Night 1: Arizona || 16 States in 16 Days

Snapshots from my journal, written on June 12, 2021

Join me as I share my first steps of “16 States in 16 Days”!

My heart raced, I was about to begin a trek of thousands of miles away from my home state in just twenty-four hours. Up to that point, there had been zero fear in that journey, except the goal was to stay with family in Illinois at the end of it. My life would be forever changed in a few weeks and I wanted to do it right so, I asked friends for help on my journey. It is a long drive back home from Illinois to California driving solo, so it was decided I would return to California after dropping off my belongings in Illinois. It is an easy train ride to Illinois when I was ready. The plans were made, the destinations set. It was time to step out in the world.

Listen to a podcast of this travel article here: https://anchor.fm/theregoessararose/episodes/Ep-12-Night-1-Arizona–16-States-in-16-Days-e1588cl

One thing I would like to mention, travel changes you. Your perspective about the way the world works and where you fit in it begins to shift. These moments of growth are incredibly scary and sometimes painful. There are moments you look back at your past self, thoughts, comments made to others, and realize how uninformed you were at the time. You may even feel dumb, disappointed, or upset at how you handled past instances. When that moment happens, stop and applaud your current self. “Hindsight is always 20/20”, I’ve been told when stewing over a past moment and wondering at the post-event clarity. Once a government employee where privacy meant safety and growing up in a cult that didn’t allow social media, I am now allowed to share my life online in a way I never have. Every time I hit, “Publish” on any platform, it is nerve-wracking. However, in a year from now, I want to look back at this moment and catalog the growth, as if marking my height as a child on the inside of a doorway at home. As my post and journey become more personal, and I share these moments, feel free to do the same! It is all about progress, not perfection!

And We’re Off!

Friday, June 12th, 2021, 7 PM PST arrived and we were on the road. With the plan to be at the Grand Canyon on Saturday, we decided to spend the first night sleeping in the car at a halfway point. The map was set, leading us to a rest stop in Arizona with an anticipated arrival time of 12:54 PM. One fast food stop later and odd conversations, such as deciding to be a Drunk Unicorn for the next Halloween party, carried us through the 410 miles to the Haviland Rest Area. A huge thank you to my co-pilot and friend, @MadHatterMikie, who took the first driving shift of the trip after a full 8-hour work day so I could record the first stage of the trip! With the sounds of semi-truck engines on all night (with sleeping drivers inside or not, I am not sure), I drifted off to a dreamless sleep for the first night of my road trip, happy to be in another state and not worried about the odd seat angle at all. Check out clips of the night-drive and sunrise @ThereGoesSaraRose online!

First Night on the Road to catching the sunrise in Arizona!

Haviland Rest Area, Arizona

Sleeping in a car when the backseat is full of personal belongings getting moved, means you get very little sleep. I suddenly cared a lot about my sleeping position through the night, LOL! I enjoyed the attempt at roughing it, but get me a tent instead any day! When on a road trip, most are probably not moving things across the country, “It isn’t normally this much of a problem, you brought a guitar,” I remind myself. Getting to see the sunrise against a clear, blue sky was a GREAT way to start the trip! As a recommendation, get as many sun shades as you can if staying at a rest area. I was surprised how bright everything was at night (see photo below)! Plan to wake up early as well, it was 109°F / 43°C by 7:40 AM!

The first rest stops on a major highway or interstate seem to have much more information about the state as shown here! Not every rest stop will have similar amenities (and some will have much more) so plan accordingly! We also took a flat of water and kept it in the trunk and it came in so handy! Drink water often, especially in the desert areas of the United States, you can end up dehydrated faster than you anticipated. A gift for future journeys, we also brought along a large, spiral-bound book of maps of the USA. Although mobile maps run on GPS, there were a handful of times tech failed me and a real map was required. As the trip was marked in the book prior, it made finding the next turn a breeze! I also marked each page with a sticky note and the name of the state, you never know when you need fast information!

Historic Route 66

Pictures taken, rested and refreshed with body wipes, we began the next leg of the trip. As planned, we diverted off the Interstate and planned to stop at towns along Historic Route 66. From my research alone, there would be so may interesting things to see! There was no way I could include everything about our first day on Historic Route 66 in one post so stay tuned for more on my AMAZING trip, “16 States in 16 Days”!

Coming Soon!

There Goes Sara Rose Podcast mini series is out soon! An audio tale of my journeys and the reason for todays delayed and shorter post. I am very excited to bring this mini series to you, recorded by ME! Stayed tuned for more details and share your favorite podcasts with us for inspiration! I am hoping to have all the current post turned into podcasts by the end of this week, depends on how my voice does! Would love your ideas and feedback on the project, see you all soon!

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