Road trip! Initially we were set to go to Texas but finances, time and weather prevented this. I wanted to get these photos up for everyone to check out, and it really was a fantastic trip overall, even despite -and perhaps even because of- the unexpected setbacks. The title encompasses the entire journey San Francisco (SF) to Santa Fe (SF).
Day 1 – Snowed in, in California. Took off on the 5 headed south around 6am with coffee in hand and hope in the air. We were set to spend night 1 in Vegas but due to a snow storm we were turned around at Bakers, Ca and wound up staying the night in Barstow, Ca. It should be noted that this was my first experience with driving in snow.
Day 2 – Took off from Barstow. The sun was out and filled our hope back up that we would not be stuck in California today. Found out the main road we needed to take (I-15) was still closed due to snow, so we waited around for an hour before deciding to shed some fear and take the unknown detour. We wound up not even entering Nevada and went straight into Arizona, getting into Flagstaff while it was still light out. We didn't try going back to make it to Vegas. We made the most of it and walked over to the gas station for drinks to occupy us.
Day 3 – Took off from Flagstaff. Stopped briefly at an Arbys to eat along I-40. I-40 was our biggest friend during this trip. We had fun playing games with some guys who didn't look older than 18-19 in a Toyota pick up from over an hour. Soon enough we were in New Mexico, and were momentarily lost looking for a tattoo place in Albuquerque. Fortunately we found it and I got some new ink. After that we took off and made it to our hotel in Santa Fe and were pleasantly surprised at how nice the hotel was. We decided to cut our trip short by 2 days due to lack of funds and tried to make the most of the evening.
Day 4 – Left Santa Fe in search of Arizona. New Mexico was hands down the most beautiful place on this trip. I will definitely be returning to explore it a bit more in the future. We also decided to cut the long drive from Santa Fe to Scottsdale some by staying somewhere in the middle. Gallup, New Mexico it was. We ate some good mexican food, and watched Caddyshack. For the second time, missed taking a photo of the "welcome to arizona" sign. We did however stop at the Continental Divide for some good ol' fashion tourist souveniers and photos.
Day 5 – Drove from Gallup to Scottsdale. We arrived late in the afternoon, checked into an amazing hotel (a Best Western Inn & Suites go figure!) and went out for some affordable but super hearty italian food. After that drinks were grabbed and we watched a CSI marathon before falling asleep in the most comfortable bed i've ever laid in (and this includes the previous winner of this award – the bed at the Hyatt Regency in Cincinnati, Ohio).
Day 6 – Woke up later than planned due to the comfort of the beds. Stopped at starbucks for fuel (both for the body and car as it was located at a gas station). Then we took off and didn't stop til we were securly back in California. We stopped in Buttonwillow for food and more caffeine via starbucks! Yay Buttonwillow! Then we proceeded onward towards home. Total drive time was about 11 hours, but it took us a little over 12 total to make it from Scottsdale to the bay area.