Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Day 1: Los Angeles to Denver

Made it to Denver. Don't underestimate this drive. It's a very ambitious drive which turned from scenic to vast emptiness to fun to an uphill struggle (mentally and physically) to the finish line. Here's what we did today:

Here are the first couple of pictures from the road:

Plenty of pictures and other details will be added later on.

Updated (6/30/08)

The morning of the trip started out on an unusual note. The night before Lindy and I were both super tired having gone for a ridiculously quick trip to Disneyland, another long post office visit, the first attempt of loading the car and a trip to the bar to see some friends. By the time we got home there was little chivalry left and we were both pretty agitated. Agitated to the point where we could not figure out a way to leave the house in the morning. In order to leave, I had to get in the car, pull it out of the garage, shut the garage, run around the front and leave the keys and the garage opener on the table, then run back out to start the journey. In theory this would have worked just fine, but I completely forgot about the gate that was blocking us from the street. Now, we were gated in with no clicker and couldn't go back into the apartment because I had already put the keys inside. Of course this left two options: sit and wait for the next early riser to swing around and open the gate for the two of us, or call my roommate Alicia... at 5:10 in the morning.
Fortunately for us, my lovely and brilliant former roommate of four years was great enough to click the door open and send us on our way. The above picture was NOT taken at 5:00 am.

We hit the road on the 101, which we ditched soon for the 134. I'll always remember that merger because off to the south you can see Universal Studios Hollywood perched on it's hill side, overlooking the valley like an out of place castle. The 134 gave way to the 210 around the Pasadena area with an early morning clear view of the Rose Bowl. We made our first stop around Barstow for a bathroom break and happened to see the worlds largest thermometer.

As you can see (or might not be able to see...) it was already 90 degrees at about 8:15 am. We continued on to Interstate 15 through Las Vegas where we hit our very first batch of traffic. All the traffic that we hit on the entire trip was due to road construction. Once we were out of L.A. a lot of cities relied on 2 lane highways. These roads were often turned into a one lane slow poke ride when construction was brought into the picture.

As you can see, our trip mascot, Lil' Nacho Libre was enjoying the slow moving ride on the dashboard. If he had been left out there much longer, he would have probably melted. Another good thing about Nevada is that there are casino's everywhere, even in a Denny's:

The trip got more beautiful along the way. Utah took freakin' forever. The previously mentioned last leg was really horrible. We were at an altitude of 10,000 feet, still going uphill on a forest road that had no lights. There were a few reflectors but all in all it was very dark. I saw two large deer hanging out in the median and a third one taking a long, quiet nap on the side of the road. This was enough reason for me to go slower than normal. We pulled into Melissa's place after 11:00 pm and did not last long before crashing on the futon. Another super long day ahead of us. In hindsight in was brilliant to get the longest drive out of the way the first day, but at the time it seemed like way too much.

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