December 12, 2017

Driving Across the United States


Driving across the United States is a great way to truly see the country. You miss so much by flying, and driving not only allows you experience the changes in scenery, but also the differences between people. Some make the trip for work or to relocate, while others do it simply for the adventure. No matter what your reason, driving cross-country is a journey that you’ll never forget and because it’s not exactly a quick trip, it will also give you a better appreciation for aviation technology.



In the fall of 2010, I moved from Sterling, Virginia to Los Angeles, California. I could have saved time by shipping my car, but since this was a road trip I’d wanted to take for a number of years, I decided to drive. I completed the trip in 5 days which was pretty fast considering I was driving alone and wanted to take a few detours to see some specific sights along the way.


My journey took me along interstate 40 for most of the way. I drove through the fall foliage of Tennessee and Arkansas spending one night in each state, before making my way to the Ozark National Forest. After battling a huge thunderstorm in eastern Oklahoma, I headed down to Amarillo, Texas for the night, passing segments of the old highway 66 along the way. I arrived just in time to order a pizza and watch Cain Velasquez defeat Brock Lesnar in UFC 121. A neat little Texas town, Amarillo is home to the Big Texan Steakhouse offering a free 72 ounce steak if eaten in one hour. Don’t worry, I didn’t do it, nor did I try.


After Texas, I headed west, straight through New Mexico, stopping only for gas until I reached Arizona. It was a pleasant surprise finding that the famous Meteor Crater was located just a few miles off the interstate, 43 miles east of Flagstaff. I stopped there for a couple of hours to admire this true force of nature before continuing on and spending the night in Flagstaff. The last day’s drive took me through the very barren Mojave Desert. This sparsely populated land became more and more crowded as I neared Los Angeles.  It was a long drive, but finally I had reached my destination.



I highly recommend driving across the United States. It’s one of those trips that as an American, you should definitely experience at least once in your lifetime. My only regret is not taking more time for side trips. But there is so much to see, you could spend months trying to fit in everything. I do promise you two things after making this journey: you will have a better admiration for explorers like Lewis and Clark and those 5 hour transcontinental flights that you thought took forever will now seem like a quick hop.




* Here are some key points to consider when driving across America *



Check Your Vehicle

No matter what make or model your vehicle, you’ll want to have it checked out before making a journey like this. Just go see a mechanic you can trust and have them take a look underneath the hood to make sure everything is working properly. It’s also a good idea to change the oil, check the tires and make sure your spare is in good condition as well.


Plan Your Route

The next step is planning your route. It’s hard to plan everything, but you can at least get a general idea of the roads you want to take, what you’d like to see and where you’d like to spend your nights.


What To Take

Determining what to bring along on your journey is up to each individual, but I will say there are some items that you should always have with you.

: Water
: Flashlight
: Cell Phone and Charger
: Road Atlas
: Warm Clothing
: Comfortable Walking Shoes


Making The Journey

Now it’s time to make the trip. Your vehicle is ready, the route is planned, everything is packed and you’re off. The key to having a good road trip is like anything else, using good common sense. When you are tired, stop and get a hotel. If the weather is bad, pull off and wait it out and remember to always think ahead. Sometimes the distance between gas stations can be great, especially when you’re in the middle of nowhere so don’t wait until you’re on empty before you fill up. Other than that, “get your motor runnin” and have a great trip!!



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