I headed west out of Denver about a week ago. Driving through the snow, I turned up the heat in my car, allowing it to warm the floor board and my feet. The warmth made me sleepy. The gray sky didn’t help. I pulled over on the side of I-80 to take a nap.
Several hours later, I am headed north towards Salt Lake City, Utah on Highway 6. It’s a small two lane highway. A truck pulling a trailer chugs along in front of me. I decide to pass him. As my car crosses the rubble strips in the center of the highway- I feel the car become heavy. Every warning light on the dashboard illuminates and my speedometer reads 0MPH. I keep on rolling down the highway, taking note that my power steering abilities are no longer engaged. I’m two hours from my destination. I call my parents, who inform me of some mechanics to call and hotels to stay at in Price, Utah. I do as they say. While car trouble in essentially the middle of no where is never a good thing, I’m happy to be on the road and adapting to circumstances. Everyone in Price is friendly- I stay at a Best Western and eat Taco Bell before falling asleep. At 8am, the mechanic called me to make sure I didn’t need a ride to his shop. After some inspection- the verdict is my car battery exploded, leaving battery acid all over the engine and perhaps shorting out- which caused all the lights to come on. One car batter and a car wash later, I was back on the road.
I picked up my best friend from Salt Lake City airport. We’ve been friends since the 6th grade. I believe that friends don’t have to see each other or spend too much time together to remain close. However, it is so nice to get to spend longer periods of time with a friend after years of only catching up over dinner. We sing in the car, we stop at every random road trip whim. We danced in the salt flats in Utah, witnessed “Wendover Will” the world’s largest mechanical cowboy in Wendover, and ate at a Pizza Barn in Elko, Nevada. We giggled and made funny voices. I felt silly. We told each other stories and talked about life. I felt comfortable.
We stayed the night in Carson City, Nevada before hitting the road again in the morning. The drive out of the mountains was incredible, particularly the stop around Lake Tahoe.
This photo was taken with my Samsung S3. As we descended west out of the mountains, our ears popped and water bottles crinkled under pressure. We arrived in Palo Alto Friday afternoon to greet my sister who had flown in for the weekend and some dear friends from college who now live in the Bay area. One main goal on my road trip west was to see the “Redwood Forest”, as referenced in the song This Land is Your Land. Photos don’t do these trees justice, but I can now say that- I’ve seen them! Five of us embarked on a long walk through Muir Woods, just outside of San Francisco. We drove across the Golden Gate Bridge and into the wilderness. On our walk, I learned that the UN was founded in San Francisco. I stood inside a tree.
It was everything I wanted- nature, beauty, adventure, friendship and family. A native of the Northern California area, Katy made an excellent tour guide. After seeing the giant sequoia trees, we had some famous San Franciscan New England style clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl from Boudin and went on to Ghirardelli Square to eat free chocolate.
Sunday, we went to a famous San Franciscan establishment, the Starlight Room at Sir Francis Drake hotel in downtown. There, I saw my first drag show in a brunch buffet format- Sunday’s a Drag. Laughs, shocks and awes were had by all. The fabulous host, Ms Donna Sashet made the event feel like good wholesome fun- honestly. Overall, an extremely fun and unique experience. The buffet included chicken and waffles, I mean…seriously! These ladies know how to throw a brunch!
After brunch, we walked up and down the hilly streets all the way to Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill, stopping only for popcorn and to admire a famous Catholic Church at which Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe weren’t allowed to be married.
We devoured some crab in the evening and had a good night’s rest. The following day- We saw the Mrs. Doubtfire house and went on a “Duck Tour” of the city- Another recommendation if you enjoy fun.
Today is my last day in the city. Having deposited my friend and my sister at the airport, I sit in a Starbucks contemplating what shenanigans to get up to on my own. Tonight I will have dinner with my dear friend and roommate from college.
Road trip rides again in the morning– SOUTH TO SAN DIEGO!