You must travel to the American West

It doesn’t get interesting until you get to Oklahoma and then it’s still pretty boring until you get to New Mexico and Arizona. New Mexico, Arizona and California make up for it though. Once I was in Arizona and eastern California, I was enthralled by the vast emptiness of space and lack of vegetation. Texas is pretty interesting for me, too. Parts of northern Texas are flatter than any place I’ve ever seen, except for a 60 mile stretch of I-80 in Utah that crosses part of the Great Salt Lake Desert.

As much as I’ve driven out west I still feel like I haven’t even begun to see the wonders of the desert. I still haven’t seen Monument Valley, Arches National Monument, Bryce Canyon, Meteor Crator, Grand Canyon. It’s definitely worth it. If I could manage to get 10 days off work, I’d go. Even if you don’t stop at a single tourist trap or take a tour, the scenery you see from the interstate is spectacular. From my home in Greensboro, NC to Flagstaff, AZ is 2007 miles (all I-40), then from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon is about 130 miles. I could get there in about 3 1/2 days and then I’d spend a day there, then drive back and take a day to recouperate. That’s driving about 600 miles a day or driving 10 hrs a day. It’s not as hard as it sounds. I wouldn’t want to fly out to see the Grand Canyon, because for me driving is 75% of the fun. (Air conditioning makes the trip much more comfortable in the hot months.)

There’s just something about pulling up to a gas station where there are no other buildings between it and the horizon in any direction. It makes you feel really small and you get a hint at how big the Earth is.