When it comes to writing, whether it be a lab report, email memo, or even these blog posts I have zero idea of how to deliver an intro. I like being direct, but I have this inkling that people enjoy the fluff. However, you didn’t click on this post to read about my poor writing skills, instead you want to know more about my backyard. So let’s begin shall we?
So the title of this post is a bit of a exaggeration, in the sense I don’t have a backyard and haven’t had one since I was in high school living in my childhood home on the Southside of Chicago, and even then it wasn’t very beautiful. But the backyard I’m speaking of today is gorgeous, untapped, jaw dropping, and houses nearly 400 million people. I’m talking about America.
Being raised by a single mother in a “upper middle class” (technically speaking), didn’t award itself many vacations, let alone much travel outside of the city, granted I was fortunate enough to travel across the country in high school through marching band. The traveling I did get to do while I was younger was through a very focused lens, and honestly I did really appreciate it enough.
Recently, like in the last week or so my girlfriend and I moved to the Seattle area from our home in West Allis, Wisconsin. While the majority of people would have taken to the skies and fly in, because we have a pet ferret, we had the luxury of driving. We knew it was going to be a long journey, so did a lot of prep before hitting the road.
Road Trip Checklist
- Download offline maps in case of signal loss
- Hit up Costco for snacks
- Tune up the car (install Android Auto/Apple Car Play)
- Download some baller playlists on Spotify
- Download story based podcasts (We’re Alive)
- Plan out cool sights along the way
The morning of the trip’s start, we finished cleaning our apartment, stuffed the car, hitched the bikes up, and hit Chic-fil-a for that all-star breakfast.
We weren’t more than 2 hours out before we made our first unexpected stop. A gentleman by the name of ‘Steve’ had asked us to pull over. At first I was very skeptical and on high alert as I didn’t know what to expect, and to be honest I was profiling Steve based on his rugged look.
Turns out Steve was a blessing in disguise, and a very nice person. He is a fellow biker, and he had noticed that we had our bikes hitched up in a dangerous way. My girlfriend rides an Electra Townie, and a Specialized Cross Road Sport, both of which are heavier and more awkward than my FX2. Steve noticed that when we had went over a bridge that the bike rack had bounced considerably. This was due to my girlfriend’s bikes sitting quite lower, and in the case of the bridge may have made contact with the bump in the road. Steve had an incident a few months prior when his bike was sitting too low and it dinged the road, and he ended up with some severe damage done to his car and bike. With his help we were safely back on the road nearing Lacrosse onalaska.
Blue Earth, MN
Compared to the rest of the trip, Mt. Rushmore was the least awe inspiring relatively speaking of course, but it was still amazing to see in person. On our way out of the national park we met a very interesting character named Jim.
It was no lie that Jim was a finance guy, and you knew this immediately because all Jim did was spout off numbers, figures, and projections that only a machine could pick up on. I couldn’t tell you what his platform was completely or if he was a farce, but I’ll pass his info along as promised below.
Shell Falls, WY
Wyoming was absolutely breathtaking. Sadly we didn’t plan in our trip to hit Yellowstone, by having our ferret along with us, we were limited to how long a stop could be, based on if it was pet-friendly or if a lot of potential predators were afoot. The parts of Wyoming we did see, however, were gorgeous and terrifying. Terrifying in how remote a lot of it is. I have a couple of friends who love to go snowmobiling up there, and one time their truck’s engine failed on them, and luckily someone was coming down the road otherwise it would have been a long cold walk.
The journey to Shell Falls, was stunning around every bend. We saw huge elk and deer grazing along the edges of camp grounds. Huge stones filled with rich ores; cliffs so sudden that they would intimidate the most seasoned of winter enthusiasts.
Pompey’s Pillar, MT
In Bozeman, we visited the American Computer & Robotics Museum, and if it weren’t for the little one I could’ve spent another hour or more in there easily. Whether you’re involved in the tech industry or not, this place was beyond insightful. It was crazy to see how many great minds it took to produce the machines we use to this very day. The museum was a great end to our trip out west, while we still had another 10 hours to Seattle, we were exhausted, so we rode out the last leg and passed out in our bed. And with that, I’m signing off until next time.