These are just some notes I wrote on the way during the coast to coast roadtrip. Read on. Other parts can be found on chronological order. Kindly forgive the writing, these were penned down on the way. Even by my low standards, I can vouch that it is written badly.
While I had been planning the C2C roadtrip for a few months now, it always used to end up at one roadblock – the vehicle. A rental car usually blows up the budget (as they charge ridiculous penalty amounts to drop off a rental car at a different location from the pick-up). Taking my car along wasn’t feasible either, as I was planning a one-way roadtrip.
This is when I discovered the rideshare community on Craigslist. I was being tested for H1 and quarantined in the U.S. for the length of the processing. Out of desperation, I posted an ad on Craigslist saying I was willing to drive if someone wanted their vehicle transported anywhere one the east coast. I got a couple of replies, and went ahead with a 2000 Isuzu Rodeo, as the vehicle was good and the owner and his son, to whom I had to deliver it, seemed nice people. After an initial meeting and a test ride, I had pretty much decided on the vehicle.
As for them trusting me, they did have a copy of my ID as a proof. But if I may be immodest, I usually find it easy to make people trust me. It also turned out cheaper for them, since I was paying for the gas, and wasn’t charging any amount, unlike other offers they had. This was only ethically fair according to me, since I just wanted a vehicle for the trip, and I would be taking quite a few detours on the way, so charging them for the gas wasn’t fair.
(Oh .. and a couple of days into the roadtrip, I got an offer to drive a 2008 BMX X3.)
With this, and the formal trip to the Golden Gate bridge on Day 0, I was all set. I was going to be alone for the first 2 days, after which a friend would fly in to Salt Lake City to give me company. All packing was done and camping, cooking and music stuff went in. Lately, I have been literally been living out of my backpack, so packing for any travel is a non-issue.
I planned to camp near the north rim of the Grand Canyon that night, which meant about 750 miles and 13-14 hours of driving. I planned to start at around 6 a.m., and as planned I left at 8.15. The drive was quite easy and I could afford to drive continuously without breaks since there wasn’t anyone else with me. California around summer is usually not too scenic, and Nevada and Arizona are just deserts. As I neared Las Vegas, driving became tough due to very strong winds, owing to the endless desert plateaus. I haven’t been to Las Vegas, and have never felt like since I am not too much of a city person, so a few snaps of Vegas and I continued on.
For the north rim, you enter Arizona from Nevada, then Utah and back into Arizona. As I neared Arizona, the landscapes started changing for the better, with canyons and rock formations all around. Most photography happened from the car.
I reached the campground, around 45 mins from the north rim, at around 10 p.m., but my phone showed 11 p.m. and I figured out I was in a different timezone, so I already lost 1 hour. I quickly pitched in the tent, made some maggi noodles and was off to sleep at 12 a.m. The next day was going to be long, so I planned to wake up at 6.