The Saturn's Final Journey
Trip Start Sep 09, 2009
14Trip End Ongoing
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Courtney and I had one week to drive from Boston to San Francisco, visit with friends, see some sights, sell
the car, and make our flight to Australia, with a few detours along the
way. Sounds like a solid plan, right? We pretty much winged it...
Baseball Hall of Fame:
We started much later than we wanted on Tuesday thinking we could make the long haul to Chicago that night
Cooperstown to Chi-town!:
On the way to the Windy City, we stopped in South Bend, Indiana to check out Notre Dame and arrived just in time to see the marching band practicing in the visitors parking lot. We wandered around campus enough to realize that we were starving and didn't care about Notre Dame anymore. So, we asked one of the young college band geeks where we should have dinner and one of them suggested Culvers. Not knowing Culvers was just another Fast-Food joint we waltzed in to the packed establishment and devoured a cheap, delicious meal and hit the road again. I missed a turn for the highway and knew the Indiana countryside was not on our itinerary, so I returned to I-90 West and continued to Chicago
Corn, Corn, and more Corn!:
I was surprised how much Court enjoyed the rolling corn fields of Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. She wouldn't even let me put the camera down. "Take another one!" I can see how beautiful the corn fields are for a first-timer, but after the 500th mile, it gets a little tedious. We reached Des Moines, IA just in time for lunch, so I navigated us to a city park where we ate, stretched, and prepared ourselves to make it to Denver that night, a reasonable goal. After stopping at a few gas stations in the Midwest, we started to question why the premium gas was cheaper than the regular. Finally, Courtney asked a local, Laverne, who explained that the local farmers add ethanol from their corn to the ingredients of the gasoline to encourage people to buy it and support the local corn industry
The Rocky Mountains! (Foothills):
Having made it to the Colorado border, I forgot how much of the state we had to drive through before hitting Denver. Fighting off exhaustion, I woke up Courtney as we entered the Mile High City just before midnight and immediately crashed. My friend, Eddie, let us stay in his old apartment for a couple nights which was really convenient. Returning to Boulder was something I had been looking forward to the whole road trip. I was just as excited to reminisce about my college days as I was to show Courtney how special Boulder really is. I showed her everything: The campus, the foothills of the Rockies, and Pearl Street. We arrived just in time for the annual football rivalry between University of Colorado and Colorado State. Although we didn't actually attend the game, we met up with some of my old college friends still living in Denver for some good 'ol tailgating before the game. It was fun to see how crazy the students still get before the games
The Great Salt Flats:
The change in landscape from Wyoming to Utah was another reason for leaving Boulder at night. We entered Utah early in the morning with the sun rising over the Wasatch Mountains and Courtney woke up to the amazing views. She wanted to charge her camera battery, so we stopped at the first gas station and relaxed for 30 minutes. The guy working at the counter was blasting Rage Against the Machine and head-banging to it. He was an interesting character to say the least
The Final Stretch:
Nobody said it would be easy to get to San Francisco, so as I approached the Bay Area and called my friends, they informed me that the Bay Bridge was closed until Wednesday. This basically meant an hour detour around the other side of the Bay when I was already exhausted and it was getting late. Courtney, fast asleep, was completely unaware of this, so I admirably kept going until finally making it to San Francisco. We crashed at my friends' Ted and Heather's house in the Sunset and explored the city for a couple days. I was glad to be reunited with two of my best college buddies before heading off to Australia. We took the car to a place called "Cash for Cars," hoping to get a good deal for the faithful, 11-year-old sedan and ended up selling the Saturn for $400, but its sentimental value was worth much more...(sorry, that was wicked cheesy). We enjoyed our last two days in America, including a 6 hour layover in LAX and headed off to OZ!!!
Next Stop: Melbourne, VIC