Days 9 + 10: Four state borders (MT, ID, WA, OR)

October 23
Day 9: Bozeman, MT to Missoula, MT: 204 miles

We woke up to snowfall in Bozeman. To avoid driving in the subfreezing temps & icy conditions this morning, we decided to hang around Bozeman for the morning. Because we have the dogs with us 24/7, we try to leave them alone in the car as little as possible... so I ran into Target:) while Sam stayed with the pups, then he ran into REI & another outdoor store while I sat in the car - not ideal but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. We both ran into Baja Fresh and ordered take out, a MUCH needed fresh and delicious lunch. We ate in the car, and by the time we finished lunch the weather had cleared and we hit the road yet again...

...until it started snowing heavily again. Missoula and the Bitteroot Mountain Valley were both under winter storm warnings, so we played it safe and stayed at our usual joint, the Motel 6, in Missoula. We're heading toward Portland, OR tomorrow.

We loved Bozeman! It reminded us of a larger, more mountainous Boone town. :) A great mix of civilization + tons of beautiful scenery. And it is so close to Yellowstone.

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October 24
Day 10: Missoula, MT to The Dalles, OR: 463 miles

After breakfast at Starbucks we continued our journey west. We have loved Montana! After NC, it has been our favorite state so far. Pretty stoney rivers, snowy mountain tops, autumn leaves... gorgeous.

We soon crossed into Idaho. The drive in Montana involved a bit of snow but the roads were totally fine. Idaho's state line was at the top of the Bitteroot Mountain range. It was a breathtaking view, but man were the roads narrow and slick! Thankfully as elevation decreased, so did the winter weather. We crossed into Pacific time, too. It only took an hour to drive through the northern part of Idaho.

We entered Washington via Spokane. After Spokane, the drive was very desolate and boring. Washington was so barren, but we will see another side of it in the next few days. Thankfully we crossed into Oregon (see ya I-90!) - the last state of today's trip. We enjoyed a beautifuuuuul drive through the Columbia River Gorge as we drove along the never-ending Columbia River. So many windmills dotted the horizon.

Tomorrow we venture to Portland! Exciting!


  1. I am a tad bit offended that you stayed on the eastside of the mountains in Wa. ;) It isn't called the Evergreen State for no reason! If you had stayed on 90 and driven to Seattle before going south to Portland, it would have looked a lot like your photos of Montana and Idaho, except I don't think there was a lot of snow on the passes in October. I have enjoyed following this trip! Hope you are happy in AK!

    1. Hey! Haha, well, since we wanted to go to Portland first, we just drove through eastern WA briefly... then we went north to Seattle! We didn't want to backtrack by going to Seattle then Portland. We didn't get to stay in Seattle very long because of the pups but we loved it, and you're right, it looked very different from the eastern side. Western OR and WA were gorgeous!!! Sooo wish we could have gone to Olympic Park - maybe in a few years. :) Thanks so much for following along on our trip!