Here's a map of our journey out for you visual learners:
We left Monday morning around 8:30 (only 2 hours later than originally planned...), drove through southern Michigan, skirted through the northwest corner of Indiana, drove by Chicago and up through Wisconsin, and landed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where we spent the night. (Christy - if we had planned this trip more in advance, we would have arranged to do dinner with you & Tony and meet little Carter!!)
Right before we got into Indiana, we ran into some fog.
It cleared up quickly, and Chicago was nice & sunny!
(Through the window - hence the glare)
Then we got to Wisconsin. My first time in the state (which will be true of the rest of the states we visited.) It's nice. If I were a dairy farmer, I'd totally live there.
We arrived in Minneapolis, Minnesota around 7:30 Central Time. Doug drove the entire 11ish hours.
Here we are in our hotel room, getting ready to go to a restaurant called Palomino - delicious!
Tuesday morning, we were on the road around 8am CT. It was raining when we left.
(Yeah, I made 2 different signs. The first one was for the whole trip up until ND, the second was for once we got into ND.)
Doug drove for the first half hour - we stopped for breakfast and gas. By the time we stopped, the rain had also stopped! It did not rain again for the duration of our trip! After breakfast, I drove for a few hours and Doug took some pictures out the window.
I drove until we got to Fargo, North Dakota, where we stopped for lunch!
Then Doug resumed driving & I took a million pictures like this:
When you get out of Fargo, everything pretty much just... stops. Except the road and fields and sky. It is crazy! Some people might disagree, but I think the flatness was just beautiful, in its own, simplistic way.
Around Bismarck, the landscape starts to change - more rolling hills.
Yeah, that's a tumbleweed. I figured that's how you know for sure you're out West.
Also - windmills.
Oh, and yes - that is snow on the ground in patches. Despite the snow, each day it was up around 59-61 degrees.
I could share a lot more "driving" pictures, but this post is already getting really long. SO -
at 5:45pm Mountain Time, we arrived here:
Stroh's Hereford Ranch in Killdeer, North Dakota!
It was so awesome to see my Robert & give him tons of hugs & hear all about his life as a cowboy. We drove around with him & his boss, Tony, to locate all the new calves that had been born that evening - including a set of twins! Then Robert took us to his favorite bar&grill in Killdeer (a.k.a... the only bar&grill in Killdeer) - the Buckskin. Delicious burgers!
Then we drove north of Killdeer ...
to see some of the North Dakota Badlands, which are insanely beautiful.
When we got back to the ranch, it was getting dark, so Doug & I said goodnight to Robert & drove 45 minutes to the cabin he had randomly found online - Horseshoe Cabin at the Lone Butte Ranch. I was preparing myself for pretty humble lodging, but couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. Sweet bliss - it was pretty much the cutest cabin in the entire world - complete with outdoor hot tub! As soon as we walked in, I told Doug, "I want to move in." It was one room, with a little bathroom (see doorway where Doug is standing). It was like a modern Little House on the Prairie!
After a brief dip in the hot tub, we headed to bed, excited about continuing our North Dakota adventures!