I've always loved road trips, so the idea of driving from Indiana to Nevada was so exciting for me. I wish that I had listened when people told me that the drive was long and boring and just sheer NOTHING. Thank god Alyssa flew in from New York and did the drive with me because I don't think any number of songs or podcasts would have kept me sane had I done the drive solo. It's seriously THAT boring.
From Indiana to Illinois it doesn't really change much at all, they're practically the same state in my opinion so if it weren't for a sign signifying "Welcome to Illinois" you'd never know that you were in a new state. Well, maybe you would since the time will change as well, but that's about it for excitement. Then you go from Illinois to Iowa and let me tell you, Iowa is BORING. Sorry to anyone that lives there, but it's just a fact. There's nothing for MILES except fields and cows. That's it. The entire state. Then we get to Nebraska and I thought that maybe it would be better but again, there wasn't particularly a difference between Iowa and Nebraska just like Indiana and Illinois. More fields, more cows-these supposedly smelled more and worse according to Alyssa, but I think that's just the city girl in her personally. Manure is manure and it all smells bad. The most exciting part of day one for us was that despite not starting our trip until almost noon we still managed to make it into FOUR states in one day which was exciting.
Overnight in Nebraska.
This was hands down, the most boring of days for us. Nebraska is a very wide state, and it took us a majority of the day to get through because of that. It was awful and boring but at least we got to go fast on the highway, which is always my favorite. Once we got out of Nebraska we entered Colorado and things started to look up from there. Colorado is GORGEOUS. Rolling hills and towering mountains and just beautiful sites to see. The roads into the mountains are all winding and just fun to drive. We stopped at No Name and enjoyed a nice walk along the river and the sunshine before continuing on to Denver where we stayed for the night and it was great. We ate at La Loma, a Mexican restaurant with excellent margaritas and delicious enchiladas and it was nice enough outside that we were able to dine outside at a cute little bistro table and watch the city around us, Perfection after two days in a car, let me tell you.
When we got to out hotel for the night Alyssa suddenly felt super nauseous and had to throw up. We were super confused about this as we had hydrated all day, we didn't over eat, and we only had one drink each, but she felt mostly better after so we chalked it up to a fluke and moved on. Boy were we in for it. You see, what we didn't think about at all, was the fact that Denver sits at a considerably higher elevation than New York, Indiana, or any of the states in between, and neither of us is used to that kind of elevation. Yep, you guessed, altitude sickness. Luckily we were fairly well hydrated and we had Advil for our headaches, electrolyte packets for our water, and Meclizine and Zofran for any nausea, so we recovered quickly, but let me tell you, elevation sickness sucks and you DON'T want it.
This was hands down, the BEST day of the road trip. We started the day with sunrise at Red Rocks Amphitheater, which has been on my bucket list for YEARS. It wasn't quite the experience of my dreams since there was no concert and instead some construction, but it was still gorgeous and surreal to see it so quiet and empty with the sun shining down casting all these beautiful colors to play on the red rocks. I loved it. From there we continued on to Salt Lake City, Utah, but on the way we saw a sign for Moab and I couldn't resist the idea of seeing Arches National Park so we took a 45 minute detour and spent a few hours exploring Arches and all it's beauty. It was such a great time and I'm so thankful we saw the signs and decided to stop. Getting out of the car and walking around felt GLORIOUS after 2.5 days of driving and the sunshine was so warm and welcome. We had a blast and I can't wait to go back again some day and maybe camp there!
Overnight in SLC.
This was, without a doubt, the worst part of the trip, hands down. The drive from SLC to Reno is literally just endless flat desert and NOTHINGNESS. The only, and I mean ONLY, good thing is that you can drive 85 until you get to Sparks. We spent the entire drive just talking about how everything looked like we were either on the moon or in The Hills Have Eyes. There are areas with rundown homes or random cellar looking places or just farms that looks like maybe they're inhabited but maybe they aren't. It genuinely would not surprise me to learn that serial killers live all over this stretch of Nevada because that's how much there isn't anything there. They could live for years unknown I swear. It's insane and creepy and if I never do that drive again I'll be happy. After driving for what literally felt like eternity and giving Alyssa a personal concert of Hamilton featuring me as all roles we FINALLY made it to Reno and it was so perfectly timed and needed. I've never been so thankful to get to an Air BnB in my life. Seriously.
Things that I learned on a cross country road trip:
You can 100% drive without a rearview mirror
Snacks are crucial
Plan your hotels in advance
Get gas BEFORE you pass a 1/4 tank
Bugs splatters are 10000000x more intense at 85 mph
Make sure your overnight bag is easily accessible
Being in Reno for the past five days has been a blast and I can't wait to explore so much more. I have so much to write about already, including apartment hunting in Reno during a pandemic, which was a wild ride of frustration, as well as COFFEE SHOPS. I've already been to....four? five? Quite a few ha and I love them all for different reasons.
Until next time friends.