Saturday March 31st: 1240 miles (2000 km) in one day…Wow
Montana Wyoming South Dakota Minnesota Wisconsin Illinois
500am – We get up and are underway 30 min later. We will have breakfast in Wyoming. The empty roads and recent sunrise are beautiful. More Montana “Big Skies”.
634am – To our right we see another train of pass that’s accompanying us to the East. The first sign of life this morning. Behind it we see the mountains of Yellowstone National Park.
We stop for breakfast in a very rural small town. A few hundred inhabitants at the most.
715am – The landscape starts to change again. The gorgeous cloud patterns remain. Interesting since I’m driving East to go work for a cloud software company Acumatica.
736am – The clouds are gone. A solitary Oil “Pump Jack” is a sign of the recent surge of Oil interest in Eastern Wyoming. That and farming is all that remains.
802am – It’s clear why these are called the Great Plains.
849am – We start to see rock formations that are similar to the famous rock in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, Devil’s Tower, that’s about an hour from our route.
We stop at an empty trading post. In this “Middle of nowhere” let Lamar do his first driving in my Car. We spin a few rounds on some dirt roads. He’s a natural.
1010am – Mount Rushmore is a bit of a detour and climb.
1033am – We made it to the top. A quick shot of the 4 presidents who founded (George Washington), expanded (Thomas Jefferson), developed (Theodore Roosevelt), and preserved (Abraham Lincoln) the United States republic.
1046am – Before we drive down through the touristic village a quick shot of the green lands that lie more to the South.
1150am – We pass an area that is famous for the Dinosaur fossils that are found here. South Dakota and Wyoming have a very rich Dinosaur fossil history. I wonder what fossil the lonely trailer park we pass will leave behind.
1246pm – We’re still heading east through more dry South Dakota cattle land. It’s been exactly the same view for 2 hours, and probably a few more hours to come.
The I-90 never ends. I’m ignoring the speed limit. Straight high quality asphalt with no other cars and no rain. This is how you cross the USA in 3 days
154pm – The landscape is a getting a little greener and a few minutes later we cross our second large river, the Missouri.
211pm – We’re not in Minnesota yet, but already the landscape is starting to look very Dutch. The picture on the left resembles the Dutch “polders” (land reclaimed from the sea) and the picture with the windmills could be taken in the Dutch northern provinces.
632pm – Around 3pm (oops, 4pm) we entered Minnesota and are now in the Central Time zone. A state just as wide as SD. Another long stretch to get through. Just two pictures below that basically show the landscape that did not change during 300 miles of driving.
It all still looks very much like the Netherlands. Even the minimum speed limit…
10pm. We cross the Mississippi in the dark. We drove through Wisconsin in the dark and arrived in Chicago, Illinois around 1am. A great night sleep in the downtown W and no early Alarm is what we need.
130am – Lights out. We drove 1240 miles in one day, in about 20 hours. Tomorrow we only have 700 miles to go. Peace of cake . Below an overview of the second day.
Tomorrow I’ll post Day 3.