Day one and 562 of 3,225 miles down for my trip.

We didn’t end up getting on the road till around 9:30 this morning because I had a bunch of last minute packing and cleaning to deal with in the morning, but everything worked out.

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Even with the U-Haul box, the car is still packed to the gills. We wanted to avoid bringing a bunch of still with us, but c’est la vie.

Flashback to September 2009 — arriving in E’burg:

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This morning, 2011, departing E’burg:

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My apartment has been restored to it’s sterile white condition.

Packing up my apartment these past few days and watching it return to white made me realize that it won’t take a lot of effort to turn my new place into a space that feels like home. When I see the pictures of my new house, I fear that it won’t feel like “me,” but now I know that’s not the case.

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Around 9:30 I turned in my apartment keys, and before hitting the road we gassed up and grabbed breakfast at Subway.

We narrowly missed being in a minor fender-bender at the gas station when a little old man tried to back his car into the space next to the pump where we were still parked. I honked my dinky horn at him, but he didn’t stop slowly backing up till dad hopped out of the car and knocked on his car window.

After that we managed to escape E’burg without incident.

Once on I-90, which is the only road we drove on today, one of the first sights we saw were these huge wind turbines. I’m pretty sure they weren’t there two years ago when we drove into town. These pictures don’t do them justice. They look so cool and almost Star Wars-esque in real life.

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This was the view for most of the day. Big sprawling mountains with gorgeous blue skies.

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Charlie lived up to his reputation and was the perfect traveling companion. He was a bit confused and a little vocal for the first 30 minutes, but after he explored his surroundings, he settled down into the passenger’s lap or on the arm rest between the driver and the passenger.

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More beautiful scenery!

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We stopped for lunch in Moscow, Idaho where dad grabbed an Arby’s sandwich and I got a side salad. Since I’m trying to eat healthy and maintain my vegetarian status, I was a bit concerned about eating during this trip. When I went to Trader Joe’s I picked up a bunch of snack food for this week, including hummus, string cheese, carrots…

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Lots of trail mixes, yogurt, apple sauce, and of course, some chocolate!

My aim is to go for the grazing approach and avoid eating three large meals. So along with my side salad, I had a cheese stick, some nuts, apple sauce, and sliced strawberries.

Overall, I think it’s a fairly healthy mix and if I can save money and avoid gas station snacks, I should be good to go.

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Although, the exercise front has been slacking. I’m chalking all the packing, moving, and lifting from the past two days as exercise, so today was a rest day.

I’m going to aim to do a short strength training workout at the hotel tomorrow night and maybe the hotel we stop at on Thursday will have a gym for a quick cardio routine. I’m going to plan to do something, but I won’t hate myself if it doesn’t work out. I’ll just pick up where I left off when I get back to Florida.

Anyway, after lunch I became the passenger and amused myself by taking pictures and playing on the internet.

We kept stumbling across these letters on the side of the mountains. Anyone know what they mean?

“M”

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“D”

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My technology manager father is always prepared and we have both internet and a power charger on the trip with us. I was able to check facebook, twitter, and work on a project for a friend as we drove through Idaho and Montana.

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In Montana we saw lots of evidence of flooding. It reminded me of the flooding that happened in E’burg a month ago. The rapid increase in temperatures and the snowmelt wreck havoc in E’burg and apparently Montana.

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See the house in the middle of the lake? I’m pretty sure that “lake” is actually flooding.

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The day came to a close when we made it to Belgrave, Montana around 8:30pm.

On the trip our west we kept gaining hours, but this time we’re going to keep losing hours.

We found a nice, but strangely empty, pizza place right near the hotel and brought it back to the hotel where we’ve settled in for the night.

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Next stop Fort Collins, Colorado! I’m excited to see Colorado for the first time and cover some new ground on our trip.

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