American Road Trip: Michigan to Montana
If you've ever driven across Canada, I don't even have to explain to you how amazing it is. You know the beauty, the smells, the food, the friendly people you meet along the way. You know every rock wall, rolling hill and rugged mountain there is. You're alert and alive because not only is there a Tim Hortons in every town, but there is a rawness too it that imprints on your soul... during your first drive across that is. Sadly, after that it all goes downhill. Instead of the vast beauty, you'll be aware of the dreadful and ever changing speed limits (which make no sense by the way), the uncontrollable time warps your body must endure and the ever changing elements your poor car is surprised with on an hourly basis. So, when I sold my life in the West coast and drove back to the East only to get a job back in the West six months later, you will understand my pure hatred towards the subject. Quite frankly I would have rather shipped myself in a duffle bag then taken on this drive once more. And I can say that, being my fifth time now. But when you have a dog that is a nervous shedder you cant risk the fact that sending him on a plane ride for five hours may mean he'll end up bald on the other side. Which brings me to this: if I had any way of surviving this drive I was going to do a bit of a different route. And here we are. Six days later with another 4,300+ KMs on the engine, give or take a few for misled direction, and we made it. Barely. The only saving grace to this trip was that just before the death-drive, I treated myself to a new Olympus E-M10 II camera. Without giving all the glorious details of the trip away, here are a few photos that sum up each State/Province that was conquered along the way.
Ontario, Canada. This photo says it all, "Are we there yet!" I can't tell you how many times I have done this exact drive, on this particular highway,.. so I found it the perfect time to play with the new Olympus settings, this one is entitled "Dramatic Tone". I'm not making this up folks, its a legit Art Mode in my camera.
Somewhere in Michigan. Not quite between a city or a town, and not as far as Lake Superior. All I know is we were driving through this forest for hours and Hunter and I needed to stretch our legs.
[below] Lake Superior, Michigan USA. This photo doesn't do it justice, but the lake was still frozen and ice was pushing against the shoreline for the first 200 ft out. A great place to pull off to and roam around - and if it was lighter for longer, a scenic coastal drive.
Wisconsin, USA. The answer is yes. All we had for lunch was Wisconsin fresh cheese and crackers, and yes - this knife has now done two successful road trips in two different vehicles.
[below] Across from the Cheese Store, Wisconsin, USA. If only I could figure out what this place sold.. or where to enter the building.
Middle of Snowstorm, Minnesota, USA. One minute it was sunny, the following hour was a complete snow storm - you do the math.
[below] Border of Minnesota/ North Dakota, USA. I was trying to cross the State lines in this morning run, but the golf course got in the way. Instead I got lost in a maze of side streets and ran an extra few kilometres. Ah well.
Rugby, North Dakota USA. Believe it or not, right behind this sign is the Geographical Centre of North America... and a Mexican Restaurant. It was thought provoking.
[below] North Dakota USA. A sunset a day keeps the doctors away - I dunno, I started going a little crazy by this part of the drive.
Glacier National Park, Montana USA. This is MacDonald Lake, where all the colourful rock photos you see on Instagram are taken.
[below] Glacier National Park, Montana USA. Still snowy. Still April.
Middle of No Where, Montana USA. You know those towns where you see tumble weeds and the only reasons people stop is for a gas station? This is one of those places.
[below] Glacier National Park, Lake MacDonald will make you wanna jump, jump, jump... I don't know. Don't ask.
British Columbia aka. Home
[below] Highway to Banff, Canada. Feeling so Canadian it hurts.
Lake Louise, Banff National Park Canada. Okay, lets get this clear. I'm not claiming this as British Columbia's, but going East to Alberta was just too hard to explain when the end destination was Squamish, especially when you don't have a map in front of you.
[below] Back in British Columbia, Canada. Heading West once again - even the truck is smiling. Only one more night and we will be in our new, temporary home.