Home Stretch

After six weeks on the road, we are very nearly home.

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We left the Yellowstone area and headed north following the Gallatin River. We stopped just north of Big Sky at Montana Whitewater to enjoy a rafting trip. Our family rafted here last summer, it was Sarah Michael's first-ever rafting trip, but it was earlier in the summer and there was more water flowing. Even though the flow was only 800 CFM we still had a good time.

Next we stopped for the night in Butte, Montana. We had dinner at a famous place that Jessie really likes: the Pekin. This Chinese restaurant was once a boarding house for Chinese workers. It didn't have rooms so much as it had stalls: Walls that didn't connect to the ceiling. These stalls remain and are now where you sit and eat.

As the sun set a storm was hitting nearby. The combination of sunset and clouds was beautiful. The KOA in Butte is crappy, but it is next door to a nature trail that bears my Grandpa Ulrich's name. That makes it special.

The next day we woke up to see the Berkeley Pit. It was mined from 1955 until 1982. I can remember going to see the pit as a child when it was still operating. It was exciting to see a rock blast at noon. Since 1985 it has been filling with water and the lake is now 1800 feet deep!

 If you have visited the Pit you know the tunnel to the viewing stand.

If you have visited the Pit you know the tunnel to the viewing stand.

Then we picked up lunch at Porkchop John's and we were on our way.

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One last adventure. I have heard for many years that the Silverton theme park north of Coeur D'Alene was fun, so we decided to spend a few hours enjoying the rides. It is totally fun. Especially on an evening where the lines are short, the temperature perfect and the sunset gorgeous.

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At 10:30pm we reentered Washington State and by 11:00 we were parked at a Walmart just west of Spokane for a little sleep before the final push home.