Day 5: Friday From Wentzville we headed out to St. Louis to check out the Arch. One cool little thing that we saw on the way was that the 70 freeway has been renamed the Mark McGwire Freeway, which was cool to see. After getting a little lost trying to find the Arch, we finally got there. It was bigger than I expected and really cool. We didn’t pay to go up inside of it (yes we were being cheap again) but we spent a good amount of time checking it all out and had lunch in the area as well. Here are my pics of the Arch.
After heading out of there, our plan was to go to Knoxville, Tennessee, but when we arrived there it was still early so we decided to push on. We got all the way to the “Gap” where I was going to meet a bunch of other Miata drivers for a weekend of fun. We pulled into the Gap around 10pm but didn’t really stop; we wanted to find a place to spend the night. Of course all of the hotels in the near vicinity were booked, so we ended up in Murphy, North Carolina about 45 minutes from the Gap. If you want to see my Gap pictures go HERE.
Day 6: Saturday We spent all day Saturday at the Gap.
Day 7: Sunday We headed out of Murphy, North Carolina and headed on down to Florida. My Dad, who we were going to see in Florida, lives pretty far south so we weren’t going to be able to make it all the way down there. So we just drove all day long until we got to Bruntville, Florida where we were planning on camping but the heat was unbearable and the campground was expensive and rather crappy looking so we got ourselves another hotel room.
Day 8-12 Monday through Friday We pretty much just hung out at my Dad’s house in Matlacha, Florida. We did some boating and some fishing, went to the beach and saw a couple of movies. For the most part, we just relaxed and got mosquito bites. We did get some dolphins to chase our boat while we were there. Whenever this happens, it really is a very cool sight. Dolphins seem to really like playing in the wake of the boat and we had one pair that chased for probably over a mile. I was able to snap a couple pictures but unfortunately I didn’t catch a good picture of one jumping out of the water in the wake behind the boat.
Day 13-15: Saturday through Monday My travelling friend has a buddy who lives down in Key West so we headed on down there for a weekend of fun. I didn’t take any pictures while we were down there so nothing to see here. But we had a great time. Went out drinking the first night and went to a bunch of the cool bars, one of them was clothing optional and the bartenders were topless. Did some sightseeing on Sunday, went to the southernmost point of the USA, went and saw all the street performers at the sunset festival, and just kind of drove/walked around checking things out. On Monday my friend’s friend took us out on his boss’s sailboat and we got some more dolphins to play with us, this time on the front of the boat. We sailed out to one of the reefs where we did some snorkeling and saw some really cool stuff. Only bad thing about this part of the trip was the bad sunburn I got; I ended up with sun blisters on both of my shoulders. We went back up to my Dad’s house on Monday afternoon and spent the night there.
Day 16: Tuesday Said goodbye to my Dad and headed off towards New Orleans. We hit some serious rain along the way, tropical storm Barry was still going strong apparently. But we finally made it there safe and sound. We of course had to stop off and check out Bourbon street. Since it was kind of rainy and a Tuesday night, it was kind of dead. We just walked up and down the strip a few times, got ourselves something to eat and grabbed a beer. I was really hoping that the town would be going off, but we weren’t that lucky so we headed off and found ourselves a place to crash for the night just outside of New Orleans.
Day 17: Wednesday We headed out of New Orleans in a torrential downpour and it continued to rain for several hours after we left. We didn’t really stop to see anything just drove and drove and drove. We finally called it quits in northern Texas; I’m not exactly sure what city it was that we stopped in but it was near Childress, Texas. We found a really cheap motel and ate some gas station food for dinner.
Day 18: Thursday When we got to Albuquerque, New Mexico, we had a bit of a medical emergency so I had to drop my friend off at the emergency room. I ended up spending the night there while my friend was looked after. He ended up having to be hospitalized so I did the remainder of the trip solo. My friend is fine now and home safe and sound.
Day 19: Friday I headed out of New Mexico and started off to the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is quite a sight and I took a ton of pictures. Again I will let the pictures do the talking.
After heading out of the Grand Canyon, I headed south towards Phoenix in the rain. I got really lucky with rain at the canyon; on the way to it I got some rain, no rain while I was there, and on my way out, it started raining again. Anyway, between Flagstaff and Phoenix I witnessed one of the most amazing lightning storms that I have ever seen. The lightning was so constant that I tried counting seconds between flashes; I never was able to count to three and I rarely got to one second. It was really quite a sight. Anyway, I finally got to Phoenix and found myself a hotel.
Day 20: Saturday I headed out of Phoenix and headed out to San Diego. I went to San Diego State University so I was going to visit some old friends that I had there. Pretty uneventful drive. I did get dangerously low on gas out in the middle of the desert, and I was able to take my car up to 125 miles per hour. I arrived in San Diego safe and sound that evening.
Day 21-22: Sunday-Monday Hung out with my friends down in San Diego and ate at some of my old favorite restaurants. I sure do miss those San Diego burritos. If you like calzones and you are ever in San Diego, I suggest you check out Etna’s; their calzones are football sized and they deliver until 3 in the morning, and man are they good.
Day 23: Tuesday Headed out of San Diego and made the final stretch home to Berkeley. Uneventful trip but it sure was nice to get home.
The trip was fantastic, put on over 8,600 miles on the car. The car picked up a ding over the driver’s side rear wheel; we closed the trunk down on something and I got a dent from that and I picked up a ding in my windshield.
It was such a great experience; I live in quite an amazing country and it was great seeing so much of it.
Here is a list of the states that we went through.
- South Dakota
- North Carolina
- New Mexico