I went to sleep sad last night and so I’m surprised to wake up feeling quite ok. Maybe it’s because I slept well or that the sun is shining, but I’m feeling better than I would expect on a day of leaving. I’m also surprised to hear upstairs that my grandparents are already awake. It doesn’t happen often that they wake up before me. I take a shower and pack the last things. Then grandma makes breakfast for me one more time. While I’m having breakfast she has to leave for an appointment. I think she likes it better like this way, that she doesn’t have to wave me goodbye. I think I do too, it’s hard enough already. I say to grandma that the hardest thing is that I don’t know when we’ll see each other again. She tells me not to think like that, but to know that we’ll see each other again and that’s what is most important. I agree and give her a big hug.
I stay behind with grandpa and finish my breakfast. Before I leave we sit down at the front porch and talk for a while longer. Then it’s time to say goodbye to him as well. I’m not even out of town before it gets misty in my eyes. Leaving my grandparents is so hard for me. I wish they lived closer so I could visit them more often. I drive to the east and after about an hour I’m at the entrance of the innerstate. There is one last stop here called Montana Wheat, a bakery where you can get nice bread and coffee. I stop and get myself a cappuccino and a cinnamon roll. I think the cinnamon rolls here are the largest I’ve ever seen in the world and they taste great. The sugar and caffeine help me to keep going. Driving on the innerstate at around 85 miles per hour makes it a bit easier to leave, it’s probably the only way to leave this wonderful place. I recognize the road from 2,5 years ago when grandma drove me to Bozeman Airport. I’m exactly in the same mood as back then. I decide that I don’t let it take another 2,5 years before I visit my grandparents again. The whole day I continue driving. From Montana I go to Wyoming. Wyoming is the most boring state I’ve ever driven through. It’s only wide outstretched land and everything looks the same. Seven years ago I got pulled over here by a police car because I was speeding. This time I follow the speed limit a bit closer, but it seems to go forever. At some parts I’m all alone for a long time in what seems the middle of nowhere. I realize that for one of the first times this journey I actually feel lonely. It’s like I’m in between two worlds. The adventure isn’t over yet and I’m also not back home yet. That in combination with missing my grandparents makes it a long lonely drive. I just listen to some podcasts and music and keep going.
In the evening I make one more stop at a place that I wanted to visit another time, Mount Rushmore. It’s the statues of the presidents cut out of a mountain. It’s really in the middle of nowhere, but since it was only a detour of three hours I decided to stop here. It’s pretty cool to see, because it is enormous. It must have been a lot of work to create this. I walk to the foot of the mountain and take some pictures. After having rested for a while and texting with grandma to give an update on the journey, I decide to drive further to get as close to Denver as possible. Around midnight I see a Mc Donalds sign and I’m about 100 miles away from Denver. By now I’ve been driving for 15 hours and I’m really tired. It’s time to stop for dinner and sleep. I don’t have my camping bed anymore, but I still have my pillow, a sports mat and a big sweater. It’s not as comfortable as my previous setup, but it’ll do. Tomorrow I’ll go to a hotel near the airport, but tonight I’ll have one more night of camping.