My last day of school was Wednesday, June 20th and we didn’t waste any time starting our cross-country trip the next day. Our first major destination was Caledonia, Wisconsin and we made it here on Monday. The last few days of traveling have been great but rushed. We worked out our driving days by alternating between shorter and longer days. I will give you a brief overview of each day and a few things that we have learned along the way.
Day 1: We left Mill Creek, WA around 1:00 pm and headed to Crescent Bar Thousand Trails in Quincy, WA. We arrived around 5:00 pm and quickly got set up. It was hot so we waited until later in the evening to go for a nice walk on a paved trail along the Columbia River.
Day 2: We planned on leaving around 8 but ended up leaving at 9:45. I blame it on being teacher tired and not wanting to wake up. Our stop for the night was in Butte, Montana. On the way we stopped at a Rest Area that had signs posted “Rattlesnakes- Stay on Sidewalk”. As we ate our lunch at a picnic table you could hear a few rattlesnakes in the bushes. We heeded the warning and stayed on the sidewalk. We originally planned on staying at the local Walmart parking lot but decided to book a night at the local KOA. It was a first time staying at a KOA with Doris and it was worth it. We arrived around 8:55 pm just before the office closed at 9:00 pm. Someone guided us into our pull through spot and we got Doris set up. We wanted to go check out the town but were just too tired, so we just explored the campground. Max enjoyed the off-leash park.
Day 3: We left at 9:45 again and made our way to Buffalo, Wyoming. This drive was one of our shorter ones. We stopped a few more times to enjoy the views in Montana and Wyoming. Brian had been to both the states before, but it was the first for me. We saw some spectacular views. We arrived at the Buffalo KOA at 5:00 pm. We decided to stick around the campground and just relax for the evening since we had a longer driving day the next day. Max once again loved the off-leash park and walking by the river. Brian was able to get his drone out and take some nice aerial shots. He posted the video on our YouTube channel.
Day 4: We finally were able to get up earlier and left the campground at 8:00. Our stop for the night was in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We brought the Washington weather with us as it rained on and off all day. It wasn’t a sprinkle either, but a downpour. We were going to go to Mount Rushmore, but with the rain and thunderstorms we decided to pass. We arrived at the Sioux Falls KOA around 7:00. After we got set up, we ate dinner, unhooked Stella, grabbed Max and headed to Sioux Falls. We were glad we decided to go. The park was nice and the falls were huge. We also learned more about the history of the area.
Day 5: We left around 8:00 again and headed to Wisconsin. Minnesota was very windy which made it harder for Brian to drive. He was constantly fighting the wind to keep Doris on the road. We crossed the border into Wisconsin and crossed over the upper Mississippi River. We had to stop at the park and walk around. In the picture you can see even Max was excited! The day ended up being a lot longer because of a dirt road mishap and waiting over 2 hours to get Doris washed at a truck wash. We made it in to the park with 5 minutes to spare.
Day 6: We are staying at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Caledonia, WS. The park is nice and has decent Wi-Fi for Brian to work. I was able to drive into Delafield to visit my friend Candice. It was nice to catch up. We even got pedicures and grabbed lunch at a fun local restaurant. That evening we drove into Milwaukee and ate dinner with her family. Brian and I were going to walk around the river and go to the Bronze Fonz but it was pouring rain, so we are hoping to go back Thursday night.
A few lessons we have learned:
· Make sure the entrance stairs are put back in before you leave.
· Don’t make toast in the toaster under the smoke detector.
· Wi-Fi available doesn’t mean it is useable.
· KOAs are more expensive but worth it.
· Wall Drugs in South Dakota loves advertising- I counted 25 signs in 20 miles.
· Having a residential frig in a RV has its drawbacks such as the freezer flying open as you go around a corner.
· Just be flexible and enjoy the ride!