First off, I already did this move once, well the drive at least. My boyfriend, Andy, moved to Seattle, WA in March. I was in graduate school and working full time, so I could not move until I finished my last semester of school. I knew if the relationship was going to last, I would have to follow eventually. That is when my mind started many mini debates. Do you do that when trying to make a life decision?
Anywhoo, I could not decide whether or not to wait to get a job and then move or to quit my job. I had been applying to jobs for roughly 6 months. I know times are hard! I knew I was taking a road trip to save money if I couldn’t get someone else to pay for it. With many mountain passes along the drive, I had to decide to take the plunge and quit my job to move before winter or wait until spring (or a job).
Since Andy had just started his job, he did not want to use the vacation time off to do the same trip. Fortunately, my Cleveland roommate, Tiffani, offered to join me for the ride. I sold my car, picked up my 10 foot moving truck, loaded it with my belongings, and headed West!!! ROAD TRIP!
We did not have any formal plans. I planned out a slightly different route than the one I took with Andy to switch things up a little. We left early Monday, October 22, 2013 and arrived in Seattle late Friday, October 26, 2013.
I wanted to see if I was accurate on my budget, so I kept track of all the hotels, gas, and costs along the way. The first part of the drive was not too exciting. We did stop in Iowa City, IA to see an intern that Tiffani worked with over the summer, which was not too far out of our way.
Did I mention we wore trucker hats when driving the 10′ truck? We thought it was mandatory for the trip. We had fun listening to old school CDs from when we were in high school. We jammed to some Spice Girls, Third-Eye Blind, Savage Gardens, Aqua, Brittney Spears, and many more. It definitely kept us awake and laughing, while we shared our memories from the time period of the music being played.
Attractions we saw during our trip:
- University of Iowa
- Corn Palace
- Badlands National Park
- Wall Drug
- Mt. Rushmore
- Grand Teton National Park
- Yellowstone National Park
Animals we saw along the way:
- American Bison (Buffalo) – in Yellowstone
- Big-Horned Sheep – in the Badlands
- Elk – in the Grand Teton National Park
- Pronghorns – in the Badlands
- Wolves – two different ones near the road in Yellowstone
State border crossing signs.
Yellowstone was definitely the best part of the trip with Grotto Geyser being my favorite geyser. The roads tested my winter driving skills with a few fish tailing occurrences to keep me on my game. Since the park was closing in one week, the park was very desolate from the normal crowds . It was definitely worth the visit even with road restrictions and conditions.
We drove into the park from the Grand Teton National Park, up to Old Faithful, and back the way we came. The road conditions made the drive slow going with very few cars, but the snow covered trees was well worth it. I can’t wait to go back and do the full loop.
Since the weather was cold, the American bison were keeping warm on the geothermic ground near Old Faithful. We were able to see the geyser erupt, and the bison would move away when they felt it coming. Have I mentioned I love nature?
Old Faithful erupting
We made it to Seattle from Jackson, WY with a long day of driving.