Dated: Friday, May 26, 2006
Ambi, Nanda, Anusha, Deepti & I headed out today to spend our long weekend in Yellowstone National Park. Given that it’s a 770 mile trip, we tried to get a head start by leaving on Friday evening with the intention of getting to Missoula, Montana by around midnight and resuming the trip in the morning.
Nanda, Ambi & I headed over to downtown to pick up the mini-van we rented by around 4pm. Our original plan was to leave Seattle by 6-6:30, but we ended up leaving from my place only by around 8 since we had some stuff, and Deepti, to pick up. The weather out of Seattle was lousy with pouring rain all the way to Snoqualmie. We heaved a sign of collective relief as we crossed the north cascades into Eastern Washington and the rain gave way to clear night skies.
The drive on to Missoula through eastern Washington was smooth all the way into Spokane and we made good time. The folks who weren’t driving, i.e. everyone except me, watched ‘Saw’ on the mini-van’s DVD player while I cruised along at 80-85mph. (The ‘features’ in the mini-van – a Pontiac Montana – and the odd placement of controls on its dashboard probably merit an entire post of its own).
We stopped to grab a takeout dinner at a Subway in non-descript town on the way and crossed the state border into Idaho close to midnight. Somewhere along the way, Ambi took over the steering and I fell asleep in the backseat with a vague recollection of winding through the mountains roads of Idaho.
It was 3am or so by the time we reached Missoula and checked into our Hotel err… Inn. Thankfully, they had free WiFi.