Wisconsin: Apostle Islands to La Crosse

Crossing into Wisconsin from Duluth was exciting for a number of reasons: 1) only minutes into the state I came across a museum dedicated to accordions, 2) the grey dreary weather was clearing, and 3) it meant I was so close to all the cheese. Sadly the accordion museum seemed to be closed so I …

Minnesota: the Paul Bunyan trail to Voyageurs National Park

North of the twin cities quickly turns into the land of Paul Bunyan and his woodland entourage. Outside Brainerd I spotted Paul’s giant footprints in the scenic Kohl’s parking lot (my sandals for scale), Babe the blue ox in Elvis style, a corn cob man named Colonel Cobber (story here), a giant statue of Paul’s …

Minnesota: Twin Cities area

The extent of my experience in Minnesota previously has been a few stints in the airport, my main memories of which are there were cute shops and a lot of good looking men, so not bad! On my way north from Iowa I took a brief pit stop in Blue Earth, which aside from having …

South Dakota: a Little House to some big falls

I followed the Missouri River south back into South Dakota to check out the eastern part of the state. My first stop was the site of the memorials and graves of Sacajawea and Sitting Bull in Mobridge. They’re only about 100 ft or so apart overlooking the river in a lovely, secluded spot. The only …

North Dakota: Theodore Roosevelt Park and more

After my detour around the big rainstorm, I arrived at the Shadehill Reservoir close to the state line where I camped for a few days to regroup and relax. The water wasn’t the best swimming (lots of algae) but I went in anyway, and between that and being a hot sweaty mess this was great …

South Dakota: Badlands National Park

Driving east from Rapid City I was treated to one of the most well known rest stop roadside attractions out there- Wall Drug! This reminded me of South of the Border on the east coast with an old west theme rather than a Mexican theme. The billboards for this place range from Montana to Minnesota, …

South Dakota: the Black Hills

My first day crossing from the Black Hills of Wyoming into those of South Dakota was jam packed with sights. After finding my intended route blocked off for a parade (don’t worry, we’ll get back to this), I took a longer and less scenic route to Mount Rushmore via highway rather than byway, but also …

Montana: all the rest

The road to Glacier Park from Idaho took me through Missoula, where I spent a day caching up on things like laundry and grocery shopping, and decided to stay over for a night in an actual motel since there were many cheap ones and I could shower (and dye my hair which was in dire …

Idaho: Craters of the Moon, the Sawtooths, and up the Salmon

From Yellowstone I headed as far west as I’ve gone in the van so far, into Idaho for a few more days. My first foray into the Gem State earlier on had been stunning and I was excited to go see more and maybe even eat a potato. Okay, spoiler alert, but I did not …

Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho: the road to the Tetons

After our day getting re-settled after New Mexico, I finally left Golden for good (well, for the pandemic extended imposition) and headed north for a change. I stopped off in Boulder to read for a bit in a park that turned out to be filled that day with a mix of yuppies and druggies, get …