I am currently curled up in a chair in our hotel room on night number two of our cross-country road trip to California! We are in a little town called Elk City, Oklahoma, just a little over 1,225 miles from home. We had to stop here because it was the last chance unless we did another 200 miles to Amarillo and Dan had already driven for 14 hours today. We left Nashville this morning at 6:15am, just barely over 800 miles ago. I offered to drive several times but he was content in the driver’s seat.
We drove over 400 miles yesterday and stopped for our first night with Jared in Nashville. We went out to eat, he drove us through downtown, and then we were down for the count. I was never more comfortable on a couch in my life. It was great seeing one last familiar face before we hit the road again, and who better than one of Dan’s closest friends?
But I have to admit… this drive has been SO BORING! It might be because both Dan and I have made this same drive before. (Just not together… but I don’t remember much from that drive over. I must have been sleeping through most of it?) But the Virginia mountains turned into the Tennessee mountains and those mountains turned into hills which turned into Arkansas hills and then Arkansas plains… you get the drift. The landscape changed from Interstate 40 with thick trees on both sides in the mountains to Interstate 40 with thick trees on both sides in the flat-lands. Eventually, nearing Oklahoma City, things started to flatten out and thin out, and by the time we passed Okla City it was all flat and fields for miles… which is pretty and different, but it’s just been super boring.
The roadkill? Armadillos! (Like 32 so far, to be exact.) First off, who even knew there were armadillos in Tennessee!? I didn’t! I’ve only ever seen an armadillo in San Antonio, so you can imagine my surprise when they started appearing roadside just on the other side of Nashville. How are they in Tennessee, and does that mean they could be in Virginia? ARE they in Virginia and I just never knew? Or do the Blue Ridge Mountains cause such a divide that they haven’t made it over yet? Questions! Dan just blankly responded that they walked to Tennessee… I mean…
So other than our brief stay with Jared we haven’t stopped to see anything on our route other than rest stop bathrooms. But I’m sure that the landscapes that we’ll encounter from here on out will be so foreign to us that we’ll be much more in awe. Arizona is my favorite state in the US and we’ll start seeing desert tomorrow, so I know the second half of this trip will be more entertaining. We’ve also come parallel to Route 66 so we can make a few detours and pit stops tomorrow to see some kitschy Route 66 things along the way.
We’re hoping to make it to Flagstaff tomorrow, if not a little further. Our last day should be a short one and we’re going to head on into San Diego to visit with Dan’s family for a few days before we start apartment hunting in Orange County.