Montana, Idaho and Washington

We left Yellowstone and drove north into Montana. We had dinner in Bozeman, and drove another hour or two west. There were crazy thunder and lightning storms, with bolts of lighting stronger and brighter than I’ve ever seen before. It was really dark too — a strong storm.

We drove maybe 25 miles off the highway to some state park, apparently one of the camps on the original Lewis and Clark expedition. It was a very long twisty ride over some mountains in the pitch black. It took us about 30 minutes, and I think we saw two other cars. At the end, we were so freaked out by the lack of people that we almost chickened out and didn’t camp there. We finally found the camping area, and set up. The storm had blown over, and we saw the clearest sky… It was huge.

We woke up the next day and drove straight to Missoula, where we had lunch at a little cafe before driving straight on to Seattle.

I think the biggest surprise on this trip so far was Montana. We expected it to be a bit more conservative — like Wyoming, but it turned out to be more relaxed. We saw two very “college” like towns, and it seems as though there is a decent mix of ideas there.

We drove through the Rockies in Idaho, and they were beautiful. Very nice mountains with high pine trees, very green. We reached the other side of the mountains right around Washington State, and hit desert. It was very dry and boring all the way to the mountains right before Seattle area. That part of the drive was neat though — to go from desert to near rainforest in less than an hour.

We surprised Cyprienne and Haeley (Pippin’s mother and brother) by showing up unannounced. They knew we were on a road trip, but had no idea that we’d be stopping by. We parked down the street from their house, and started chatting with Cyprienne online. I typed “ding dong” and Katie ran up and rang the doorbell. They were pretty surprised!

Today we saw Cyprienne’s work, and then checked out Snoqualamie falls. Apparently I went there when I was younger, but I only vaguely remember it.

We ate dinner at a Thai restaurant in Seattle. Tomorrow we plan to check out the city a bit.

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