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Driving to Alaska: Days 2 and 3

May 6, 2010

Day 2:
We woke up early in the morning, had breakfast, and left Knoxville, TN. We drove north to Lexington, KY, west to Louisville, north to Indianapolis, then west to Bloomington, IL. From Bloomington we went north through Rockford, IL up to Madison, WI where we stopped for the night.

My migraine had subsided so I was back on my game, and took my first turn driving the truck towing the Jetta. I had driven the truck a lot since we bought it, but it was the first time towing anything. I was pretty nervous at first since I wasn’t quite sure where to center the truck in the road to make sure that the trailer wheels were inside the lines. Of course, right when I got comfortable with it, we had to drive right into a huge thunderstorm! Luckily, we ended up driving between the 2 major cells of the storm instead of through them, so it wasn’t too bad.

Howdy was pretty grouchy most of the day, for no reason that I could understand, so that was a little annoying for me, but overall, it was an uneventful day of driving – pretty scenery though. I especially liked the rolling hills and moutians of Tennessee and the fields of wind turbines that we drove by at sunset. In Madison we stayed at the nicest La Quinta I have ever seen. If you’re ever in Madison, I highly recommend it!

Day 3:
We had ambitious plans when we woke up on Tuesday to drive all the way from Madison, WI across the Canadian border from North Dakota. Instead, we ended up driving across Wisconsin, through Minneapolis, MN, Fargo, ND, and finally stopping in Grand Forks, ND. Howdy and I were familiar with this drive for the most part – we had previously driven between Minneapolis and Grand Forks 4 times. We decided to stop there for the night, and cross the border during the daytime.

It was VERY windy, and we had to deal with more storms:

We took turms switching up the driving even more, and I rode with Howdy, Mike, and Scott at different times. Howdy and I got into a little bit of an argument in the afternoon, but it didn’t last long. It was also more of a “don’t talk to me” pissy mood, than an actual “fight”. We were over it by the time we reached Grand Forks though.

The dogs continue to exceed all expectations on this trip. They have always done well in the car, but I wasn’t sure how they would do for days at a time. While they get really excited to get out and run around whenever we stop, they relax and sleep while we are driving. Occasionally they also like to take a peek out the window and see how we’re doing:

We also figured out while we were in Grand Forks, that we were less than halfway through the trip. More than half of it is through Canada. After we cross the border, we will have another 5 days before we’re back in the USA. Even then it will be in Alaska, which is still a HUGE difference from the parts of the US that we’re used to driving through!

(edited to add: Some of you have already seen the pictures in this post on facebook – I have quite a few more pictures taken with the “good” camera – instead of these which I took with my iPhone – I just have to go through the process of actually getting them on the computer, and uploading them to the blog. I promise a picture post in the near future!) 🙂

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