Coast to Coast Road Trip: Seattle, WA to Tampa, FL

After 4 years in Seattle, I finished up my PhD and was headed for a new adventure, a postdoc in South Africa. First, though, I had to move all my stuff from my apartment in Seattle to my mom’s house in Tampa. After quibbling about whether to drive my car back or sell it out west and fly home, I finally decided to take a solo roadtrip across the USA. From coast to coast. This wouldn’t be the first trip cross-country, but it would be the first time I did it solo.

It sounded crazy to drive all those miles by myself, but I was feeling ambitious. I had just finished a PhD. I could cross the USA.

Moving in a VW GolfI unloaded, sold, or donated all my big stuff like furniture. Then I packed up my car and headed east. I luckily had enough friends stationed along the way to make the trip into quite the adventure. So with an ipod loaded with podcasts, audio books, and many gigabytes of music, I departed my happy home of 4 years for a future of new adventures on another continent. But first I had to get from Seattle to Tampa.

I chose my route based on friends that I could visit, which meant I had people to socialize with on the road, people to check in on me if I didn’t make to to my next location, and I wanted to avoid winter weather. I was undertaking my roadtrip in December. Not ideal, I know, but it was the time of year I finished my degree and I wanted to get home before the holidays. Thus, my route took me south from Seattle, WA to Boise, ID to Boulder City, NV to Albuquerque, NM to Austin, TX to Covington, LA and finally to Tampa, FL.
Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.10.21 PM

The journey took 1 week and had me driving over 3500 miles by myself. This meant that yes I sang and talked to myself. I also plowed through the Serial podcast, which I had saved for such times as driving through western Texas. Egad, Texas is gigantic. Overall, the journey wasn’t terrible. I encountered a bit of snow, but nothing awful or route altering. Gas prices had fallen so my petrol costs weren’t exorbitant. Plus I got to visit with a slew of friends from college, graduate school, and beyond. It ended up being a memorable journey as opposed to just a journey to get from point A to point B.

Here are some photos while on the road.

So long Seattle
My home for 4 years in Seattle

Passing through the mountains in WA
Sunny skies in the pass as I depart Seattle

Snow en route to Boise
A winter wonderland

Overnight in Boise
Accommodation in Boise

Oh crap, SNOW! right after I depart Boise.
Snow Really Starts Falling Leaving Boise

Driving in Nevada proved to be incredibly beautiful
Snow Capped Mountains in Nevada

Cows and Mountains in Nevada
Cows of Nevada

Clouds and Mountains in Nevada
Cloud Cover, Nevada

The most exciting moment was when Rolf the Golf changed from 99,999 to 100,000 miles
100,000 miles on the ol' odometer

Overnight in Boulder City, Nevada
My Accommodation in Boulder City, NV

Passing Lake Mead in Nevada
Headed Toward Lake Mead

View in Arizona
Flat for Miles, Arizona

Red mountains in Arizona
Lovely Scenery, Arizona

Blue Skies and a train in New Mexico
Train, New Mexico

New Mexico scenery
Far Off Mountains, New Mexico

This is western Texas. So many miles. So much serial podcast.
Sunset over the Windmills of Texas

Overnight in Austin was pretty amazing as I got to see some of my oldest friends and I got to participate in quite the cookie making process.
What I made at my Accommodation in Austin, TX

The final stop. Tampa, FL.
Rolf, The Cross-country Trooper

2 responses to “Coast to Coast Road Trip: Seattle, WA to Tampa, FL

  1. Pingback: Things I Went to the TOP of in 2014 | Ramblin' Rangecommander·

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