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9/14 thru 9/30 - Driveway Sweet Driveway



Our route from Forks, Washington, mostly on I-90 with a slight detour south to visit Yellowstone and then back north to I-90
We left forks by 10:00 on Monday, 9/14 with the intention of spending the night in Yakima, Washington so that we could stop in the morning in Walla-Walla and take a picture ("from Walla Walla, Washington to Kalamazoo" - you'd have to be a Cub fan to understand).   Anyway, once we got on I-90, it seemed silly to go that far out of our way so we just continued on east.  We ended up spending the night at Walmart in Moses lake, Washington (291 miles).

Tuesday morning we woke up to temps in the low 40's (did I mention we stayed in a parking lot and had no hookups, brrrrrr!). In the middle of the night Marty woke up to the refrigerator beeping because the propane tank was empty, then in the morning when he went outside there was a beeping sound - oh no!  He came in to tell me and we also discovered that we had water on the floor in the bathroom - wow, what a morning.  We cleaned up the water and did what every smart couple does when they have problems to deal with, we went to Starbucks for breakfast.  While there we looked up RV dealers on our route so we could have them look at the rig.  On our walk back to the rig we had the brilliant idea of calling the place we bought the rig and asking them if they had any ideas what the beeping could be.  They did - it was the alarm telling us we weren't level (duh, another lesson learned).  Fun morning :)

We continued our drive on I-90 and made it as far as Clinton, Montana which is just east of Missoula for a total of 315 miles. We ended up spending two nights at Ekstrom's Stage Station RV Park which is a quiet campground with a nice restaurant.  There are lots of things to do in and near Missoula and we spent all of Wednesday exploring the area.  First stop was a used book store I had heard about and have wanted to visit.  It was in Alberton and probably had about 150,000 used books.  I love books and book stores but lately have had a hard time buying any because I download anything I want to read from the library - cheaper and we don't have the weight of the books in our rig. I never thought I would prefer an E-Reader but I do. We browsed for a bit and then headed to our next stop, the Missoula History Museum.

 
Alberton Bookstore in what was originally a grocery store
So many books, so little time





















After spending the summer at the Forks Timber Museum we have a new perspective when we visit museums. We spent a few hours here; they have a main museum building and about 8 buildings outside to explore (school, church, train depot, etc...).  We actually spent more time there than we should have because we had one more stop on our agenda - "The Sweet Palace" in Philipsburg.  This is an old-fashioned candy store and was recommended to us by Linda and Joe.  The store closes at 5:00 and it was already 3:40 and we had about 80 miles to go.  It's a good thing the speed limit in Montana is 75mph - I've never seen Marty drive so fast!  We made it there with 10 minutes to spare.  It was well worth the drive, we stocked up on fudge and candy and headed back to our campsite. No pictures, we were too busy picking out candy!




Hmmmm, museum ideas - get ready Linda :)


We headed out on Thursday morning to spend a few days at Yellowstone and Grand Teton.  We drove about 230 miles to our next destination, Yellowstone Holiday RV Campground & Marina.  This campground is 13 miles from the west entrance to Yellowstone and was one of the less expensive campgrounds in the area ($37.50 per night).  That's more than we like to spend but a few nights in Walmart parking lots helps average us out to about $20.00 per night.  We stayed here for four nights to have time to explore Yellowstone.

We spent Friday and Sunday exclusively in Yellowstone and on Saturday we drove thru Yellowstone down to Grand Teton National Park.  It was cloudy on Friday but the weather on Saturday and Sunday was perfect - 70's and sunny.  Driving in the park is an adventure, you have to watch out for buffalo and they definitely have the right of way!  The parks were crowded considering that it was almost the end of September, I don't think it would be much fun in the summer when it's about 5-6 times more crowded (according to a park ranger).  It is a beautiful area and well worth seeing!
Rush hour in Yellowstone




Why did the bison cross the road?


This is our truck (with us in it) that he's eye-balling!













Majestic creatures












You must stay at least 25 yards away from all bison

Rocky Mountain Elk

"Little" Bighorn Sheep

Moose in Grand Teton National Park
Besides all the wildlife there is some amazing scenery,

Jackson Lake in Grand Tetons National Park
Kepler Cascades in Yellowstone National Park

Grand Teton National Park - Infrared


Jenny Lake in Grand Teton



The most famous geyser in Yellowstone - Old Faithful



Steam vents were everywhere

Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone
 
The "Grand Canyon" of Yellowstone
After our three full days at Yellowstone it was time to hit the road.  We left our campground on
Monday morning (9/21) and headed north to I-90.  We spent the next two nights in Walmart parking lots (Gillette, Wyoming - 331 miles and Mitchell, South Dakota - 446 miles). Wednesday night was spent in a small campground off I-90 near Rochester, Minnesota (320 miles).  Thursday night was spent in the RV General parking lot in Huntley (299 miles) where we are having some work done on the rig. They looked at it Friday and have ordered parts which will be installed before we head out to our next destination.
A good diet is important while travelling
We met Sue and Earl at the Elgin house on Friday night and got settled into our favorite driveway. Two years ago it took Marty about 45 minutes to back into the driveway, this year it only took 5-7 minutes.  We only had to stop traffic once.  With our slides open we have about 1/2" between the house and our rig!  He did an amazing parking job.


The closer we got to Chicago the more excited I was; I had tickets for Saturday and Sunday to see the Cubs. I've been a Cub fan for over 40 years (wow, I'm old!) and it's been hard just following them second hand. They have had an incredible season and I can't wait to watch them in the playoffs! Oh, and did I mention they are the THIRD best team in baseball!  Unfortunately the two better teams are in their division so one of the teams will not make the playoffs (sorry Pirate fans).


Wearing our favorite player's jerseys


Go Cubs!!!
They ended up losing on Saturday and winning on Sunday (Jake Arrieta was pitching, of course they won).  There was no better place to spend the weekend - thanks Sue!

Now that we are all settled into our driveway we can catch up with doctors and dentists appointments. We also need to go thru our rig and storage locker to see what we can get rid of. There are also a few new babies in the family to meet and friends to catch up with.  It should be a busy month.