In a few hours, I’m about to leave for a cross country trip with my Sister. I haven’t really traveled in the US recreationally before as an adult, so I’ve got pretty high hopes for this trip.

Here goes nothing.

Day 1: Seattle, WA -> Jerome, ID

This day was mostly just driving.

Day 2: Jerome, ID -> Las Vegas, NV

We stayed at the SLS Casino at the north end of the strip. We ended up walking down the strip all the way down to the Bellagio, looking into many of the casinos on the way.

The little bit of Las Vegas I got to see was pretty weird. The streets were filled with promoters. The nightclub promoters would come up to you, sometimes aggressively. The strip club promoters would just riffle their tickets. I assume that there is some regulation or custom that prevents them from speaking.

Day 3: Las Vega, NV -> Holbrook, AZ

We went to the Grand Canyon. It was quite grand.

Day 4: Holbrook, AZ -> Santa Fe, NM

We saw the Tent Rocks. It was a pretty great. There was a short hike through a narrow canyon. All of the exposed rock were stiped with various layers of rock. Eventually the trail ended up at the top of a plateau that overlooked the whole area.

Day 5: Rest

I had some great Barbecue and saw the local Cathedral.

Day 6: Santa Fe, NM -> Oklahoma City, OK

This day was mostly just driving.

Day 7: [Oklahoma City, OK -> Dickson, TN]

We visited some of my Sister’s friends.

Day 8: [Dickson, TN -> Oxford, NC]

We visited an Aunt and Uncle of ours.

Some of the things I’ve learned

  • In the city, it seems like everyone is out for themselves. In the country, the road is well ordered. People let each other pass and stay to the right for the most part.
  • High speed limits are amazing. By far the best driving I did was when the speed limit was 80 mph. At that point, most people had given up on going 5 mph over the limit and just drove at the speed they felt comfortable at. This improved road ettiquette even more. People felt free to pass each other more decisively, and there weren’t bunches of people trying to crawl past each other at 1 mph faster.
  • There are some bad truck drivers. Of all of the dangerous situations we were in, about half of them involved trucks driving into our lane.
  • The beauty of the US countryside is astounding. Driving across the country we saw all sorts of terrain. It was wonderful to get a real sense of the variety and size of the US.
  • Being up high feels great. I started sitting up straight while driving, which I think worked out well for the long (compared to my normal drives) hours. This ended up putting me much higher and more forward than I am used to - so high and forward that it was a bit difficult to read the gauges on the car, although I was mostly on cruise control, so I didn’t really mind it that much. The benefit was much better visibility. Between the height of the car, the height of my seat and my upright position, I could definitely see much further than I’m used to.
  • Having a bunch of non-perishable snaks is great. It really makes meals much more flexible.
  • Hotel alarm clocks are awful. I should have unplugged more of them. I have no idea why hotels get ones that light up the dark.
  • Starting early is a really good idea. We mostly started driving between 6 and 7:30. The only time we ran into trouble was when we stopped for a longer than usual time in the middle of the day.