Follow Der Wanderbus’ Epic Great Lakes Adventure – Details Released!

| July 17, 2017
Aaron Parrott's perfect representation of a Martindale road trip, in the form of a flash sketch.

Aaron Parrott’s perfect representation of a Martindale road trip, in the form of a Flash Series sketch.

Okay, guys, we’re less than a week out from what is sure to be pure chaos. Here are the deets!

Approximate route

Here to Bemidji, Minnesota:

map road trip great lakes


A week in Bemidji, followed by the zig-zagging route home:

Trip home

Trip home


The trip, in numbers

Approximate miles: 4,800

Number of days: 29



Number of days it will just be me, Sequoia, and the pups: 9


Thor Axis RV miniature schnauzer puppies

Most worthless co-pilots ever


Number of states: 13 planned

Number of countries: 2


Planned ice cream stand stops: 3

Planned UFO-related stops: 3

Scenic parkways: 1

Places that are on my bucket list: 3

Places rumored to be haunted*: 1

Haunted house attractions*: 2

Days with no stops planned: 3

Locations where we’ll spend more than one night: 5

Specific restaurants planned: 7

Number of Great Lakes: all 5

Number of lakefronts: 4

Number of giant balls of twine/string: 2

Number of statues planning to stop at: 12

Number of breweries: 1

Number of museum and tourist attractions: 5

Number of dog parks: 3

Number of ferries: 1

Number of weddings: 1

Number of summer camps Sequoia will attend: 1

Number of festivals: 1, possibly 2

Places of architectural interest: 5

Number of famous waterfalls: 1

Border crossings: 2

…and so much more.

*Haunted stuff scares the shit out of me, and two of those stops are without Paul, so I expect that Sequoia will be calling 911 when I have my heart attack.  I am seriously considering facebook live transmission of the first one we visit.


You might be wondering, “Kari, why are you specifically planning to stop at ice cream stands?”




Overnighting at…

KOA Campgrounds: 3

Jellystone Parks: 1

Walmart** parking lots: 5

Curb in front of someone’s house: 1, possibly 2

Canadian provincial parks: 1

US State Parks: 1

Multiple-night stays include Niagara Falls; Fremont, WI; Minneapolis, MN; Bemidji, MN; and Omaha, NE.

**Yep, I’ll be sleeping at Walmart.


Meanwhile, I’ll be running the last 9 days of the Kickstarter campaign for the Flash Series.


Also, just for the hell of it, I’m self-imposing an instagram photo challenge: Der Wanderbus Great Lakes Road Trip Photo Challenge #WanderbusGLRTPhotoChallenge.


photo challenge, instagram


I just did the math: if we just drove a direct loop that included our two main destinations, Bemidji and Omaha, it would a 2,952-mile trip.  In other words, 1,840 of the miles of our trip can be attributed to my wanderlust/insanity.

Guys, I’m going to SANTA CLAUS, INDIANA and I’m FREAKING OUT ABOUT IT.  Also, THE WORLD’S LARGEST BALL OF TWINE–it’s, like, ultimate Roadside America!  Not to mention, I’m finally going to eat at PAUL BUNYAN’S COOK SHANTY, which I’ve been wanting to do since I first spotted it in 2002! And all 5 Great Lakes.  IT’S GONNA BE GREAT!

I’m going to do my best not to be chased by border patrol, drive into a lake, or accidentally leave my kid at a rest stop.   No promises, though.

And I’m going to do my best to blog from the road.

blog t-shirt kari

Because, you know, I’m a big deal on my blog.


P.S. Paul, if you’re reading this, this is the itinerary for the trip you know almost nothing about***.  You’re gonna love it!  And if you don’t, you know the Martindale motto: At least it’ll be memorable (like the Everglades).

***Not even kidding, guys.  The poor man knows next to nothing.



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Category: Der Wanderbus, Family Travel, The Flash Series, Travel, Uncategorized, US Travel

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

Comments (1)

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  1. Lynn Bullock says:

    an amazing itinerary — luvvit

    have a safe wonderful time

    try not to get killed