This last weekend I went on my first real road trip where I drove. Coming to ABQ, I left my car at home in Idaho, 935.3 miles away according to Google maps. Honestly, living on campus I didn’t need a car. The buildings are close, and I have a full dining plan, so food wasn’t an issue either. However, I was able to get an internship for the summer and needed a way to commute to my new job by May 13th. I researched a lot of possibilities of getting a car. I have a really old car, like two years older than me and the main concern was if it would make it the 935.3 miles. I looked at selling my car and buying a used one here. I also looked at shipping my car to ABQ. Ultimately, driving it back was the most inexpensive option.

The plan was to fly to Idaho and drive the car back all in a weekend. I had three days and six states to travel through. First off, flying is always an adventure, but this trip was particularly interesting. Of course, I choose the cheapest flight where I didn’t have to skip classes. So, I boarded at 2:10 pm and had a total of 8 hours of air/airport time. I had four hour or so flights which started to become brutal by the third flight. I love flying but these trips were little hops where you’d get up into the air just to get down. It was also a pretty roundabout path. I stopped in Las Vegas, Nevada, Burbank, California then San Jose, California all on one plane. There was a two-hour layover in San Jose and then one more flight to Boise. I got in at 11:15 pm just in time to wish my family a happy Passover on the first day and fall asleep as fast as my head hit the pillow.

The next day, I left around 10:30 am. I spent less than 12 hours in my home town and went out to breakfast for a pre-Easter celebration. Then, it was time to drive. I am a fairly new driver. I have only had my license for a little over a year and six months were filled with my car sitting on a driveway in Idaho. I brought a friend to switch off with so the first day while there was a total of 9 hours of driving I only did about four and a half. I stopped about twice to get gas and ate dinner in Price, Utah. I also learned my car not only had a cruise control, but I now know how to use it. We had to be really gentle with the car as well. This is a very old car. I never did over 75 mph and made sure to accelerate slowly check the temperature gauge and hope I did not have to call roadside assistance.

Saturday night, I stopped in Moab, Utah. I got there about 9:30 pm and was a little sad it was dark because I knew I was missing some pretty beautiful scenery. Moab, Utah is in a canyon surrounded by beautiful red rock formations. The main reason for stopping here was to go visit Delicate Arch, a 52 ft freestanding natural arch in Arches National Park. I wasn’t entirely sure what it was if I am being honest. I had a loose idea of what it was, but I really didn’t know. Boy was I shocked when I visited. Sunday morning, I left the hotel at 9:30 am and started to stare with my mouth open at how beautiful the town was. Think Radiator Springs from Disney’s Cars but in real life.

Moab is mainly a touristy town in the spring and summer because of the hiking, rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking and four wheeling paths and routes. Delicate Arch also brings international visitors during the warmer months. With that, there’s no surprise there was a line to get in the park. I stopped in the visitors’ center and got some fun postcards. Then, I headed up, like straight incline worried if my car was good incline. During the winding road to get to the hiking path, there were tons of balancing rocks, fins and pre-arch formations. Arches and the surrounding areas are super unique. The combination of weather and the sandstone allows tons of arches and other rock formations to develop over time. While there are other places around the world where arches are formed, the quantity found in this part of Utah is insane.

I was blown away by how beautiful the hike was. The weather was also nice. I was told that in the summer it gets super-hot and when I went there was a really nice breeze letting me just completely enjoy the views. I got lunch in downtown Moab which was a little difficult since a lot of things were closed on Easter Sunday. We got back on the road about 2:00 pm and kept driving until ABQ where we got in around 8:30 pm. This was about a five-hour drive and I got to see some really beautiful parts of New Mexico. There were similar cliffs to Moab that I saw right at sun set and the red rock and clouds above glowed a soft pink.

Sunset in San Ysidro, NM

While this trip was a little bit of a chore, driving my first road trip traveling through Nevada, California, Utah and Colorado and seeing all the beautiful sights along the way was so worth it and made it feel like a small vacation. Monday was rough though when I felt all the travelling finally taking its toll. No matter what though, it was such a fun experience. I definitely need to learn how to make longer playlists because my music looped about three or four times, but I totally see more road trips in my future (probably not as ambitious as 935.3 miles in my ‘98 Toyota though).

It was a nice refresher before the sprint to finals. I hope you all got to do something fun this weekend. Good luck,

Anna