Hallo Leute!

My travel blog is nowhere near complete, but it will do for now. I thought that since I am on a road trip across the country and soaking in all sorts of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and random bits of knowledge, I should practice blogging.

My goal is to make the posts interesting and informative without becoming too long and full of information to read. I will eventually incorporate photos, but I am not doing that at the moment as I am occupied with wedding and family things.

So, to recap the trip so far, I will share the highlights:

My brother David and I left Vacaville at 7:30 in the morning on Wednesday, June 24th. We drove up to Reno and picked up Grace, then hit the road after some breakfast at about 11:00. We reached Salt Lake City, Utah, by about 6:00. Nevada is a gorgeous state if you like the desert, but it is very, very barren. I enjoy the serenity of an empty landscape, filled with unimposing desert fauna, soaring mountains and propitious skies. Utah is also incredible; as soon as we crossed the border, Grace and I were struck by the sight of a massive salt flat that stretched 32 miles long and took almost half an hour to cross. Driving through the center of the flat was a unique experience; it is quite similar to snow, except it’s over 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside and there are no animals or vegetation to be seen for miles.

Salt Lake City seems like a great place, based on the hour we spent there eating and stretching our legs. The city lies at the base of the Rockies, and having them looming overhead while you gaze across the city and sprawling desert beyond is a surreal experience.

Leaving Salt Lake City, we drove through some gorgeous mountains and canyons with geological history that I absolutely crave to discover. The lush scenery is refreshing to us thirsty Californians, and we drank in as much as we could before the sun went down. Wyoming passed us by through the night, as did most of Colorado. The sun greeted us with arms full of thick fog, which dissipated by about 7:00 to reveal blue skies. Unfortunately, I slept through most of Kansas, but the hour or so that I observed was remarkably flat, although decently green. Large signs portraying various pro-life centered messages assailed us as we traveled through the central states, a stark contrast from the citizens’ decision to ignore basic recycling practices. Do they not realize that their bottles, cans, and boxes also have entire lives ahead of them that are waiting to be discovered?

Missouri was a short but sweet drive, as we dodged past Joplin and beelined for Arkansas, desperate for showers and any food that wasn’t sandwiches or almonds. Both Missouri and Arkansas lack distinguishing features beyond predominant flatness in the areas that we passed, but the verdant hills and wild-looking forests make up for an apparent lack of geological diversity.

We reached Fayetteville, Arkansas by 3:30 local time on Thursday afternoon, clocking in at 26.5 hours for the entire journey. Google maps predicts that the drive itself should take 26 hours, so we made up the time we spent gassing up, using the restroom, and eating by capitalizing on the opportunity that 80 MPH speed limits provided us. I will admit, it was not until the last three hours of our drive that I slowed to cruising speeds below 90 MPH.

Since we have arrived, we have spent lots of time with our dear friends that are really family, laughing and sharing stories over a range of drinks. The city of Fayetteville offers a thrilling assortment of entertainment; on our first night here, we enjoyed a beer and some dancing to Latin music on an outdoor patio, and then walked down the alley to stumble upon a small orchestra playing classical pieces by composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach in a cozy bar.

Tonight will be the crowning moment of the trip: our dear friend Dana is getting married. Our family has been merged with the Clarke’s since birth, so we are full of emotion to see her wed tonight. The events have been meticulously planned, and the location could not be more beautiful. We are eagerly biding our time until we can leave for the ceremony and proceed with the following celebrations.

More words later, thanks for reading!

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