27
Dec
16

Journey to the East ….

Nice log truck, great weather, beautiful Cascades.

Nice log truck, great weather, beautiful Cascades.

2.5 years ago we decided to lease Fordie, and we proceeded to put 31000miles on her already. Who would have known that it would have been better to buy her outright? I didn’t know that I was going to take up a job in Malta, New York…? Maybe I could ship her, since relocation package would take care of it…. but I thot this might be a good excuse for a road trip!

Okay, so we damned the mileage and are driving Fordie to Malta. 🙂 Altho this isn’t the greatest time to be touristy… its the 1st week of November… some high altitude roads are experiencing wintry conditions, parts of Yellowstone is already closed for the season… Overall, the days are just getting shorter, and who likes getting to a new place in darkness?

Driving east means driving into the day.

Driving east means driving into the day.

2990 miles, according to Google maps, is our driving distance if we don’t do any detours. But obviously we are going to stop every night at reasonably good hotels at decent prices, and we may stop at Yellowstone North Entrance visitor center and definitely at Niagara where I booked a 4 star hotel 🙂 Off seasons rates were good. So anyway, I think 3200 miles is more like it.

The best hotel in this trip.

The best hotel in this trip.

Starting just after noon on the 1st day, we made it to Spokane,WA for the night. Our shopping trip at Federal Way delayed us for an hour, but I feel we absolutely need to shop at Daiso, to get my specialty knives and Japanese household knickknacks for our new place in Malta. Fairbridge Inn Express (by Marriot) was a not so fantastic to deserve the $65 that I paid for it. The hot breakfast selection was the best part of it, but nothing else.

Leaving at 0645hrs, bound Yellowstone. If we make it before 1400hrs, I would like to spend 2 hrs in the visitor center, else I guess its not worth the $25 entrance fee that is good for the whole week… but we were still 40 miles away at 1400hrs, so we decided not to make that 80 miles roundtrip detour and just head straight for our next motel at Billings, MT.

Omaha Iowa city...

Omaha Iowa city…

Was happy to arrive at Motel 6 before dark. After 2 days of long driving and less sleep than we are used too, we were hoping for a nice snooze, but it is not to be. The plumbing was horrible, so we could hear whos been to the toilet in this block. At least the room was relatively clean and the bed was firm. $60. Never again, I hope.

We were so eager to leave, we left 0530hrs. Well, this is going to be our longest distance yet. The most value for money hotel I could find was in Omaha, and nothing in Sioux City or Sioux Falls. So we expect 12hrs of driving, lots of time to talk, enjoy the scenery and sneak in cat naps. We take our turns of course.

Lunch stop on toll road.

Lunch stop on toll road.

We left the Cascades behind, drove thru high desert, down to flat farming lands with lots of corn, some wheat, dairy, sheep … got gas and lunches from huge gas stations. Seeing all this in our personal luxury carriage is great! We get to set our preferred temperature, seat heating on/off, radio on/off, wifi on/off … Life is good… until we were lost in Omaha at 1900hrs … sigh.. it was 2100hrs went we actually laid down. 14 freaking hours of driving between us.

Truck stop comforts have certainly come a long way.

Truck stop comforts have certainly come a long way.

Carlson Inn by the airport was fantastic! For $68! The bed was fabulous, the breakfast was fabulous, we didn’t use the pool, gym or Jacuzzi but they look good too. Most important thing to us, it was quiet. We never heard another guest walk by in the corridor, altho we knew for sure they were there, cos the breakfast was served to a full house of guest. Really loved it… we hung around till 11am… 🙂

roadtrip

This is Carl’s Junior… but its brand in Chicago is something else… same good burger tho.

Its a short drive today, shouldn’t take more than 6 hours, and since we had such good rest, we were in great spirits.

All these country and cities are new to both of us. Getting to know the new chains of gas stations, supermarkets and fast food is part of the travel entertainment. Like who would have thot that the US have long distance toll roads! And that they have food and gas concessions as well. Feels like travelling on the NS highway from SG to KL, except that its much much much cleaner…. but so sad it doesn’t have those Nasi Lemak packets on the table…

Driving by Chicago!

Driving by Chicago!

Have to settle for Carl’s Junior Mushroom Swiss. Was a good one. Glad we stopped here.

And who drives by Chicago without stopping in for something? Us. There is nothing that attracts us to a city. And we have no intention to visit NYC either. Its us.

I found a decent hotel in Michigan City, ID for the night. After being spoilt by Carlson, Microtel by Windham does not meet our elevated expectations. We cant complain about the $62 for sure, it was way better than Fairbridge and Motel 6. … It was clean, bed was nice, bathroom was great, very quiet… breakfast was ok.

Another day of not rushing. We left 1000hrs, bound Niagara 🙂

To be continued.

 

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Sailing 2015: Port Townsend(WA, US) -> Costes Island (BC, Canada)

Sailing 2013: Singapore -> Okinawa -> Kobe

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