I’m not quite sure how I come up with some of my ideas. I was worried about David and Sarah (who have not been brought up properly, and don’t have extensive road-trip experience) and I started thinking about the long drive from our home to Bozeman, MT. After some reflection, I decided we would drive through the night (letting them sleep in the back), hoping that the 12-hour trip would seem more like five or six hours to them.
So I wrote Joshua a note, asking him if that was OK.
“Sure, no problem,” he agreed.
About 7:30 pm on Wednesday, just before we were to leave, Josh turned to me. “I kind of skipped over the part in your email where you said we would be driving through the night. So, we’re not getting a hotel tonight?”
“No,” I said, patiently. “We’ll push on through the night and get to Bozeman in the morning. Then we can rest up at the hotel there Thursday night, and get an early start for Yellowstone on Friday morning.”
As it turns out, Joshua is still suffering from jet-lag from his two-month trip to Istanbul. We weren’t on the road more than 45 minutes before he was curled up in the passenger seat, fast asleep. So I drove as far as Spokane before we switched off.
By then, Joshua was wide awake, and he drove most of the remainder of the distance to Bozeman. We stopped for breakfast, with David’s approval (he is the Treasurer and decides how we spend our cash). We made a short detour to the Lewis and Clark Caverns, but decided to pass (admission cost was high, and none of us fancied a two-hour guided tour in the dark on such a beautiful morning). As it was, we arrived at our hotel before 10 am. Their official check-in time is 3 pm, so we prepared ourselves for a long nap in the parking lot. I had called and asked for an early check-in, but the clerk on the phone had seemed doubtful they could get us in before 12:30 pm or so.
“It can’t hurt to ask,” I assured myself, and approached the front desk. Much to my surprise and delight, they let us have our room right away! We brought up our suitcases and I took the kids straight to the pool.
We spent the day napping, swimming, enjoying a tasty lunch of sandwiches and snack foods, and watched God’s Not Dead, an excellent movie that was recently released on DVD. We plan to hit the sack early and get an early start tomorrow on our whirlwind tour of Yellowstone.
So far, Rachel’s car is holding up very well. With the weight of four of us and all our luggage, plus the car-top carrier full of camping gear, the engine has labored a bit on the steeper climbs, but at such times we all lean forward and chant “I think I can”, which seems to help. The car-top carrier, contrary to all my expectations, has remained firmly attached to the roof; as far as I can tell, it hasn’t slid backwards at all.
Morale is high, in spite of weariness, cramped quarters and my broken toe. David and Sarah haven’t complained even once, and the dread words, “How much farther?” have not yet been spoken on our journey. The road trip activity binders that Kathy created for the kids have kept them almost fully occupied, which makes Joshua and I very jealous (we were not given activity binders). Joshua and I (in the moments we were simultaneously awake) have made progress in settling the age-old question of which vice is the root of the others, Pride or Sloth. Speaking as I do with considerable expertise in both fields, Joshua weighed my words carefully.
Montana is beautiful country, if a little more rugged and brown than the scenery our Washington-bred eyes have come to expect. We are looking forward to the various attractions of Yellowstone, tomorrow — hopefully I will get a chance to take some pictures to share on this blog.