Believe it or not, we made it back into the USA!
Several weeks ago, in fact. But it’s my blog and I can post late if I want to. There’s a song about that right?
We crossed into the good ole U S of A at 10:45pm through Sweetgrass, Montana. Exhausted, we got a hotel room and slept for at least 9 hours, awakening in time to be late for the breakfast bar. Which apparently closed at 9am. I was chastised by the ladies working the breakfast area, while Matt was given a generous serving of all food and kind words. Man, sometimes I wish I were as adorable as he apparently is.
Once in Montana, we realized we still had 2,000 miles left in a 4,500 mile journey. With a U-Haul. Towing a car.
We U-Hauled Ass across the midwest. We drove along US-2 through Montana on a very scenic road that cut through the farmlands of North America. We had lunch at an amazing diner where the server couldn’t believe we drove from Alaska. And we ran into the usual traffic issues one does in rural Montana.
Once we made it through Montana, we checked off another state on our list: North Dakota!!
Unfortunately, we entered North Dakota at dusk and drove through the night into Minnesota. Which actually made me super sad because it looked like North Dakota had beautiful places. We swapped drivers in Bismarck and got dinner at a gas station where the attendant couldn’t tell me what time zone I was in. We realized at some point in time, we had crossed into the Central time zone, which was a very exciting thing!
We reached Minnesota at 3am, just in time for a quick rest stop, and a 4 hr nap in the U-Haul cab in St. Cloud before heading into the Twin Cities.
We did enjoy ourselves quite a bit in Minneapolis: I’ve got a dear friend who recently moved there with her husband! We stopped for lunch and the chance to add another brewery to #TheStewsDrinkBrews!
Surly Brewing Co. is located at 520 Malcolm Avenue SE, Minneapolis, MN; right in the heart of an industrial area near the river. One thing I found so cool about the area where the brewery is was that it was incredibly bike and pedestrian friendly. There were bike racks all over the place, and there was even a street that was No Engine Traffic (pedestrian and bicycle only). As I ride my bike more, I really appreciate places that encourage you to bike without flirting with death at the same time.
We hit the road again after lunch, making a pitstop in Wisconsin to pick up only the best beer in the whole united states of america: Spotted Cow.
We made it to the outskirts of Chicago by 8pm, and got a hotel room. We were exhausted from the 16 hr driving days we had been doing, and needed a comfy bed and a shower before progressing forward.
The next day would be our final day on the road. We woke up and hit the road by 10am, driving through Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, into North Carolina. At 2:30am we pulled into my parents driveway – 6 days and 12 hours after we had left Anchorage.
It was a long and exhausting trip – not nearly as pleasant as our 10 day drive up. This is something we recognized would happen, due to the differences in transportation (F150 vs. U-Haul – one tends to be more comfy and go faster).
Here’s a Map Recap of our drive through the L48 of the US.
In 156 hours, The Stews covered 4,600 miles, or a little over 700 miles per day. We slept at 1 campground, in the cab of our U-Haul twice, and in hotel rooms twice. 4 time zones were crossed. Two countries. 10 US countries. 3 Canadian provinces. 400 Spotify songs on repeat. (I literally can not listen to a single song that was our on playlist for a while)
Another journey that we both know we have been so lucky to go on. It’s not very often people can say they’ve driven the AlCan, and we’ve gotten to do the drive twice. We recognize how fortunate we are to be able to take the time to have adventures like this, and how incredibly lucky we are to have found a life-long partner who is willing to explore. The fact that we can do road trips like this and not want to kill each other is not lost upon us.
Now it is time for the next journey: making our new place into a home. I’ll post a home tour when I have it finished, because I am so excited about the location and style of the new house! Can’t wait to share it with you!