Road Trip Across America – part the first

Santa Barbara, CA to Flagstaff, AZ

Miles Driven: ~570

This morning I left Santa Barbara for good.  I said good bye to the roommates (at least the ones who were not up at 3 AM with me this morning), got in the car and got on the 101.  In a little under 10 hours I made it from St. Babs to Flagstaff, AZ.  I had so much fun hanging out with friends last night, that I can’t say it was a mistake, but I was REALLY tired all day.  Luckily, the day was pretty uneventful.


Some things that caught my attention:

– It reached 116 degrees in the Mojave desert.  I thought it felt a little warm…  In all seriousness, there comes a temperature at which air conditioning becomes the difference between sweating at a rolling boil and a light simmer.  There were so many cars by the side of the road, hoods open, cooling off.   It feels like someone is pointing a hair dryer at you when it’s windy.  I did get to see a “dust devil”, which was pretty awesome.

Dust Devil in the Mojave Desert

The gas station I was at  – the Hi Sahara Oasis – was straight out of the 1950s, but with windmills.  I’ll put up the non-phone pictures later.

– People bring their boats into the desert.  I learned that there is a lake near Vegas where people go and hang out after I got to Flagstaff, but for many hours this morning, I was really confused as to why people were driving out of LA and into the desert with boats and jet skis.  It was funny.

– California is a really wide state.  I kept thinking I must be in Arizona by now, but I kept not being in Arizona.  When I finally did arrive in AZ, I stopped in Kingman to refuel and to walk around a little.  It was too hot to be outside so I went into a weird little museum: the Mohave Museum of History and Arts.  They had two rooms dedicated to portraits of US Presidents and First Ladies.  It was a little creepy.  There was also a history of the local American Indian tribes.  It was incoherently presented and fairly condescending.  The gift shop was excellent, though.  They carried a bunch of pieces from a local jeweler – who happens to own one of the turquoise mines so the stones were wonderful (and relatively inexpensive).  They also had “raw” rainbow casilica.  I wasn’t positive it was a naturally occurring stone (and neither are the experts), but I bought one anyway because it was so pretty.


And now to bed – tomorrow is the Grand Canyon and the Painted Desert.  I already miss my SB friends, but I’m excited about things to come.


~ by Genevieve on July 1, 2011.

2 Responses to “Road Trip Across America – part the first”

  1. Wow. I’ve never felt so thirsty while reading a blog post before. I’m jealous that I missed the dust devil! And I can only begin to imagine the other crazy stuff you’ll see. I hope you get to see a station wagon with a full set of elk antlers on top though… that may be my personal favorite; we were so shocked that my friend made me speed to catch up to the guy and follow him off the highway into a rest area so she could take pictures (I can’t say I didn’t feel a tid-bit creepy, but the pictures were great!), and to be fair, the antlers were at least as wide as the car.

    We miss you too!

  2. […] how I saw the dust devil back in July of last year? It was my first day of road tripping, I was dehydrated and terrified of having my car overheat in the Mojave desert, and then a dust […]

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