Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A long drive from East to West coast

A really long 3 day(Apr 30-May 2, 2011) drive across 9 states: Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming,  Utah, Nevada and finally California was an absolute dream come true! Without much planning, we decided to just hit the road and drive as long as we can in a day. This cross-country road trip was around 2500 miles, mostly on I 80W experiencing the changing landscapes: the great plains in Nebraska, salt flats in Utah, mountains in California and meeting local people. Above that, an hour being added to life each day- fun and tiring too!
Day 1: Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa
We started early Saturday and by noon we reached the “Windy City”. Enjoyed Panda chinese for lunch at Chicago Southland Lincoln Oasis and continued to drive through small cities. It was very windy all day and not much sun. As we entered Iowa, cattle and wind farms was a common scene. By evening we were right at the border of Nebraska. We stayed for the night at Omaha and had dinner in the downtown. The place reminded of Boulder, Colorado with live music, horse carriages, busy restaurants and streets with friendly people.
Day 2: Nebraska, Wyoming
After an hour drive from Omaha, We came across Lincoln, the only other big city for the day. Small towns passed by in the blink of an eye and it was all farms (with overhead sprinkler system used for irrigation) and cattle as far as the eye can see. We stopped for lunch at Perkins restaurant(Absolutely loved the fresh muffins here) in Sidney, a city to the west end of Nebraska. It was full of elderly people and the looks conveyed we were not the kind of people they often see (meant no offense). In Wyoming, the scenery slowly changed from plains to mountains covered with snow and the weather was very pleasant. Utah’s red and tan colored rocks welcomed us and the drive was little challenging on the curvy hill road as we got closer to the Salt Lake City. I was happy to be back in SLC after 2 years and we spent the night there at my sister’s. 

Day 3: Utah, Nevada, California
Salt Lake City was really beautiful in the morning with the pouring sunrays on the snow mountains. As we drove further, we saw the Great Salt Lake followed by acres of white land covered with salt, the famous Bonneville salt flats unique to Utah. We had a quick lunch at a Casino in Winnemucca and were back on the road. Evening as we approached Reno, nicknamed “The Biggest Little City in the World”, it’s vibrant life was quite apparent to the outside. Entering CA, we were fully excited looking at the pines and  national parks. The cities looked amazing between the mountains, nothing like I expected. Luckily we didn’t hit the evening traffic and were able to reach home by late evening.


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