Monday, January 28, 2013

The Road Trip

Well, you must forgive me for not updating the dear ole blog in a while - it's been hectic!  But don't you worry, I'll make up for my absence by making this one extra long! :P If you have, by chance read the entry below, you know that I have accepted a job in Washington State and I had two weeks to spend packing and being with family and friends as much as possible.  The past four days have been spent driving across the northern states from Pennsylvania to Washington.  Boy am I glad to finally by here and not in that car!! :)

Thankfully the route is fairly simple: the PA turnpike and the route 90 from Ohio to Washington, with a few tolls from Ohio to Illinois.  Through the course of the trip, we went through eleven states (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and finally Washington).  The first day of driving, we went through PA - Illinois.  Although I am sure that the Midwest states have beauties of their own, there wasn't much to see from the highway.  However, toward the end of day two of driving, I spotted the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Oh my, how beautiful!  I think that I was giddy with excitement when we first entered the Black Hills.  Truly, photos do not do it justice!

One of the things on my bucket list has always been to go to Mount Rushmore.  It's always held a strange fascination to me and thankfully I was able to see it in the morning of day three.  In fact, as soon as I saw the profile from the distance, I squealed loudly and my boyfriend just looked at me like I was a weirdo, or something (He doesn't understand my giddy excitement over things :P).  I definitely had to get some of the classic photo ops - I mean, how often does one really get the chance to look like they are squashing the head of a president!? :)

[caption id="attachment_270" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Mount Rushmore Mount Rushmore[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_271" align="aligncenter" width="546"]Mount Rushmore Mount Rushmore[/caption]

After that brief, but pleasant, interlude - we were back on the road with vengeance.  We continued through the rest of South Dakota, onto Wyoming and Montana - enjoying the scenery.  Truly, it was these states that were being thought of when the phrase "wide open spaces" was coined.  There were such a vastness when we gazed out on the open fields, seeing only mountains in the distance.  Simply beautiful.

[caption id="attachment_273" align="aligncenter" width="376"]Wyoming Wyoming[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_276" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Montana Montana[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_280" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Idaho Idaho[/caption]

We were able to make it through most of Montana on that third day, leaving us a "short" day for the fourth and final day of our trip.  By short, I actually mean that there was about seven hours left in the trip, but that is certainly better than our 12-14 hour days that we had the previous three days!  We started day four bright and early - around 5:30 AM and made it up the mountains of Montana and Idaho.  It was slow progress due to fog and snow/slush on the road, but we made it without difficulties.  Once we entered the eastern regions of Washington State, I was amazed at the scenery change - it was such a quick transition from the mountain states to gentle, rolling farm land!  But about an hour outside of Seattle, we entered the beautiful mountains, that were full of evergreen trees, again.

[caption id="attachment_278" align="aligncenter" width="542"]Washington Washington[/caption]

I will admit, I was relieved when we finally arrived in Seattle - this girl needs some rest.  Road trips are exhausting!  My lease for my little apartment begins on Monday, so thankfully, I will have a full day to relax a bit before attempting to get settled in.  However, entering the city was also a reminder that this move is real, which brought an onslaught of mixed emotions.  I am looking forward to getting into my own routine out in the west, which I think will help.  This small town girl has a lot of things to get used to since she has now moved to a big city! :)

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