After spending our first night on the road we hit the pavement again. We made our way from Indiana to Wisconsin in about 10 1/2 hours, only stopping for fuel and to make ourselves lunch. (Can you tell that we are extremely excited to get to Alaska!) About halfway into our day we hit rush hour in Chicago! Great planning on my part ( sorry Lucas!) Very thankful that I did not have to drive through this HUGE city at 5:30pm. Chicago is nice and all, but way to busy and congested for Lucas and I.
As we made our way into Wisconsin the terrain changed tremendously. All the mountains starting rolling into fields and farms. A completely different change in scenery from where we began in North Carolina. As the night gets darker, we finally decide to turn off the highway and find a little safe place to call it a night. Little to our knowledge, we find a “honey of a hole” — the perfect spot!
On our journey we like to find McDonalds so we can bum some wifi to research our next stops, update Facebook, ect. (without burning through our cell data.) So we find a McDonalds off the exit and in the rear parking lot ended up being a truck/RV parking area. Perfect for our setup. Well we park, get settled in and decided to take a walk down the street to find some warm food. (anything that I did not have to make was fine by me!) The gas station next door had the only food available (9:30pm, and McDonalds isn’t really our favorite place to eat) Gas station Cafe it was. We walk in and to our surprise there was a full restaurant in the store, and a grocery/produce store attached to it too. We couldn’t have found a better place to stay that night. Free wife, a great home cooked meal and we stocked up on fresh fruits and veggies. Our hearts and bellies were full for the night.
Excitement has really set in and we both can not begin to describe the joy and fear we feel as we begin this, hopefully, incredible journey! Well for those who do not know, we are making our way to the Last Frontier, yes, Alaska! We packed up everything and took what we could in our 21 ft travel trailer. We have had so many people ask why Alaska? We both look at each other and think to ourselves why not? Alaska is so far away from everything we have ever known. We have both come to a point in our lives where we just want to sit back and figure out life and all it has to offer. Alaska has always been a dream of ours and what better place to reunite with yourself then being in the “Happiest state in America” right? After months of planning and weeks of packing, here we are, the two of us, our dog Scout and our cat Lexi huddled all together in the truck embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. Well, not even ten minutes down the road, we encounter our first issue! Our GPS did not route all the way to Alaska. Yay us for not even thinking about checking our GPS BEFORE we left the house. So here I am scrambling around trying to find the farthest destination the GPS would take us before we have to go old school and rely on our trusty atlas and countless times pulling over for more detailed directions and information. “Shelby, Montana!” After about 30 minutes of research online (thankfully we had the wifi on our cell phones), I finally found a town that would get us close enough to the Canadian border where we felt comfortable enough to switch over to our paper maps. So I type in Shelby, Montana in and Walah! We have our first “destination.” 2,300 miles, 39 hours and we would be in Shelby, Montana. “We got this!” 10 1/2 hours into our first day of driving and we finally decide to call it a night. We found a Wal-Mart parking lot (a overnight RVrs best friend) in Indianapolis, Indiana and settled in for a good night’s rest.