Summer Trip 2008 – Wrapping Up

Well, I have the feeling that the previous 45 days have been a once in a lifetime experience. I traveled through Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Montana. I’ve met an incredible number of new people whose company I have enjoyed immensely. I’ve taken more pictures than I can count and most will never see the light of day.

I visited 8 National Parks and 5 National Monuments stopping at countless other places along the way. Spending two minutes thinking about it, I actually spent longer than half an hour in the following places:

  • Marion, IA
  • Badlands National Park
  • Wall Drug
  • Minuteman Missile National Monument
  • South Dakota Air and Space Museum
  • Rapid City, SD
  • Mount Rushmore National Monument
  • Jewel Cave National Monument
  • Wind Cave National Park
  • Denver, CO
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Golden, CO
  • Pike’s Peak
  • Garden of the Gods
  • Wings Over the Rockies
  • Cripple Creek, CO
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Hill Air Force Base, UT
  • Layton, UT
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Shoshone Falls, ID
  • Craters of the Moon National Monument
  • Arches National Park
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Frisco, UT
  • Zion National Park
  • Grand Teton National Park
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Butte, MT
  • Glacier National Park
  • Harlowton, MT
  • Devil’s Tower National Monument
  • I’ve also come up with a list of figures:

  • 11 states
  • 8 National Parks, 5 National Monuments
  • 9 nights in hotels, 4 of which I paid for
  • 10 nights at my brother’s house
  • 207 hours, 54 minutes of driving
  • 9,230 miles driven
  • $1,286 spent on gasoline
  • I’ve seen 1 presidential candidate for the 2008 election
  • And kept track of when I rolled over every 1,000 miles:

  • 1,000 miles – May 31
  • 2,000 miles – June 05
  • 3,000 miles – June 10
  • 4,000 miles – June 19
  • 5,000 miles – June 24
  • 6,000 miles – June 30
  • 7,000 miles – July 07
  • 8,000 miles – July 09
  • 9,000 miles – July 12
  • Summer 2008 Trip: Day 45 – Marion, IA to Rose City, MI

    Woke up this morning at 7am in order to head back to Michigan. After an awful experience at the Perkin’s on Collins Ave. by Kevin’s apartment (that is the most disgusting Perkin’s I’ve ever been in) we were on the road by 9:30.

    It wasn’t long before I was in Illinois, which is probably one of my least favorite states. It’s boring and the drivers education system there leaves much to desire in Illinois drivers; especially around Chicago. And then… a few hundred miles or so left to drive through Michigan to make it to my parents house, where I will promptly collapse in bed from what I think was a mild case of food poisoning from a Wendy’s along the way. Not too much exciting happened during the 12 hours of traveling today.

    And that brings my trip to a close… forty-five days of vacation and I’ll have 16 days to get all my affairs in order before I fly to Alaska. Hopefully I’ll make it to Houghton one last time and down to see Rae in Ohio. Tomorrow, I’ll put up a post with all the statistics for my trip.

    Day 45 - Marion, IA to Rose City, MI

    Travel Distance: 628 miles

    Summer 2008 Trip: Day 43 – Cedar Rapids, IA

    Another day with nothing too exciting going on. I got to sleep in until the glorious hour of 9am this morning and spent a good chunk of the day playing video games while I waited for Kevin to get off work.

    After that, we watched one of our favorite movies, Bad Boys II and sat around catching up with another friend of ours Betsy.

    I’ve decided to stay one more day and head back to MI on Saturday.

    Summer 2008 Trip: Day 42 – Rapid City, SD to Marion, IA

    Hit the road from the hotel at 8:30 this morning on the way to Cedar Rapids via the Badlands. Sarah needed some painkillers, so we stopped at Wall Drug. (They are a drug store, right?) I think it was worse this time around… not only is it the world’s worst tourist trap, but it’s all so cheesy. I did find the “ice water” though… which wasn’t even cold.

    Down into the Badlands and through the scenic highway. I think I liked it better before I headed out west and saw Arches and Zion. It’s still amazing and awe inspiring, but a little less so than before. And it was definitely hotter; I didn’t feel like hiking nearly as much, though the low elevation definitely makes it easier.

    We hit the road around 2:30pm for a long haul across South Dakota, through Minnesota and down into Iowa. it’s a bit rough when your directions include, “Stay on I-90 for 430 miles.” We finally pulled in at nearly 1am after a time zone change lost an hour. Oh well, not too much father back to MI now.

    Day 42 - Rapid City, SD to Wall Drug, Badlands, Cedar Rapids, IA

    Travel Distance: 717 miles