Home | Journal | Photographs | Itinerary | Route | Guestbook




July 21, 2006


I woke up a little later today - I suspect it's because I am once again losing time as I had east. Regardless, I made it to Badlands National Park. Since the end of the trip is near, and (probably more so) I've seen scenery similar to that which is at Badlands National Park before, I didn't spend a lot of time there. I didn't even take a terribly large number of pictures.


It was, however, a nice drive. I enjoyed riding the scenic road through the park and it was a worthwhile detour. That complete, I decided to attempt to make it to Osakis. I was still about three or four hours away when darkness began arriving, so I stopped at a state park in Minnesota where I spent the night. It was a nice park, albeit somewhat expensive.

The closer I get to home the more excited I get to see my friends and family again. At the same time, though, I wish that I could continue my adventure. This arbitrarily defined country sits atop a great land and though I've traveled across a lot of it, there remains a lot more to be seen.

July 22, 2006

I made it to Osakis today, where I got to see the Rexeisen family farmhouse - built on land obtained during the original Homestead Act. It was a really interesting and fun experience. Later that day we fired off some guns (shotguns, rifles). Two of them were really old (from the 1700's and 1800's). They were the kind that you hand loaded with powder and a lead ball. It was awesome!

I also met Jon's Dad and brother - two very interesting people. His Dad is a professor, and so once he discovered that I was a graduate student things got slightly more humorous. His brother is married with two young children - a son and daughter. They were all very kind, very nice people.

Thank you to all of you for a fun time, a place to stay, and good food!

July 23, 2006


Today we woke up and decided to drive to Minneapolis, where Jon lives with Emilie (his fiance and soon-to-be wife). I saw his apartment and we wandered around downtown Minneapolis for a while. I saw yet another interesting lock as well as the University of Minneapolis' campus. Their mascot is a golden gopher, and their golden 'M' logo looks very similar to the 'M' in McDonalds. Hehe.

Following that we decided to go to a casino where we both lost money at Blackjack. I also tried slots again briefly, as well as poker. This time the house won. With the bitter taste of loss in our recent memory we decided to leave after only spending a short time there and returned to the apartment where we got pizza and watched the Bourne Supremacy.

Once the movie ended it was time for sleep, since Jon had to work the next morning and I had a long way to drive. It was time to return to Michigan!

July 24, 2006

Today I spent a good part of the day driving until I finally reached Escanaba, MI. Escanaba is a decent sized town in the upper peninsula of Michigan. There I met up with my Dad, who had been staying in a hotel there awaiting my arrival. He got me a room too, which was nice. My days of sleeping in a tent on the ground are over, in many respects sadly.

Once I got situated in my hotel room we went off and had dinner, missing the rain that had been hitting intermittently throughout the day. Afterwards we returned to the hotel room, had some interesting discussions, and finally returned to our rooms and went to sleep. It was a long day.

July 25, 2006

The remainder of this journal is written well after the fact, but I hate leaving things unfinished :). Today my Dad and I awoke and got breakfast in Escanaba. Following that we drove down to the local beach and paused to admire the lake and surrounding scenery. That done, it was time to commence the drive back to Cedar Springs. Shortly before reaching the Mackinac Bridge, we stopped and had lunch. We tried out the local cuisine - basically something called a "pasty." It was pretty good.


Lunch over we continued on, arriving at the Mackinac Bridge and stopping to snap a few photos. Following that we entered the lower peninsula and drove the remainder of the way home. From the weather forecast we expected to encounter some rainfall, but luckily that was avoided and the ride itself was relatively uneventful.

As the end of the day approached I was finally back at home. It felt good, but it was also kind of sad that the adventure was over. Over the past almost two months I have seen more things and places, met more people, and traveled greater distances than ever before in my life. Nothing during my brief existence in this 13.7 billion-year old universe comes close to comparison.

This trip has shown me time and again how amazing the natural world truly is. It has shown me how much mankind has yet to learn, and how much we've accomplished already.

July 26, 2006

Though I made it to Cedar Springs yesterday, I returned to Grand Haven - where I spent my entire childhood - today. As time progresses I find myself being unable to visit home nearly as often as I would like. Sadly I don't really see this changing much in the future. However, it was really nice to get a chance to see my Mom, my Grandma, and some of my cousins again. It was also nice to see Joey and Hailey, my two dogs again. I spent a good part of the day at my Grandma's going over pictures that I took until it was finally time to head back to Purdue. There was a wedding to attend, and my girlfriend was waiting for me.

The drive back to Purdue was uneventful - I've made it many, many times before. It did give me a little bit of time to reflect on my trip, something that in the days, weeks, and months to come I've realized that I really haven't had enough of. Nevertheless, I made it back to Purdue safely. I was finally back home, and it was nice to be able to just sit around and do nothing for once, even if it was only for a short period of time.