The Epic Road Trip: Part Two

The Epic Road Trip: Part Two

In June, we took the road trip of a lifetime from Ventura, California to our home near Scranton, Pennsylvania. To read about the beginning of our journey, see this post. Now, here’s the rest of the story.

Glacier National Park

We left Seattle and drove east. Finally, we were heading in the right direction! We’d rented a beautiful VRBO just south of Whitefish, Montana for two nights. The mountains and lakes in Montana are gorgeous! Our plan was to spend our one full day in this locale exploring Glacier National Park. We started out with a great little hike to Avalanche Lake.

Ready to go . . .

Avalanche Lake

It was beautiful, but while we were there it started thundering. We hurriedly began our trek back to our vehicle. Before long, though, the heavens opened up. Thunder crashed and lightening flashed. Torrential rain poured down on us. It even started hailing a little bit! We ran through the woods, hoping to reach cover. We were nearly back when the rain finally let up. Wet and cold, we had to abandon any plans we’d had to see more of the park.

Soaked to the skin!

Thanks to the VRBO with its hot shower and laundry facilities, we were warm and dry by dinnertime.

While I was planning this trip, I realized we were going to be very close to where my first-cousin-once-removed lived in Montana. After we left Whitefish, we met him and his wife for a lovely breakfast. It was great to catch up with family we rarely see. I had met my cousin once, sixteen years earlier, and I’d never met his wife before. Well, unless you count Facebook. Once in a while I realize Social Media isn’t all bad.

Yellowstone National Park

The rest of that day we spend driving to Emigrant, Montana, where we stayed in a cabin for three nights. Our main reason for staying there was to spend two full days at Yellowstone. That first night, however, we went to a place called “The Old Saloon” for dinner. We discovered we were sitting next to the band that was playing that night. We stayed for some of the concert and got to experience Montana at its best.

The next morning we drove to Yellowstone and discovered it is everything it’s cracked up to be. We’ve been to eight national parks this year and this was our favorite by far, especially for the kids.

The STUNNING “Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone”

The kids loved the wildlife. Bison were abundant!

An elk mama and baby outside the park entrance.

Walking up to Grand Prismatic Spring

Old Faithful erupted while our children were sworn in as Junior Rangers!

Herds of bison grazing in Lamar Valley.

The kids loved Yellowstone so much that Camilla started making plans to come back and spend a whole week there. We did have a lot of fun. We could easily spend a week exploring all this park has to offer.

Mount Rushmore

We left Emigrant and spent a long day in the car so that we could visit Mount Rushmore the next day.


My family wanted to pose just like the presidents.

The obligatory silly photo=their reward for smiling nicely for the camera.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum

We couldn’t pass through Minnesota without stopping at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum. I mean, for the sake of my children.


A dugout replica–we got to see how the Ingalls family lived while they were building the house in Walnut Grove.

Dressed up like Laura and Mary.

“Writing” at a desk just like Laura’s. I may or may not be a bit of a Laura Ingalls Wilder fangirl. 😊

Life on the Road: the somewhat crowded and messy back seat!

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

For at least a year, I’ve been longing to visit the Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. I knew this was my chance–and my family graciously tagged along, learning a lot in the process.


Of course it was sobering to immerse ourselves in a museum focused on slavery, but I always find it inspiring to learn about the individuals who put much at risk for their own freedom and the freedom of others. May we be so selfless.

Home at Last

After sixteen days on the road, we were more than ready to sleep in our own beds again! We drove up our driveway to this lovely surprise!

  • Susan Roskos
    Posted at 14:47h, 12 August Reply

    What a wonderful trip and great pics. What is a VRBO? I remember Yellowstone well. Would love to do it all over again. What wonderful memories you’re building with your children.❤️

    • Alison Treat
      Posted at 17:30h, 12 August Reply

      Hi, Mom! VRBO stands for Vacation Rental by Owner. It’s a lot like Airbnb. It was a wonderful trip, with great memories made. And I remember our first visit, too.

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