11 children..five adults..and 5022 miles on the road.
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here's a quick summary of the trip..up to May 10th. I haven't been back to finish..and now I can't remember...
April 23rd-Left MN to Mitchel, SD. Visited Corn Palace. Stayed at the Roachlight Motel. (Coachlight)
April 24th--Easter Sunday..we listened to a sermon in the van. Stayed the night in Custer at the Rocket Motel.
April 25th-- Drove the Needles hwy..beautiful!! Saw buffalo by the road. Visited Mt. Rushmore.
Drove to Spearfish and bought two back tires at Walmart. Drove to Hardin, MT at 6pm and didn't arrive till 11pm!
April 26th--Drove to Custer's Last Stand at Little Big Horn. Beautiful country..amazing..and surreal. Headed for Missoula about noon. Children's first view of real mountains!
Arrived at "Redwood Lodge' Saw the sign for Ex otic Dancers and knew it wasn't a good place to stay. Drove over to Days Inn...crunchy moldy stinky sock found between mattress.
We stayed at La Quinta instead. :o)
April 27th--Drove straight through Idaho into WA. Stopped for gas in Spokane. Gabe said the Burger King looked familiar..I said I think we're near where Kev works. (my brother). So I gave him a call..we were only a mile from his work! So we stopped by for a few minutes.
Drove Highway 2 to Leavenworth. Stopped in Wilbur for a lukewarm cup of coffee.
Gas is expensive in WA.
April 28th--In Leavenworth..stayed at Linderhoff Inn. Had a balcony room..and..you won't believe this...TWO BATHROOMS!!! We were in heaven!! Ha!
Spent the morning looking through some shops and taking pictures. Ethan got his first cowboy hat. Drove to Port Townsend. Saw a field full of tulips. Took a ferry from Whidbey Island to Port Townsend and stayed the night.
April 29th--Drove hwy 101 down to Chehalis. Saw friends Bob and JLee and gave everyone hugs before we headed out to Dad's farm. Beautiful sunny day. Arrived at Dad's in early afternoon. Kids played outside and explored till they were exhausted. Gramma Jean and Grampa Joe came out to see us at Dad's (they live in Longview)
April 30th--Another beautiful sunny day. All my siblings came to Dad's place. We took pictures of all the grands (minus 1) with Dad, and each family w/ Dad. Kev gave me a special gift that belonged to Mom. Jay built a campfire and we made smores for the kids in the evening.
May 1st--We visited First Christian Church, the church we attended before we moved, and the one we were married and baptized in. Afterward we visited Gramma and Grampa Watson. She had a tray full of cookies..and I think they were gone in 20 minutes!
On the way back to Dad's, we stopped by the cemetery and I saw my Mom's stone..and Gramma Kiser's..and my nephew Wyatt's. Couldn't find my Grandma Scott's stone.
May 2nd-Did some shopping at Sunbirds. Ran into an older couple who had 8 children (grown now). We met up w/ the family and drove out to Longview to see Jean and Joe and have pizza at their house.
May 3rd--Stopped by Doty Store and took some pics of our group. Ate at Evey's Greasy Spoon in Pe Ell and drove to the beach! The boys flew kites all afternoon. Shops were closed by the time we got there but we managed to get some taffy before one closed. Saw seals in the water around the boats. Saw herds of Elk on the way home.
May 4th--Drove to Mt. St. Helens. The center was closed so we picnicked outside and the kids played on playground equipment. Gabe bought me some beautiful cross earrings made with Emerald Obsidianite http://www.mt-st-helens.com/obsidianite.html
Took some beautiful pics of the mountain. Drove to Winlock to see the famous giant Egg. :)
May 5th- Last day at Dad's. He took us back up to the cemetery and showed us where Gramma was buried (his mom..passed away last summer) and his dad (passed away when Dad was 6)
Visited w/ Aunt Marie. She showed the children her rock collection and let them each choose a rock of their own to take w/ them. Saw my Grampa Kiser, who will be 96 next week. Took a pic of him and Noah, for they share a birthday on the 29th.
Spent the day hanging out and visiting with family. Dad cooked FOUR limits of clams!! YUM!!!
May 6th- Said our Good-byes at 8am. Drove to Long Beach before the tide came in. Visited with Aunt Judy and Uncle Ed. Kids played in the rain and they cooked oysters over the fire. Ocean beach view from the room. They brought over burgers and chips for supper.
May 7th- Drove to Pendelton, OR. Turned off to find a gas station onto scenic hwy 31 (?). Gorgeous view over the Colombia River!! Ma got a flat tire. Gabe and Pa put the spare tire on..and I called Jay to see how far away Hood River was from where we were at. (Multnomah Falls) He met us off the freeway and led us right to Les Schwab. Got to see nephew Jaycob, who couldn't make it to Dad's the weekend before! Les Schwab didn't charge anything for the tire fix. Amen! Arrived in Pendleton late in the eve. Ate at Rooster's.
May 8th- Drove to Pocatello, ID the next day.Listened to a sermon on cd for Sunday worship. Stopped at an Army Surplus store. Gabe and Ethan were overjoyed! Missed the exit to Pocatello... Kids were crying alot. Ate at Burger King that night.
May 9th- Drove to West Yellowstone. Stopped at Lava Formations along the way. Pretty neat but it was rainy and cold outside. Went to the Grizzly and Wolf Center in the evening for a bit. Ate at a neat little restaurant..Isaac lost his fools gold in a crack in the wall.
Next day we went back to the Grizzly Center. Wolf stared at Caleb in his stroller and gave me the creeps. My camera broke..so I don't have pics till we make it to Cody, WY. Saw Old Faithful!!
We heard there was an avalanche on the pass we were supposed to take..but it would reopen at 11am. We tried to find a place to eat..and got lost it the parking lot. Pass opened, so we went for it.
The Lord protected us! The pass is amazing..frightening..what can I say? God is amazing. We were the only nuts to be traveling the road. The bank of snow to our left was surreal..and the cliff to our right.....whoa.
We had an absolutely BEAUTIFUL drive to Cody, WY. We checked into The Legacy hotel..owned by Bill Cody's great great Granddaughter. Ate at Irma's restaurant..built by Bill Cody himself.
It was 830pm..and when the 16 of us walked in..with 11 children under 14..I could 'feel' the glares. I was so nervous! About halfway through dinner, an older lady walked up to me and commented on how well behaved all the children were. What a blessing! When she heard we were homeschoolers, she said to keep up the good work. She was a public school teacher for years.
After supper we went to Walmart and I bought a new camera.
I'll update soon as I have the time to THINK. :)