It started on a whim, as most things do. Jill’s new job doesn’t start until April, and so we wanted to plan one more adventure before jumping back into career mode. “Why don’t we go visit my sister in Alabama?” Jill said (or something like it). So we planned out the trip.
It started off with a hitch or two. We wanted to rent a car. Jill’s Buick is not in good enough condition for a cross-country trek, and she didn’t feel comfortable sharing driving responsibilities with my VW stick-shift. We figured out pricing and thought it was doable, until we actually went to rent the car. Turns out ‘unlimited mileage’ only applied to Oregon and California portions of our trip. Enterprise was going to charge us 50 cents per mile every mile outside of these states, which meant an extra 2000+ dollars. Nope. We made the last minute choice to take my car.
The day we departed I pulled over a couple miles out of town because I forgot that I wanted to check my car’s oil. Good thing I checked because it was low. I added some and started off down the road again. Chug chug clunk clunk…what? I pulled over again and popped the hood. The oil filler cap was missing. We walked back down the road until we found it. Now we could finally begin the trip.
10+ National Parks/Monuments/Forests/Preserves
Here we go!
We had been down these roads many, many times. Once we found our oil cap it was a quick shot down highway 42 on over to Interstate-5. Oregon is gorgeous and has a lot to offer, but this trip was all about the unseen America, the lands we have yet to explore.
The same goes for much of California, especially along I-5. You want to see pictures of Mt. Shasta? Here you go. We took some when we hiked around it on the Pacific Crest Trail.
It was our first trip to the Bay Area since we left to hike the PCT. We knew it, and so we drove right on through. We stayed the night in Pleasanton at Jill’s brother’s place. I woke up early to get my car’s oil changed and then we got back on the road toward new vistas.
Down in the desert, east of Bakersfield, we finally started taking some pictures. We entered the Mojave Desert and crossed the mountain pass through the town of Tehachapi, a PCT town we fondly remember. We tried to capture a breathtaking desert sunset, but the pictures could do it no justice.
We continued on past Barstow and into the town of Needles along the Colorado River. Night had set in. We were about to cross into Arizona and wanted to see all that we could see. We stayed in town and set ourselves up to wake early and drive over to see the Grand Canyon for the first time!
Continued in part 2.
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