Monday, May 14, 2012

From East to West: Arriving in Vancouver

I've arrived in Vancouver, BC, and I have to say, this city is pretty great. I traveled by my self from Michigan, driving the entire way. It's now been a week since I've arrived, and I'm still pretty sore, though I suspect it's from the large amount of walking I've been doing, and not from driving 6 days straight.

As for my road trip, I do have to say that technically I DID drive from Maryland to Vancouver with a couple month stop at Michigan- So I'm keeping my claim of traveling across the country. I was staying in the "suburbs" of Detroit if you can call it that. It was basically the Utica and Rochester area.

I ended up leaving Michigan only to stop and stay in Michigan City, Indiana. Nothing really all that amazing about the drive there, but I did like my stay at a Microtel Inn for the first time. The next day I traveled to Hudson Wisconsin. This also meant that I was traveling through Chigaco. For the most part I ended up seeing a great deal of industrial areas.
After Chicago as passed it was apparent that I was in the land of Cheese and farming.

I stayed the night at a small place called Royal Inn, which I believe was a family operated hotel. It wasn't a holiday inn or anything but it was pretty nice. From there I took off towards North Dakota, passing along the rolling hills and farm land which seemed to go on forever. Then I encountered some curious hills, which signified me entering the 'Bad Lands', or so the oil guys told me they were.

I finally made it to Medora North Dakota, of which I thought for the longest time was some made up place the Google guys put on a map as a joke. There is only one road into this tiny town and one road going out. I think the town was all of 4 blocks big. This area is just amazing though, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to "get away from it all". There was a nice ranch, and tons of fun little things to do for summer time. It was a good thing I stayed before their tourist season started, because it was hard enough to get a room with the demand from the lack of places to live for the oil boom employees. And I saw plenty of oil pumps and rigs on the way to Medora. The Gas price was pretty cheap as well, but from Medora on out, the price just climbed.
Leaving to get on my way was a bit tricky considering that I had to find where their one gas station was hiding. While I waited on my pump, which was ancient, I got a good picture of the building across the way. The Badlands soon gave way to a flatter terrain.
After a while I saw something looming in the distance. If my Chevy Tracker had eyes and feelings, it'd probably would have been in emotional pain.
Needless to say it was pretty painful driving up those mountains into Bozeman, Montana. My little Tracker just isn't happy with hills, and even though I used the truck lane, and the power option, it was a struggle. The temperature went from a cool 75 / 80 degrees to 50 or lower in a matter of an hour or two. At some point it started snowing.

 So I finally arrived in Bozeman. I was exhausted at this point, but I checked into my hotel, comfort inn, and took a look around.

I found that the Museum of the Rockies was open and I woke up early the next morning so I could at least see their famous Dinosaur exhibit. I was not disappointed! The exhibit was just amazing with very detailed fossils on display, quality I hadn't seen before. It might have been that they were the actual fossils. I also was able to see laboratory where actual Paleontologists were cleaning and preparing fossils. It was fantastic!

After Bozeman, Montana, I took off to my next destination; Moses Lake, Washington. I Drove down the mountain back into more rolling hills. This time the hills were pretty empty. Some scattered farms were here and there, but it was mainly lakes, wind, hills, and nothing much else. I ended up at the "Interstate Inn" which was also more of a family run business. They were really nice and friendly though, and I had the best sleep of my travels there. That's right they had special beds with those expensive memory foam mattresses.
The next day, and the last day, I'm off! But what do I see again? More Mountains. It looks as if the white caps of the mountains feed off into clouds.
And then it snows again. More this time. I'm thinking to myself at this point, "Geeze I wonder if the roads are icy... "
Finally I get out of the mountains and up to the Canadian border. After 2 hours with the immigration office there, I was allowed in! Haha. Mainly the hold up was them checking the content of my car and on my Citizenship. In any case I arrived in Vancouver at last. The end!

*All photos were taken with my Android phone.

1 comment:

  1. Tara, what an amazing adventure you are having and so well written.Love, GG