It’s the last leg. Right now we’re driving from Boise to Yakima to Bellingham. As exhausted as I am, this is one of the most amazing, eye-opening and exciting experiences I have ever had. After this trip, I definitely think that an all-American road trip is something everyone should do at least once in their life (I plan on doing this again from coast to coast).
After we left L.A., we drove to Phoenix, Albuquerque and ended up in Denver before heading back through Wyoming, Utah and Idaho. In total, we drove through 9 states in 11 days. Arizona and New Mexico were the driest places I have ever seen. It was literally like the movie Fievel Goes West with all the tumbleweeds and cacti. While driving from Phoenix to Flagstaff we even ran into some snow. I think Colorado and Arizona must have traded places since I felt ridiculously hot the entire time we were in Denver and I had to turn the heat on in the car while we were in Arizona.
In Albuquerque we went to their Rio Grande Zoo, which was full of safari animals, much unlike the Woodland Park Zoo that I usually go to. I was excited to see the cheetahs, but they were sleeping when we got to their exhibit. My favorite animal was the Reeve’s Muntjac, which is a small, barking deer. I have always wanted a pet deer (ever since I found out Audrey Hepburn had one for a pet), and I love dogs, so this would be the perfect animal for me. I liked Albuquerque a lot. It was such a cute, Western city. However, New Mexico was by far my least favorite place to drive through. It felt like we could drive for hours at a time without seeing so much as a rest stop.
In Denver there wasn’t a whole lot of tourist activities to do, so we mainly just checked out the city. Denver is such a cool city, and it reminded me a lot of Seattle, only a little cleaner, quieter and drier. We talked to one guy who said one average they only get about a foot of snow, which really surprised me. I thought Denver was known for the snow and mountainesque vibe. My favorite thing we did there was go to REI. This was the largest REI I have ever been to. There was a rock wall (I had heard of rock walls at REI but have never actually seen one), about 4 stories and a Starbucks. I can’t wait to go camping this summer and stock up on supplies from REI, that store makes me want to be extremely active just so I have an excuse to buy half the stuff they sell.
Our last stop was Boise, where we stayed with Lyan’s aunt and uncle. It was really amazing to meet this family because they have the exact life that I want. Her aunt has traveled all over the world, married her middle school sweetheart, had a wonderful career and is now a stay at home mom that is heavily involved with nonprofit. It’s definitely something to aspire to. And their daughter Maya is the cutest thing I have ever seen (which is saying a lot since I’m not exactly the world’s biggest fan of children). I didn’t have the chance to see much of Boise, which I was a little disappointed about, but at least it’s not that far from Bellingham, especially compared to some of the other places we went. When we got there I was so exhausted, I think the trip was just finally catching up to me. So I took a nap while Lyan and her aunt went to check out the city.
All-in-all, this was a very blessed trip with excellent luck. The worst thing that happened was when I though my gas gauge broke, which it turned out it didn’t (the actual story was that when we went to fill up the gas tank, I thought I started pumping before I went to clean the windshield. Turned out I didn’t start it all the way. Then Lyan saw that it wasn’t pumping so she assumed it was finished. When I got back in the car I saw that the gas gauge was still at half a tank, which was weird since that’s where it was when we pulled into the station. Long story short, we almost ran out of as on the mountainous freeway in Arizona at night. At least I learned that I, in fact, do have a gas light that comes on when I’m out of fuel!). This trip also came at the perfect time. It gave me time to see what parts of America has to offer and time to think about where I want my life to go and what I want to do at a time when some major changes are about to happen in my life. After this trip, I have no idea where life is going to take me, but I feel like I have a better idea of where I would like it to take me. That is one of the things I love most about traveling, I always feel like I have a better grasp and idea of who I am and what I want, which I definitely got from this trip. I feel more confident about the future and I know I will end up where I need to be.