12 Hours of Driving and 680 Miles Later

My dad and I kicked off the first major leg in our trip across the country today in grand fashion. Hitting the road at roughly 7:45 a.m. MT this morning we didn’t stop until 680 miles later when we rolled into Spearfish, South Dakota, at 7:30 p.m. MT.

To be honest, going into today I was a little nervous on how I would take to a full day of driving in a U-Haul having never done so before. But you know what? My nerves were unfounded because I had such an enjoyable day hitting the open road with my dad. Granted we still have three more full days of driving to go and by the end of Sunday night I am sure I will be plenty fatigued but at least I know I can handle life on the road.

Today we drove through three states. The most grueling part of the drive undoubtedly came driving through Montana. You really have no idea how big the state is until you practically drive through the whole thing from the west to the east. But when we went past Billings and made the southern dash for the Montana-Wyoming state border we knew we had probably the most uninteresting part of the drive over with. On a tad bit more somber note it also marked my personal exit from the state of Montana for a long time. Although I have repeatedly said that I am ready to leave Big Sky country I did spend several years of my life in that state. Montana served me well.

We definitely couldn't make it through the huge state of Montana without stopping to get gas.

We definitely couldn’t make it through the huge state of Montana without stopping to get gas.

The red roads of Wyoming greeted us and we made a quick stop in Sheridan for gas. From there we headed south and then went due east where we went through cities such as Gillette, Moorcroft, and Sundance. Having never stepped on Wyoming soil between the both of us it was cool to see another state. We saw plenty of deer and cows while gazing at the hilly green terrain.

I got to visit a couple new states today!

I got to visit a couple new states today!

In last night’s blog post I mentioned that we set our goal at just reaching Wyoming. However, with no traces of tiredness in our bodies and some daylight left we decided to push a little further and make it to South Dakota. After we crossed the border we drove a short distance before taking the Spearfish exit, which brings us to where we are right now. Sitting in the Spearfish Howard Johnson Inn we are pleased with our opening day on this major journey across the country. Some quick stats:

Total Mileage: 680 miles

Number of States Visited: 3 – Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota

Number of Stops: 4 – Three Forks, MT (gas), Middle of Nowhere, MT (bathroom break), Sheridan, WY (gas), Middle of Nowhere, WY (bathroom break), Spearfish, SD (ending point for the day)

Food Consumed During Today’s Drive: King Sized package of Cadbury Mini Eggs, 2 packs of Planters Heat Peanuts.

Drinks Consumed During Today’s Drive: Can of Xyience Energy Drink (Frostberry Blast flavor).

I was happy when we parked our U-Haul in Spearfish, South Dakota, this evening.

I was happy when we parked our U-Haul in Spearfish, South Dakota, this evening.

Tomorrow we will aim to make it to Iowa or Missouri. We put ourselves in great position today and a little bit of the pressure is off. However we still want to have a strong showing tomorrow so we can coast even more come Saturday and Sunday. Please follow me on Twitter (@BrentReser) for complete updates from the road and join the fun by using the hashtag #BrentCoastToCoast. Can’t wait to get back at it tomorrow. Don’t Blink.

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