Aug 28, 2013

Into the West: Part 2.

I need to catch up on my blogging. I have a lot to get through these next few days; but I should start by finishing the expose on the trip out here.

Day 4: River City, South Dakota to Billings, Montana.

This is was perhaps my favourite day of all during the trip. It had nothing to do with the scenery (which is left wanting... I am sorry, American Midwest, but your tumbleweeds and rolling fields of corn get tiresome), and more to do with our destination: The Dude Rancher Lodge in Billings. This hotel was featured on some American reality TV show about recovering the worst hotels in the country.. so obviously...

The carpet through the ENTIRE lodge. It is the brands of the 4 cowboys who
started the hotel in the early 20th C. 

This was actually really cozy. 

Incredibly red bathroom. It was nearly overwhelming.

And it never stopped.
Billings, Montana was pretty neat, though. The staff was friendly enough, although the front desk lady kept disappearing on her shift to go out for a smoke. I happened to be sitting in the lounge room because I was skyping with Boyfriend, and people kept asking me if I worked there. 

We had breakfast in the Dude Rancher restaurant (because we wanted the full experience). Literally the best egg omlette I have ever had. Ever. It was so big that I couldn't finish it. 

All in all, the stay was pretty great. The hotel was quirky and historical, which worked for me - and unapologetically so. It was actually my favourite of all the hotels we stayed in. Fact. 

Day 5: Billings, Montana to Spokane, Washington.

Idaho and Washington were much less pretentious about their welcome signs.

This was a long and intense day of driving for Housemate. It took us through the mountain in Idaho (which were a lot steeper than going through the Rocky Mountains). We cranked the Lord of the Rings soundtrack and felt really small as we made our way through the winding hills. Incidently, we were only in Idaho for about an hour. Before Idaho, we drove half an hour through Wyoming (even flatter than South Dakota). But once the Idaho mountain range cleared and we drove into Washington State, the landscape started to look a little more like southwestern Ontario. 

That being said, here are some photo highlights.
I thought this was about the cutest thing ever. Reminded me of Little House on
the Prairie.

Of course you do. 

Coming upon some of the smaller mountains.

Such a gorgeous landscape.

River. Loved the hills in the background. It reminded me of being in El Paso, TX. 

Windmill gardens along the highway.

Day 6: Spokane, Washington to Langley, British Columbia.

This was the day we arrived. This is the day we drove through the mountains. This is the day I forgot to take photos of the 'Welcome to Canada' sign. Go figure.

In the distance. The Rocky Mountains.

Getting closer.

And those were the only photos I took. Until Langley.

Behold, Langley. 
The last photograph gives you a good idea of the view that Housemate and I get to see everyday. The mountains act as both a backdrop to daily life here in Langley, and also a mark on the compass - pointing us in the direction we must go when we have lost our way in a new place. 

Upon first arriving in British Columbia, I was a little amused by their license plates - which clearly boast "Beautiful British Columbia." But after being here for a little over a week, I have realized that this is very true. While home is still beautiful - southwestern Ontario's farm landscapes, northern Ontario's forests and lakes - British Columbia has the right to boast. From what I have seen thus far, this is one of the most gorgeous provinces I have ever been to. 

And so, welcome to my grad school journey. I look forward to taking you all along with me. 

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