Solo Cross-country Trip

So back in March when Nate and I moved back to Virginia, I left my jeep in storage, because it was cheaper than bringing back, and at the time I wasn’t sure if I was going back or not…

Well, as it turns out, I’m not going back, to stay, and it really sucks driving a minivan, so there’s the background on why I’m out here.

The shock of going from cool, raining Virginia to ungodly 111 degrees and partly cloudy was worse than I had anticipated. Stepping out of the airport literally felt like opening an oven, except the initial heat blast didn’t go away.

I caught a bus to the Riviera- fun fact the 108 bus runs from the airport to some hotels. and for all the other ones, get off at the big bus terminal place and get on the Deuce. this is much cheaper than a cab- and to my complete suprise there was no line to check in.. When I finally located the elevator to my floor, there were about a dozen confused, and extremely heavily-dressed firefighters. most of them had hug sections of fire hose, and each one also carried some kind of pick-axe/pitch-fork shovel thing. They were lost, in a maze of a hotel. It was absurdly funny, and luckily nothing was seriously on fire…

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2 of the 5 firetrucks that were in front of the hotel

The next morning I walked straight to the storage place, and some how, the jeep miraculously started up no problem- after sitting for almost 5 months. I drove around some familiar areas a little bit before it became too hot to do anything but fly down the interstate.

20 minutes outside Vegas I got onto the Great Basin Highway, which right from the beginning is completely breath-taking and took that until it reconnected with I15 again in Cedar City, UT.

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i think i took this identical picture 5 months ago, when I explored for just a couple mile.

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Until I was 9, my family lived in Las Vegas, and we had a condo in the ski resort that is now Eagle Point, 18 miles up the mountains from Beaver. I drove up to it, walked around- nothings changed in 12 years..- and then explored some of the back roads we used to take the Jeep down on expeditionary fishing trips.

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campsite. can’t complain about the view
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three creeks reservoir, Fishlake Nat’l Park, UT
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other side of reservoir
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ski lift swing…
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When I was a little kid, this was a big, full lake, and water would flow over this section of road. I have epic memories of wading the jeep through water to get to better fishing spots.

This morning I woke up, and headed out, down the other side of the mountains through meadows and way-too-steep dirt roads.

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I jumped off I15 (as much as I wanted to take a different route, and stay on it) where I70 starts. Alot of the scenery is really incredible between there and Green River, especially from a geological perspective. The pictures don’t do any justice either.

I passed by the overpass we barely made it to, when me and Kyle blew up the radiator on our way to the Grand Canyon almost exactly 3 years ago. And after not finding a Panera in Grand Junction, I had to settle for this McDs, where I’ve been sitting, typing, waiting for my laptop and iphone to charge for too long. I’m hungry, and since this place doesn’t serve actual food, its time to move on…

coast to coast part 2

our hidden car/campsite. ImageEven in a “0 degree” sleeping bag, it was still too cold to sleep very well, and then as soon as it started getting light out, our quiet little end of the road pull-off erupted with revving dirt bikes and ATVs.

ImageThere was no one near us when we went to sleep. woke up to pickups as far as the eye could see.
We drove the rest of the way through the park, through a couple small, cool mountain towns, and then down into San Bernadino. This is definitely one of my favorite drives of all time as far a scenery, and the fact that LA lay ahead of us only added to the excitement.

ImageImageImageAfter about two hours of driving we got to Huntington Beach, and, as giddy as school girls, skated to the beach on little penny boards.

BFFs

surfer bros catchin gnarly pounders
surfer bros catchin gnarly pounders

later that evening we met up with a long-time friend that also just happened to be in LA that weekend. We explored Venice Beach- saw a seal from the pier, drove around Santa Monica (a place i definitely never thought i’d end up) and checked out Pacific Park.

venice pier
venice pier

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santa monica pier
santa monica pier

coast to coast part 1

We were out and on the road before the guy we were leasing from came to get the key. it was a sunny, perfect day. we took one last (very long) drive down the strip then took off down I 15 towards Los Angeles. i’ve probably made the drive two dozen times, when my family lived in Vegas, but have very little memory of it.Image
i think to appreciate the vastness, the openness, and the appeal of the desert you have to experience it. how conquistadors, natives, pioneers, and gold-seekers crossed these stretches of desert on horses and on foot is beyond me.

ImageI really enjoyed the drive and the scenery. We made a food stop at Barstow Station, which was tourist-tacky and overpriced.. the town itself seems kind of interesting though. coming through and down the mountains on I15 into San Bernadino was an incredible drive, and a big change from sandy desert and black mountains. It too, is something to experience Imagewe drove around the Silverwood Lake SRA, until we found a good place to camp. After weeks in Las Vegas, being in freezing mountains with occasional snow was a shock…