On Sunday, I packed up my car and drove away from my hometown of Los Angeles. I had never driven for longer than maybe 5 hours by myself. My lovely little peanut, Cassidy, came with me for two days and flew home from Denver. I was surprised by how easy it all was. Maybe a little tiring, but not this big ordeal that I prepared for in my head. My little orange Mini Coop, Ilse, did her duty well. Four days. Two thousand miles.
Highlights of the trip:
- Highest temperature: 122°F
- Lowest temperature: 51°F (with heavy rainpour)
- First time being pulled over (for speeding). The man was so sweet and just gave me a warning.
- First time calling 911. There was a teeny brush fire on the side of the road and they already were sending people out when I called, but I felt like a good, responsible citizen.
- Driving 1000 miles alone.
- Eating at a German restaurant on the Mississippi River and having the sweet little waitress tell me, "I can't give you your check. Someone--and I can't say who--paid for your lunch!"
High/low. Don't worry, Cass took these photos.
Oh my, America is beautiful. The first day was California, Nevada, and Utah desert and the colors were insanely magical. There were so many different kinds of rock and they were all interesting and splendid.
The second day was Utah and Colorado and there was so much variety. Still a lot of desert rock, but then there were also lush mountains of green and the gushing Colorado River. We pulled off on a lookout of salt rock. It blew my mind. None of my iPhone pictures gave it the proper justice. That was the day when all of a sudden it was grey and gloomy and then POURING rain! I could barely see in front of me for a good ten minutes. And then right as we made it through, A Little Fall of Rain from Les Miserables came on shuffle. I love when that happens. The clouds after the rain were majestic and they reflected on the asphalt of the road which was stunning.
The third day was my first day alone and also the most boring. The clouds around the Denver airport were amazing, but then it was mostly Nebraska. It was all flat. Usually I'm a fan of that when it's green or there are pretty clouds in the sky. Nebraska, on the other hand, was mostly dry grass and plain sky. Not even the most vibrant blue. It was kind of a bummer. But then as I was gearing down for the day and looking for a rest stop for the night, the pre-sunset was heavenly. I was listening to the new Cinderella Broadway soundtrack and the sky looked like a fairy tale. It was lovely and pink and fluffy.
The last day was pretty nice. Iowa and Illinois are picturesque, but there wasn't much variety. Mostly greenery, slight hills, and wonderful clouds. I made it to the outside of Chicago in record time, but then I had to sit in 5:00 traffic for almost an hour. I also had to pee. It was pretty annoying. But I made it! I'm here!
I am so in love with this little rest stop in Shelby, Iowa. I had the best eggs and toast of my life and the most amazing homemade potato chips.
Ol' Man River.
On to the next chapter of my life! I am so excited. It feels awesome to move on and actually take action towards change. Woohoo!
Baby Ilse made it.