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Thursday, September 23, 2010

PNW Trip: Day 11 & 12 - A 2-for-1 Entry featuring Washington, Montana (barely), and South Dakota

We were up before 7 and on the road just before 8 for a long day of driving east. We stopped at Trader Joe's for a few items for the next couple days, then a gas station for ice for the cooler, then off on the road in the rain, along the Cascades Scenic Byway. We stopped at many overlooks for views and pictures. The rain let up as the day progressed.

We made some really beautiful stops along the way.

We had difficulty finding a good place to stop for lunch, so we parked at a Shell station and ate a very light meal. (I love this Trader Joe's hummus.)

We also gave this black bean dip a try, but unfortunately, it's just not as good as the Publix version. (Dear Florida friends, please send me a case for my birthday. XOXO) It was the sweetness of the TJ's version that I disliked the most.

More driving. The further east we go, the less interesting it gets. I did get a dam picture, though.


L got another Taco Time fix in Spokane and I ran into Huckleberry Natural Foods Store to pick up my own dinner. Their vegan options were slim: 1 wrap, 2 salads (one lentil, the other fruit). I was enticed by all the colors in the wrap and it seemed to be the most satisfying of the 3 choices, so I went with that. (I can never have too many veggies in a day, anyway.)

This thing was ENORMOUS. Eventually I resorted to knife and fork for this wrap. All the fresh veggies were nice, but more than anything else, it was loaded with red onion, which is not good eats in my book. It felt like my lips had actually caught on fire. I pulled out as many of the raw red onions as I could.

Whew! The good stuff in there were the fresh veggies, the black bean spread, and the tofu spread. They were a stingy on the spreads; I think more of both, plus some avocado/guacamole would have made the whole wrap less dry.

We finally made it to Butte, Montana, pretty late (11:30pm Mountain time). We were pretty darn tired.

PNW Trip - Day 12

We came to the conclusion that there was NOTHING to do in Montana. The hotel didn't have any enticing brochures, and even stopping at a tourism office didn't result in much. We had hoped we'd find something interesting along the interstate, but no such luck through Montana. I finished a book and entertained myself with cookies.

These Trader Joe's vegan chocolate chip cookies contain walnuts, which meant L couldn't eat any. (Mwa ha ha ha!) Actually, that ended up being a very bad thing because it meant this whole package was mine mine mine.

And the chocolate + stir-craziness from being cooped up in the car on a boring stretch of highway made me a little crazy.

a little humor at a rest area

Another snack from TJ's

We rolled into Mount Rushmore fashionably late at 9:30pm. (They close at 10pm.) The "lighting ceremony" had already begun, according to the woman at the entrance. Considering it was a weeknight after Labor Day, we were AMAZED at how many people were there! They were mostly older people and just a couple of families with very small children.

The "lighting ceremony" was really cheesy. They showed this low-quality, overly-patriotic documentary thing, then triumphant music kicked on, and the lights slooowly came up on Mt. Rushmore.

Honestly? It was kind of underwhelming. It looks bigger on the internet. *shrug*

Jogged over to Rapid City, where we crashed for the night. We watched an episode of Man v. Food (that show is a train wreck) before turning the lights out.


  1. You heard we're finally getting a TJ's, right? TWO of them! Both out south, though.
    Soon, that hummus and those cashews will be MINE!

    That is one monster veggie wrap...though I'm not big on raw onions either.

  2. Thank goodness for Trader Joe's, right? I haven't tried that hummus yet though (they have so many options!) so I'll have to grab some next time!