Virginia to Montana

Happy Wednesday!  We’re a day late on our blog because… well… we were kind of “out of office” yesterday so getting to my computer wasn’t gonna happen.  Here’s where we were:

Beautiful isn’t it?  That is in Phillipsburg, Montana where we have been doing some hiking, exploring, and gem finding!  

As you may know if you’ve been following along with our blogs, we are house sitting for family friends in Wisconsin this month starting this coming weekend.  We decided to head West a little early in order to do some extra road tripping!  Phillipsburg is the farthest West we will be going (this time), and today we will start making our way back East.

We left Norfolk last Thursday and drove to Everette, Pennsylvania. We camped at the cutest little campground, with a river alongside the tent and a beautiful drive in. We packed up early that morning while our 12 volt kettle (aka one that plugs into the car) warmed up water for my coffee. I don’t mess around and miss my coffee when there’s a long drive ahead of us.

We drove through Somerset, PA where we grabbed breakfast from the cutest little shop, Heirloom Pines Farm. I also learned that a field in Somerset is where Flight 93 went down on 9/11. We remember you, Flight 93.

Our journey continued all the way until Chicago where we stayed with Steve’s sister, Prestin, and (soon-to-be brother-in-law) Max! We had the best time visiting with them, sightseeing in Chicago, riding bikes along lake shore drive, and celebrating their engagement!! Thanks again, Max and Prestin for the sweet sweet visit – we love y’all!

After two days in Chicago, we set out with Montana as our end goal, but knew we’d have to stop and camp somewhere along the way.  Steve’s only requirement was somewhere away from light pollution.  Saukinac Campground in Minnesota was the golden ticket.

We got in around 9pm, paid the guy at the bar/office for our spot, drove around for 10 minutes trying to find our campsite in the dark, and finally made camp.  It was chilly, but man was it beautiful. 

The thing is, even before we got there and I was looking out the passenger side window I knew we were going to see so many more stars than we ever do in the city, and we did.  It was so dark and clear that we could see the milky way.  The big dipper looked bigger, brighter, and more visible than ever.  We even found “our star,” Vega, which is the star we can always see when we’re going to sleep in the V-berth of the boat.  

We stared up until our necks hurt so bad that we couldn’t anymore.  

Seeing the sky like that makes you realize just how small you are and how big our universe is.  It’s as if it puts things into perspective, making you see that things aren’t as scary as they may seem, because if there can be that many stars in the sky, we can be whoever and whatever we want.  It makes you feel so small and yet so sure of yourself all at once.  It’s incredible, and I’m so lucky Steve loves stargazing as much as I do (maybe even more if I’m being honest).

Early Monday morning we packed up the tent, quite efficiently if I do say so myself, and hit the road.  We were determined to make it all the way to Livingston, Montana where our Airbnb was waiting for us, along with a much desired shower.

The drive was long, but it was beautiful. Even the rest stops we went to had paths to walk along for a scenic view and to stretch our legs, not to mention Buoy getting some energy out.

When we made it, all we did was eat, watch an episode of Rings of Power on tv, and sleep. It was glorious. Yesterday morning we got up early, again, and drove to Phillipsburg. We’d seen where there were sapphire mines and shops where you can sift through the gravel yourself to find the gems. Having done this once before in NC, we decided it should be added to our to-do list.

We had the best time. Phillipsburg was tiny but full of shops and restaurants to keep us busy. We had a blast at Sapphire Gravel Downtown and found so many cool stones. We grabbed lunch at a recommended Mexican restaurant a block over, and then drove to some BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land nearby. That’s where we were about the time this blog was *supposed* to go out yesterday.

Needless to say, we’ve had a busy few days.  We’re a little low on sleep, a little tired of driving, but super grateful for all of the adventures we’re having together.

I’m so happy we’re doing this trip, and that we’re doing it together (Buoy included).  Life is what you make it, and we’re going to do everything we can to make it a good one.  A “good life” looks different to everyone, but as long as you keep doing things you love, possibly with people you love, you’re headed in the direction of a really good life.  

Cheers, once again, to more adventures and new places.


Published by skyepage

"She always had that about her, that look of otherness, of eyes that see things much too far, and of thoughts that wander off the edge of the earth." -Joanne Harris

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