Driving Across America: Day 1

Today I set out from western Massachusetts with my car stuffed to the brim with my mother loaded in the passenger seat. We looked like two sardines in a tiny window lined can.

We’re headed for sunny California where I plan to move for the next chapter of my life.

Most people complain about packing. I’m more than guilty myself, but what people don’t always keep in mind is the difficulty that comes with packing for long distance driving and how to choose what stays behind, what comes along, and what lands in the trash can. I found myself challenged more than ever trying to pack my small car for my move to California. I own a bright orange Honda Fit Sport that I absolutely adore, but fitting in three suitcases of clothes, a giant Buddha head table, two bags for my mom, plenty of snacks, and god knows what else, is beyond stressful and difficult!

I recommend that if you find yourself traveling across the great US to only bring absolute essentials, aka clothing. I’m not sure what to expect weather wise during this trek, so it’s important to make sure you have an assortment of clothes on hand for any occasion. I unfortunately wasn’t keeping this in mind when I decided it was ok to just leave the suitcases I had packed with clothes from college as is, and only pack shorts and tank tops in my actual overnight bag for the hotel. Let me tell you, it’s pretty chilly out there today!

My trip today sent me out of Massachusetts, to Buffalo, Erie, and finally to Cincinnati.

New York surprised me a bit. I didn’t expect to see wine orchards after wine orchards along the way, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that a lot of the farm land in upper New York was full of yummy grapes.

Buffalo, Erie and Cincinnati were all a bit dull. Nothing seemed too exciting and the land got progressively flatter and flatter, only preparing me for the long hours to come in Nebraska, Iowa, and Nevada.

I was hoping for some neat roadside attractions along the way so far, but sadly there have been none. Hopefully once we get out west more there will be more things to see and stop to admire. Maybe there will be some silly tourist attractions out there. I sure hope so, it would be nice to get out and stretch while getting to see some new sights.

That brings me to the next important point to keep in mind. Don’t forget to stop and stop often. I’m a fan of driving and never stopping for breaks. That was always how I drove down to Long Island for college or back home to Mass. But, when you’re driving such a long drive, I recommend considering taking little stops every three hours or so. Your legs and back will greatly thank you. Plus, it’s a good excuse to take some time to get a snack, fuel up, and use the bathroom.

We stopped three times today on our drive to Ohio were we are staying for the night. It was nice to stop especially since it seemed we were attracting every storm cloud from New York and on. Driving in downpours, especially in the middle of nowhere, is not fun!

Moving on to chow. Food choices on the road were definitely limited. We’re taking the I-90/I-80 route to get out to Mountain View, and so far we’ve found you pretty much have to just stop wherever you see food. For lunch we stopped at a Roy Rogers. My chicken strips were a yucky pink color inside, and you can bet I’ll be turned off of that place now. Dinner was just McDonalds but luckily you can usually expect to get the same tasting meal at any McDonalds, so in my mind it’s a safe option.

Tonight we picked a hotel right off the highway to catch up on some rest. It’s nothing spectacular, but it has a TV and free Wifi and breakfast so it’s not too bad. When looking for places to stay on the road, look for places that offer free wifi. It helps eleviate boredom and let’s you stay up to date on travel plans, weather, and so forth.

Driving long distance is tiring. So with that, I think we should call it a day.

I look forward to seeing what adventures tomorrow brings when we hit the “I” states, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa.

Catch up with me tomorrrow.

For now, happy travels!

One Comment

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  1. Miss you terribly already…hope your continued journey goes without too much of a glitch…Be safe and keep in contact.
    Love you,

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