and there is a lot more traffic now as I get closer to Minneapolis.
4,995.8 Crossing a lake, right down the middle of it.
4,996.6 More chickens next to a big lumber yard where roof trusses are being made.
4,997.7 Howard Lake, pop. 1,853.
4,998.5 Howard Lake City Hall, a very attractive brick building with shingle roof, and just after that you can see Howard Lake, quite a large lake ... 82°.
4,998.8 Another lake to the right of the road.
Beautiful church at the town ahead with two spires.
5,003.1 11:51 Waverly, pop. 600 ... the church is off to the left so I can’t see what it is like other than its spires. The banners on the light poles along the street feature the church spires, too.
The farms with lovely homes and well-kept farm buildings are on smaller acreages.
5,005.6 Montrose, pop. 1,143.
5,007.0 Twin Cities now 38 miles, which would make it 53 on my odometer! I am wondering just where abouts I will be at that mileage!
5,008.2 A beautiful ranch homestead with red barn and white paling fence for horses.
Although US-12 is a two-way traffic road it does have a lot of right turn lanes, also left turn lanes as well, plus there are passing lanes at intervals.
5,013.1 12:01 Delano, pop. 3,837 ... there is a church spire which looks like Greek Orthodox or Russian ahead ... this church has a large spire with a rounded dome, plus a smaller replica of the same - and has a gold cross atop the rounded dome.
There are lots of cottonwood seeds floating around in the air.
5,014.0 Crossing the Crow River ... 86°.
5,015.1 Independence, pop. 3,236.
5,015.8 A lake to the right and several mother ducks and each with about nine little ducklings.
5,020.3 Entering Maple Plain, pop. 2,008.
5,022.2 Orono, pop. 7,538.
The speed has not yet been reduced ... there are trees or woods both sides of the road and no sign of any houses or buildings, so maybe it is the population of an entire area!
Wait a minute - coming to something now! A traffic light at least!
5,023.3 12:15 Stopped at the traffic light ... still just over 20 miles to go to the Twin Cities ... the traffic has increased considerably.
5,023.9 More lakes to the left and there appears to be a very large one to the right according to the GPS.
5,025.0 12:19 Long Lake, pop. 1,842 ... 84°.
5,026.3 The road is right alongside a lake, lake on the left.
5,027.8 Road has become four-lane divided and the speed 65 mph.
5,028.0 Wayzata, pop. 4,113.
5,028.5 The road is now three lanes, the third lane being a HOV lane ... 2¼ miles to I-494.
I will be leaving US-12 at Exit-1A for I-494.
5,031.3 12:26 Leaving US-12.
5,032.5 12:27 On I-494 north.
5,033.0 Plymouth, pop. 65,894.
5,039.2 Maple Grove, pop. 50,365.
5,040.7 Leaving I-494 for I-94 E (also I-694). I was coming this way to miss the road construction, but there is still road construction here! ... Still the traffic is flowing well.
5,044.6 I am near Exit-31.
5,045.0 12:38 I am north of the city and still have not reached where I-94 turns south.
Exit-35B is for I-94 S to Minneapolis, but I will be staying on I-694.
5,047.6 Continuing on I-694.
5,054.2 12:48 Leaving I-694 at Exit-41B for North I-35 West.
5,054.6 Joined in the West I-35 North. Coming around on I-694 I passed several city names with populations of 22,000 plus and now there is another city as I go north here with 40,000 plus population. The Twin Cities is a huge metropolitan area. You could almost call it a metroplex similar to Dallas and Fort Worth.
5,065.3 It is only 133 miles to Duluth ... I still have 85 miles to Rice Lake and I still have to go beyond that to Jo’s and Sam’s yet.
5,067.2 There are a series of lakes to my right - can see the top end of them now.
I-35W ends in 1 mile when it meets I-35E and becomes I-35 North.
5,069.4 A couple of windmills straight ahead and that was just as I was passing over I-35E, that is I-35E south.
5,070.0 1:01 The junction of the two roads.
5,072.6 A big lake to the right again.
5,074.6 1:05 Leaving I-35 at Exit-132 for US-8 to Taylor’s Falls.
5,078.0 Egrets in a lake top the left.
5,078.7 Water lilies flowering on lakes to both left and right.
5,079.3 A ripened crop of wheat to the left.
5,079.6 Starting to see part of a big lake to the right.
In addition to the broken yellow line down the center of the road there is also a 12" wide rumble strip.
5,082.8 A large lake to my right and the road going along the shoreline.
I was lucky enough today to get the cheapest gas I have seen anywhere (at the Casey Store where I stopped in Cokato.
There is a lot of cottonwood fluff floating around ... this is in Chisago City.
5,086.0 Lindstrom, pop. 3,015.
5,086.2 Crossing the lake ... so many lakes ... a lot of Swedish ancestry in this area.
5,090.2 Someone has a herd of elk in a high-fenced area to the right.
5,090.7 A herd of buffalo to the left and some of them have their calves with them.
5,095.0 Interstate Park Scenic Area next 3 miles - Drive with care. There were some strange sculptures right at the beginning of that, then the road started to wind downhill and since then I can see water which I think should be a river that I have to cross.
5,095.5 I have high precipitous rock cliffs to my left.
5,096.2 1:30 Leaving US-8 to go to a picnic area ... it is a State Park and there is an entry fee for day parking so I going to turn around and hopefully find another spot where I don’t have to pay,

     "I have since read in “Trails Across America”, Traveler’s guide to Our National Scenic and Historic Trails by Arthur P. Miller Jr. and Marjorie L. Miller, the chapter on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail about Interstate State Park and now wish I had stopped here. The St. Croix River slices between high basalt cliffs."

5,096.5 1:31 Back on the highway.
5,096.6 Entering Taylor’s Falls, pop. 951. The road is continuing to wind around.
5,097.5 Start of the bridge over a river, the St. Croix River, which goes through a gorge and is also the Minnesota/Wisconsin State Line.
5,097.7 Entering St. Croix Falls, pop. 2,033.
Turning off the highway for a Tourist Information place.
5,099.0 1:36 - 2:10 Polk County, WI, Information Center ... had my lunch here.
5,099.4 2:11 Back on US-8 and traveling east.
5,100.7 2:13 I’m turning off to go back to a food store.
5,101.0 2:14 - 2:23 Market Place Foods to buy ginger ale and coke.
5,101.2 2:25 Back on US-8 ... gas is up to $1.929/gal.
5,104.6 Another big lake to my left with lots of lakeside cottages and there are lots of boats on the lake. I’m not sure that all the dwellings are cottages because some of them look more like permanent homes ... fireweed in flower.
5,107.8 More fireweed flowering ... trees both sides of the road are blocking any view of whatever there is to be seen!
5,110.6 Some pretty nice looking farms here.
5,113.3 Crossing Apple River.
There are many places where there are lakes on both sides of the road, or, more correctly, the road is built across the lakes.
5,116.9 Entering Range, Unincorporated ... some Canada Geese.
5,122.7 Turtle Lake, pop. 1,065.
5,124.8 2:49 Turned off the road because I am going back to take US-63.
5,125.2 2:50 Joined US-63.
Every now and again there is a field which has been planted with small plants in between the trees, but most of the time it is just homes tucked away in the woods or lakes.
5,131.0 Wild day lilies in flower at the side of the road.
5,131.6 Entering Comstock.
5,131.7 Passing a cheese factory here, the Crystal Lake Cheese Factory. For there to be a cheese factory there has to be some cows tucked away somewhere!
5,133.7 Just passed one dairy farm.
5,134.9 The land has all been cleared and there are a number of farms now. There looks to be a lot of alfalfa or lucern growing.
5,136.0 Cumberland, known as the Island City (it does seem to be surrounded by lakes), and this is at the junction with WI-48 from the west ... gas up to $1.959.
5,137.1 A lake with water lilies on it right down to the main street ... Wells Fargo ATM.
5,137.3 3:03 US-63 turns north. I am going to continue straight ahead east on WI-48.
5,137.9 Rice Lake is now 14 miles.
5,143.7 A number of very prosperous looking farms,
5,145.8 An embankment of white daisies and pink clover as well as a few yellow flowers.
5,150.3 Elevation 1,200 feet ... I did this on the GPS as the road dips down into a valley. On the GPS Rice Lake looks to be a big lake.
5,151.0 3:17 Turning off WI-48 onto the ramp for US-53 north.
5,151.4 3:17 Joining US-53.
5,158.3 3:23 Left US-53 for CR-V.
5,161.5 3:27 Turning left (north) off CR-V onto CR-M ... this is all farm country through here with lots of trees.
5,165.0 3:31 The junction with CR-D.
5,165.2 First view of Long Lake.
5,165.6 Turning around the west side of the lake and the road is going right along the shoreline ... I bet there are going to be lots of mosquitoes! And I don’t have any repellants!
5,167.0 3:36 Turned off the road into the driveway.
5,167.0 3:36 Arrive at Jo’s and Sam’s at 1380 Long Lake.
After dinner (steak on BBQ, grilled peppers, mushrooms and potato wedges) Jo and Sam took me for a drive around Long Lake, going around the northern end first, then down the east side and back along M, the road I had taken when I arrived. During our drive we saw 14 deer and 2 skunks (alive!). It was dark by the time we arrive back and I went to bed early.

The day’s total - 406 miles
Vancouver to Long Lake, Wisconsin - 2,054 miles
Total in Vancouver - 534 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 5,167 miles

Day 46 - Tuesday, July 13 - Long Lake, WI

My car did not move today.
I slept in until 8:30 and Jo got breakfast ready after that. She had been sitting down on the dock reading her book.
It was late morning when we left for a boat trip on Long Lake. Sam took the boat south first going into some of the bays. Going north we went on the other side of the island and found a calm spot further north where the anchor was put down whilst we had a snack for lunch on board - avocado chips, crackers with a variety of Wisconsin cheeses and sodas.
Setting off again we continued north and passed through the narrows before turning around and setting off for home. Sam increased the speed and we seemed to be skimming across the water. Because of strong winds the water was a bit on the rough side so when the boat bounced on the waves we got wet from the spray.
During the outing we saw a variety of wildlife - an osprey which dived into the water and flew off with a fish in its talon, a pair of bald eagles, 5 loons, 4 great blue herons, 3 kingfishers, a deer at the edge of the lake and as we were docking a bald eagle flew overhead. Also, after we had landed, a pair of loons with a baby in tow swam by the end of the dock.
Back home I had a shower to remove the day’s sun screen gunk and the deet for mosquitoes from yesterday when I arrived.
We sat on the screened-in porch playing cribbage, the cribbage board being a small coffee table.
For supper we had brat burgers, baked beans and salad.

The day’s total - 0 miles
Vancouver to Long Lake, Wisconsin - 2,054 miles
Total in Vancouver - 534 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 5,167 miles

Day 47 - Wednesday, July 14 - Long Lake, WI

5,167.0 10:25 Leave from the cottage.
We drove north on M then right onto B. A large bird flew overhead but it wasn’t a bald eagle unless it was an immature one, or maybe a golden eagle.
We turned right off B onto WI-70, then right on WI-27. We passed a large lake, Sand Lake, to the right with the road running along the shoreline. Along the way a lot of fireweed was in flower.
... lake to the left ... white daisies everywhere.
Historical Marker “Pierre Esprit Radisson and Medard Groseilliers” - picture.
... road on the east bank of the river ... also S WI-27.
11:10 Couderay, pop. 96.
Historical Marker “Court Oreilles”.
Back in Couderay we turned onto CC,
Junction with N from Stone Lake, but we turned right with CC,
The Hideout ... Al Capone’s original stone gate ... gravel drive ... cut grass about 10' on both sides with woods beyond that ... could see the lake to the right through the trees ... half mile driveway,
11:30 - 11:52 Al Capone’s Northwood Retreat.
5,201.5 Back on the highway and turned left ... continued north on N instead of turning left on CC. N ends at E,
5,207.4 Baatawigamaag - wonder what it means! ... we were now in Indian territory.
5,208.2 A field of oats where we turned around to go back to Baatawigamaag in order to get the correct spelling of the town!
5,209.3 Turned around again to continue our drive.
5,210.0 Lake to the left.
5,211.2 Lake to the right and a nice new log house being built.
5,211.5 Cranberry bogs.
5,213.9 Junction with WI-27 and WI-70, then north again past Sand lake.
5,215.0 Passing where WI-70 leaves WI-27, the spot where we had joined WI-27 earlier..
5,215.9 Passing swamp lands, then corn fields both sides of the road and yellow rape seed beyond the corn on the left ... open farm country ... dairying ... hay fields.
5,217.6 More rape seed.
5,217.9 Dairy farm to the right - can see the cattle here!
5,218.5 Turn right on K ... pink clover on embankment ... white daisies and lots of bright yellow flowers (creeping ground cover!)
5,219.9 At the junction with KK we turned left to the Jonjak Cranberry Farm ... drove up driveway for pictures.
5,221.9 Leaving the cranberry farm.
5,222.5 12:30 Back at K.
5,223.2 A good sized black bear ran out of the woods and across the road in front of us! We were both very excited, particularly Jo as she had not seen a bear before and has been wanting to see one for many years.
5,224.2 Turned around near cranberry bogs.
5,224.5 12:53 Leaving after stopping by the cranberry bogs and walking along the bank at the cranberries and various wilflowers,
5,227.3 Back at WI-27.
5,228.8 Historical Marker “Namekagon - Court Oreilles Portage”.
5,232.0 1:05 Entering Hayward, pop. 2,129.
... Northwoods Motel had some beautiful hanging baskets.
5,234.2 1:10 National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame. We decided to go for something to eat first! Jo drove back down the road looking for a particular place but could not find it, so came back into Hayward - 84°.
5,236.5 1:25 - 2:35 Lunch at Lake Café in Lumberjack Village by Namekagon River. We shared a club sandwich with fries and thank goodness for this decision - the sandwich was enormous and the serving of fries was huge!
Whilst we were having our lunch an eagle flew overhead a couple of times. Also we enjoyed some young folks treading logs on the river and trying to dump their opponents in the wayer!
5,237.3 2:35 - 3:45 Fishing Hall of Fame. I did not attempt the climb to the top of the musky, but did get a picture of Jo looking out from the mouth.
Before leaving Hayward we drove down the main street which I thought very attractive with its light standards with flags and gorgeous hanging baskets. It was obviously a tourist town.
5,238.2 The point at which we turned around to head for home.
5,238.5 Turned onto US-63 South.
5,238.8 3:52 - 3:56 Stopped at a service station to buy drinks.
5,241.5 Large industrial building on the left - looked as if it could be a paper mill.
5,242.4 Entering Washburn County ... N.P. sign for Canoe Landing - Stinnet Landing on Namekagon Scenic Riverway ... yellow flowers plus coreopsis and white daisies.
5,246.5 Piles and piles of logs.
5,247.8 Another N.P. Canoe Landing - Groat Landing.
5,251.4 N.P. Canoe Landing - Springbrook.
5,251.7 Turned off US-63 onto M.
5,253.2 Driving along Spring Lake ... mixed forest land and swamps.
5,255.2 Crossing E ... bean crop ... irrigation pipes to the right, corn being irrigated to the left.
5,257.7 Junction with A.
5,260.3 M turns off A.
5,263.4 Junction with WI-70 ... big open field.
5,264.4 M leaves WI-70, turning south ... grassy field ... pine trees as well as maples and oaks ... lake to left ... big hay fields ... farms both sides of the road ... corn.
5,274.5 4:32 Junction with B ... corn ... white daisies ... more corn ... beans ... swamp ... sheep ... cottages on lake to left, farms to the right.
5,278.5 Junction with D.
5,279.3 4:40 Home.
It was decided that we would eat out at one of the local restaurants for supper.
5,279.3 6:22 Leave to go for supper and we turned left (south) on M/D.
5,282.0 Turned left (east) on D off M ... a fawn, with all its spots, crossed the road in front of us.
5,283.0 Long Lake Dam ... small lakes and lily ponds to left ... daisies.
5,285.3 Swamps.
5,286.0 Lake to right, swamp to left.
5,286.7 Junction with T ... coming into area known as Blue Hills (blue haze)
5,287.9 Farm on left.
5,288.8 T turns north.
5,289.4 Birchwood, 79°
5,290.2 Junction with WI-48 ... to left a lumber yard celebrating 100 years ... farm to left and forest to right.
5,291.9 Junction with F from the left.
5,292.3 Turning right on F off WI-48.
5,293.1 Dairy farm on the left and a lake on the right.
5,293.9 Swamp.
5,294.8 Entering Rusk County ... all glaciated area ... hay ... corn.
5,297.1 The countryside has become more hilly.
5,297.4 Farms - dairying ... Jo said that it was in this area that she first did downhill skiing ... quite hilly ... lots of farms ... I can see a road ahead winding uphill and down through the forest.
5,300.3 Murphy Dam - Murphy Flowage.
5,300.6 Ice Age Trail ... fireweed flowering ... forest.
5,304.9 Junction with O - turn right on O to Blue Hills Inn which is located at the junction with W.
5,305.5 6:56 - 8:36 Blue Hills Inn. The restaurant was upstairs from where you could watch through the windows the comings and goings of dozens of humming birds to the feeders placed at intervals around the building. There were feeders for other birds as well, yellow warblers and evening grosbeaks. We could watch as we ate our dinner.
This was a very good meal. A tureen of wonderful mushroom soup with wild rice was brought to the table first as well as bowls, so we could serve ourselves. Next came a bowl of salad and plates and a cruet with three different salad dressings. Jo and I ordered the same entree, walleye broiled in a bed of hash browns.
Leaving the restaurant we turned left on O ... the sun has not set yet ... 2 rabbits.
5,308.7 Entering Barron County and Road O becomes C ... a deer ... another deer ... two more deers which jumped over the fence.
5,310.5 More farms.
5,311.8 Junction with NN from the north and we go straight ahead on C ... gorgeous sun also straight ahead.
5,312.2 Dairy farm ahead and ski slopes to the left ... several dairies.
5,313.5 Turned off for Hardscrabble Ski Area.
5,315.0 Turning at Mt. Hardscrabble ... 2 more deer.
5,316.8 Back at C ... corn one side, beans the other.
5,318.4 Century Farm on right (beautiful) ... farming all along the way ... a lot of dairy farms.
5,319.4 Junction with M ... dairy farming continues.
As we approached Rice Lake Jo pointed out the street names or perhaps I should say street numbers - 21½ ... 20¾ ... 20¼ ... 20⅛ ... 21 5/16.
5,321.3 Entering Rice Lake, pop. 8,320 and crossing the lake ... a potato plant where they clean, grade, wash and sell potatoes.
5,321.7 Main Street north ... 78° ... turned off to go to the lake, then drove along the lake front ... lovely grassed area between the lake and the road ... lots of ducks ... a pretty city park ... lots and lots of ducks.
Rice Lake is known as the city of petunias - they are planted all along the medians (like the tulips in Pella, IA, sidewalks and lots of hanging baskets.
Turned onto SS (which is Old US-53), then WI-48.
5,324.4 Millers Cheese House at the corner where WI-48 turns east (right), then we turned onto 20½ ... passed 23 3/16 ... an area where there was a golf course and a lot of nice new houses ... about the biggest piece of open land I have seen since coming into Wisconsin ... we were driving north parallel to US-53 and M, but sort of in the middle ... it was getting too dark to see any more ... turned right on 26 Street ... more and more farms ... lots of silos ... grain (oats) turning color.
5,332.4 Junction with V .. this was where I came off US-53 when I arrived ... Washburn Co.
5,335.8 Junction with D, thus completing the circle.
5,338.0 9:30 Home.

The day’s total - 171 miles
Total in Wisconsin - 171 miles
Vancouver to Long Lake, Wisconsin - 2054 miles
Total in Vancouver - 534 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 5,338 miles

Day 48 - Thursday, July 15 - Long Lake, WI

This was to be a girl’s day out and the lady who lived just down the lane walked up from her place and was the first to arrive. Then Merri walked up from the lake. Her husband, Ben (Jo’s cousin) had brought her across the lake by boat. We drove to Fran’s to pick her up. Fran’s husband, Grant, is Ben’s brother, so is also Jo’s cousin. Jo’s mother and their mother were sisters.
5,338.0 10:40 Leaving from the cottage we turned left on M and went south past the turnoff for D.
5,340.8 Turned left on Church Street.
5,341.3 Stopped to pick up Fran and returned along Church Street, crossing over M - this was a gravel road.
5,343.0 Turned left off Church Street onto Laken Road (21st Street)... black-eyed Susans, daisies, yellow flowers.
5,343.8 Cleared land ... rocky “islands” with trees.
5,344.0 Turned right onto 30th.
5,344.9 Field of beans on right ... fireweed in flower.
5,345.8 Lily pond.
5,346.0 Lakes and lily ponds both sides.
5,346.3 The end of the lakes and lily ponds.
5,346.8 Junction with US-53 - turned right.
5,346.9 Entering Washburn County ... fireweed.
5,351.6 Sarona.
5,351.8 D crosses the highway, but we stay on US-53.
5,352.5 Turning off US-53 onto WI-253 ... corn on right ... farms between woods.
5,354.6 Wheat to left.
5,355.0 Turning left onto B to Shell Lake ... hay ... corn ... small lake ... calves ... alfalfa ... more corn ... cattle ... daisies ... corn both sides ... oats.
5,359.0 Junction with K at Shell Lake ... gorgeous lake to the left.
5,359.4 Turning left onto US-63 ... beautiful hanging baskets on the lamp standards overlooking the lake ... businesses are to the right whilst along the shoreline to the left is a park and campgrounds or trailer park.
5,360.8 11:54 Leaving Craftsman Furniture Showroom by Beaver Mfg. ... we spent some time here looking at all the lovely, very expensive, furniture made right here.
5,361.1 11:56 - 12:43 The Potter’s Shed - great selection of different pottery pieces, also wall plaques with quotations ... watched a potter throwing a bowl, one after another ... visited new extension which had variety of gifts - we were shown the area which would be opening in a couple of weeks as an ice cream parlor. It should be very successful.
Jo drove back to pick up Fran who had remained behind at the Furniture Showroom getting quotes on some furniture she was interested in.
5,361.8 Leaving The Potter’s Shed.
5,362.0 Back on the highway.
5,362.6 Junction with D to Sarona ... profusion of fireweed ... the ladies noticed a sign at the side of the road: End of mile 3 Start of mile 4.
5,365.8 Sign: End of mile 4 Start of mile 5 ... None of us had noticed anything like that before ... Passing the road to Timberlands Ski Area.
5,366.8 End of mile 5 End of Test Zone ... We then realized that there must have been a sign about the Test Zone where Mile 1 begins, but we had not seen it.
5,368.0 Turning right onto Brickyard Road.
5,368.1 12:55 - 1:51 Brickyard Pottery & Glassworks housed in the 1921 Brickyard School, once a one-room schoolhouse. Standing on the stairs looking back at a multi-material collage above the entrance we tried to identify everything listed - great fun!
Whilst browsing here Dan Haessig arrived with a box of his crafted wood items and some of us bought some of the things right away. What was interesting is that Dan lives on Long Lake a little further north than where Jo’s cottage is, plus he is the current president of the Long Lake Preservation Society.
5,368.2 Back on the highway ... lakes, ponds both sides of the road ... a loon with its baby on its back ... start of detour, the whole main street of Barronett being torn up.
5,369.6 1:55 - 2:39 Odden’s Norsk Husflid, Inc., featuring Scandinavian and European impots. Just as we were leaving we saw an enclosure in which there were some animals I thought to be elk, but a sign on the fence read, European Red Deer.
From Barronett we were heading for home!
5,370.3 Washburn Co. ... Rice Lake 8 miles ... daisies and fireweed - pretty combination.
5,376.8 Passing D to Sarona.
5,377.8 Entering Shell Lake, pop. 1,309.
5,378.3 2:54 - 3:20 Thunder Gift Gallery..
From here we walked around the corner into Main Street to Jo’s Restaurant (not our Jo!), but it closed at 3 o’clock! So back to the car and we backtracked along US-63 to go to another restaurant.
5,379.1 Pulled off the highway.
5,379.2 3:22 - 4:37 Becky’s Food and Spirits ... ordered two hors d’oeuvres (Deep fired stuffed olives and natchos) which we all shared, then pie - most of us had the key lime which was delicious. Fran picked up the tab for everyone!
Leaving the restaurant Jo turned left on US-63 to return to D.
5,379.8 Turned left at D to Sarona,
5,382.3 Beans both sides of the road
5,382.7 Corn both sides of the road ... swamp ... lily pond ... corn ... more corn ... cluster of silos and potato sheds.
5,387.0 Junction with US-53 ... we crossed straight over ... corn both sides.
5,388.0 Junction with P and we turn right with D ... lake to right.
5,390.0 Cross over Long Lake Avenue.
5,391.8 Junction with M and turn right with Long Lake to the left.
5,392.6 4:57 - 4:59 Dave’s Outboard to drop Betty off at her place, then back to the highway, M.
5,392.8 Back at M and turning south.
5,395.3 Turning onto Church.
5,395.9 5:14 Leaving after dropping off Fran ... I met her husband, Grant.
5,396.4 Turning left on Pioneer Drive.
5,396.9 Turning right on D.
5,397.4 Passing the dam (Long Lake).
5,397.5 Turning left on Eastside Drive.
5,398.3 Turning into Gordon’s and Merri’s house - The G. Kleven’s - long driveway.
5,398.6 5:20 - 5:29 Dropping Merri off - I met Gordon.
5,398.9 End of driveway at Eastside Drive.
5,399.7 Back on D.
5,400.3 Passing Pioneer Drive.
5,401.2 Junction with M.
5,401.9 Three loon - a pair with baby.
5,403.8 5:38 Home

The day’s total - 66 miles
Total in Wisconsin - 237 miles
Vancouver to Long Lake, Wisconsin - 2,054 miles
Total in Vancouver - 534 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 5,404 miles

Day 49 - Friday, July 16 - Long Lake, WI to Fort Madison IA

5,403.8 8:57 Leave from Jo’s and Sam’s cottage on Long Lake for the last leg back to Memphis.
Jo cooked blueberry pancakes for breakfast this morning.
5,403.9 8:59 The driveway meets the highway ... it is another gorgeous sunny day and I am hoping it will stay this way for my entire trip.
To start out I am following Jo and Sam down CR-M to go to the Cheese Factory in Rice Lake so I can make a few purchases before I leave.
5,406.0 9:03 CR-D turns off to the left. I am on CR-M and this is the road I came in on last Monday from CR-V. There are farms on both sides of the road, hay, corn, dairying.
5,407.6 Entering Barron County ... billboard at the side of the road for Miller’s Cheese House ... and just beautiful countryside in the sunshine ... green fields whether it be for grass or corn or beans ... nice homes ... lots of silos and farm buildings ... very pleasant ... and of course this is all set amongst wooded areas.
5,409.6 9:07 The junction with CR-V (the road I came along from US-53, but this morning I am continuing on CR-M ... bean crops both sides, also corn, farms with lots of barns and buildings, silos ... beautiful places ... and fairly close together, too ... dairy farms - a lot of them ... gently rolling to flat countryside.
5,411.7 3¼ miles west is the Tuscobia Cheese and Gifts place.
It is interesting in that you could stop at any spot along here and see half a dozen different farms all from the same spot and, maybe in some cases, even more if there is a break in the trees ... and they are not small places by any means.
5,413.0 Actually I can see more at present because I am on a flat area and, looking out to my right, there are farms located on higher land or hills and all the silos can be seen.
5,415.2 9:13 Junction with WI-48, a T-junction ... CR-M goes to the left and we are turning right on WI-48
5,416.6 House now on the outskirts of Rice Lake.
5,416.7 Crossing the northern end of the lake.
5,416.8 9:16 - 9:41 Miller’s Cheese House.
Leaving Miller’s Cheese I am continuing south on WI-48.
5,417.3 Entering Rice Lake, pop. 8,320.
5,418.4 9:44 CR-SS goes off to the left to Cameron and I am turning right with WI-48 to US-53. Everyone has lots of petunias blooming in their gardens. They are also flowering all along the road, a bit like the tulips in Pella, Iowa. This city features petunias.
5,419.5 Leaving WI-48 for the ramp to US-53.
5,420.0 9:47 Joining into US-53 south ... the speed limit is 65 mph - I’m doing 70 and I have a school bus passing me and there are kids on the bus! Does that make sense?
5,424.2 Crossing Red Cedar River and passing Bata Farm 1902 - a lovely farm to the right of the road with the name up on the barn.
5,424.7 Chicken production to my left - more sheds than you can count in passing.
Exit-135 is for US-8.
5,427.4 9:53 Leaving US-53 for US-8 to Barron.
5,427.9 9:53 The junction with US-8 going west.
5,429.0 Crossing the Red Cedar River again.
I think all this area was settled by Scandinavians - there are a lot of Scandinavian names throughout.
I can’t say enough about how well kept everything is - well looked after farms, clean, tidy - very nice looking.
5,430.0 A herd of dairy cattle ... on the outskirts of a town.
5,431.3 Barron welcomes you - pop. 3,248.
5,431.8 Crossing the Yellow River.
Through the downtown area the speed limit is 25 mph ... all sorts of signs in this town for yielding to pedestrians and there are flashing lights above the pedestrian walkways ... magnificent homes to be seen,
5,432.9 On the right a lovely wooden house with a picket fence and a magnificent garden with a nice variety of delphiniums.
5,433.2 The Turkey Store on the left and a turkey hatchery.
5,435.0 A few red leaves on a maple tree - I think they have changed color a little prematurely! Just a taste of what is to come!
5,437.6 Entering Poskin ... many of these towns are incorporated and do not give the population and yet there are railway sidings and silos, often a business or two, sometimes a gas station, restaurants, and yet the places in South Dakota would have the names up and there would be absolutely nothing there.
The next town is Almena ... as I have driven west I have come into hillier country.
5,438.8 Passing 8¾ Street ... still lots of farming.
5,439.5 ⅛ Street.
5,440.5 A field of rape seed back off to the right ... also cattle grazing ... corn, beans, hay ... to say nothing of the occasional swamp and the frequent lakes.
5,441.2 Entering Almena, pop. 720 ... a meat company.
5,444.4 Large lake to the right - Turtle Lake ... lots of that yellow flower, white daisies, black-eyed Susans making the roadsides very colorful.
5,446.8 Entering Turtle Lake, pop. 1,065.
5,447.1 10:15 The junction with US-63 from the north.
5,447.4 The St. Croix Casino on my right.
5,448.8 Entering Polk County. Actually I was on this bit of road the other day, but I will be turning off shortly.
10:17 Clayton is 5 miles, Baldwin 37 miles and I have just turned off US-8 for US-63 south. I am continuing to go through rich farming and dairying country. However, it does seem to be more hilly.
5,452.5 10:22 Entering Clayton, pop. 507, and there is a lovely lake to my right. Many of these towns also have a wayside stop with picnic tables, often in an attractive area.
5,454.3 Entering Richardson, Unincorporated,
Magnor Lake to my right with houses all along the lakefront.
5,460.3 Clear Lake Business Area is off to the left and the road goes to the north of town.
5,461.9 A family of Canada geese in a field to the left - adult birds and some gosslings.
5,463.4 Crossing some small lakes ... it is interesting in that when they were building the road they have simply gone straight across a lake and built the road surface above the lake level.
5,464.2 Entering St. Croix County.
5,465.3 Passing a place on the left that has fresh strawberries picked daily through to October, also raspberries.
5,468.0 Passing several acres that have black covering over them, but I don’t know what is being grown there!
5,469.3 10:39 The junction with WI-64 and at this point US-63 turns to the right ... the beautiful Wisconsin countryside continues with a variety of crops, beautiful farms, all well maintained.
5,473.6 A golden eagle, maybe, swooped down into the field.
5,474.4 10:44 US-63 leaves WI-64 and turns south again.
5,476.1 Passing a lovely wayside picnic area on the top of a hill.
5,477.0 The countryside has become hilly again ... I am starting to see some Queen Anne’s Lace in flower and day lilies pop up every now and again - I don’t know if these are wild or simply escaped from farms.
5,481.8 A small field covered in Black-eyed Susan - it reminds me of The Gatineau when all the flowers were blooming.
5,484.0 Approaching a more heavily populated area, probably the outskirts of a town ... the A & W is 4 miles ahead, so it must just be a lot of smaller farms! There is a school here and places that have............ I guess that it is Baldwin that I am in, or at least the outskirts of Baldwin ... some nice vegetable gardens with a variety of vegetables growing amongst the houses.
5,485.9 10:56 Hudson to the right - the junction with US-12 ... and US-12 is going south with me.
5,486.0 Entering Baldwin, pop. 2,667.
5,486.5 US-12 turns east (it is also Alt. I-94) and US-63 continues south ... some lovely hanging baskets with petunias.
5,487.2 A large plant to the left - not sure what it is for or what they manufacture - I don’t even know.
5,488.5 Passing the A & W.
5,488.7 11:01 Crossing over the top of I-94.
5,489.3 A crop of oats.
5,492.0 I have just punched in “Home” on the GPS - goodness knows what route it will calculate for me to take, probably nowhere near the way I want to go, but it will be interesting to see approximately how far it is. It is taking quite a long time to calculate a route, because, according to the map, I am probably out in the middle of no where, and it has to decide, “Which way will I take her?”.
OK. The first thing is I am supposed to make a U-turn! This would be to join I-94.
5,494.0 The GPS is not giving me a distance yet but is indicating that I have 13 hours and 50 minutes to go ... that would be midnight! 890 miles (that’s if I turn around!) The route I have chosen is probably going to be even further.
NOTE: In actual fact I did 927 miles from this point to home - only 37 miles further.
5,497.1 11:10 Entering Martel, Unincorporated, and immediately crossing the Rush River.
5,498.2 A dairy farm where all the cattle are lined up at a feed trough.
I think the GPS will continue for some time to turn me back to I-94.
5,501.0 Eggs and Bacon in flower, that is along with everything alse which I have been seeing.
Coming into Ellsworth I can see a tower with a dome sticking up above the trees so I suspect this is a county seat.
Coming up to the junction with US-10.
5,506.5 Passing the turnoff for US-10 East.
5,506.9 Entering Ellsworth, pop. 2,909 so this is US-10 East and US-63 south at the moment through Ellsworth.
The GPS is taking me on the route I am going at the moment and is up to 1,003 miles now, 15 hours and 52 minutes, so there is no way I can make it home tonight.
5,508.0 Going along the main street now.
5,508.2 Passing the Courthouse, an attractive looking building.
5,510.0 US-10 goes straight ahead and US-63 turns south, Red Wing, MN, is 12 miles, that is on the other side of the Mississippi River.
1,000 miles to go - 16 hours.
I am continuing to see beautiful farming landscapes from the crests of hills, looking out across cornfields - lots of silos at each of the farms.
5,518.0 Crest of a hill - 941 feet - where there was a sign of a truck having a downhill descent and this is descending down towards the valley of the Mississippi River.
5,519.3 11:34 A four-way stop sign - junction with The Great River Road and this is where I am turning south on WI-35 ... 646 feet ... 991 miles to go, 15 hours and 51 minutes.
From this point I cannot see the actual river, but where I turned I was opposite Red Wing where Mary and I stayed in 1999.
Pulled off the road for a Historical Marker.
5,520.8 11:36 - 11:45 Historical Marker - “Bow and Arrow”.
5,521.8 Passing the Red Wing Municipal Airport - Red Wing is in Minnesota, their airport in Wisconsin.
5,523.5 Entering Bay City, pop. 465.
5,524.9 The road is going up the escarpment.
5,525.7 I actually have a rock cliff on my right, more than likely formed because of making a cutting for the road.
5,526.8 Back up on top and driving through farm country.
5,527.1 900 feet at the crest of the hill and the road descending again.
5,528.7 A wayside stop with toilets and drinking water and I am looking out over the Mississippi River ... had I known that I would have stopped!
However there is an Historical Marker ahead and I am pulling off for that.
5,529.0 11:55 - 12:00 Historical Marker - “Lake Pepin” ... I’m not sure that I am on the Mississippi yet, but rather Lake Pepin and looking out to the west I can see headlands that open out into what is probably the Mississippi.
Lake Pepin was formed by the silt coming down the Chippawa River.
5,531.0 A sign for blueberries.
5,531.1 Crossing the Rush River again.
5,531.3 Entering Maiden Rock, pop. 121... between the lake and the road there is a double railway track ... the road narrows and a few old houses on the right hand side and right along the curb is a vertical cement wall with houses above that ... it is pretty much right at the edge of the lake at this point.
5,532.3 An arrow pointing to Plum City - 9 miles - a very special little town!
Garages to the left of me have their doors opening right onto the road and they are built back into the cliff.
5,533.2 Rock cliffs or palisades straight in front of me just before I go around a curve - this is a very scenic road and I am enjoying the drive very much.
5,534.0 Entering Pepin County.
5,534.3 The road now winding around at the base of these precipitous rock cliffs which continue all along the water front ... an absolutely gorgeous drive.
5,535.9 12:09 - 12:16 Scenic Overlook.
5,536.8 12:18 - 12:21 Historical Marker - “Maiden Rock”.
5,538.0 Entering Stockholm, pop. 97 ... the Swedish flag is being flown here as well as the U.S. flag ... a very pretty little main street which looks to be quite a tourist area with arts and crafts stores, gift stores.
5,539.0 A gorgeous garden on the left. Pepin is now 6 miles.
5,541.0 12:28 - 12:31 Scenic Overlook and Historical Marker - “Site of Fort Antoine 1686".
Between the trees wherever there is some flat land there is farming with corn planted.
This road is certainly well provided for the tourist with all the scenic overlooks.
5,543.9 12:35 Stopped briefly at a scenic overlook which looks out over the water. There isn’t anything specific for a picture so am leaving right away again. There are picnic tables and it is a beautiful area for a picnic with trees planted like a park, maybe 10 feet apart and all mowed grass underneath - just beautiful.
5,544.3 A row of houses looking out over the water.
5,544.4 Entering Pepin, pop. 878. Birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder is 7 miles from here, but not along this route - the arrow was pointing east somewhere!
Pepin sure is a pretty little town.
5,545.1 12:38 - 12:42 Historical Marker - “Laura Ingalls Wilder”.
Nelson is the next little town. After Pepin the road continues east for some distance.
5,548.1 Currently the road is built up quite high above the surrounding land and there looks to be a river bed on the right and the road is crossing over a part of it and there is water both to the left and the right - very swampy looking but in some places also there are some sand bars - certainly an area which could be flooded at times.
5,549.0 Starting to cross the Chippawa River and the road is about to cross into Buffalo County.
5,549.3 The end of the bridge and swamp lands and woods continue on the flood plain. There seems to be a lot of various backwaters through the whole area and the road crosses a number of bridges over these backwaters, one bridge after another. If this was in the south they would be called bayous.
5,552.1 Crossing a flat cultivated area, but as the road winds around to the right there are more rock cliffs looking down towards the river - the road is at the base of them.
5,552.7 12:52 Entering Nelson, pop. 395. This is located on a flat piece of land at the base of the rock cliffs and between the cliffs and the river. All these towns are very lovely little towns.
5,553.7 Below amazing rock cliffs - palisades - at the end of each bluff as you drive along. I keep hoping to see some eagles, but all the big birds appear to be vultures.
5,555.4 The water below me at the moment is actually a big bay off the river.
5,556.6 Someone has a gorgeous show of day lilies along the road ... lots of Queen Anne’s Lace in flower.
5,558.1 Passing a flat peninsular which comes out into the river thus forming that big bay.
5,558.9 1:00 - 1:02 Historical Marker - “Beef Slough”.
5,559.4 Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge.
5,560.8 A Lock and Dam in 1 mile.
5,561.2 Entering Alma, pop. 942 ... and there are big chimneys on both sides of the river - it looks as if there are two power stations ... some beautiful homes overlooking the water.
5,561.7 Passing the lock and dam, also the entrance to the observation deck.
Buildings, mostly two-storey, some three - I’m sure left over from the earlier days of river traffic - very attractive buildings, some wooden, some brick.
Now that I am getting closer I think the two chimneys are both on the Wisconsin side of the river ... still seeing some incredible rock bluffs high above the road on the left.
5,563.2 Passing the chimneys - there is a lot of coal here, big piles of it probably brought in barges, which I can see in the river ... the John P. Madgett Staion - the Dairyland Power Cooperative.
There is also a long coal train bringing coal into the power station.
There is a lot of water to the right of the road but is not the main river, but rather a backwater.
5,567.7 Now I have a cornfield to my right as well as to my left where the silo and farmhouse is.
5,569.7 Entering Cochrane, pop. 435 ... agronomy center along the shoreline.
5,570.2 End of
A sign for Wetland Restoration Project.
5,573.9 A great blue heron.
5,575.5 Ripe grain crops both sides of the road, wheat, I think!
5,576.8 Swamp to the left between the road and the rocky headlands.
5,577.2 Now both sides of the road, and
5,577.3 the road a causeway over the water, pretty murky looking stuff with that green stuff on top.
5,577.9 Mail boxes are attached to the guardrail to the right of the road.
5,578.3 1:23 Entering Fountain City, pop. 983.
5,579.0 Start of the main street and the houses to the right are like little cottages squeezed between the road and the railway line and those to the left between the road and the cliffs. It looks like another interesting river town.
5,579.7 Right on the river now except for the railway line ... a house painted a deep purple.
5,581.6 More rocky bluffs are fairly close to and overlooking the road.
5,582.3 Another lock and dam in 1 mile.
5,583.4 Passing the lock and Observation Deck.
A traffic light at the junction with WI-54 ... If you crossed the bridge here you would go over to Winona, MN (if I remember correctly this is where Anna and I picked up US-14 back in 1993).
5,585.5 1:32 Stopped at the stop light and now I am on south WI-35 and east WI-54.
5,586.4 Bluff Siding - 88°.
5,587.6 Extensive wetlands to the right.
5,589.6 Passing a road which indicated Marshland Access.
5,589.9 Crossing the Trempealeau River.
5,590.0 A great blue heron to the left.
5,590.9 A flatter area with cornfields both sides of the road and a road to the National Wildlife Refuge ahead in ½ mile.
5,591.6 The turnoff for the refuge and a little wayside picnic place at the corner ... The road is currently going east and away from the river.
5,594.6 Centerville, Unincorporated.
5,594.9 La Crosse is 24 miles ahead from here and I am now turned south again ... this is a much wider area of the flood plain ... I can see the bluffs on the west side of the river, I think, and the ones on the east are well back behind me.
5,596.1 Sprinklers well over to the left irrigating a field.
From what I have seen of Wisconsin it seems like a fairly densely populated state.
5,597.4 A golf course to my left.
5,598.1 More irrigation sprinklers working ... I guess the bluffs I could see ahead are not on the other side of the Mississippi but rather on this side so I must have been temporarily in another river valley.
5,599.0 Crossing a Bicycle Trail ... Entering Trempealeau, pop. 1,319.
5,599.2 There is another lock and dam here, 1 mile ahead.
5,599.4 The river directly in front of me, and the road lined with businesses.
5,599.7 Right down by the river - I momentarily left the main road - beautiful parks and everything here.
5,599.9 Back on WI-35 ... people here have some beautiful gardens.
5,600.2 An interesting old stone house, two-storey with wooden verandah and balcony.
5,600.3 Passing the road to the lock and dam.
5,600.8 Turned around to go back to an Historical Marker.
5,600.9 1:52 Historical Marker - “Mississippi River Parkway First Project” and Great River Trail.
5,601.0 2:02 Leave after rest stop.
5,601.1 2:03 Back on the highway and traveling east again.
5,602.5 Dozens of geese at a farm to the right.
5,603.8 Fields of ripe oats.
5,606.0 Entering La Crosse County and immediately crossing a river, Black River.
5,606.5 Crossing another waterway.
5,607.4 Ripe wheat.
5,607.8 Wheat both sides of the road.
5,608.1 Turning onto the ramp for WI-35 south but it also joins up with US-53 which is a freeway to I-90.
5,608.4 2:11 The junction with US-53.
5,609.4 New development of houses to the right and just ahead the exit for New Amsterdam.
5,612.3 Holmen Drive where I am going to exit for WI-35 south.
5,615.0 More or less back along the water again.
5,615.4 Welcome to Onalaska - billboard at the side of the road.
5,615.7 Overlooking the river between the trees.
5,615.9 Onalaska, pop. 15,434.
5,618.5 Just drove under I-90 east to Madison and west across the river (the route Anna and I took in 1993),
5,618.9 2:24 Stopped at a traffic light, the river at my right, and looking back a little bit over my shoulder I can see the bridge that crosses the river into Minnesota.
5,619.4 I think I am now driving through La Crosse ... since the Interstae I seem to be on south US-53! So I don’t know what happened to WI-35! I’ve made a mistake somewhere but I suppose it really doesn’t matter - I seem to be going right through the heart of La Crosse.
5,622.6 US-14 East is straight ahead, as is US-61, so right now this is the junction that I wanted.
5,623.0 The La Crosse City Brewery and then the Kraeuseninge Cellars - 10 million gallons of beer kraesening and aging slowly naturally ... and in the middle of the brewery a beautiful two-storey brick building with Australian type wrought ironwork.
5,623.1 The World’s Largest Six Pack ... there are also brewery tours and a gift shop.
5,623.2 US-14 East, US-61 South ... it is also WI-35 South - that number has appeared again.
5,625.4 A cemetery where there are poles alongside every grave and each one has a hanging basket on it with live flowers.
5,627.6 The road splits here, WI-35 continues on and US-14 and US-61 are turning off to the left.
5,628.2 Coon Valley is 12 miles, Madison 127 miles.
5,628.7 A mixture of farms and new housing developments.
So I have left the river now and I will be taking US-61 South. The countryside continues to be very lush and green, a mixture of farms and woodlands. I haven’t seen quite as many lakes, but it is very hilly because of the closeness to the river.
5,635.2 Wayside picnic tables and rest rooms in among trees - a nice spot.
5,635.4 Entering Vernon County.
5,636.9 The crest of a hill before a descent - 1,115 feet.
5,637.4 Passing yellowish rock cliffs on the right hand side of the road and the road is still descending ... lots of cyclists going in the opposite direction.
The bottom of the descent - 629 feet.
5,638.8 2:58 - 3:00 Historical Marker - “Nation’s First Watershed Project”.
5,639.4 Entering Coon Valley, pop. 714 ... flags, banners and well-kept buildings along the main street ... lots of flowers ... 85°.
5,639.6 3:02 - 3:04 Coon Valley Anniversary Mural.
Rocky bluffs either side of the road as I leave Coon Valley ... a bit of corn in a narrow field but otherwise the area is all wooded with rocky protrusions through the trees, like castle turrets sticking out.
5,643.5 1,074 feet after leaving Coon Valley and climbing to the top of the hill again.
5,645.8 Dairy farms and grain crops in addition to corn.
5,646.4 The road following a ridge along the crest of a hill and views for long distances in both directions of all the farms with their silos. One of the side roads is called Ridge Road ... I am still seeing many cyclists.
5,649.0 3:15 Westby, pop.2,045 ... the banners along the street have a Norse boat and Velkomen.
5,650.1 Passing a statue of a Viking holding a Scandinavian flag.
5,650.1 Madison is only 104 miles.
Billboard: Cabello’s 2 miles north of Prairie du Chien on WI-35.
The next town is Viroqua.
5,653.4 Wayside picnic area to the right.
5,654.5 Strip farming both sides of the road, corn and grain crops ... a herd of dairy cattle.
5,655.5 Entering Viroqua, pop. 4,335 ... roadwork also started at that point.
5,655.9 3:24 - 3:26 Historical Marker - “Governor Rusk”.
5,660.0 Madison is now only 84 miles ... more dairy herds south of town.
I have been seeing signs constantly all along the route for “Pro Life” - various quotations.
5,663.0 I seem to be completely surrounded by woods at the present,
5,663.6 More wayside picnic tables.
5,664.9 Passing Reeds Creek Nursery with a beautiful rock fountain and metal sculpture to the right as the road winds through a valley.
5,667.5 Reedstown, pop. 395 and this is where I leave US-14, which goes straight ahead and I turn to the right staying with US-61.
5,667.7 3:41 Turning south with US-61.
5,669.0 The road was wet just there and a pool of water as if there has been a shower of rain. There are some darker clouds forming and the sky is becoming a lot cloudier than it was earlier.
5,669.7 Crossing the Kickapoo River. I’m sure they have had a shower of rain through here - the road is wet and the truck in front of me is throwing up a lot of spray.
5,671.7 Entering Soldiers Grove, pop. 653.
5,672.4 3:47 - 3:49 Historical Marker - “James Danson”.
5,674.4 Black-eyed Susan and day lilies ... also the road is still wet.
5,675.0 A fruit orchard to the left, I think it is apples.
5,676.8 More orchards.
5,676.9 Entering Rolling Ground, unincorporated.
5,677.0 Pulling into a wayside stop.
5,677.0 3:54 - 3:56 Historical Marker - “Beauford T Anderson”.
There is a big apple market here so the orchards I have been seeing are apples.
This road is definitely going through hills, but a lot of farming is still being done mixed in with all the woods.
5,679.9 Fall colors are appearing on the sumac shrubs ... more red sumac - it seems as if they have changed color prematurely.
5,682.3 Mount Zion, unincorporated.
5,683.4 720 miles - 11½ hours ... at least it is continuing to take me down US-61.
5,685.4 Going through the hills here is quite different from any other part of Wisconsin that I have been through so far - much bigger hills, a little farming but not a lot and lots of woods, the hills fairly steep with gullies in between them. Also the temperature feels a lot cooler than it did earlier in the day.
5,687.4 4:07 It is starting to rain, which is weird, too, because there is lots of blue sky and white clouds.
5,688.0 The valley has opened up a bit and there are more farms again with corn and beans ... road construction ahead with a one-lane road.
5,689.8 New work being done on the bridge.
5,690.0 Turning to the right slightly with the junction with WI-60 and this is where the road comes to the Wisconsin River, and is now following along the northern bank of the river - it is a good size river.
5,691.3 Starting to cross the Wisconsin River.
5,691.6 End of the bridge over the Wisconsin River.
5,692.2 4:12 Entering Boscobel, pop. 3,047.
5,692.8 4:13 - 4:23 GAS - Boscobel, WI - $1.929/gal. - 17.105 gals. - $33.00
Pulled out from the gas station and immediately there was an Amish man driving along in a horse drawn vehicle.
5,694.2 4:27 - 4:28 Historical Marker - “The Gideons”.
After leaving the Gideons Historical Marker there is farming in the bottom of the valley as the road winds through.
5,696.1 Passing what looks to be a little red school house.
5,697.3 The valley has narrowed again, but there are still homes and farms.
5,699.2 Leaving the valley and climbing the hill to go over the top
5,699.7 and beyond all the trees have been pretty well cleared and there is strip farming of corn fields covering the hilltops.
5,700.8 Passed another wayside stop area and I have noticed that this and some of the others I have seen all have pumps for pumping water.
5,701.1 A golf course to the left and a billboard advertising Wisconsin Cheese 3 miles ahead. The strips of corn follow the contours of the hills as do the strips which are lying fallow, and so from the air I would think it would look like some very pretty patterns. You can see a bit of the patterns created with this type of farming when the road is higher going along a ridge.
5,704.0 Entering Fennimore, pop. 2,387.
5,704.2 The junction with US-18.
5,704.4 4:39 - 4:37 Fennimore: Historical Marker - “ The Dinky” and mural “A Stroll Back In Time”.
5,704.8 US-18 E turns off and US-61 goes straight ahead.
5,705.1 Fennimore Cheese and it has a big mouse with a block in front of it!
5,705.3 Lancaster is now 11 miles ... dairy cattle ... more farms ... more corn.
5,707.5 Bulk Barn - Sugar and Spice.
5,708.1 WOW! Over a hill and seeing a dairy farm - two big silos and I don’t know how many sheds and buildings ... all the cows are there ready for milking.
5,711.1 Back up on the top of hills, looking over a number of them in different directions, corn everywhere.
5,711.5 A good distant view to the left and to the right.
5,711.8 A couple of higher hills way over to the left, higher than all the rest of the country.
5,713.1 Elevation 1,049 feet where High Point Road turns off.
5,713.7 A sign: “Lancaster The City of the Dome” whatever that means? For a start you drive through the Lancaster Industrial Park - can see a dome of a courthouse.
5,715.2 5:00 Lancaster, pop. 4,070 ... What a beautiful dome! It is some pretty special building on a one-way street around it.
5,716.5 Back on the road ... 78°.
5,718.7 Out of town and more strips of corn. I am going south on WI-35 and US-61 and at
5,719.6 Dickeyville is 19 miles, Dubuque 28 miles.
5,720.8 I can see a few big or higher hills around, some out to the west, and there is one out to the east which has a big white letter on it, but it is a long way away and I can’t tell what it is!
5,721.8 A large building to the left of the road - Loud Speaker Components.
5,724.3 The strips of corn are going at right angles from the road and because of the bare land in between each strip it looks like big giant steps going up the hillside.
5,725.3 Rockville, unincorporated, and the road is really wet here again, so it was raining before I got here.
5,726.5 A herd of cattle, the ones which have that big white stripe right around their abdomen and back.
5,728.2 Potosi Athletic Facility ... the speed was reduced just before the road reached that.
5,728.4 Entering Tennyson, pop. 370 ... Potosi is off to the right.
Dubuque is now 19 miles ahead.
5,729.6 On a ridge with distant views in both directions and I just caught a glimpse of the Mississippi River also.
5,730.5 A beautiful wayside park on the right.
Elevation 826 feet as the road starts to descend into the river valley.
5,731.4 Rocky cliffs on the left and there was a sign to watch for fallen rock and there was actually a big chunk at that particular spot which had fallen, but was not on the road.
5,732.7 A swampy area or marshland.
5,732.9 Crossing a river and the road goes up again and a light drizzle is falling.
5,734.4 I just love the patterns of the strip farming - this time it is beans and not corn, at least to the right of the road, though there is corn further back.
5,735.3 Dickeyville, pop. 1,043.
5,735.9 5:25 Junction with US-151.
5,736.8 Four-lane divided highway for US-61 S and WI-35 - Dubuque now 9 miles.
5,743.3 741 feet and now going down towards the river, that is the Mississippi.
5,744.8 Starting to cross the Mississippi River ... I can see a dam and locks to the north.
5,745.1 Entering Dubuque - elevation on the bridge 574 feet.
5,745.3 5:34 End of bridge - entering Iowa, and so endeth my sojourn in Wisconsin.
The next sign is for the Port of Dubuque District, also the Downtown District and the way to US-20.
5,747.1 As I pass I can see the scales of justice on a little gold dome on a cupola above another gold dome on a building.
5,751.8 5:41 I’m through Dubuque and I am still on US-61, so I have done OK.
5,754.1 5:43 Davenport is 63 miles. At present Iowa looks pretty much the same as Wisconsin, except maybe there aren’t as many trees. They have had rain here, too.
There is a lot of corn growing here, too, but not in the strips as it was in Wisconsin, but rather large fields of it.
5,760.1 It is very pretty when you can look out over a vast expanse of the countryside and see the patchwork quilt pattern of all the different greens, the different heights of whatever is growing and the different textures interspersed with homes, farm buildings and silos.
5,760.6 I have just noticed a beautiful rainbow to my left (not quite to the top of the arch but all the way from the ground to almost the top).
5,761.1 I can see ahead of me clouds that look as if rain is falling from them.
5,762.6 Although it is faint, I can see the whole rainbow against a blue sky, but at least you can see it now.
5,763.8 Driving towards the darker clouds and the rain.
5,765.3 5:53 It is starting to rain.
5,766.5 Passed the turnoff for a road to Bellevue - I know that is on the Mississippi River because I drove that far one time (August 1992 on my way to Salt Lake City), so, possibly, I have been on this section of road previously!
There was only a few spots of rain and it is not raining in earnest yet.
5,769.5 Terraced fields of beans.
5,771.6 It is now raining and I need to turn on the windshield wipers - the worst of it seems to be to the east.
5,773.1 North Fork of Maquoketa River.
5,775.0 It has stopped raining and I am driving in sunshine, but there are still some black clouds above me and very dark ones to the east.
5,776.0 Long strip of black-eyed Susan lining the shoulder of the road.
Turnoff for Lime Kilns Historical Site - it is right here at the side of the road and would have been interesting to see, but I have decided that I am not stopping for anything else now.
5,778.1 Crossing the Maquoketa River.
5,784.6 Passing an old drive-in movie screen on the right ... beans and corn continue all along the route.
5,796.5 Sumac shrubs on an embankment to the right are a very bright red.
5,797.9 Exit-139A for US-30 to Cedar Rapids.
5,798.3 Crossing US-30, then the exit for US-30 east.
Actually that was not the exit for US-30 east as this road is also US-30 at the present.
5,799.6 Exit-312 for US-30 east to Clinton, which is on the Mississippi River.
5,802.8 Crossing the Wapsipinicon River ... at that point it is 588 miles to home and just over 9 hours, but the GPS wants me to get onto I-80 east, and I’m not going to do that! ... yellow cone flowers, Queen Anne’s Lace are the predominant flowers on the embankment at the moment.
5,811.8 Exit-123 is for Des Moines and Chicago via I-80 coming up.
5,814.2 Exit-123B for Des Moines.
5,814.7 Exit-123A for Chicago and US-61 continues straight south.
5,816.0 6:35 “Welcome to Davenport”.
5,820.1 Magnificent petunias in hanging baskets along the street as I drive along Harrison Street towards the river ... I can see a big building with a clock tower out to my left, maybe an insurance building or some such.
5,820.2 6:45 Turning right on River Drive, which is both US-61 and US-67. Unfortunately there seems to be a bit of a holdup with traffic - a real traffic jam at the moment - I’m still waiting to turn.
5,820.6 6:46 Turning ... there must be something going on a the stadium because most everyone is turning here - the John O’Donnell Stadium.
5,820.6 US-67 South turns off. A lot of water is lying on the road and at the side - must have had a very heavy shower here. Currently I am traveling west along the north bank of the Mississippi River, following the signs for US-61.
5,826.9 6:56 - 6:57 I have pulled up to take a look at the map and see if I can figure out where I am going - I need to stay on US-61 South.
I have to take the road west for a while before turning south again.
5,830.8 Interesting! This road isn’t even on the GPS even though it is a four-lane divided highway, 65 mph, and a US highway to boot!
5,833.3 7:03 Burlington is 65 miles.
I seem to be back on a digitized road, but, of course, not going the way the GPS wants me to go.
I am continuing to drive through agricultural country.
5,847.3 I’m driving through a town at the moment but don’t know what town it is - must be Muscatine as there is a water tower with that name on it.
5,849.6 There’s a fellow on a tractor with a trailer with small bales of hay to the left of the road trying to cross this double highway! And there is a lot of traffic on it!
5,852.1 A big power plant in front of me - huge chimney - not a nuclear one.
5,852.8 Descended down to river flats which are all under agriculture and the road is built high above the land. It is like river flats or flood plain but I don’t know if there is a river through here or not - maybe part of the Mississippi flood plain.
5,854.5 7:24 Junction with IA-92 ... it was a T junction and US-61 S joined IA-92 and turned west. The sun, still fairly high in the sky but currently is hidden behind a few clouds.
5,862.5 End of the divided road - two-way traffic now.
5,864.8 The GPS has finally decide against trying to make me turn around and go all tghe way back to Davenport.
5,870.5 Starting to cross the Iowa River - seems to be fairly full.
5,870.8 End of the bridge.
5,871.3 Crossing a large backwater - the road is also built up above the surrounding ground.
5,872.1 The road is still crossing lots of marshes or wetlands.
5,872.2 Another bridge over wetlands.
5,872.6 7:41 Entering Wapello ... Mediapolis is probably the next town ... corn is up a good height and the beans look very healthy.
5,881.1 The corn is very tall.
5,881.8 Cattle grazing on a hillside.
5,883.8 The corn on the right hand side has to be 7 feet - 8 feet tall and there are bean fields on the left.
5,885.3 7:54 Entering Mediapolis ... 79° ... Burlington is now 15 miles. I guess the GPS is keeping me on US-61 now until I reach I-55 and that will be in St. Louis..
There are no fences along the road, just the crops then a little bit of cut grass, a gravel shoulder and the road. If the grassed area was a bit smaller and the corn closer to the road the road would be going down a corn canyon!
8:01 The sun is still in the sky - hasn’t set yet.
5,892.6 A red brick building which looks like a one-room schoolhouse - not used now, of course!
5,896.2 577 feet as the road dips down.
5,897.2 Crossing Skunk River.
5,897.6 Divided road begins again.
5,898.2 Entering Burlington.
5,899.2 8:09 At a stop light ... the sun is not quite on the horizon but now is behind clouds ... changed tape.
5,899.7 8:11 US-34 west and I am continuing south on US-61.
5,899.8 Crossing over US-34.
5,901.5 8:16 Fort Madison is 17 miles ... so US-61 virtually skirts around the outer limits of Burlington and really I didn’t see any motels.
8:18 The sun is a ball of red in the sky - hasn’t set yet.
8:21 The ball of fire is almost on the horizon.
This is also considered a Great River Road although you seldom see the river - the Mississippi is out to my left and I may see it shortly down the road a bit!
5,908.5 Starting to cross the Skunk River and end of the bridge at 5,671.8.
5,912.2 8:26 The sun is still above the horizon ... I can’t see it most of the time either because of clouds or trees but I get a glimpse of it every now and then. Its last rays are catching some of the clouds.
5,913.9 8:27 I think I have seen the sun for the last time!
6% downhill grade ahead.
5,916.5 8:30 Starting downhill and as I round a corner I can see the Mississippi River.
5,916.8 8:31 Entering Fort Madison ... big stone fort walls here, but I think it is actually a penitentiary. I had thought of staying here in this town but am not sure that I want to if there is a penitentiary here!
5,917.4 Turned and driving along the river’s waterfront.
5,917.9 Passing what looks to be a riverboat casino ... the railway station is an historic center.
5,919.8 8:47 Pulled into the Santa Fe Motel in Fort Madison, IA.

The day’s total - 516 miles
Long Lake, Wisconsin to Memphis - 516 miles
Totalin Wisconsin - 237 miles
Vancouver to Long Lake, Wisconsin - 2,054 miles
Total in Vancouver - 527 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Trip Total - 5,920 miles

Day 50 - Saturday, July 17 - Fort Madison, IA to Memphis, TN

5,919.8 7:19 Leave the Santa Fe Motel in Fort Madison, IA.
7:20 On the highway, US-61 to continue south, the last leg to Memphis.
5,920.6 Passing a large DuPont plant.
There are houses and businesses all along this route and I wasn’t aware of having left Fort Madison yet, so if I haven’t, the city is a long strip along the river ... maybe I am driving through an adjoining town!
5,922.0 Fort Madison Community Hospital and the speed is up to 55 mph now, but there continues to be businesses and homes, however, with corn in between as well.
5,923.0 The road becomes a divided highway, four lanes, this just before it turns south again and goes back towards the river. It is 15 miles to Keokuk. The GPS indicates that I have 489 miles to go (no time because I am not on the digitized road - whoever made up these maps for this system was using fairly antiquated information)
Now I am on the road and it is going to be 8 hours 11 minutes, so if I drive without stopping I should be home about 3:30. I will allow myself about an hour which means I would be home by 4:30!
5,928.0 I can see the river between the trees to my left ... it is kind of misty or foggy, not thick, but nevertheless is not clear either. There appears to be quite a lot of smoke from industry in the air,
5,929.4 A roadside picnic area on the river bank.
5,933.6 The yellow flowers are mostly the small cone flowers and a lot of chicory is blooming also.
5,935.4 Some pink cone flowers or Echinacea ... Queen Anne’s Lace.
5,937.5 Keokuk is 4 miles ahead.
5,937.6 I’m turning off to continue on US-61 without doing the Business Loop, so that cuts off a few miles, probably about 6.
Whilst having breakfast at the motel this morning I talked to some people who were from Oregon and they live near Cabbage Hill which is at the south end of the road after you cross the mountains from Ladd Canyon towards Baker City.
5,940.9 7:43 Stop sign at the junction with US-136 and US-61 follows US-136 now for a ways.
5,941.3 Start of the bridge across the Des Moines River.
5,941.5 End of the bridge ... leaving Iowa and entering Missouri ... gas is down to $1.819.
5,943.1 Entering Alexandria, pop. 166 ... it looks like a very good bean crop.
5,943.9 US-136 turns off and I stay with US-61.
5,948.9 No fences - a canyon of corn.
5,949.6 Crossing the Fox River.
5,950.8 7:53 52 miles to Hannibal, 154 miles to St. Louis.
I have passed several very nice old farmhouses.
The picnic areas in Missouri are called roadside parks as opposed to wayside.
I can’t get over how tall the corn was yesterday and again today because this is still only the middle of July.
5,965.0 Start of a divided highway.
5,971.2 Crossing the Wyaconda River.
5,980.4 Great Blue Heron I suspect in what in Nebraska is called a borrow pit - I think I have already seen two such pits before this one along the side of the road.
5,981.7 Going over the top of US-24 east to Quincy, IL.
5,982.3 Crossing the North Fabius River and yes, there was another pond of water or borrow pit.
This road through Missouri is called the Avenue of Saints - I don’t know what the story behind this name is!
5,984.5 Crossing the South Fabius River ... the sun is shining enough to create some shadows, but the sky is fairly overcast with little blue showing through.
5,989.7 The road is passing through a rocky cutting.
5,990.3 Crossing North River.
5,991.3 Another rocky cutting, rocks both sides as before - loose limestone type.
5,991.6 Entering Palmyra, pop. 3,467. There is a Palmyra in Nebraska and one in Upstate New York.
Looking at the trees and shrubs there appears to be a fairly strong wind blowing.
5,994.7 Crossing South River.
5,995.7 US-24 West leaves US-61 and US-61 turns east and continues to be Avenue of the Saints.
5,997.8 Cows and calves ... then a field of beans ... then corn - much the same picture you see whether in Iowa, Wisconsin or Missouri, and yet, crossing the countryside, each state has something about it which makes it just a little different. Wiscinsin was extremely lush looking, Iowa didn’t have as many trees or wooded areas and Missouri does, but it doesn’t look quite as lush even though the corn and beans look very good.
6,001.9 Entering Hannibal, pop. 17,757.
6,002.8 8:41 - 8:50 McDonald’s - Rest stop and coffee.
6,003.3 The junction with and driving under US-36.
6,004.1 Start of divided highway again.
6,011.2 Crossing Salt River ... I am still on US-61 south, a road I have traveled previously and now it is simply “Home, James, and don’t spare the horses!” ... I don’t think I will be traveling on any new road today.
6,013.8 Passing the exit for MO-19, which is a route which I think I have also driven, a road which would take you out to the Mark Twain Dam or Lake.
Though fairly bright, the day continues to be overcast.
6,021.0 Passing an accident ... the ambulance was just leaving as I came upon the scene.
6,022.2 Going through another of these, cavernous I think you could say, rock cliffs. US-61 winds through hilly country and goes up and down the hills, but many cuttings have also been made to ease the grade of the road. The cuttings reveal the soft limestone and in some cases caves or holes where water has eroded the rock. This makes for some very interesting cliff faces.
There are some rather dark clouds around ... so, once again, I may have rain by the time I get to St. Louis, which would be nothing new. (As I type this I am reminded of the first time in the St. Louis area in 1993 when the sky was like night time and the rain so heavy we had to pull off the road. Having experience weather in the Midwest since that time I’m thinking we could easily have been victims of a tornado!).
6,032.6 Exit for US-54 to Louisiana and Mexico, both towns in Missouri!
6,033.0 Passing under US-54.
6,045.2 It has become quite foggy looking ahead.
I have done 361.0 miles since last getting gas and I still have 361 miles to go to Memphis, so I am half way between yesterday’s gas fill up and home!
6,063.7 Crossing the Cuivre River.
6,076.0 Entering Wentzville.
6,081.2 Leaving US-61 south to get onto I-70 east and going through St. Louis ... if I stayed on US-61 I think I would be driving city streets.
6,081.8 10:01 Joined I-70.
6,095.5 All traffic on the Interstate is slowing up and coming to a halt, then moving ahead slowly ... the slow up is for the traffic lined up in the right hand lane wanting to leave at Exit-225. It is fine after that.
6,100.8 Starting of the bridge leading up to the crossing of the Missouri River.
6,101.5 End of the bridge.
Exit-232B is for I-270 south to Memphis; Exit-232A is to Chicago and I-70 east goes into Downtown St. Louis.
6,103.5 10:22 I am turning at Exit-232B.
6,110.0 A wedge-tail hawk or eagle just flew overhead.
The next exit is for US-61 to Wentzville or to St. Louis, also I-64 and US-40. I will stay on I-270 south to join up with I-55. I am thinking that probably I should have stayed with US-61!
6,111.3 After the exit for all those other highways, I-270 is for Tulsa, OK, and for Memphis. That would be I-44 to Tulsa and I-55 to Memphis.
6,113.0 10:30 5 miles to I-44. The exit for I-44 is also the exit for US-50.
6,117.2 Lots of interesting rocks in the cliffs, that is the cuttings made for the building of the road.
6,118.1 Passing the exit for I-44 to Tulsa.
6,123.8 10:40 Turning onto the ramp for Exit-1A for I-55 south ... 1A is exit only for I-55, and I see a sign for US-61 again.
6,124.5 Junction with I-55 south to Memphis and the road is currently 6 lanes wide. This is reduced at Exit-195 to 5 lanes.
6,128.2 Crossing the Meramec River.
6,131.6 10:47 Speed just increased to 70 mph.
6,135.9 The highway is now down to two lanes.
6,144.2 The gas light has just come on! I am getting pretty good mileage.
Exit-170 is for US-61 again.
6,151.0 High stepped rock cliffs both sides of the road and the area is fairly heavily wooded. Also the sun is shining now, though there is still quite a lot of cloud around, but it is much brighter.
6,164.2 Getting off the Interstate to get gas.
6,164.8 11:15 - 11:23 GAS - Bloomsdale, MO - (GPS:- 253 miles to go!)
- $1.789/gal. - 16.722 gals. - $30.01
6,165.2 11:24 Back on the Interstate and I have 252 miles to go - 4 hours ... and I am going to turn on the air conditioning because I can really feel the heat of the day now.
6,211.8 Now there is a lot more blue sky, a much brighter day and what clouds there are they are white fluffy ones.
6,212.9 12:02 Pulling into a Rest Area to get something to drink.
6,212.8 12:04 - 12:12 Rest Area.
6,213.1 12:13 Back on the Interstate.
Another exit for US-61.
6,228.8 A whole bunch of crosses planted in a field with a sign: “Abortion stops a beating heart”.
6,231.1 A field of corn and beyond that a crop of sorghum.
Another exit for US-61.
6,235.0 Mimosa in flower ... I have remembered finally the name of that plant!
6,241.2 At the crest of a hill and the road stretched ahead in a straight line for miles. I am still seeing some cornfields - the corn is not as high as it was further north, but I am looking now for the start of the cotton fields or rice paddies.
6,249.1 Beans.
6,260.3 An egret in flight ... still in corn country.
6,264.5 A field of sunflowers to the right.
6,267.8 Mimosa in flower.
TSGRLS 4 ... I can’t work out what that licence plate means.
6,272.8 Starting to see the big white flowers, I think the Swamp Rose Mallow - Hibiscus moscheutos - like the mallow I had in my garden in Lincoln.
Exit-49 for New Madrid, another exit for US-61.
6,275.7 I think I have just seen the first of some cotton plants ... a beautiful bush of mallow flowers ... I think I am seeing a lot of cotton plants now, some could be beans, but I think they look more like cotton ... there are still cornfields to be seen.
6,294.8 A borrow pit, I think, to the right.
6,295.5 A hedge of beautiful pink flowers and I am wondering what in the world they are, but, of course, I had forgotten that I am into Myrtle country now - crepe myrtles.
6,297.8 Another borrow pit.
6,302.5 Since the Mississippi River is not too far off to my left I thinl the levee I can see must be the one for that river ... lots of fields of healthy looking cotton plants.
6,307.4 I-55 is also US-61.
6,308.1 The catfish ponds to the left of the road - Missouri Delta Grown Catfish.
6,310.3 More catfish ponds. Must be several acres of them.
6,316.3 I have seen lots of cotton fields now, but I don’t think I have seen any rice as of yet.
6,317.4 Passing Exit-8 for Steel, the place where I was supposed to take cover - I don’t think that I will ever pass this exit without remembering that awful night in May 2003. Maybe if I had lain down in the ditch right there I might not have drowned but a bit further along the ditch looks quite deep and could have had a lot of water in it,
6,325.9 1:43 The Missouri/Arkansas State Line. This is my third state for the day - Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas.
The road is terrible, rattling everything in the car.
6,336.3 A lot of the mallow plants making quite a show of white flowers and a lot of them continue to the right of the road.
6,344.5 To the left a small plane which looks to be crop dusting.
6,347.8 I am starting to see some rice paddies now.
6,354.8 Looking down on the rice paddies and there is no mistaking them - and they are on both sides of the road.
More mallow along the side of the road ... some of these are pale pink as well as the white ... more rice to the left.
6,360.8 Soy beans.
6,367.7 Lots more rice.
6,375.5 Passing Exit-23 for US-63 North.
6,381.2 More cotton fields both sides of the road and just before that there was rice ... also some corn.
6,384.7 Suddenly the traffic has become very heavy and I had to slow down ... the road is down to two lanes and somebody has made a mistake, trucks I think, for the lane they are supposed to be in resulting in this traffic coming to a halt.
I changed my mind at the last minute to take I-55 instead of I-40 and this seems to be where the holdup is on I-55.
6,395.0 2:39 Moving ahead slowly.
6,395.6 Stopped again ... the regular west-bound lanes are just a track of mud, completely torn up and so it is two-way traffic on the east-bound lanes, and with trucks entering the highway things are very slow - this is from Exit-4 ... and here I was thinking that the roadwork this way was probably finished when I changed my mind and decided to come this way instead of going into Memphis on I-40! The people entering the highway at this point seem to be faring better than those already on the road. There must be more of a holdup beside just the people entering this road ... I guess there are people entering at Exit-1 as well. I can’t believe all the traffic which has joined in and I am still sitting here!
6,395.9 2:47 I am finally moving past the entrance of Exit-4.
6,396.2 2:48 Stopped again - there is another entrance ahead.
6,396.3 2:49 Moving again.
6,396.8 2:50 Almost stopped again and this is right at the start of the bridge by the levee and which crosses over the flood plain - just a brief stop there. All the crops on the flood plain are green.
The traffic going in the opposite direction is very slow also.
6,399.0 Start of the bridge over the river, first going across some backwaters and more flood plain before it reaches the main river.
The clouds look as if there could be some nasty weather to the north.
6,400.0 End of the bridge and in Tennessee, my fourth state for the day.
6,404.3 Exit-7 for US-61 south to Vicksburg, so now I am leaving US-61.
6,406.8 3:01 Passing where I-240 from the north from I-40 would join this route. The way they drive here in Memphis is absolutely crazy.
6,414.6 3:09 Turning onto TN-385 to Collierville.
6,419.9 3:15 Off TN-385 and stopped at the traffic light at the junction with Winchester. The crepe myrtles are all in flower.
6,421.8 3:21 HOME - the A trip meter read 3,072 miles from Vancouver - spot on.

The day’s total - 502 miles
Long Lake, Wisconsin to Memphis - 1,018 miles
Totalin Wisconsin - 237 miles
Vancouver to Long Lake, Wisconsin - 2,054 miles
Total in Vancouver - 527 miles
Memphis to Vancouver - 2,579 miles
Difference between going to Vancouver and the return trip - 493 miles
Trip Total - 6,422 miles