USA 2004 Honeymoon

60 days across North America

Portland - Minneapolis

Dates : 08/06/2004 to 08/14/2004

Behind Laetitia another big Glacier

Mt Rainier NP, WA

Behind the badly dressed guy is a glacier that was longer 80 years ago, Mt Rainier NP, WA

More news from the road - second leg...


The West loop of our tour is over and we are now getting closer to Switzerland… (kind of…). And big news, we went camping again!


We lacked energy to visit Portland so we started our route North where we arrived in Washington State. This State is a bit like mount Everest, the base is Oregon and you need to wait for favorable weather to attack its main natural monuments: Mount St. Helen: a volcano whose eruption surprised the world in April 1980 and that devastated an entire region and changed the shape of the mountain; Mount Rainier, that resembles the Alps with its 26 glaciers and its snowy peak which is a striking landmark that can be seen for hundreds of miles; and finally Olympic National Park, a gigantesque mountainous region that towers the bay of Seattle. Great mountain people as we are, we did them all - by car of course - and in the fog! Unfortunately very few pictures and a lot of regrets. It’s a bit like going to Zermatt and never seeing the Matterhorn... But we saw trees, trees and more trees….


Seattle, surrounded by greenery is a beautiful city located on Elliot bay and home of the 1962 World Fair. A few names to give you an idea of the atmosphere of the city: Boeing, Nirvana, Starbucks, style "grunge", Microsoft... And many huge ferries (there must have been over 100 cars on each of them) crossing the bay non stop and that we enjoyed on our way to Olympic NP. The site of the ‘62 world fair is very well used today with a few « in » museums (Science-fiction, music experience) and the « Space Needle » that looks like a UFO space ship that dominates the city and offers a breath taking view of the bay.

On Sunday, we had the wonderful surprise of being at the right place at the right time for a demonstration of the Blue Angels that flew over our heads and landed in front of us as we visited the Museum of Flight.

To summarize, a perfect week-end and a destination we recommend (just watch out for the weather).

Laetitia and the Space Needle, Seattle, WA

The Blue Angels at the Museum of Flight, Seattle, WA

View on the Olympic NP taken from the Space Needle

Seattle, WA

Then off to Idaho (« short » highway stretch) and Montana to discover a huge and imposing national park whose territory flows over the border into Canada and where the landscape has been sculpted through the force of ice: Glacier National Park. After the coziness of cities that is so out of character for us (euh…), we finally decided to try camping again (we’re on a mission). We must admit that camping in the US is easy and extremely well organized with each site having a table, a foyer and a large parking place. Each site is very clean: « the leave it as you found it » really works here.

The “little victim, Glacier NP, MT

Laetitia analyzing the route for the following day and surrounded by tasty stuff…, Glacier NP, MT

Driving, driving and more driving was needed to cross through Montana and  Wyoming to finally arrive in South Dakota and the « Black Hills ». We got our fill of bikes and bikers at Sturgis as we arrived for THE bikers week of the year: the entire city and the surrounding 100 miles were property of roaring 2 wheelers ( Impressive and noisy!

 Difficult to find a room… so we camped again!

A rally volunteer, Sturgis, SD

Thursday we started our day early by saying hello to the four Presidents (Jefferson, Washington, Roosevelt, Lincoln) that were immortalized in 1941 by Borglum in the granite of Mount Rushmore. An impressive and imposing monument that took 14 years and a lot of dynamite, sweat and passion to complete. It reminded us of some of the key elements in the development of the United-States of America (Bill of Rights, Panama Canal, end of the Civil war,…). We then went to the Badlands National Park and enjoyed the small canyons that resemble the ones seen in Utah and California. We ended our day with a call to 911 « there is a pick-up truck going West bound on the East bound side of the highway », fortunately the driver was crazy but still missed us...

4 bikers showing off behind the honeymooners

Mount Rushmore NM, SD

More driving (South Dakota and Minnesota are perfect for that) via Sioux Falls where another crazy driver missed us after “not seeing” a bright red light. We are happy to be out of South Dakota and are spending the night in Minneapolis/St Paul. To change paces, we spent 90 minutes at the Mall of America, a mall that has more than 500 stores and camp Snoopy in the center with roller coasters! One things for sure when you see that… we really are in the US!

After 6,000 miles, we are still doing well, we are trying to keep up with postcards, the scheduled maintenance for the 10,000 miles is done, we are refining our hotel reservation technique & camping preparations and have tested a new burger joint: Hardee’s. We are arriving in Wisconsin where the PGA championship is being held this week-end, we are hesitating to buy a Harley after our Sturgis experience and all our electronic equipment is still working.

We will soon be on the East coast….