Saturday, September 26, 2009

We're off to explore America

This is a follow up post to our recent road trip across Canada.

We had to get home somehow, so what better way to do so then to explore the beautiful landscape in America.

This past summer we spent 12 days driving from Vancouver, BC to Peggy's Cove, NS and eventually made our way home through America. We missed some amazing attractions, iconic landmarks, and beautiful parks due to bad planning, but had an amazing time with our trip.

After spending 2 hours having our car searched at the border, we were free and clear to enter America and continue on with our journey. It was quite entertaining watching the border guards pull everything out of our car after spending 12 days sleeping in our car. It was a mess! The border guards were so nice about it, and wished us happy trails on our journey :)

Day 13: our first stop was a beautiful lighthouse in Maine, we also came across an 1800 lb chocolate moose named Lenny. After, we made our way down to New York City! We actually stopped in a truck stop along the highway to shave our legs before beginning our journey through the city (a funny yet weird experience). We had a jam-packed schedule this day, central park, a subway ride around town for some exploring, a beautiful boat ride to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis island. It was great exploring the different family members that came through Ellis Island years ago. After spending about 10 hours exploring New York City, it was time to move on to the next state.

Day 14: we missed some amazing attractions along the east coast, stopping in Toledo and eventually ending up in Millennium park in Chicago during flash flood Danny. Being from Vancouver, we weren't going to let a little rain stop us from exploring Millennium park at 2am after driving for hours :)

Day 15: today we met up with some friends of friends who were nice enough to show us around Sioux City in Nebraska, and let us crash on their couch. It was a nice change of pace from sleeping in the car while on the road. We totally missed Sioux Falls though.

Day 16: after a nice hot shower, we were back on the road, on our way to Salt Lake City. Unfortunately we drove right past Mt Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park without thinking of stopping in. They will have to be saved for another road trip.

Day 17: we explored beautiful Salt Lake City in the early am, then off to Oregon/Washington for a hike up a semi-dormant volcano.

Day 18: we arrived at Mt St Helen's around dinner time. This gave us a good night sleep in preparation for our hike the following day.

Day 19: After finally acquiring a hiking permit, we made our way up the mountain. What a beautiful hike this was, but we quickly realized we were very unprepared for this hike. We had lots of food and water, but missed some essentials like sunscreen (on a very sunny day), a hat, and a flashlight. If you're like me, you are probably thinking "why would you need a flashlight during the day time?" That was my exact though when I pulled the flashlight out of my bag and discarded it. 

Due to a late start, we didn't make it off the mountain until 11:30pm. This was also because we had lost sunlight half way down the mountain, and had to hike in the dark with two injured hikers. The hike seemed too much for them, and they were having trouble walking. We were smart enough to ask another family to hike down with us as a group. They had a flashlight but no water, and we had lots of water and no flashlight. We finally made our way down the mountain in rough shape, but it was an amazing hike! I would highly recommend hiking Mt St Helens, just come prepared. Read about our Mt St Helen's hiking adventure here.

Day 20: we crossed the border at 6am and made our way home, very dirty, sore, and very sunburnt from our previous days hike.

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You may also like:

Tips for hiking Mt St Helen
Our road trip across Canada: What an experience 
How to road trip across Canada on a budget

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