Waking up the next morning in Montana was a “chilling” experience… Literally!
We woke up to a heavy frost, frozen swimsuits and towels on the line, and the sudden re-education of how heat pumps work…
In our T@b we have a heat pump. Yes, they are great. But they only work down to about 40° F and we were well below that! So sometime in the night it stopped blowing warm air and it felt like we had the AC on…
So… add 1 small electric heater to the Wal-mart list!
Since we were plugged in we made coffee and had breakfast. But didn’t really sit around much 🙂 Besides being really chilly out, it was about 650 miles to our next stop, so we knew it would be a long day…
On our way back to the highway, we enjoyed some great scenery and state routes. It’s a beautiful area!
We did stop in Missoula Montana for lunch. There’s a 5 Guys Burger right off I90 there. And a nice path behind 5 Guys, which we took the dogs for a walk on afterwards.
Walking path had a great bridge over this stream.
We really wished we had more time to stop… As the day went on, that would be an item of discussion. We were both really sad at how little time we had to enjoy the hot springs, the constant highways miles that get rather boring, and wanting to stop and see things along the way. And while Google maps says you should be able to cover X number of miles in X time, that wasn’t happening with Pe@rl behind us and with stops.
We’d also run enough tanks of gas thru the Jeep to see some patterns. Towing at 60-65mph meant 15-16mpg, while doing highway speeds of 75-80mph resulted in 10-11mpg. Not so good… Mind you, actually do-able with the T@b trailer, which was kind of amazing! It was for mileage, not handling, that we made the decision to go slower than the speed limit.
So we discussed and figured out how to have more time for our travel. If we could leave Seattle a day early, and add in the 2 extra days we had after our original itinerary got us home before we needed to be at work… We could slow down and enjoy the drive.
Since our trip was more driving days than stopped days, the DRIVE was our vacation.
Part of this discussion included how little time we got to spend at Norris hot springs. And we discovered thanks to maps again, that the way we planned to get to Colorado Springs thru Utah was only 40 miles less than going back thru Norris and then south thru Wyoming into Colorado! Yeah, you can see where this was going! And the timing would put us going thru Norris on a weekend, when they are open more hours. 🙂 When we got into our campsite outside of Seattle we were supposed to have internet, so I would just go online and book another night in Norris!
That happiness carried us thru when we found out that they were closing Snoqualmie pass for an hour the evening we were coming thru… We stopped for gas, and it slowed us down just enough that we were stopped for less then 10 minutes before they opened it back up! And then traffic moved quickly into the Seattle area.
We got into Seattle, actually Bellevue where our campsite was, quite late. It was again dark, so we blundered around as quietly as possible since everyone else was settled in for the night. (Even though “quiet hour” wasn’t till 10pm and it was only 8:30pm)
We fired up the duel purpose camp stove and made up some fine Annie’s box gluten free mac & cheese!