Last night we drove until the small hours and when we arrived at Mount Rainier NP the entrance gate was closed. We parked the car outside the gate and resorted to sleeping in the car. Although it's not a typical campsite, I took a picture of it anyway. If you zoom in you can even see our friendly campsite visitor grazing above us.
Day 35: Olympic National Park
We didn't get that much sleep at the airport last night or during our flight this morning. Even though we were half asleep and super sore and wanted to take the day off, we decided to push on and head to our next stop.
Our flight landed and we went to pick up our faithful Yaris, Honu. As the airport parking service people retrieved our car for us some of the other staff told us how much they enjoyed reading our blog! Apparently our windshield billboard did the trick. They were all very friendly and wished us luck on the remainder of our trip which made us very happy!
As soon as the car pulled up, Evan grabbed another pair of shoes and said farewell to his hiking boots. :( We will need to get a new pair of boots, but unfortunately it will have to wait until after the trip.
After we checked out of the hotel we headed to Mendenhall Glacier. On the way there we saw several bald eagles. One tree had 5 perched in it and we caught this sweet picture with another flying overhead!
This morning we woke up and headed to North Cascades NP. This picture was taken on the drive not far from the entrance to the park.
We woke this morning to more beautiful views of the lake while we packed up camp. After saying farewell to the University of Montana group we headed to Idaho to see what it had to offer. There wasn't a "welcome to Idaho" sign on our road, unless it was covered by snow, so we had to settle for this sign as we crossed over the stateline around 3:30. Once in the state the scenery was beautiful. There were lots of trees, big hills, bodies of water, and even some snow topped mountains!
Since we slept in the car last night we both woke up pretty early. We had no idea where we were in the park when we arrived so it was a complete surprise to find this amazing lake right behind our parking spot!
Janella became pretty sick overnight. We think it was a combination of allergies and altitude sickness so we decided to rest for the day in the motel. She obviously needed it and ended up sleeping in until noon! This is the the motel we stayed at and our view to across the street.
Evan snapped this silly pic of me trying to get into the cargo bag this morning in my pjs... 😜
Happy Birthday, Janella! To celebrate the occasion we grabbed a quick breakfast with our mounted friends in the lobby of the Bear Lodge Motel and then hopped in the car to head towards Devils Tower.
This was our first sighting from a distance. I thought it was so cool that there was nothing else around.
Day 24 was a driving day. We, sadly, left Erik and Steamboat around noon and headed North. Driving out of Colorado was of course as beautiful as when we arrived. As we passed back through Wyoming we were surprised at the posted 80mph speed limit, but sadly we couldn't take advantage of it in packed down little Honu.
We finally arrived in South Dakota around 6:30, just in time to catch the beautiful sunset.
Day 23: Gaper Day
Happy April Fools Day! Here in Steamboat April 1st traditions have a completely different meaning to the locals. Today is what they call Gaper Day. The locals dress up in costumes and hit the mountain all while having a few (several) beverages throughout the day!
I woke up feeling a little better so we decided to get out early and do a few more preview runs before meeting up with Erik and his friends.
The entire reason we came to Steamboat was to snowboard and its a huge bummer that Janella is so sick because we really wanted her to join us today. She insisted, however, that she stay in bed and rest up to see if it will help. So, Erik and I went out on the mountain bright and early to see if we could find some fresh tracks. It had been snowing all night and it was still going as we made our way to the top of the mountain.
The second NP on the itinerary was Great Sand Dunes in Southern Colorado. Neither of us had ever heard anything about this park so it was really cool to drive up and be completely surprised. It was hard to tell how large the dunes are as you drive up, but once you're there it's pretty impressive. The tallest dune is almost 750ft tall!
Day 18 & 19: Wyoming into Colorado
Day 18 was Easter Sunday and we spent most of it inside relaxing and recovering from our adventure to Loveland the previous day. Janella is full on sick now and needed the day off. Apparently this crud she has was starting to come on yesterday while we were riding. This probably affected how her day went so she says after she is well she will give snowboarding another try. The only picture Janella took on day 18 was of Cat and me trying to take a nap!
We woke up at 5am to make it to Loveland Ski Area early enough to enroll Janella in a snowboard lesson and beat the crowds on to the mountain. We arrived around 8:30 and it was COLD!
Janella and Evan are taking a 4 month long road trip across the United States of America. This is their story!