Part 1: Over
On the 20th of May we blasted across the top of the USA as fast as we could in order to make it back to Wisconsin for a family get-together over Memorial Day weekend. Our starting point was Vancouver, Washington (think Portland, Oregon) where my brother lives. Google gave us the bad news straight away–that we had 2,028 miles (or 30 hrs) of pure driving ahead of us. We dreaded the idea of it and knew that we had to forget our Rules of 4 if we were to make it in time.
We had acknowledged that this trip of a lifetime, although amazing, was a tad longer than we could really handle. We noticed that we were a little too glad to arrive at the homes of family and friends; one, for their company but also because we didn’t have to do RVing. The simple things of a life in a house felt luxurious–long showers; flushing a toilet and knowing whatever it was you flushed is in fact, gone forever; putting Anna to bed earlier than ourselves, in a separate room; doing laundry whenever you want without other people’s hair on our clothes, and sleeping in without the stress of a checkout time or worrying where to sleep later that night. It had felt good to be at my brother’s house after all that time on the road and in truth, we looked forward to the end.
With our mission set in front of us, it was sad to drive past the promise of excellent fly fishing and mountain biking spots in Montana. Those are of course now on the list of things to do in future, along with–Bryce Canyon, Moab and Colorado–cold places that we avoided for fear of freezing our tanks and breaking stuff. But, it will all still be there.
We did manage to stop for a bit of sightseeing at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. A gem for the very reason that we dreaded this part of the journey–it’s in North Dakota. Dakota, obviously, is the Algonquin word for: bummafuck. (There is of course a North bummafuck and a South bummafuck.) Consequently, this park is just as one imagines a National Park to be: full of more wildlife than people. Peaceful. The landscape is comparable to the Badlands in South Dakota but with more grass.
We stayed the night there and enjoyed a bike ride with wild horses, hefty Bison, and chattering prairie dogs the following day. After lunch, we set off in the heat, and for the next few days drove as far as we could, stopping for essentials as close to our route as possible. We were so serious about not adding additional time to this journey that we grilled burgers up in a cemetery and slept in one last truck stop.
Our final night on the road was in the company of good friends at their home near Minneapolis. We were grateful for their hospitality which also meant that we could scrub up before Mom saw us. On our last day, five days after leaving Vancouver, we finally arrived at my grandmother’s house on the Rock River in Wisconsin, just in time for supper.
A sweet ride on the Rock River.
Part 2: Out
We are out! The RV is for sale. And, we must be back in the UK by now if this is posted because I’m writing it as we fly over the Atlantic. We have lots more stories to tell, plenty of observations, reflections, and opinions to share after having the chance to travel the USA at such a politically weird time. So please get in touch for a further debrief.
We hope you enjoyed reading our (delayed entry) blog and pictures. Thank you to all who kept us comfortable while we were rubbertrampin’: for hosting us, for camping with us, for bike riding with us, for sending care packages and gifts to Anna, for meeting up with us at short notice, for sharing tips and information, and for keeping in touch with encouraging emails along our journey. We have had a very special adventure indeed.
Lots of Love,
x Em, Alex and Anna
Anna, showing you how far we went.