Want to know why we road tripped across the entire country? Click here for the introductory blog.
We left really early Monday morning. I had a horrible night of sleep and got up at 5 am. We left at 6:10, and thank goodness for that because we almost immediately found out that the “non-slip” mat underneath the bag on top of the car was flapping hardcore with hardly any acceleration. We adjusted it at the gas station and then two more times until completely removing it the third. It was more to protect the roof of the car and to keep the bag firmly in place than anything, but 2600 miles with something on the roof that sounds like a hale storm is not ideal.
Needless to say it took us a long time to get out of the San Diego and Riverside counties. The Garmin also took us on some off-freeway adventures because of morning traffic, but we eventually started heading east and it was fairly smooth sailing after that.
I didn’t photograph a lot of the scenery on day one. Most of it was either Californian desert, which I have seen a lot of, Arizona desert, or New Mexico desert. Phoenix felt very flat and bleak to me, but I thought that Flagstaff was beautiful.
Our very first gas stop of the trip! Somewhat shady bathrooms, but decently priced gas. Even with taking a few pictures we stopped for less than fifteen minutes. We’re masters at road trip stops! Also, my little Mazda2 is a champ. I can’t believe I could bring so much stuff!
I can’t believe how chipper and full of energy we were on day one. It was a fourteen hour day–the longest traveling day of the trip. We decided that even though we were tired at dinner time, we would keep going so that we could make it to Grants, New Mexico for the night. We ate Cracker Barrel for dinner–my first experience with what I guess is a huge hit all over the country. The west coast, to my knowledge, is a little oblivious to this restaurant chain. My mom was stoked about the fried okra, collard greens, grits, and biscuits and gravy.
We stayed at a Days Inn for the night and it was surprisingly incredibly nice, especially for less that $80. Every night that we stayed in a hotel, we almost completely unpacked the car. We’re nuts. We got there after nine pm and unloaded the car in freezing temperatures.
That night I didn’t get much sleep again before the 5 am wake up call.
It was freezing in the morning. We bundled up, had our complimentary breakfast, packed the car and left the hotel just after 7 am. Just in time for sun rise.
We tried the non-slip pad under the bag again that morning. We trimmed the corners in hopes that the wind couldn’t get under it. Alas, around 70 miles per hour, it happened again. We pulled over on the side of the road and took it off immediately. Then I went crazy taking pictures of the sunrise over breath taking New Mexico.
The Texas panhandle. I lived in Texas once–for three years near Dallas. This is the first time I had been back. We stopped for lunch in Amarillo. Honestly, I can find beauty in most places. I found the pale fields of northern Texas to be beautiful. I love mountains, so the flat country isn’t my thing, but it has its own uniqueness that I like. It makes me think it would have been terrifying to settle there years and years ago. Flat, windy, and hot for as far as the eye can see.
Starting to get a little restless and stir-crazy at this point.
We stopped for the night in Oklahoma. My cousin and her family live there and were gracious enough to feed us dinner and let us stay the night with them. We hadn’t seen them in five years so it was nice to catch up and see how much her sons have grown up! My mom made me take a sleeping pill that night and let me tell you, it worked like a charm. I was out before 10pm.
Days three and four should be up next week!
What’s the best road trip you have ever been on?