RIVERTON, WYOMING – Our car seems to be fine. There is no mold (we feared there would be), and the engine seems to be working properly.

Our only issue was the battery. It must’ve gone bad over the summer. It wouldn’t charge so we bought a new one.

Everything is working now.

First Stops on Our Big Drive East

Greetings from U.S. Route 26…

My family and I are a traveling homeschool family. We’re currently driving across the U.S. from Idaho to Florida, sleeping in cheap motels and keeping off highways.

It was getting dark and starting to snow and I was feeling tired behind the wheel, so we stopped for the night…

I’m writing to you tonight from the Tomahawk Motor Inn in Riverton, Wyoming, beside Route 26.

Long-haul 18-wheelers roll by our window every few minutes in a whoosh of diesel engine and the hum of fast-moving rubber…


Stopped for the night at the Tomahawk Motor Inn

We spent Saturday in Driggs, Idaho, at the Super 8 motel next to Highway 33.

We made friends in Driggs when we lived there last winter, and we caught up with them for a day.

The stop gave us a chance to go through all our things and discard everything we didn’t need. We got rid of skis, snowboards, boots, snow tires, and five garbage bags full of clothes.

Here’s Penny (9) playing with her doll, Lila, for the first time in nine months.


Penny reunited with her doll Lila

Serious Blizzard at Togwotee Pass

There’s no snow at Grand Targhee or Jackson Hole ski resorts yet. They’re normally open by Thanksgiving Day.

The locals are getting anxious.

But then, this afternoon, 40 miles east of the Tetons, we hit a pretty serious blizzard going over the Continental Divide at Togwotee Pass.

Togwotee Pass (elevation 9,655 feet) gets up to 50 feet of snowfall each winter. We had to drive at 25 miles per hour until we got to lower altitude and the snow stopped.

Here are the Tetons…


Miles (11) looks out toward the Teton Range

And here we are on the other side of the Continental Divide, which stretches all the way from Alaska to the Andes…


Made it across the Continental Divide

Tomorrow we keep heading east for another 300 miles until we get to Laramie, Wyoming.

That’s where my friend Dan Denning, coauthor of The Bonner-Denning Letter, lives. We’ll crash on Dan’s couch for the night and then continue east from there.

I’ll write to you again in two days. We should be in Nebraska by then…

– Tom Dyson

P.S. We visited the National Museum of Military Vehicles today. Here’s Dusty (13) learning about the M-60 tank…


Dusty gets a close-up look at an M-60 tank

Like what you’re reading? Send your thoughts to [email protected].


The praise keeps pouring in for Dusty’s second Postcard

Reader comment: Good job Dusty, well written. Looks like your homeschooling is doing just fine by you. Look forward to more of your missives.

Reader comment: Dusty, I really enjoyed reading your “Travel Tales Part II,” and I laughed out loud when I read about your experiences in India, especially puking in India – something I’ve experienced myself, but only for one night. Vomiting for a week sounds horrible. I wish my students could write as well as you. (I teach writing in a Japanese university.)

Also, I was happy to read that your favorite country was Japan, and Miles and Penny like it too, as I live in Japan. I really enjoyed meeting you all in Kyoto two years ago, and I’d love to meet you all again. Please tell your Dad that he should retire and you should write Postcards From the Fringe every day. (Just joking.) Love and best wishes to you all, and keep writing!

Reader comment: Good article, Dusty. Keep it up and you will be able to make some money writing.

Reader comment: Dusty did a marvelous job on his Postcard about India and Japan. He is a gifted writer and I hope to see more Postcards from him. A Happy Thanksgiving wish to the Dyson family, including Grandpa.

Reader comment: Please keep Dusty writing. He has a special gift!

Reader comment: Tom, if Dusty would be interested in writing more often for Postcards you should let him. If not then ask him to do it occasionally. He is very good. In fact he is much better than many writers that do it professionally. He should keep writing because it will help him in almost any career he takes on in the future.

Wish the best for your Dad and hope you and the family get back to visit him often when you get back on the road again. Thanks for the Postcards.

Reader comment: Happy Thanksgiving, Dyson family! Thank you all for sharing your experiences and life stories with us. Big thank you, Tom, for the guidance. And Dusty, continue writing Postcards. You have talent as a writer!

Reader comment: I loved Dusty’s dispatch – read it just before sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner! Kids have less filters and give better, more vivid and entertaining observations. They’re also great for advice, as their heads are not clouded by a long past, busy present and uncertain future.

My wife is Japanese; our three kids were born in Japan (22, 21 & 16) and moved here in 2012 after Fukushima. I consider them “worldly,” but after reading about your children… ah, no. Dusty: I also love Japan – miss it to bits. Spent 16 years there and now planning to return for good.

Meanwhile, kind words for Tom, too…

Reader comment: Your letters have served as a source of great inspiration and encouragement to me and my family. You are doing the right thing. Reconciling with your wife and taking the lead in the education and nurture of your children is both biblical and honorable.

And finally, a reader looks forward to the Dysons’ latest road trip adventure, following Wednesday’s Postcard

Reader comment: I’m so interested in the mental trip you’ll be making on your physical trip from Idaho to Florida! You mentioned thinking about what to do with the time left. I’m praying for you in this process.

Tom’s note: As always, thanks for your kind messages. We read every one, even if we don’t respond right away. Please keep them coming at [email protected], and I’ll answer as many I can in future Friday mailbag editions.