Road Tripping: Eclipse Trip 2017 – Day 1
Last August I took a road trip half way across the country to witness an astronomical event of a life time, the eclipse of 2017. Back in February I talked with some friends about wanting to travel. I wanted to visit Portland, OR and Seattle, WA because I've considered moving out there to attend school for art therapy (while Chicagoland is awesome, Illinois sucks). When I saw an article online about the eclipse happening in August I figured that's a good a time as any for a road trip. After months of planning and research my friend, who I will refer to as Toru-kun, and I set out on a 10 day journey. Our objective, to witness eclipse totality in Madras, Oregon on the 21st of August. Our primary destinations included:
- The Badlands, South Dakota
- Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota
- Yellowstone National Park
- Madras, Oregon
- Newport & Depoe Bay, Oregon
- Portland, Oregon
- Seattle, Washington
Over 5,300 miles later, driving through a quarter of the country and back, we succeeded in our efforts, and visited many places along the way. I knew this would be an experience that could define my perspective on my life for years to come, and I wanted to make sure I really remembered. I took a ton of photos, some video, and I decided to record some of my experiences in my small travel journal to look back on later. For the next 10 weeks I will be sharing my thoughts and experiences of that journey by posting once a week until the end of December, and the end of 2017. I hope you enjoy the ride!
Day 1 - Getting There
We wanted to get an early head start so Toru-kun slept over at my place for the night. The next morning before 7am we packed up the car and set out on a raining Thursday to get some supplies before hitting the highway. We left later than intended due to supply gathering at walmart, probably around 930am. I decided to take the first driving shift. We were on the road for most of the day. Made good time too since I tend to drive kind of fast.
Stopped in Davenport to get lunch at Zeke’s Island Cafe. Nice place and atmosphere, food was very flavorful, perhaps too much so and abit dry, but still decent. Iowa had nothing but sprawling cornfields and a decent rock radio station. Later in the day we stopped at an Ihop in Sioux City for dinner. I wasn’t feeling well due to lady cramps an abit of nausea, so Toru drove from there into the night.
Made it all the way through to South Dakota and stopped at Gerry’s Budget Motel for the night. A nice little place. Has all you need with just the right amount of comfort to satisfy. They seem to have abit more to offer to hunters who pass through like cooler access, and they’re pet friendly. After nearly a 14 hour drive, the place is an oasis for $62 a night which includes complimentary breakfast, free wifi, and cable tv. We got there just before midnight and took the last room.
I was really excited for this trip and really happy that it was going so well. I had driven long distance before with my parents when we went to Toronto for my cousins wedding, so I wasn't too intimidated by the long hours of driving. I quite enjoy it actually. It helps to have good music to listen to. My preference for the trip was classic rock, or basically the soundtrack to Supernatural since I am a fan of the show. There's just something about that sort of lifestyle. Driving all around the country, seeing the wonders of nature, saving people and hunting things, meeting new people and exploring new places. I don't follow the episodes these days as I use to, mostly because the story lines haven't had the same feel to them since the first 4-5 seasons. But I digress. I like driving, except that if I'm driving I can't take pictures of the things that I see, which really is annoying for me. Luckily there isn't all that much to see in Iowa.
Next Week . . .
Touring the Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, and the rolling hills of Wyoming. See the trip as it unfolds HERE.