Driving Across the United States: Setting Off

Nearly half a year ago, I left my job at Microsoft, packed my bags and embarked on a 2-week long roadtrip for Pittsburgh, PA.

I've always wanted to pen this post but never found the time or motivation to do it. But I'm glad it's finally taken shape. Because it was a long trip, I'll be splitting this into several posts.

I left Seattle on September 23, 2015 -- the day before my birthday. 

The night before, I stayed with my best friend in Seattle in his apartment near the Microsoft campus. Xi Jinping was visiting, and there were a bunch of protestors demonstrating near the 520 freeway ramp. 

Fortified with dumplings from my favorite Taiwanese breakfast place in Factoria, I set off. I felt slightly wistful to be leaving Seattle but the air was also full with possibility. And just for the day, the Pacific Northwest sky decided to don her most gorgeous blue. Oh, how I miss Seattle.

First stop was Missoula, MT. Or "zootown" as the locals call it. It's a handsome college town along I-90, and it was a full day's drive from Seattle.

I stayed overnight in Missoula at a motel, and really enjoyed strolling the streets of the town.

Great BBQ was had at The Notorious P.I.G. BBQ in town. 

Great BBQ was had at The Notorious P.I.G. BBQ in town. 

The next day, I set off towards Yellowstone.

On my way there, I stopped for an excellent tour at the Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park. There were multiple caverns with intricate limestone designs carved by nature.

I camped overnight at the state park. It was the most gorgeous campsite, and it was nearly empty. It was the night of my birthday, and I spent it all alone in the middle of Montana, bathed in solitude, serenity and the warmth of the campfire.

There is something magical about camping. When you're out there in the wild, away from creature comforts, you learn to slow down and take great pleasure in the simple crackling sounds of the campfire, or the warm snuggle of a sleeping bag.

It was an awesome start to an awesome trip.