There was no going back now. The cars were loaded with harps, cats, guinea pigs, suitcases, silverware, pots and pans, and anything else we could think of that we might need in New York while we waited on our furniture to make it’s own trek out from California.
I hugged my dad I don’t remember how many times, and tried really hard not to cry as I got in my car and pulled out of his driveway. I was starting my own adventure now, a new part of my life. I was excited, but at the same time nervous. There was so much unknown on the other side of this trip. I had planned the trip itself out as much as I could to eliminate as many unknowns as possible – the less unknowns, the less stress I’m under. But this was still a huge undertaking. I’d never been on a roadtrip this long before, but this wasn’t just a roadtrip where I’d be back in a few weeks. I was moving all the way across the country. I didn’t know when I would be moving back home, because if Mr. Envoy re-enlists after this 3 years are up we will probably wind up in North Carolina and not back home in California. I would of course come home to visit, but California was now no longer my home.
We didn’t actually get on the road until around 11:30 am though. We stopped for gas after leaving my dad’s place and then had to stop at Auto Zone to get Mr. Envoy’s car a new brake light since it was out. That seriously would be all we needed… to get stopped on the road for a dang fix-it ticket! Then we stopped at my oldest sister’s house for walkie-talkies so we could communicate on the road easier (and thank goodness we stopped for these – they were lifesavers!!) and finally stopped at Starbucks for a coffee and super late breakfast.
Then it was on the road. Our stop was the Holiday Inn Express in Richfield, Utah, which made this day our second longest day on the road. Thankfully our route was really straightforward, we took the I-15N until we hit the I-70E in Utah, then drive until we reach the hotel.
Our first stop on the road was for some gas at a random gas station outside Victorville, CA. I had the dos kittens in my car and Mr. Envoy had the piggers. All of them traveled really well, but I was most surprised with Arthas and Sindragosa. They snuggled up together in their crate and pretty much slept the whole first day!
It wasn’t long before we made it to state #2 on our road trip, Nevada. There were a lot more cars traveling on the I-15 (I’m guessing to Vegas?) than I expected, so traffic was slow-going at times. But it was nice to finally be in another state because that part of California is really boring -_-
Since we got on the road so late we didn’t reach Las Vegas until rush hour. That made getting off the freeway to get dinner and gas super fun. But I didn’t mind too much because we were able to get In-N-Out Burger one last time! I had thought only California and Arizona had them, but I was pleasantly wrong. It tasted SO good and I savored each bite since it was the last time I’d be eating it for at least a year (you better believe getting In-N-Out is on my list of things to do when I go back home for a visit!).
Once dinner was done it was time to get back on the jam-packed freeway. We dealt with more rush hour and even an accident (lucky us??) that squeezed us into two of the five lanes of the freeway. Which was also when I dropped my damn walkie-talkie under my seat. There is nothing more exciting then being in bumper-to-bumper traffic and trying to reach under your seat and grab a walkie-talkie that you can just barely reach with the tip of your finger… But somehow I did it, after wrenching my shoulder of course >_< I’m not sure which I’d consider more fun, driving in traffic while trying to grab the walkie-talkie or driving in traffic with my shoulder hurting like hell after getting said walkie-talkie…
It didn’t take us long though to get out of the Vegas traffic and return to our normal interstate cruising. I kept looking at my GPS to see how far away we were from our gas stop in St. George, Utah so I’d know when to be ready to take a picture of the Utah state line, but was surprised when all of a sudden we came up on the Arizona state line! I had looked at my trip plans I don’t even know how many times but somehow the fact that we drove through part of Arizona had completely escaped me. D’oh!
The drive through this part of Arizona was so gorgeous! I wish I would have been able to take some pictures, but the road was far too windy for me to snap any :( But it curved back and forth through a mountain and over the Virgin River. It was absolutely stunning!
After coming out of the mountain it didn’t take long for us to finally get to Utah.
Utah was really pretty! It was awesome seeing the dirt start to change to red a little bit because we don’t have any of that red-dirt stuff back home :P
St. George came up pretty quickly for us, and we stopped for gas again as well as a coffee pick-me-up before making the final trek into Richfield.
When we got back on the road the sun was finally starting to set. We still had 2 hours of driving left before we reached the hotel, and we wound up driving in the dark for a bit. Driving in the dark on roadtrips really sucks for a few reasons. First off, you miss out on all the pretty scenery, and secondly you’ve probably already been driving all day and are pretty tired, and driving in the dark just makes you even more tired.
Before darkness fell though I managed to snap a quick picture of the clouds that were rolling in. We didn’t get any rain until after it got dark though, but I love the rain so I was happy with any! Although the rain mixed with the dirt on the road made my car super dirty. Damn black car… *shakes fist*
After 591 miles and 12 hours (including all of our gas/potty/food stops) we made it to the hotel. I also learned that night not to trust the arrival time on my GPS when travelling across the country because it fails to take time changes into account. It said we would get to the hotel at 10:30pm, but we switched to Mountain Daylight Time somewhere past St. George, so we actually got to the hotel at 11:30pm.
Gee thanks GPS…
Needless to say, once we had the cars unloaded and parked and the animals settled in for the night, Mr. Envoy and I passed the hell out. What a long day!! But at least our room was really nice and the bed was super comfy. What more could you ask for after a long day of driving?
Day 1 was done, only 5 more days of driving and 6 more nights on the road before we reached New York! Oy vey…
<3 and harp strings,