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Personal and Professional Blog of Rich Hauck

Westward Bound: My Cross-Country Road Trip

by: Rich Hauck

What do you do when you have to get rid of car? You sell it to your best friend in California and ride shotgun cross-country over the course of a week, naturally!

Here’s a rough map of the trip I took across the continental United States last September.

Besides selling a car, the secondary objective for this trek was to do some tandem photography out west. For me, that included capturing those pretty star trails that are essentially unattainable here in the light-polluted East Coast.

Conveniently, the two days we found ourselves in the deserts of Utah were embraced with thick carpets of clouds, and it wasn’t until we reached California that the overcast subsided.

So, my hopes of recording star trails were dashed, but I still tried to make the best of it. I’ve managed to spam my Instagram feed with pictures, but here’s a few of my favorites (click to view larger).

My friend Andy and me at the beginning of the trip. He’s a pretty trusting guy, considering he hadn’t seen the car I sold him in seven years.

The world’s largest rocking chair? Right off the exit? That demanded a stop in Casey, IL.

We were definitely on a clock, given I committed myself to being gone only a week (and remembering I’d left a very supportive and pregnant wife with our two boys), but I insisted on seeing the arch in St. Louis.

Self-employment means never really affording myself a day off. While I spent my non-driving shifts working in the car (tethered to my phone with an external battery, no less), I don’t think I’ll ever forget the night I spent on the Vegas strip.

I didn’t do any gambling, but instead spent an all-nighter across from Caesar’s Palace working out of a 24-hour Starbucks. It’s a shame, too, because it was the one time on our trip where we had a nice huge hotel suite!

Then there are the times (like this stretch of highway in Arizona) where one gets no signal in the car and is forced to just appreciate the scenery. I’ll confess I’ve actually traveled along this strip before, but the view still hasn’t gotten old (I wouldn’t mind traveling through Glenwood Canyon, CO again, either).

All said and done, we hit a four national parks (Capitol Reef, Arches, Bryce Canyon, and Zion) and drove over 3600 miles. We skipped Yosemite because of time and settled for the ghost town of Bodie, though I’ll dedicate another post to that, simply because I took so many pictures.

My jerk of a best friend (ahem!) still hasn’t posted any pictures, but for me it was a trip of a lifetime.


Categories:travel
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About Rich Hauck

Rich Hauck

I'm a creative technologist at Hauck Interactive, Inc. and an adjunct instructor at HACC. I live in Harrisburg, Pa. with my wife and two boys. I enjoy good coffee, Trappist beers, Orioles baseball, and good design.