23. The Long Drive Home!

Ok, so this is the lazy man/procrastinators version of our final blog post from an amazing sabbatical year that covered 30 states, 26 national parks, and nearly 35,000 miles of driving. After doing a relatively good job of blogging about our adventures, this last post will cover everything from Maine to Oregon in one shot… and is being written nearly 6 months after the completion of our journey. Once we have access to our journals from the year again perhaps we’ll write up a summary post about the whole trip, but don’t hold your breath.

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33. Scarborough, Maine 34. Montreal 35. North Bay, Ontario 37. Wausau, Wisconson 38. Minneapolis 39. Badlands National Park and Mt. Rushmore 40. Livingston, Montana, and finally Corbett, Oregon… HOME!!!

After departing from New York it was up the Northeastern coast to reconnect with our good friends from Warsaw the Marshalls. During this entire trip we did our best to try and remain as flexible as possible, for Indi a stop in Maine to see one of her besties Cece was the only non-negotiable. We had a great time catching up with Jim and Nancy, (more) gorging on lobster rolls and microbrews, exploring nearby islands, golfing, and catching a Seadogs minor league baseball game.

Next up, we crossed the border to visit our neighbors to the north, our third country on this leg of our journey. Our first interaction with a real live Canadian after crossing the border was with a  gas station attendant that wanted to know all about Jason’s thoughts on Donald Trump, the first of many times we’ve been asked some version of this question in the last 6 months by someone not from the U.S. It hasn’t gotten any easier to try and explain.

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The architecture and lay out of Montreal made us feel like we were right back in Europe, the rain made us feel like we were right back home in Oregon.

After a scenic drive through the great lakes region we re-entered the US and hit our next national park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Lake Superior. The cool, but sunny weather made for excellent hiking during our time here, definitely a worthy stop.

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Camping on the shores of Lake Superior

 

 

 

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Jason enjoying one of our last stops

And probably one of the best hikes from the second half of our journey.

At this point the whole family was starting to get the itch to get home, 4 months living together in a 17 foot trailer will do that. But we had 2 final stops that we just had to make, First was Badlands National Park. We had hoped to get here on the first leg of our road trip but the weather thought otherwise. And last but not least, what great American road trip would be complete with a stop at Mt. Rushmore.

Badlands is best described through pictures, truly a unique place.

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View from our campsite just outside of the park

Great Hiking

and don’t forget about the wildlife

And finally Mt. Rushmore, a person probably doesn’t need more than a few hours here, but how can you not stop by to see such a well-known national icon. A fun surprise was bumping into (at the time) presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders on our hike.

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Unfortunately, we couldn’t convince Indi to go in and ask for a selfie.

Our initial plans had a couple more stops planned, but now we were truly ready to be back home. So after 2 long days of driving, we found ourselves pulling into our driveway back in Oregon. What an adventure and blessing this last year was for our family. We were able to see so many amazing places, gain a greater appreciation for our home after living the last 14 years abroad, and reconnect with so many family and friends along the way. We’re already looking forward to our next gap year, if you live on our next route don’t be surprised to find us knocking on your door sometime during 2023.

 

 

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