Vacation 1999

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Right now this page is a little rough because it only has the raw data, but you should be able to get an idea of what we did.  Be sure to check out the mileage and fuel economy page too.

--> Day 1

  • Latitude: 47.387
  • Longitude: -122.138
  • Altitude: 349
  • Time: 12:42
  • Satellites: 5
  • Temperature: 60
  • Weather: Rain
  • Odometer: 48939.0
  • Location: Kent, WA

We started out a little later than expected, and then made a stop at Safeway before getting on the road.  We finally got out of Seattle around 2:30 and headed south to Portland.  Since it was cloudy we couldn't see Mt. Saint Helens like we would have liked to.  We got into Portland, then headed east on I-84.  We stopped at the dam at Bonneville and looked around, and we just missed seeing a ship go through the locks.  We stopped for the night at a KOA campground just a few miles east of the dam and took a swim.

--> Day 2

  • Latitude: 45.677
  • Longitude: -121.867
  • Altitude: 13
  • Time: 10:19
  • Satellites: 4
  • Temperature: 53
  • Weather: Partly Cloudy
  • Odometer: 49166.3
  • Location: Cascade Lock, OR

After eating breakfast we started out again driving east on I-84.  We stopped to take a tour of the dam at The Dalles where we got to ride on a train over to the power station.  When we left The Dalles we were trying to make it to Idaho that evening, but before we did we had to make an unexpected stop in Baker City, Oregon.  As we were driving down the road the alternator gave out, so we had a new on installed.  Once we got back on the road we made it as far as Boise where we stopped at a rest area for the night.

--> Day 3

  • Latitude: 43.477
  • Longitude: -116.106
  • Altitude: 3259
  • Time: 7:28
  • Satellites: 4
  • Temperature: 66
  • Weather: Sunny
  • Odometer: 49573.0
  • Location: Boise, ID

We got on the road early today and drove most of the time.  We made it through Idaho and Utah and about halfway across Wyoming.  It was pretty hot in the afternoon.  When we got to Rawlins, Wyoming we decided to stop at the KOA for the night.  We did more swimming.

--> Day 4

  • Latitude: 41.779
  • Longitude: -107.229
  • Altitude: 6775
  • Time: 8:33
  • Satellites: 7
  • Temperature: 64
  • Weather: Cloudy
  • Odometer: 50162.9
  • Location: Rawlins, WY

After eating our free pancake breakfast and getting fuel at the gas station across the road we were once again on the highway.  We took I-80 east through the rest of Wyoming and into Nebraska.  We stopped at a quilt store in Ogallala, Nebraska and stopped to eat and rest at a rest stop a few miles outside Lincoln.  I wanted to get to Iowa at the end of the day, so I drove until about midnight and stopped about 10 miles into Iowa.  After sleeping just 2 hours I got back up and drove until 5:30 until we found another rest area about halfway across the state.

--> Day 5

  • Latitude: 41.680
  • Longitude: -93.395
  • Altitude: 899
  • Time: 9:12
  • Satellites: 6
  • Temperature: 84
  • Weather: Sunny
  • Odometer: 50980.0
  • Location: Des Moines, IA

After a couple of more hours of sleep we got back on the road again and drove for a while looking for breakfast.  After nearly two hours we finally stopped at Gramma's Kitchen and got a really big breakfast.  We made the Illinois border shortly after, then stopped at a craft mall in Peru in the early afternoon.  After sleeping a little more while waiting for everyone to shop, we decided to stop at a KOA campground for the night.  We swam a little bit and then rented a couple of movies.

--> Day 6

  • Latitude: 41.388
  • Longitude: -89.19
  • Altitude: 713
  • Time: 10:54
  • Satellites: 6
  • Temperature: 79
  • Weather: Cloudy
  • Odometer: 51230.4
  • Location: La Salle, IL

Since we'd been on the road for so long we decided to sleep in for a while, then we headed off for Grand Rapids.  Other than a couple of hours waiting in construction in Indiana, the trip went well.  We made it to the folk's house around 7:30.  In all, we'd driven 2,550 miles.

--> Day 7

A day of visiting in Grand Rapids.  I spent some time at Dad's office getting a new web site set up for them, and then we went out touring Grand Rapids looking at places that we used to live.  We stopped in at Breton Village looking for droppies, but the store where we used to buy them was gone.

--> Day 8

We decided to take the kids to the beach on Friday.  One the way to Holland State Park, Timothy managed to throw Rebecca's beach ball through the sunroof of the car while we were driving down I-196.  We turned around to see if we could pick it up, but by time we got back to the ball it had been run over and was lying flat in the fast lane.  We had fun at the beach, but I got burned pretty badly.  We also stopped at Dutch village and we had dinner at Queen's Inn.

--> Day 9

We visited with Jane in the morning, and then we all went to Big Boy for lunch.  After lunch I took the kids to see Phantom Menace at Studio 28 while Diane, mom, and Jane went shopping.  When we got home Jane was still visiting and she left shortly after.  At 6:00 we left to go see a West Michigan White Caps game.  The game was pretty fun, but just when the White Caps started hitting the rain set in for the evening.  The ground crew tried to get the field covered, but the tarp wouldn't cooperate.  We left after waiting about 20 minutes and we found out on the drive home that the game had been called.

--> Day 10

  • Latitude: 42.903
  • Longitude: -85.514
  • Altitude: 1006
  • Time: 17:16
  • Satellites: 5
  • Temperature: 98
  • Weather: Sunny
  • Odometer: 51489.0
  • Location: Grand Rapids, MI

We started out the day by going to visit the folk's church for Sunday worship services, then we had lunch together.  Around 5:00 we packed our bags, said our goodbyes, and headed off for my brother's house in Greenville.  We got there just after 6:00 and had dinner together, and then we stayed up until 2:00 the next morning just talking.

--> Day 11

We slept in for a while in the morning, then sat around and rested a bit.  I had mentioned to Scott earlier that the kids would like to go fishing, so we loaded up the poles and headed for the local "guaranteed" fishing hole.  We didn't catch anything even though we could see the fish, so we quit after about an hour and headed back home.  For dinner Isabelle made a very nice fettuccini.  We didn't have to worry about getting enough since she made enough to fill a very large roasting pan.  We tried to get to bed before midnight to make up for the late night that we had had before.

--> Day 12

  • Latitude: 43.196
  • Longitude: -85.304
  • Altitude: 656
  • Time: 12:25
  • Satellites: 4
  • Temperature: 63
  • Weather: Partly Cloudy
  • Odometer: 51527.0
  • Location: Greenville, MI

I wanted to visit all my old friends at Granco before I left, so Scott took me in for an hour in the morning.  I saw Jeff, John, Jerry, Roger, David, and Jim, and met a few new people I had only heard of before.  After our visit we loaded up the motor home and headed for Ann Arbor to see my uncle Roger and aunt Barb and all the cousins that we hadn't seen in ten years.  It was a lot of fun visiting with them, and we even help Karen stuff some junk mail into envelopes for her work.  We slept in the house for the night, but I had to sleep with Timothy who is a real bed hog, so I got a less than perfect sleep.

--> Day 13

  • Latitude: 42.313
  • Longitude: -83.693
  • Altitude: 896
  • Time: 11:03
  • Satellites: 8
  • Temperature: 65
  • Weather: Cloudy
  • Odometer: 51669.5
  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI

We got up in the morning, visited with Roger and Barb for most of the morning, and then left for the UP.  We stopped at The Straits State Park for the night and got one of the few remaining campsites.  Around dusk we went down to the water and watched the lights come on the Mackinac Bridge.  It was a very beautiful site.  Once it got dark we headed back for the motor home and went to bed.

--> Day 14

  • Latitude: 45.854
  • Longitude: -84.721
  • Altitude: 736
  • Time: 10:37
  • Satellites: 6
  • Temperature: 54
  • Weather: Rain
  • Odometer: 51963.1
  • Location: St Ignace, MI

I was kind of rainy so we slept in and had a relaxing morning.  Around 10:30 we took off for the Soo to go see the locks.  As we pulled up to the locks they were just letting out a 710-foot freighter.  We found a parking spot, and then waited about a half hour for another ship to come in.  This time it was a 753-foot freighter from Canada.  It was pretty cool to see a ship so big go through the locks.  After a quick stop for fuel, we finally got headed west again on Highway 28.  We stopped at a KOA campground in Newberry for the night and went swimming.

--> Day 15

  • Latitude: 46.305
  • Longitude: -85.503
  • Altitude: 869
  • Time: 8:49
  • Satellites: 5
  • Temperature: 59
  • Weather: Cloudy
  • Odometer: 52085.0
  • Location: Newberry, MI

We had a lot of miles to cover today, so we got a relatively early start.  We drove over to Munising and then turned north to see the Pictured Rocks area.  We also got to Munising Falls, which were pretty cool.  After a bunch more driving we ended up in Copper Harbor for the night.

--> Day 16

  • Latitude: 47.465
  • Longitude: -87.887
  • Altitude: 709
  • Time: 8:09
  • Satellites: 5
  • Temperature: 59
  • Weather: Cloudy
  • Odometer: 52363.8
  • Location: Copper Harbor, MI

After spending so much time in Michigan I really wanted to get out of the state, so I told everyone that we'd be up and at visiting Fort Wilkins when it open at 8:00.  We got there just a few minutes after 8:00 and walked through the entire complex.  It was a very fun time and it was a really interesting place.  From there we went to see the lighthouse at Eagle Harbor.  The lighthouse itself was closed, but we walked along the grounds and talked to one of the guys who worked there.  From there we headed for a campsite just south of Duluth.  When we got to the campground we found that they were full up from the holiday weekend, so we continued south.  We found a campground a few miles to the south that had one empty site so we took it.  We had an unexpected surprise with a 4th of July fireworks show.  For being a little campground they had some really serious fireworks - comparable to some city displays that I've seen.  They were shooting them from an island in the middle of the lake, and all was going well until one rocket exploded about 10 feet off the ground and showered a pile of fireworks with hot material, which then exploded on the ground.  It was a pretty scary site, but everyone involved walked away without an injury.  After a couple of minutes they fired off one last rocket, then got the grand finale going.  They did a really great job.

--> Day 17

  • Latitude: 46.541
  • Longitude: -92.602
  • Altitude: 1109
  • Time: 9:05
  • Satellites: 4
  • Temperature: 64
  • Weather: Cloudy
  • Odometer: 52682.5
  • Location: Barnum, MN

We got up in the morning and headed for church, then set out once again on the open road.  It was kind of hot and very windy, so windy in fact that I had to slow down the motor home for fear of running off the road.  We found a nice KOA site in Jackson and decided to call it quits for the evening.  And of course we went swimming.

--> Day 18

  • Latitude: 43.643
  • Longitude: -94.998
  • Altitude: 959
  • Time: 9:03
  • Satellites: 6
  • Temperature: 70
  • Weather: Sunny/Windy
  • Odometer: 53017.7
  • Location: Jackson, MN

Today was mostly a traveling day, seeing us from Jackson, MN to Kennebec, SD.  For a diversion we did make a stop at the Empire Mall in Sioux Falls, SD.  We got some lunch and wandered a bit through the mall.

--> Day 19

  • Latitude: 43.901
  • Longitude: -99.867
  • Altitude: 1646
  • Time: 9:46
  • Satellites: 8
  • Temperature: 62
  • Weather: Sunny
  • Odometer: 53292.4
  • Location: Kennebec, SD

Our goal today was to make it as far as Mt. Rushmore, but we couldn't do that without first seeing Wall Drug.  We stopped at Wall, SD four a couple of hours.  We got an old-fashioned picture of the kids, toured the drugstore, then got some lunch.  Our next stop was to see the Crazy Horse monument near Custer, SD.  After seeing everything there we traveled a couple of miles south to the Custer KOA where we set up shop for the night.  The kids swam.

--> Day 20

  • Latitude: 43.776
  • Longitude: -103.611
  • Altitude: 5719
  • Time: 8:31
  • Satellites: 7
  • Temperature: 88
  • Weather: Sunny
  • Odometer: 53519.2
  • Location: Custer, SD

We stopped at Mt. Rushmore in the morning on our way out of South Dakota.  It was really interesting to compare the size of this sculpture to the one at Crazy Horse, which is much, much larger.  It was pretty cool anyway, since you can get up close and personal.  We also stopped in at the Reptile Gardens where Diane and the kids walked around for a couple of hours.  Then we headed off for Wyoming and stopped at a very nice KOA in Sheridan, WY.  And you guessed it - the kids went swimming.

--> Day 21

  • Latitude: 44.837
  • Longitude: -106.964
  • Altitude: 3852
  • Time: 10:11
  • Satellites: 6
  • Temperature: 61
  • Weather: Sunny
  • Odometer: 53816.0
  • Location: Sheridan, WY

We didn't have anything specific that we wanted to do so we just decided to drive for a while into Montana. We set our goal as Big Timber and we did make it, but it was a very difficult day of driving.  We had very strong winds for a second day, and it made driving very hard.  We did get an unexpected surprise when we got to our campsite.  Next door to the KOA was a water park with slides and pools.  We played for a couple of hours and had tons of fun.

--> Day 22

  • Latitude: 45.773
  • Longitude: -109.800
  • Altitude: 4082
  • Time: 9:52
  • Satellites: 6
  • Temperature: 46
  • Weather: Sunny
  • Odometer: 54027.1
  • Location: Big Timber, MT

The winds have finally died down and we made some pretty good progress driving today.  We've had a little concern with the front brakes, which have been squealing when braking so we tried to find a place to have them looked at.  Neither place that we went to was able to get us in, so I looked at itwhen we got to our campsite and everything looked ok.  Diane took the kids swimming.

--> Day 23

  • Latitude: 46.895
  • Longitude: -114.43
  • Altitude: 3099
  • Time: 7:43
  • Satellites: 7
  • Temperature: 46
  • Weather: Sunny
  • Odometer: 54316.0
  • Location: Missoula, MT

We really wanted to make it to Washington today, so we got an early start - even before the kids got up.  As we were traveling down I-90 we heard some noises coming from underneath the motor home, and I saw pieces of tire flying back into the roadway.  We pulled over just before the Idaho border and found the inside back tire on the driver's side had blown out.  We drove over to Kellogg, ID where we pulled into a Les Schwab tire store.  Within an hour we were back on the road, breakfast included!  We continued driving to Spokane, made a stop for quilt supplies and fuel, and got back on the road once more.  We stopped for the night at the KOA campground in Ellensburg, WA.  We got supper and the kids went swimming.

--> Day 24

  • Latitude: 47.5
  • Longitude: -120.592
  • Altitude: 1636
  • Time: 9:48
  • Satellites: 5
  • Temperature: 66
  • Weather: Sunny
  • Odometer: 54697.2
  • Location: Ellensburg, WA

Well, we finally made it back home in one piece.  The roads were good, and the last little bit of driving went very smoothly.  The house appears to be in order, with all the cats and chickens still doing ok.  Now all we have to do is get the RV cleaned up and back to the rental place, and this vacation is history.