Road Trip Round-up and a Contest

Summer13RoadTripWe had an awesome time on our road trip:  friends, family, national parks, and more.  We’ll be posting detailed entries about the places we went, the things we did, and the discoveries we made, but for now, here’s a round-up of the trip.

By the Numbers

That's a lotta miles!

That’s a lotta miles!

States visited:  10 (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, North Dakota)
Miles driven:  5,056
US state license plates found:  50!!!!
Canadian province license plates found:  7
National parks visited:  3 (Wind Cave, Badlands, Theodore Roosevelt)
National park units visited:  5 (three national parks plus Devil’s Tower National Monument and Mt. Rushmore National Memorial)
Best friends from college and their kiddos seen:  9 (Laura was in France…)
Bones broken:  1 (in Erin’s foot)
Clark Fork River crossings:  26 (we think, but after 20 it became a blur…)
Tweets tweeted:  too many to count!

Best of


Best Sunset:  After a Badlands thunderstorm

Best mammal sighting:  watching two bison walking through Sage Creek Campground at Badlands NP while we hid behind the Eurovan, or maybe the wild horse in our campsite (twice) at Teddy Roosevelt.  We couldn’t decide.


Jeff at the bottom of the Notch Trail ladder, Badlands, NP

Best bird sighting:  again, we couldn’t decide, so each park gets one.  Wind Cave:  Red-headed Woodpecker,  Badlands:  Blue Grosbeak, Teddy Roosevelt:  Lazuli Bunting.

Best hike:  Notch Trail, Badlands National Park (thanks for the tip, Kelley!).

Best roads for towing a U-Haul trailer:  North Dakota.
Best tip for towing the U-Haul:  wrap hockey tape around the hitch (true story — who knew?!?).

Best AT&T 4G coverage:  North Dakota.

Best surprise find restaurant:  Sakura in Dickinson, North Dakota.

Best pizzaPizza Villa in DeKalb, IL (of course), but Brookfield, WI’s Edwardo’s and Missoula’s Biga Pizza were delicious, too.

Best farmer’s market gastronomic delight:  dinner with the Lewises in Richland, WA.  (Lunch with Dennis in Brinnon, WA was awesome, too — especially the six types of wild berries we picked for dessert!)

Best beer with a view:  the one we drank sitting in the campsite looking at Devil’s Tower National Monument with Suzanne & Ron.

Devil's Tower

Devil’s Tower National Monument – Jeff’s wanted to see it since 1977 (geek alert!)

Best find while cleaning out Jeff’s parents’ old house:  either their 1979 income tax return or the cigar box of “It’s a Boy” cigars from when Jeff was born – which do you think was better?

It's a Boy

It’s a Boy!

So there you have it — the highlights.  It was a fun and crazy 5,000 miles.

And now for the contest!!

You could win these fabulous prizes!

You could win these fabulous prizes!

We have a cool Badlands National Park water bottle, a Wall Drug bumper sticker, an ear of popping corn from the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, and some Theodore Roosevelt National Park magnet bookmarks to give away to one lucky winner.  Entries must be in by midnight Pacific time on August 17th.  Winner will be randomly chosen on the 18th.  Here’s how to enter:

  1. Answer one of the following National Park questions by leaving a comment below:  What is your favorite national park unit (park, monument, memorial, etc.) you’ve visited?  Or, what national park unit do you most want to visit?
  2. Like A Week or a Weekend on Facebook – be sure to tell us you did/have done that in the comments.
  3. Follow A Week or a Weekend on Twitter.
  4. Follow kiddingaround on Instagram (that’s us, too).
  5. Sign up to receive A Week or a Weekend updates by email.
  6. Retweet the contest on Twitter.
  7. Share the contest on Facebook by linking to this post.

Yes, that’s SEVEN ways to enter!  You may enter up to 7 times (by doing each of the above) and we hope you do!  Each “comment” is an entryThe comment “I follow you on Twitter, Instagram, and by email” would only count as one entry, but if you separate it into three comments — BAM — three entries!  (PS if you follow us in all those places already, THANK YOU!!  Those still count as entries but you have to tell us in the comment section that you do.) THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

Did you take any cool road trips this summer?  Tell us about them in the comments!  We’ll be back to tell you more about some of these amazing and beautiful places in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, enjoy your week or your weekend!


34 thoughts on “Road Trip Round-up and a Contest

  1. Favorite National Park? Grand Teton National Park. No question. I REALLY want to visit North Cascades NP or Rocky Mountain NP. I’ve never been able to spend much time in CO outside the airport. Thanks for all your great posts!

    • Lisa – Grand Teton is definitely one of our favorites, and Jeff backpacked North Cascades a few years ago with Marv. Awesome hike, although Erin didn’t enjoy the mice in the car campground. 😉 Rocky Mountain has a road that goes up to 10,000 feet – pretty cool! Thanks for reading!

  2. My favorite NP is Grand Teton, no question. I’d really like to visit North Cascades NP or Rocky Mountain NP. I haven’t been fortunate enough to see CO beyond the Denver airport. Thanks for all your amazing stories and posts!

  3. Okay, I’ll play:) My heart belongs to Volcanoes National Park but I really want to visit the Virgin Islands National Park!

  4. I have “Liked” you on Facebook and want to thank you for the awesome entertainment via the blog! Every time I was out and about I was looking for your missing plates!

  5. Favorite National Park? It’s a toss up between Volcano and Yellowstone. I love them both! Glad you had a wonderful trip. I have made that journey across the US several times and really enjoyed all of them. Hope your foot is better soon.

  6. The favourite national parks/monuments we visited were Canyonlands Natl Park and Monument Valley. Both in the winter and both were stunning.

    Ps: is this competition international? Or U.S. residents entry only…? Hahaa!

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