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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Default Fabulous road trip from MI to the west coast and back!

    Just had to share and recommend some of the amazing things we did our trip this summer.

    We drove from Michigan straight to Glacier National Park in Montana. It was gorgeous! We only had two days there but could have easily spent more. We did a hike to the falls and took a red bus tour. If we ever get a chance to go back I'd love to book the Many Glaciers Lodge. It was classic National Park lodge style and the view was breathtaking.

    From there we drove down to Darby, MT to stay with family. Another gorgeous location. Our DD15 got to go fly fishing on the west fork of the Bitterroot river. I was told the proper way to report the results is: "She had two strikes from a rainbow trout, he spit a purple haze twice." We visited a ghost town, Bannack State Park. Several buildings and you can go into most of them. It was awesome! We also went to Crystal Park to dig for crystals. Totally free, you keep what you find. DH LOVES it when we come back with a box of rocks to put in the trunk. And, if you're a fan of the show Yellowstone, it's filmed in Darby. Right down the street from where my sister & brother in law live. But, you know, "down the street" in Montana terms.

    Drove up through Washington state to catch the ferry to San Juan Island. We stayed in Friday Harbor for a couple of days. Took a whale watching boat trip the first day and it far exceeded our expectations - and not because the Orcas rolled right past our boat! The boat was the perfect hybrid of fast and comfortable. Easy to move around, huge windows that they opened when we stopped. Small group. The crew was knowledgeable, friendly and engaging. Did a sea kayaking tour the next day. A touch ambitious considering we'd never kayaked before. But, so glad we did it! No significant wildlife spotting, but it was an adventure and beautiful scenery. I would love to spend more time there too!

    From there we took the Oregon coastal scenic hwy - lots of stops in funky little touristy towns, and stunning, rocky beaches where we saw crabs, starfish and anemone up close. Not to mention, a bonus whale sighting! Took that right down to the Redwood National Forest. Driving through that park was just unreal. We couldn't get over the size of those trees. We spent two days exploring that park.

    We turned back east from there. We were going to stop in Nevada to dig for our own opals, but found out the fee was $75 - $700 per person/per day!! No thank you. We dug in Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas for a fraction of that lower price, and you can find diamonds there! We didn't find any, but that's not the point. Continued on to the Salt Lake City area where we did probably the most unexpected part of our trip, and definitely the nerdiest thing I've ever done - visited Evermore, a Dungeons & Dragons themed park. DH and the girls play, but I don't, and I was really skeptical. I was so pleasantly surprised to see how well done it is! We all had a blast! It's still under construction, but worth a stop if you're nearby.

    We also visited the zoo and aviary while we were in SLC. They were fabulous! Both were small enough that we could do them both in one day, but not lacking in anything. They were both really fun and impressive.

    Went to Dinosaur National Monument as we headed further east. This one's been on my list for YEARS! It was so worth it. You can actually touch a few of the dino bones at the monument. There's a beautiful scenic drive, including a couple stops where you can see petroglyphs. Not far from there is a hike you can take to see actual dino footprints!! It was only about 3 miles and through the desert, but so worth it.

    Last stop was Flaming Gorge Dam. Beautiful area and great tour!

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  4. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    St. Peters, MO
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    Evermore is what I envisioned Galaxy's Edge to be like with all the characters.
    Dave aka: Altair
    "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups" - George Carlin

  5. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Sounds like an amazing trip. I'll have to add some of your stops to my list of places to go visit.
    I'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Mid Michigan
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    Sounds great!

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