We put around 3000 miles in last weekend. All the way to Bonners Ferry and back. We took the interstate to Missoula where we caught The Goat Trail (Rt 200) all the way to Three Mile at the top of Bonners Ferry.
Traveling west is a little up hill and into the wind most of the way even though the scenery is sorta same-ish, at least until you get to Billings, Montana where the Rockies begin to come into view. The first time I saw those mountains was from a town up in Canada...Calgary, I think. And I remember being awed. Our children aren't awed. I was a little disappointed in that, not sure why.
But they were certainly quiet and well behaved, oh yes. They had their earphones and music and audio books and games. That's the biggest difference between little children and adult children. All that individual entertainment. I am still trying to figure out if it's okay. :)
Nobody had potty issues, nobody cried for miles and miles because he or she was sick of the carseat, and nobody drove us crazy asking us if we were there yet. I didn't worry that someone was going to get nabbed or lost when we did stop. (I pity anybody trying to nab one of our kids now.)
On the way home we struck out across the Rockies on Route 2. 2 is a two-lane highway from Bonners all the way to Williston, ND. At Williston it grudgingly turns into a four lane highway till you hit the Minnesota border or so and then you're back to two lanes. Minnesota 2 is loooong and very boring. I almost forgave Minnesota though when the home lights of Duluth and Superior showed up.
But back to Montana and Glacier Park. We didn't take The Road To The Sun because I was driving and route 2 is hair-raising enough in a snowstorm just driving beside Glacier Park. Again the children were not awed. They were passed out from a long hard weekend of play with the cousins. Besides it's hard to be awed sitting in a safe little van when you've swung out over the Kooteni valley on a cable yesterday! That's a different story and you don't want to hear it from me anyway. I tend to kill the thrill of such things...at least I hope to in the future. Here's the new rule about that swing: Thou shalt not ride on the suicide swing in Bonners Ferry unless thou art firmly strapped on with the halter that thou didst not bother looking for last time. If the halter is missing thou shalt not swing. Okay, that was a serious bunny trail. BUT, an important one.
We left the Rockies behind at 4000 feet above sea level and so it stayed snowing, if you know what I mean, well into Montana. We didn't get very far that first day traveling home, because Elv was sick and I don't drive very fast in snowy mountainous conditions.
The next day we traveled through North Dakota's Oil Fields ( the current gold rush). I will be a lot more impressed if whatever those brand spanking new yellow and green pumps are pumping actually brings our gas prices down someday. For now, though, I wouldn't recommend moving to North Dakota unless you don't mind cookie cutter housing in cramped places, and tons of tankers dragging oil field mud, out onto all the highways and spraying all over your car, and everywhere else, too. It's a money-hungry-man's world out there. ND is not the same anymore. The beautiful, prairie crop land is being taken over by oil wells, big trucks, ugly housing, and mud or dust depending on the weather. Here is a newsarticle.
We didn't once find a spot in all those 3000 miles as beautiful as our own Northern Wisconsin. Truly!