Friday, June 2, 2023

The Longest Road Trip Ever (Part 2)

 In Part 1, I wrote about my brother and I's trip out to Utah. In this part 2, I will document the ride home, which included another of my "bucket list" places to visit. 

We left Salt Lake City after the GSL, heading south
Was surprised to see a micro version of Mount Rushmore in Utah

Mountains were nice
Interesting how on this mountain the different sides are different colors.
A cave...this was probably a mine.
We stopped at a rest area and this train went by. It played a horn for me and a couple other people standing there which I thought I recorded but I hit the wrong button and missed it...still sad about that.
Whole lot of nothing in southern Utah.
Heading towards Moab
Wow, that's really horrible.
We didn't go there.
This made me laugh.
We went to Moab Giants, which is a very cool dinosaur museum in Moab, Utah.

Actual dinosaur footprint compared to my foot

This is about 10 feet tall

Panorama from the roof

pretending to be eaten by t-rex head

Now back on the road to Moab

A horse watching traffic

Downtown Moab

An arch, note there are people standing in it

That rock outcropping looks like a foot

Not a lot of water in the southwest

I know nothing about jewelry but I sure liked this one on the hotel TV!

The next day saw us leave Utah
we ended up dipping back up into Colorado
Then New Mexico, and Arizona.

And then all 4 at once! 

They just left a wrecked 18-wheeler in the median
I'm not super fond of New Mexico. There's not a lot to see, the roads are in poor condition, and what is there is generally not fun to look at. 
The black stuff is the Grants Lava Field, the result of a volcanic eruption 3000 years ago. Some of it looks heavily weathered and some look like it's from yesterday. The area has had human inhabitation for 10,000 years at least so this wasn't all that long ago in the grand scheme of things.
a large dreamcatcher in the town of Grants
We were on Route 66! The most famous road in America. 

Much of New Mexico looked like this.

Albuquerque, which I mostly slept through

This is a gas station
Metal sculptures.

Vaughn, New Mexico is the saddest, most depressing town I've ever been to. It looks like it would have been cool back in the 1950s, but it's so far away from anywhere and there's nothing in the general area to draw people there. The closest town is literally 96 miles away. I know that because that's the town we were going to.

Sunset over the desert.
The lights of Roswell! 
There was so little light pollution I was actually able to capture stars with my smart phone camera. 

I have been fascinated with Roswell ever since I was a little kid, I've always wanted to go we did, even though it was about 4 hours out of the way. It was worth it.
This store was awesome.

This was the most fun place in Roswell, also unfortunately one of the smallest. 

We found a cool Rock store, too.

Lots of old trucks in Roswell
This is the furthest south I've ever been. 

A roadrunner
UFO shaped McDonald's at night
alien lamp post
We also went to the UFO Museum & Research Center but I was a little disappointed there. It was mostly about UFO themed TV shows. I was hoping for more on the actual unexplained stuff. The gift shop was probably the best part of that actually.  The day in Roswell was pretty much the only sunny day we had the entire trip...and it reached 100 degrees that afternoon.
The next day we left Roswell and headed east. Read the sign! 
Portales is actually a pretty cool town.
Classic Southwest town

Everything's bigger in Texas...except the welcome sign, which was tiny, I never though I would ever be in Texas, but we crossed the Panhandle and even had lunch in Amarillo. 
Lots of trains in Texas panhandle.
Deaf Smith county is named after a person known as Deaf Smith. 
Then we went to Oklahoma.

In Oklahoma we started to see grass and trees again. 
That dust is from an 18 wheeler on a dirt road.
This is Yukon, Oklahoma. Note the sky...we were driving into a storm that would stay with us the rest of the trip and would lead to some of the worst rain I've ever driven in. 

Oklahoma City Thunder billboard. 

The next day we drove out of OKC at just the right time- a tornado touched down just outside the city that night. 
Some sort of sculpture. 
Vintage aircraft along the highway

Then we went into Arkansas

I had no idea it was national Travel and Tourism Week while we were on the biggest travel tour of our lives. 
Bass Reeves is the great-grandfather of Ryan Reaves of the NHL! 

A hot dog man in a truck

We ended up going through some back roads in Arkansas during a major rainstorm.

Man, I do NOT envy that construction worker.  Believe it or not, the rain would get worse the next day. We ended the day in Illinois.

The last new state for my trip was Kentucky, and this is Louisville.

We saw the Red Baron Pizza factory

Cincinnati was cool

And then the rain came back....
then left again, but not too far...
and then came back even harder than before. 

It actually was raining so hard I was too tense to take photos, which is pretty much the opposite of normal. I don't have anything from the worst rain. 

Eventually, we drove past the rain and made it to Pennsylvania. 
The final day of the trip, we drove to Pittsburgh...
Note the rain is back...and the cobblestone road.

PPG Paints Arena

in Pittsburgh we went to the Heinz Museum, which is really really cool. Here's a bunch of pictures. I couldn't do all of it, health just wouldn't allow it. There's this much and I missed entire floors of the museum. 

This statue is actually a scene from Lake George, NY, my favorite place in the world!

Jimmy Stewart's WWII uniform jacket

The glass exhibit was one of my favorites.

This is from Mr. Rogers' Neighboorhood

They have two floors of Sports Memorabilia, and they have cards! 

Game worn equipment from Marc-Andre Fleury.

After that, finally, we went home! 


  1. Great travelogue! The Pittsburgh part of the trip looks very cool, especially the museum ... Oklahoma freaks me out because it gets so much severe weather. Also I don't enjoy driving long distances in which your vehicle is the highest thing for miles around.

    1. I get that...we got out just in time. A tornado touched down just about 10 miles south of OKC later the night we left.

  2. It was a memorable trip for sure, we'll get back and finish the museum next year.

  3. Awesome cross-country trip! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. One of these days I've gotta make it out to Roswell.

  4. Thanks for all the pics! Did you attempt a drive by of Area 51?

  5. Hopefully that Dead Horse legend is just that... a legend. I used to think desert landscapes looked pretty dreary, but they've gotten much more appealing with age. At this point, I could see myself someday moving to some remote part of Arizona or New Mexico, and being very happy there with whatever time I have left. I've always wanted to go to Roswell. It just looks like a fun place. Though, if I ever did get there, I'd probably spend way too much on chachkies. And there's almost too much to comment on, but I really like most of the museum pics. It looks like you got to see a lot of neat things on the way home.

    1. The gift shops in Roswell were totally cool. I figure I'm only getting there once so yes, tchachkies came home.

  6. Man, the scenery of the Southwest is so beautiful. I've got to get out there. Really happy that you were able to cross some big things off the bucket list. Roswell looks like a hoot!

    1. It's definitely different than what we have here!

  7. You probably did more traveling on this trip than I might ever do in my life. Cool too see you made it out here to AZ, although just the upper corner. I hate driving in the rain. Back in 2014 we had one of the worst monsoon seasons, and I got caught driving in 3 separate severe thunderstorms. One was apparently a macroburst. I’ve had anxiety driving in the rain ever since unfortunately. Interesting there was a tornado in Oklahoma. For whatever reasons Twister is one of my comfort movies. Pretty sure that takes place around Oklahoma so the movie checks out. I always sort of joke about moving to New Mexico. I am bothered by noise and I’m thinking one day I need to live somewhere more quiet and further away from people around me. But I don’t think I could live anywhere that isn’t similar weather to where I am in the Phoenix metro area so that pretty much limits the options. And it didn’t look like much was going on there in NM from your pictures haha. We just recently moved 3 years ago to a different part of the city and we hate moving so that may be something long into the future. Glad you made it back in 1 piece even if the vehicle didn’t.

    1. Yeah, you would not have a lot of problems with noise in New Mexico or southern Utah/Colorado. Not much of anything, haha. I actually saw Twister on the big screen when it was new. Seen it a few times since then.

  8. That Heinz Museum looks like a lot of fun. It would probably take me a couple of days to see all they have on display. All of your pictures are fantastic! Made me feel like I was on the trip with you.