Saturday evening I said goodbye to my middle-of-nowhere Tennessee town, got into my fresh oil changed ’94 Honda Accord, and left my old life behind. Around 11:00 pm I started my road trip. Two days, seven states, and 2100 miles later… I am now officially in the greater Los Angeles area.
Besides the high gas prices, the trip couldn’t have gone more smoothly. I had no car problems, no traffic, and no tickets the entire way here. I got out of Tennessee and into Arkansas my first night, and stopped to get some sleep around 6:00 am. Woke up around 11:00 am and started again.
The worst part of the trip was driving through Oklahoma. Holy crap that place sucks! It was a one lane highway and road construction – all the way to Oklahoma City. After Oklahoma City, things got better. The roads cleared up, and the scenery was more comfortable on the eyes. I even got to see one of those giant wind turbine farms! The weather was beautiful, so the windows were down, and the music loud.
The drive through Texas was the color brown + cows. I have seen a lot of cows in my life. My house in Tennessee had cow fields on two sides. But I have NEVER seen more cows then I did in Texas! There must have been a million one field I saw! That’s all I can say about my Texas adventure. Although, the last stretch of Texas just before hitting New Mexico was kinda nice. It became more “deserty” and less “brown fields.” The sun was setting in front of me, the windows were down once again, and classic rock was blaring out of my speakers. It was about an hour of pure road trip perfection.
It started to get dark when I hit New Mexico. New Mexico and Nevada have 75 mph speed limits instead of 70 mph. That was a plus. Driving through Albuquerque at night was interesting. Everything in that city lights up in different colors. I felt like I was driving through Disney World/one giant Indian casino/modern art museum.
On the Indian note… starting in Oklahoma, and going all the way through Arizona, is nothing but Native American Tourists traps EVERYWHERE.
I stopped somewhere in New Mexico around 11:00 pm. It was snowing. It was over 90 degrees a couple of hours earlier in Texas, and now it was snowing in New Mexico. When I got to my room and looked in the mirror, my eyes were SUPER red. The hotel woman must have thought I was high as shit. I also think I was hallucinating a little. Driving long distances does weird things to the brain. I immediately took a hot shower and passed the fuck out. I slept for about 8 hours and then started again.
Arizona was an exciting drive. They have cool towns with names like, “Two Guns” and “Twin Arrows.” Stopped in Flagstaff for some gas. Held the door open for an old woman, and then continued on my way. (OLD PEOPLE LOVE ARIZONA) It was quite chilly outside, but the scenery was pretty. The last stretch of Arizona featured a drastic elevation drop that was fun to speed down.
After driving through Arizona (forever) I finally hit California. As soon as I crossed the Cali/Arizona border, it felt like the temperature rose 30 degrees. Then the song Born to be Wild came on the radio. After I told the border guard that I wasn’t harboring any fruits or vegetables, I started driving through The Desert. The Mojave is a beautiful place. By now I had shed my high elevation driving clothes and was applying sunscreen to my left arm (It already had a nice sunburn from earlier Oklahoma driving). I set the cruise control to 80 mph (Cali goes back to 70 mph speed limits), and I don’t think I had to touch the brake or gas pedal for over an hour. Very beautiful, relaxing drive.
The relaxing desert drive continued until I started coming up on Barstow California… then it just got shitty, real fast. All of a sudden the hot desert wind didn’t feel right. It felt like I just walked into a hot port-o-potty. I paid for my $4-a-gallon gas and headed up towards Riverside/Loma Linda. And that’s where I am now, staying with some friends/family.
Overall, I’d say the trip was a positive experience, but one I wouldn’t like to do again anytime soon.
Keep checking back as I update you on my existence. I just became a small fish, in a vast pond.
What’s the most extended road trip you’ve taken?