Day 7! You did it! The road trip lasted a total of 13 days, so you’re over half-way finished! Proud of you! Have you caught up? If not, before we delve into the second half, here are some links to get you caught up! The posts aren’t really that long since a lot of them are just me copying my journal onto a post (hey, transcribing actually can take awhile, so ain't no shame in this game). Lucky you, getting a sneak peek into a young woman’s diary! In case you’re not caught up, it’s most just recaps of the trip with a smattering of photos, fun suggestions of some places, and talking about my sweet furbaby’s potty breaks. Jokes aside, though, doing a cross-country road trip alone was pretty challenging and eye-opening to one’s strengths and weaknesses and how to overcome obstacles and moments of doubt. If you’ve made it this far with me, thank you. I appreciate you more than you know. If you’re just checking in and haven’t caught up so far, here are the aforementioned and promised links!
day 1: los angeles to gualala point
day 2: gualala point to gold bluffs beach
day 3: gold bluffs beach to sunset bay
day 4: sunset bay to portland
day 5: portland to kalaloch
day 6: kalaloch to seattle to spokane
And that brings us right back to where we started (cue one of my favorite songs): Day 7! So now that you’re hopefully all caught up, here we go with day 7: spokane to whitehall.
June 19, 2018
Spokane, WA to Whitehall, Montana
Archy and I woke up much earlier than originally anticipated this morning - 4 AM! I got everything packed up, changed, and we hit the road. To be fair, we went to bed pretty early, so we still got a decent night’s sleep!
Spokane was pretty cool looking, reminding me of Scranton a little. We made our way out of Washington state, passing through Idaho. We stopped for gas at one point, and it was nice to admire the forests and scenery. We also stopped at Starbucks for breakfast, and Archy was very excited for her Puppaccino, or “Pup Cup,” which is what it was called in Idaho. Who knew? Not me!
Montana is absolutely breathtaking. Driving through Montana reminded me of Norman Maclean’s “A River Runs Through It” and collection of short stories - a book I bought while I was at Hill. It was really somethin’ to be able to drive through Western Montana and Missoula and really get a feel and understanding for Maclean’s settings, which were things I could only imagine up until today. The winding rivers and old iron bridges with signs for trout fishing brought up a lot of warm feelings. All I could think was how he was “haunted by waters” and how much more complex and beautiful that is now that I’ve seen Montana. It was truly special. My nerdy bookworm heart swelled up.
Having left earlier than planned, we arrived at Whitehall early. I stopped and got some lunch, and I had a nice conversation with the woman who made my lunch, Bernadette. As it turns out, those little espresso huts I keep seeing are all the rage. They don't have Starbucks here yet, so apparently the little huts are the alternative. They have espresso drinks and also Italian sodas. The hut I’d pointed out was closed (and it wasn't even like 11 AM if I recall correctly), and apparently it’s because it makes a ton of money in the mornings (that specific one also had muffins, etc. each day, which seemed to be a big deal to Bernadette). Bernadette told me that she thinks it’s ridiculous anyone would pay $5-$6 for coffee just so they woudn't have to get out of their car... for the convenience of the hut. I am no saint, Bernadette. I am no saint. I hope she tries the In 'N Out drive-thru one day where your options are basically to-go or to-eat-in-the-car. What a weird thing that gets totally normalized in LA lol. Also I've definitely been eating in my car a lot on this trip. Holla at the convenience and affordability of peanut butter sandwiches and boxes of cold breakfast cereal.
It rained so much on our drive this morning. I haven’t seen it rain that heavily in such a long time - it was awesome. It was like the skies hadn't rained for years and just decided to open up and let it all out at once. It wasn’t so awesome to setup the tent in the rain, though, but it worked out nicely enough, and I felt a nice sense of accomplishment having defeated the evil clutches of the rain. Archy seriously deserves the tastiest bone in the world.
Having gotten the campsite setup for the night, I decided to do the two-hour $12 guided tour through the Lewis and Clark Caverns. It was awesome! It was about a 3/4 mile hike uphill to a cave entrance followed by an hour-and-a-half of exploring multiple rooms in the caves. The formations in the caverns were incredible. I made some tour group friends who laughed at my jokes, and there was even a slide at one point! I hit my head on a stalactite when I stood up from the slide. My inner-child was all like ‘woo-hoo a slide!’ while adult me was all like ‘what are you doing?’ It was pretty graceful. Our tour guide also told some pretty cringe-worthy puns, but I secretly loved them.
All the rooms in the caverns were unique and different and awesome. At the end, the guides also did a sort of rapid-fire joke session where they pointed out what the different formations' doppelgangers, including my favorite: Hogwarts. I also made a comparison of one of them to Whoville and told my tour friends about the Universal backlot and the styrofoam. It was really nice to share that about LA since I still love LA a lot.
I just finished the tour and had a pb sandwich. It’s overcast and a bit chilly here so I’ve been writing this in my car while Archy sleeps on my jacket. I’m probably going to try and get another good night’s sleep as tomorrow is a really long driving day! Will probably just knit some more of this scarf, get my outfit ready for tomorrow, and hit the hay.
^^ This is the Hogwarts formation! Pretty cool right?! This is the part of the tour where I started humming the Harry Potter theme song and got a few people to join in with me. Slytherin forever. Can you see it sort of off-center to the left? Pretty freakin awesome.