Olympia, Washington to Washington, DC

For those curious, it is a 2789 mile drive from Olympia, the capital of Washington, to Washington, the capital. We will take a full 5 day trip along this route, at a pace of 65.2mph. This means, for 4 days, we will cover 522.2mph, covering a bit more on that last day, which will be Saturday. That’s a heck of a lot of driving, so we had better hit the road, Jack


We have actually found the first window in about a month with no real rain or anything around Puget Sound. We will drive northeast to Seattle and even through the rest of Washington State. The only threat for any precipitation will be in the Idaho Chimney, where some isolated valley drizzle may get trapped, reducing the visibility at some spots. We will finish our day in the northern Rockies, southeast of Missoula, in Milltown, Montana.

Montana is a vast, empty state. We will not leave it at any point on Tuesday, going from Milltown to Ashland in the southeastern corner of the state. We are still outpacing any significant, unpleasant weather, so it should be a long, empty day.

We will start the day in pretty decent shape, once again. Most of South Dakota will be enjoyed in relative silence, with no rain or clouds or anything climactically interesting. Things will begin to change when we hit the Missouri River near Chamberlain, however, as at that point, a system well to our route’s south will begin to eject moisture north. We will contend with a few rain showers from then until we arrive at our Wednesday night destination, Hartford, South Dakota, which is on the outskirts of Sioux Falls.

Our drive through the Upper Midwest will be fairly decent, though don’t be surprised if it’s cloudy for much of the day. Weak instability through most of the Mississippi Valley will mean showers and storms across the majority of Iowa, into northern Illinois. We won’t hit those showers until we ourselves are in northern Illinois, stopping for the final time in Belvidere, Illinois.

OK, so the timing and distance of this drive? Longest day ever. The ride will be slower, the distance long, but we will be able to do it. I’ve done 14 hours in a day before. And besides, there’s really nothing to worry about on the drive, as high pressure is going to develop across the remainder of our route, allowing us to finish our grueling drive with this windows rolled down. It won’t be that warm, but it will be nice to get a little fresh air.