The first day - Monday ..... the first day of our 2013/14 USA tour.
The title had to say - again - because last year I used 'THE FIRST DAY' on the first day. We've had lots of first days - this is actually our fourth winter down in a row and Derek and I's fifth. Our first year was 2007/08 - we skipped 2008/09 because I was pregnant with Cassia and we skipped 2009/10 because she was just an itty bitty little thing and we were renting a great house in Keremeos, BC.
So, you'd think we be getting pretty used to this - getting back on the road thing. But were not. Lots of stress the first day and lots of getting comfortable.
Our first day was aggravated by the fact that we first had to drive 45 kms north from Castlegar to Nelson to purchase our travel insurance. We then had to head back south to get to the border. At least it was fairly close by and we were there around 1:00.
No need to rush though - Derek and I have ZERO luck at the border. They could let EVERYONE go through and hold us - it has happened. We average about an 1 1/2 hour wait. We were luck today with an hour. Strange though because we didn't have to go into the office to answer a whole lot of questions and our van and tailer were not searched.
'Have a nice trip' the border fellow said at the end.
A beautiful ride down through Washington on the 31 - we entered the USA just south of Salmo, B.C.
No more pictures of our first day - I guess I was just so excited to be in the USA I was just watching the scenery go by. And truth be told - it looked a lot like BC so I didn't even think to take more pics.
We made it to Post Falls around 5:00 pm shocked by how warm it was - a huge difference from back in Canada - although I'm sure it was a warm day in Castlegar too. We stocked up at Walmart since we can't bring produce with us over the border. We then move over to the Home Depot at Coeur d'Alene for the night.
The next morning - Tuesday - after a stop at the gas station we were on the I90 - in this very thick fog.
It actually continued for quite a while but then it finally lifted - another nice day.
I really will have to focus again on keeping the windshield clean since I take a lot of photos while we are driving. Sorry for the picture but I wanted to include it - we've traveled through Idaho and are now entering Montana.
A lot of driving for us the first day - we like to make as much distance as we can in the first few days. We are always worried that the snow is just behind us - the faster we can get south the faster we can avoid that stuff.
This is the first time we have been on the I90 in this part of Montana. Very very nice - we highly recommend. Not exactly sure where this is - west of Missoula I think.
The view behind us - Cassia keeping herself busy with her toys - and often with her dvd player - and Rufus - well, maybe enjoying himself - why won't he just lie down!
Hmmm - a Derek photo - I have no idea what the story is here but I'm thinking that Cassia has hurt herself - two clues - she is sitting down (a rare thing unless it involves straps) and she is looking at her hand. She's having a hard time letting go of summer obviously - a t shirt, shorts and her flip flops.
Hello Butte! Goodbye Butte! Have you been to downtown Butte? It really is worth the stop - lots of old buildings - but we did that back in 2008 - no need to do it again.
We did stop long enough though to get gas and to figure out that there isn't a Lowe's or Home Depot in Butte. So we continued on to Bozeman - it was going to be tough to make it there before dark.
Still driving as the sun was setting. We ended up staying at the Walmart in Bozeman because we couldn't find the Home Depot in the dark at around 7:00pm. A longggggg travel day!
Cassia the next morning pestering Rufus - she is lucky that he has a lot of patience with her!
We didn't leave Bozeman until early afternoon Wednesday. We shopped some more at Walmart while waiting for our oil change - one of the first things we do when we get into the States. We then went in search of a spare tire for the trailer. Sad that it wasn't included - ouch at $150! But - better safe than sorry on that one!
We weren't 23 miles down the interstate when we took a hard right turn south - a TOTAL change in plans! Next post I'll show you where we decided to go at the last minute - one of the places we've been trying visit for a few years now...... any guesses?