When Aaron and I were planning our move to BC, we unanimously agreed that a road trip was the best way to do it. However, we were stuck on the route. Should we drive through Canada or the US? There were so many parks, natural features and sunsets to experience for both options. After talking to friends and family that have done the drive before, we realized that Yellowstone National Park was a must. So it was decided - we were going to spend a week in our car driving through the states! Looking back, I wish our trip was longer so that we could have visited more U.S. National Parks, but we wanted to be in BC to attend my program orientation and also hangout with visiting friends (Yeah I love Bobby and Oli). Aaron was also such a champ, once driving 13 hours in a single day! I don't know how he did it, but his experience driving across Canada with his previous geoscience job, definitely paid off. For our route, we didn't quite plan where we wanted to stay in detail. We figured that if we ever got tired, we could stop, camp at a national forest or even book a hotel/motel. The road trip route with pictures are found below:
1) We left Guelph on Friday, August 26, 2016, right after I came home from my last day of work at BIO. The first stop was Toronto, because I wanted to spend some time with my mom.
2) The morning goodbyes were not easy. After Toronto, we wanted to say bye to Aaron's family. They live in St. Catharines, but were at a beautiful cottage in Ahmic Habour, Magnetewan for the week. We decided to spend the weekend there, fishing and relaxing.
3) We left Magnetewan at 7am, with even more teary goodbyes (mainly Aaron's dad). It wasn't even two hours before we had our first road trip scare, where we almost ran out of gas on route to the border. Lesson learned - on a road trip, NEVER let the gas tank go below a quarter. After crossing the border, which was surprising fast with a car packed really tight with almost everything we have, we drove to Ottawa National Forest. Something great about the states is that you can aways camp at national forests for free (I think...), as long as your camp spot is at least 200ft away from the road. That night we experienced the craziest lightening storm that lit up the sky every 10 seconds, until we fell sleep.
4) We arrived at Badlands National Park around dusk, when we spotted two bighorn sheep. I'm pretty sure my smaller zoom lens needs some repairing, but I was happy to get at least a few shots of the sheep. Night fell surprisingly fast, so we set up camp for an early morning wakeup call. Exploring the park at sunrise was well worth the effort.
5) Next up was Mount Rushmore on the way to Yellowstone National Park, and we couldn't be more excited. The drive was also soooo beautiful.
6) Everything about Yellowstone National Park was awesome. If you ever visit, you should try to spend at least 3 days here. We came in through the East Entrance and stayed at the Bridge Bay campground. Then we packed up and headed to Norris campground. For the next 3 days, we explored many hot springs (Mammoth hot springs, the Grand Prismatic Spring), waterfalls, the grand canyon of Yellowstone, and of course Old Faithful. Though I didn't see as much wildlife as I hoped, it still became one of my favourite U.S. National Parks.
7) We did think that maybe we would spend a night in Washington, but because neither of us were sure of jobs, we decided that booking it to BC was maybe a better idea. So there you have it. After 6 days, 5 nights and 52 hours of driving, we arrived in BC.