top of page
  • Writer's pictureNgoc X Doan

An unexpected detour that led us to see beautiful places

We were back on the road again after saying goodbye to our friends, Kelly and John, in Denver, CO. We were on the road least 6-8 hours a day. We drove over 2,000 miles within one week!

Map of week 20

Week 20 - Beautiful Landscapes

1. Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

We were on our way to Badlands National Park. Mark spotted South Dakota's plates with Mount Rushmore image. We realized that Mount Rushmore was on the way. We made a quick stop. We paid $10 to park our home and spent 30 minutes to visit the park. Unfortunately, most of it was under constructions. A lot of people were visiting the park during a weekday!

2. Badlands National Park in South Dakota

We were not planning to visit Badlands National Park originally. Mark wanted to pick up an item on Craigslist in Wisconsin. We decided to make a detour. The park was windy. We got to see prairie dogs and beautiful layered rock formations. We saw a Massachusetts plate for the first time in a few months!

3. Chicago in Illinois

We only had less than three hours to spend in Chicago. We decided to park in the city. We took our bikes out to explore the city. We tried to visit a few key locations such as Millenium Park (It was closed to the public. We only saw some parts from the outside), Buckingham Fountain at Grant Park, Chicago Riverwalk, and Navy Pier (closed before we arrived). Thanks to my talented landscape architecture friend, Maggie, for sending us these recommendations! The city was mostly empty. It was easy to find parking in the city. Most buildings were boarded up due to protests. It was a strange day to visit the windy city. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful place to be.

4. Fallingwater in Mill Run, PA

Fallingwater was designed Frank Lloyd Wright . I was blown away. I had always wanted to visit the house but it is not an easy location to get to. I was glad that I had the chance to visit during the trip back to Boston. The entire place is photogenic. It was hard to take a bad photo. The ground was nearly empty due to the pandemic.

Since we visited Fallingwater on the second day of its re-opening, we had the entire parking to ourselves!

Week 20 - Most memorable restaurants

1. Everest Cuisine in Rapid City, SD

We randomly found a Nepalese restaurant between Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park. The food was surprisingly very tasty with big portions.

2. Crisp in Chicago, IL

Delicious jumbo korean wings!

3. Lou Malnatis Pizzeria in Chicago, IL

We finally had Chicago's famous deep dish pizza! Recommended by our friend, Kim.

4. Hang Over Easy in Columbus, OH

This restaurant is a hidden gem in Columbus! Everything was delicious even though we did takeout.

5. Culver's in Madison, WI

We did not want to miss cheese curds when we were in WI. We filled out their survey and came back for a free vanilla dish. Their concrete drink is delicious!

Week 20 - Random Tidbits

1. Big belly trash compressors finally has a foot opener! It's a great modification especially during a pandemic.

2. Somehow, we ended up in West Virginia and had dinner at a Mexican restaurant in a tiny town.

3. We made a quick stop in Columbus, OH. We ordered takeout lunch and ate at Topiary Park. The park is known for its topiary collection that portrays the painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, by George Seurat. Do you see the resemblance?

4. It felt like Christmas when we saw Target which a large collection of Purell and Germ-X.

5. I finally kept up with filling out our cross country map in our trailer.

6. I gave Mark his last haircut on the road at a Planet Fitness in OH. We were lucky to find a private spot without having to worry about people watching us...

7. We made a detour to WI so Mark could pick up his new knife sharpener machine from an Amish farmer.

8. I managed to reverse our trailer in a semi straight line for the first time (without help!).

9. Wildflowers made me happy! I had to throw out the smelly ones...

10. I took a picture of the last Planet Fitness location that we visited before we made it back home. It was our last shower of the trip. We were not able to shower in OH because all of their showers were closed. We were lucky to find one Planet Fitness location on our way back to Boston in PA. We never felt so happy to be able to shower at Planet Fitness!

11. My photography via Mark's perspective.

Week 20 was the only week that we drove over 2,000 miles within one week. We were only a few hours away from home!

83 views0 comments
bottom of page