Road Trip Across America (Updated Daily)
The 2,600+ mile adventure began September 26, 2007. The destination- Atlanta, Georgia. The starting place- Reno, Nevada. Follow Billy and his father along the way and see what it is like to sightsee America in a 24' box truck. Live vicariously! Read Billy's Daily Blog about driving across America, and see America through our photos.
States to be Visited: Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia
The Daily Blog:
September 26, 2007: After packing the last few items remaining in bitter 38 degree weather- The adventure began at 8.10 this morning as we departed from the storage unit and headed east toward Fallon, Nevada on I-80. On the way to Fallon (Elv: 3960', "The Oasis of Nevada") we passed through the marked entry to the Great Basin. From Fallon we took US-95 South to Las Vegas (448 miles). Around 1pm we stopped and ate in Tonopah ("Considered to be the Best Place in America to Star Gaze"), with few choices so far, we opted for the Tonopah Hotel & Casino restaurant over the McDonalds or Burger King. Towns are far and few between, either run-down, or running off the life of a casino. Once mining towns, now some seem a little shanty.
US-95 takes you all the way through Las Vegas into Arizona. We arrived in Vegas around 5 pm with some traffic congestion around "sin city". A quick stop on the main strip to see the Golden Nugget, and we kept heading south. With no diesel fuel visibly available in Las Vegas, we stayed on US-95 which becomes US-93 (Home of the Hoover Dam). Excitement rose as the Hoover Dam signs came into sight some 30 miles south of Vegas. Unfortunately, trucks are not allowed across the Hoover Dam, so we were detoured to stay on US-95.
Soon to be running out of gas in the middle of the desert, we lucked out as the gas warning light was beeping and found Terrible's Casino and gas station with a McDonald's in Searchlight, NV. A quick refuel and shoveling our food down- We finally made it here to the Grand Canyon around 12.30 am after 15 hours of driving with the last 60 miles on US-64 dodging deer and rabbit. I almost tagged one- the massive deer was sitting in our lane, no traffic, it's a dark deserted road, fortunately he froze and i asked (yelled) at him to not back up. I squeezed the truck between the shoulder and the remaining lane. I came within a foot.
It's almost 2 am, I'm hitting the bed.
September 27, 2007: We started walking to the Grand Canyon just before 9 am. The Grand Canyon's park entrance, according to the hotel, is a mile away from our hotel; which meant we could leave the freezers in the truck plugged in throughout the day. At the entry gate to the Grand Canyon, we learned that the park shuttles were still 6 miles away, hence walking was not advisable. We were back to the hotel and on our way, now officially, to the Grand Canyon by 10 am. With a $25 entry fee per vehicle, the Grand Canyon...
Drops off the face of this Earth- Wow! A must for anyone.
After collecting 500+ photos, there isn't much to be told. Only one's own eyes can see the stacked layers of colorful canyon controlling the landscape. We spent the day hiking to every vista we could, riding the trolley when we didn't have enough time. We waited around to see the sunset lay over the region. I did have the opportunity to walk 1.5 miles into the Grand Canyon and see the massive layers of rock surround me. I was surprised at how empty the park seemed today. I expected thousands of people cramming in line to get to the viewing areas. Along with great weather and little human congestion, a worthy day in my life will be remembered.
We drove 4 more hours to reach Phoenix, AZ. We did jump on Historic Route 66 tonight for a few miles. It's already 2.30 am, and tomorrow is real work.
September 28, 2007: We spent the morning driving around Phoenix, AZ getting errands completed. It's in the 90s here. The afternoon was spent setting up by my father and me for the picnic tomorrow. We left the park just as the sun was setting. Arizona has beautiful skylines twice a day, at dusk and dawn with the sun rising and setting as it turns the sky into artwork. We ate dinner at the "best" mexican restaurant in Chandler, AZ. The service was excellent, the food was not that memorable. Getting the site updated daily is becoming an enormous task. I am just too tired by the time I have a few minutes to complete anything.
September 29, 2007: The picnic ran from 12-5 pm for 1,000 people. Hot Air Balloons were lifting off as we arrived at the park this morning (6.30 am). The event was a success. We left Chandler, AZ around 7pm and drove through Tucson, AZ and are now in Benson, AZ staying at Arizona's best Holiday Inn Express in the State. The Holiday Inn Express is also one of the top 50 in the USA. We were able to stop and eat at a Cracker Barrel in order to get bloated on some sweet tea. Living out west seems hard when our sources of drinking fluids are carbonated or added sweet'ners- finding sweet tea available is a gold mind for us. We are 1,600 miles from Atlanta. We will be driving through El Paso tomorrow then on to Dallas - Fort Worth, off of I-10 and on to I-20 for another 1,000 miles.
September 30, 2007: Having a late start because of the time loss of two hours today, the trip from Benson, AZ to Monahas, TX amounted to not getting very far in the truck today. We didn't seem to be in New Mexico but for two hours or so. We stopped for lunch and were soon to be in Texas crossing through El Paso. West Texas stills has mountains to my surprise. It's another late night as I am washing clothes and it is close to 12 am. We'll try to make it in to Atlanta tomorrow, doubtful, but we'll see.
October 1, 2007: The drive today was from Monahas, TX to Vicksburg, MS (4 miles into Mississippi). We are now only one hour behind Atlanta's time zone. Today was all about driving, and finishing up Texas. It takes a good day's drive to complete Texas on I-20. So passing through Louisiana and then the start of Mississippi seemed simple after dusk. I have done this leg of the United States quite a few times running back and forth from Texas to Georgia. Texas is known as having everything "bigger", and I got that in the meaning of machinery as we passed from West Texas to Central Texas. Scattered throughout the lands of Texas are metal fabrications that support mainly their petroleum economy. Strung along the interstate, the equipment seems more like a pile of rubbish. Somewhere in the middle of "oil rigs, pipeland and scrapyard" we passed through Midland, TX (home of President Bush and Laura). Dallas and Fort Worth are usually traffic headaches, but passing through around lunchtime didn't seem so bad this time. Our eateries were 2 BBQ restaurants. Little Pit BBQ in Talty, TX gave me a ham sandwich when I ordered a pork sandwich, they did have some form of sweet tea that could pass for being unsweet. Hot Rods BBQ was our dinner, in West Monroe, LA, of home cooked BBQ chicken, BBQ beans, cole slaw, sweet tea, and peach cobbler for dessert. After such a delicious meal, I know feel that I am back in the South. We drove another two hours tonight just crossing over into Mississippi over the Mississippi River (a future adventure). Tomorrow is our last leg and we should be back in the office by late afternoon.
October 2, 2007: We got back to the office after 5 pm. The drive from Vicksburg, MS to Atlanta, GA is suppose to be 6.30 hours. We left around 9 am this morning really tired after what seemed to be a two hour nap. We passed to the south of Birmingham, AL; and from there it's a little over two hours. I-20 takes us to 1-285 just west of Atlanta (location of Six Flags over Georgia). We head northeast on I-285 and jump on I-75 just north of Atlanta. It wasn't so great as we started hitting the city, the traffic, and people became irritable. We are now back after a US world-wind trip. The next two weeks I'm in North Carolina, then off to Alabama, and so forth. See you soon.
All Map Images provided by: Google Maps
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