Complete a Coast to Coast Road Trip Across America

One of the things to do was to complete a coast to coast road trip across the US. I have been fortunate and since I have lived on the east coast my entire life and my parents liked to take extended vacations “out west”, this was not the most difficult thing to do. I grew up about 30 minutes from the beach in Florida and now live in Georgia which is where I lived when I took the trip to California.

My first conference acceptance was the ICES conference in 2008 was in June/July. Since I was still terrified of flying at the time my partner, my grandmother, and my daughter drove to San Francisco. We saw the Golden Gate Bridge although I don’t think we drove on it.

It took a few days each way and of course my daughter started getting sick which means within 24 hours I was sick as a dog because SOMEBODY (read that as partner) refused to get the Halls Defense that I asked for to try to kick the cold before it started. By the time I got to California, I almost could not get out of bed as I was so sick (I did other things in bed too but that is another story). I went to the conference and presented and then returned to bed. Partner and daughter went to San Diego to visit my SIL and got to Disney.

We drove through Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California which was my daughter’s first trip through most of them as well as my grandmother’s. On the way back we hit Nevada and drove through Las Vegas although I could not stop as I was having to work. I was still a consultant and I had one of those gadgets that allowed your laptop to access the internet… the super slow internet. So I rode on the strip but could not stop.

If I recall, we drove on the Hoover Dam which I guess that means we went to Colorado too. I know we went to Meteor Crater which was neat.

At one point when we were driving through Arizona/New Mexico, I was excited that there were prairie dogs and I wanted to go play with them. I was told by Partner that “No you are not allowed to play with them.” My grandmother asks why I would want to play with them. Partner said “Prairie dogs carry bubonic plague, Mel wants to get it.” Sad thing… he was right, he remembered my comments 6 years prior when I wrote a thesis on bubonic plague. Prairie dogs do carry it and there are periodic outbreaks in the New Mexico region.

I certainly would do another coast to coast road trip again although really I think I would do it alone. Surprisingly I only “gained” two states on this trip… California and Nevada (although my mother things I might have been to Nevada before).

Did you ever do a cross country road trip? Where did you go? Is it better to do it alone or with friends?

Completed : 2008

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