With about 3 days notice, I packed my bags and was California bound to start a new a job as the digital media coordinator at Jordan Winery in Healdsburg, California.
It was a whirlwind of panicking, excitement, and goodbyes as I had just graduated the previous month from Ohio University and had two days to pack up my apartment at school and say goodbye to my friends and family. Everything happened so fast.
I was on the road before I knew it in my newly fixed-up Volkswagen beetle named Ringo, my camera in my passenger seat, and a road trip playlist on my ipod.
Just 2,800 more miles to go.
My first stop was in Macomb, IL to see my friend, Niki. Margaritas and ‘Just Dance’ happened of course.
Illinois is pretty much just hundreds of miles of cornfields.
Onto Missouri then Kansas where I stopped the following night. Kansas is one of the longest (and most boring) states I’ve ever driven through.
Day 3 I drove to Parker, Colorado to see my New York friend, Kristin. We got to catch up and reminisce our New York days for a night over some P.F. Changs.
The mountains of Colorado were a great change of scenery from cornfields and windmills.
If I had to pick another state to live in – it would be Colorado. The people, the sites….they’re fantastic.
I then drove up through Wyoming and stopped at the smallest city in the nation, Buford, Wyoming:
I stopped for the night just before the Utah border.
I woke up day 5 tired and dreading getting back in the car. After a little over an hour on the road I pulled over at the first stop in Utah. This was my absolute favorite part of the trip.
I did a little hiking and made some new friends.
I met this cool truck driver from Ohio that gave me a can of nuts to feed the prairie dogs.
I wanted to take one with me – it fit in my pocket and everything.
After this, I was re-energized and ready for another day of driving.
Utah was beautiful and my favorite state to drive through.
I felt like I was on the Oregon Trail that whole time and finally made it to Salt Lake City (still the best game ever).
On the border of Utah and Nevada, there were a hundred miles of beautiful white sand along the highway.
I stopped for the night about 150 miles from Reno. The solar eclipse was happening that evening so I took two pairs of sunglasses and headed outside. I met some guys in the parking lot that pulled up chairs to watch it and invited me to join them. It was so bright unfortunately, that we really couldn’t see anything without going blind.
Day 6. The longest and most treacherous. I stopped in Reno to get gas and someone got arrested right in front of me. I got out as soon as I could. Driving through California was rough. I hit the mountains where it was about 40 degrees with snow on the ground. The highway was under construction so it was one lane twisting and turning around the mountains.
After what seemed an eternity, I hit Sacramento and knew I was only about two hours away. I was trying to remember what happened the last two hours… but it’s blank -I think I blacked that part of the trip out because I wanted to get there so badly.
I arrived in Healdsburg, California around 5:00pm. 6 days. 10 states. 4 timezones. 2,800 miles.
It was the best thing I’ve ever done.
The US is huge and very empty but the sights I got to see were incredible.
I recommend driving cross-country to anyone that wants to see the US – it’s the only way to do it.