X: San Francisco

In the area: October 22, 23, 24.
First impression: There’s a city in that fog, somewhere.
Weather: Great, under the patches of fog.
Strange: Homeless everywhere.
Lodging: Couchsurfing outside the city.
Vegan restaurants: Too many.
Highlights: Muir Woods, more vegan donuts, Chinese food.

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Bold dates indicate full days, all others are mixed with traveling to and from.

IX: Southern Oregon

Within the jurisdiction: October 20, 21.
First impression: Scenery returns, unseasonable weather continues.
Weather: Sun, lots of it.
Strange: Generations of incest.
Lodging: Flagship Inn, at University of Southern Oregon
Vegan restaurants: Somewhere, probably.
Highlights: Crater Lake National Park.

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More photos after the jump. Bold dates indicate full days, all others are mixed with traveling to and from. All entries include photos en route to, and including that destination.  

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VIII: Portland, OR

City limits: October 18, 19, 20, 21.
First impression: Portland-centric jingoism.
Weather: A sunny, consistent miracle. Portlanders rejoice.
Strange: Oh, just everyone that lives here. Nah, they weren’t that bad.
Lodging: Luxury backyard shed.
Vegan restaurants: Too many.
Highlights: Sweetpea Bakery, Multnomah Falls, 24 hours of vegan donuts at Voodoo, and Shooting AKs at piles of dirt.

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More photos after the jump. Bold dates indicate full days, all others are mixed with traveling to and from. All entries include photos en route to, and including that destination.  

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VII: Montana

State boundaries: October 17, 18.
First impression: Why didn’t I find any dinosaur bones?
Weather: Decent.
Strange: Finding an amazing grocery store.
Lodging: Shitty Hotel.
Vegan restaurants: Kind of. Best supermarket ever (Good Food Store, Missoula). Better than big city Whole Foods.
Highlights: Finding the grocery store.

No photos here, not much to see. Bold dates indicate full days, all others are mixed with traveling to and from.

VI: Roaming in Wyoming

State boundaries: 16, 17.
First impression: America’s secret western paradise.
Weather: Great, with a sprinkling of snow.
Strange: Waking up to a truckload of guys carrying rifles.
Lodging: Free car camping on BLM land.
Vegan restaurants: Welcome to Beef Country.
Highlights: Devil’s Tower National Monument, Big Horn National Forest, Yellowstone, Deadwood, and tons of bald eagles, public lands.

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More photos after the jump. Bold dates indicate full days, all others are mixed with traveling to and from. All entries include photos en route to, and including that destination.  

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V: Destination Rapid City, SD

City limits: October 14, 15, 16.
First impression: Second in population, first in everything else.
Weather: Occasionally freezing, rain. Generally good.
Strange: That this town is actually in South Dakota. It’s nice.
Lodging: Hotel Alex Johnson
Vegan restaurants:
Maybe someday.
Highlights: Mt. Rushmore and Custer State Park, and Hotel Alex Johnson, plus Badlands on the way.

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More photos after the jump. Bold dates indicate full days, all others are mixed with traveling to and from. All entries include photos en route to, and including that destination.  

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IV: Sioux Falls, SD

City limits: October 13, 14.
First impression:  About as bad as expected.
Weather: Early morning rain.
Strange: Closet-sized casinos.
Lodging: Wayward offspring of Ramada.
Vegan restaurants: No, but managed to find falafel.
Highlights: Old building facades, found a decent movie theater and saw Capt. Phillips.

More photos after the jump. Bold dates indicate full days, all others are mixed with traveling to and from. All entries include photos en route to, and including that destination.  

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III: Stillwater Minnesota, et al.

State boundaries: October 10, 11, 12, 13.
First impression:  Gather round, it’s pumpkin-weighing time, or “even this town has a Chipotle?”
Weather: Sun and a moment of rain.
Strange: Polite drivers, the hipsters are also devout Christians.
Lodging: Crossings by Grandstay
Vegan restaurants: Nearby, in the Twin Cities, plus at pit stop in Madison, WI.
Highlights: Farmland, mediocre vegan pizza at Pizza Luce in St. Paul, antique shops.
Lowlights: Mall of America.

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More photos after the jump. Bold dates indicate full days, all others are mixed with traveling to and from. All entries include photos en route to, and including that destination.  

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II: Chicago, IL

Within the city limits: October 8, 9, 10.
First impression: Worst drivers outside Egypt. Bicyclists to match.
Weather: Sun (and no wind).
Strange: City, on a beach, in the middle of nowhere.
Lodging: Suburban couchsurfing.
Vegan restaurants: Tons. All great, including an ACM with vegan options (that’s Automated Cupcake Machine).
Highlights: Awesome food at Chicago Diner, great museum (MCA) and good bookstores and shops.
Lowlights: Driving amongst the animals.

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More photos after the jump. Bold dates indicate full days, all others are mixed with traveling to and from. All entries include photos en route to, and including that destination.  

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