Driving from Castle Rock, CO to Missoula, MT = 957.8 miles (13.3 hours)
Oh the stories I have from today!!
But let’s start at the beginning:
Yeah… I’m cursed. After all of my pre-trip planning… I STILL ended up not getting to bed until 1:00 AM only to wake up at 4:00 AM to be on the road by 5:00. But I was as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve… so waking up was pretty easy.
After a quick stop to pick up a few essentials at Wal-mart (I don’t think I’ve EVER made it out of town without stopping there first) my sunrise drive through Denver went smoothly AND quickly. Maybe because today was the first time I’ve driven through Denver that early, but it smelled like frying oil…
And to be perfectly honest… it can smell like whatever it wants, if I can drive the length of the city going at (or slightly above) posted speed limit signs.
But I’ll tell you.. if I WAS tired (and I’m NOT saying I was) …. at ALL…. I woke up REAL QUICK- when a large spider started swinging down from the roof of my car… inches from my left shoulder…. while I was driving…. 75mph.
Needless to say, he died… and I was the victor of that battle.
In Wyoming… they think it’s fun to put large silhouettes of animals on tops of hills. These two I get… buffalo and cowboy on his horse.
This next one….
Yeah… it seemed random to me too. I laughed at the silly Wyoming people…. and thought that the artist must have been ecstatic to embrace his/her inner child.
And then I saw the advertisement for the dinosaur museum.
This next picture is proof that I have no life get excited about the little things in life. For 10 years I have lived along the I-25 corridor. Four years ago I drove onto I-25 where it BEGINS, near El Paso, TX and had driven as far up as Cheyenne, WY… but no farther… until TODAY!! As of today, I have driven on the ENTIRE Interstate 25. Interestingly enough, there is no “start” or “begin” about the I-25 sign near El Paso… at least, not that I remember.
The next picture shows 3 things:
1. How excited I am to accomplish said goal.
2. How AWESOME I am at taking photos of myself, while driving, and while driving fast!
3. That my Atlas looks like it’s on display for an ad. Trust me… it is my paper GPS.
Entering Montana for the first time EVER! I love the mile marker “zero”.
The crack in my windshield… which I am sure was caused by a rock, but it sounded like a bug. (Those of you familiar with travel-by-car, know the difference.) I think the possibility of windshield-cracking bugs is a more exciting concept. Even better…. I got to watch the crack grow to be this size. It happened pretty instantly. (UPDATE.. it is only about another inch longer from when this was taken… I’ll have to post a new picture at the end of the trip to show it’s growth.)
Montana is BEAUTIFUL (well… starting after Billings… from Wyoming to Billings on I-90, it pretty much looks like more Wyoming) Half of my 13 hour drive looked like this.
Add a little Bruce Hornsby and it was AMAZING.
When you look at this next photo… just know… I’m confused too. Is it the name of a town? Or an ACTUAL opportunity?? What does that kind of opportunity entail? Is it an opportunity for ME (the traveler) ?? Or….
In any case…. um GROSS! (*Shiver*)
I finally got to Missoula, checked into my hotel, changed into my dinner clothes, and went to a restaurant called “The Stone of Accord” which is an Irish/Pub type restaurant.
After careful consideration I got fish and chips – the pub-classic, (the chips were made in-house) and the most amazing tartar sauce EVER. The coleslaw was even good.
Guess what I had for dessert????
Yes, it might look like a fully-loaded baked potato… however… it is in-fact vanilla bean ice cream rolled in cocoa powder and topped with whip cream, caramel sauce, and mint leaves… the “dirt” around the bottom is crushed oreo cookies and chocolate fudge. It’s called the “Irish Potato Sundae” and it’s the dessert the Stone of Accord is known for.
I only ate a bit, but the experience was worth it.
Day ONE = SUCCESS!