Cross-Country Travels Day 2

Bright and early Monday, April 30 we were on the road again…Our goal was to reach the Grand Canyon before dark…meaning we had to drive all the way south through California and halfway across Arizona. Here’s the map of our journey to keep you updated:

trip map

One would think that being stuck in a car with one person would get old after a few hours…It didn’t. There wasn’t ever a lull in conversation, ranging from crazy people, to tumbleweeds. We thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company. Before we knew it we were nearly all the way through California! And around the next corner was quite a sight:

They were EVERYWHERE! These windmills gave the dry, rolling hills a larger-than-life, almost robotic feel. They were massive machines. Awesomely powerful, and inspired me to learn a little more about them and how they worked. A little of what I found came from this website: http://www.energy.ca.gov/wind/overview.html. Check it out, it’s pretty amazing!

To Danny these windmills were supercool. To me, terrifying. Since I read a book in 6th grade called The Tripods, windmills have become alien-like machines that could attack at any moment! Silly, I know and I will never be able to explain why this book, out of all the books I’ve read, has stuck with me.

The journey continued, and finally we got into Arizona. Without a real camera I was unable to do the terrain justice with the photos I’ve taken but they are still an astonishing depiction of how dry it really is down there:

This, friends and family, is the Mojave River. The Mojave River is an intermittent river in the eastern San Bernardino Mountains and Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, California. It is 110 miles long and…I can’t tell you what it looks like with water in it… it was a large dried up riverbed. The source being in the San Bernardino Mountains and the mouth at Soda Lake.

As we drove, enjoying all the desert and hot, dry air…I realized we hadn’t checked the tires since Sacramento. We pulled over in this desolation and checked.

It’s been such a great trip so far. There is nothing more satisfying than traveling the country with my love. He makes me so happy. —This paragraph is going to continue with mushy gushy love talk, if you don’t want to read please skip to the next paragraph — Mr. Hodges is an amazing man. Yes, he has been through a lot. We have had our ups and downs, and even further downs. But after everything we have been through, I couldn’t ask for a more supportive, loving, handsome man by my side. He is my forever and always. Since day one we have always fit together like puzzle pieces…which will explain to a lot of you the tattoo on our forearms. He is my best friend, and the love of my life. I am so grateful for where we are now in our relationship. I look forward to everything we get to experience together in the future. —end lovey dovey rant. :]

Anyway, around 4pm on Monday, somewhere between Mojave and the Grand Canyon we ran into our first problem:

The dry, dusty air more than likely combined with the altitude changes along the way gave me a MASSIVELY bloody nose! Here you see my [Danny’s] solution: a tank top that just happened to be within reach. No, we did not have a single napkin in the car… Luckily it stopped after a few miles and we made a stop for gas and to get precautionary paper towels. Waiting next to the car, Mr. Hodges almost skips out of the gas station with his new purchase:

Yes, people, those are sunglasses…with a strap…so they didn’t squeeze his head… and that allowed him to do this:

This would be Danny…hanging out of the car window…like a dog…haha. It was quite a sight to see. So, on we drove. With not much to see. We did see, however, a LOT of different animals! We saw a herd of elk, between 10 and 15. A bunch of antelope roaming the fields, and a few small herds of deer, my assumption was they were mule deer. Maybe one of my hunting fanatic friends can confirm. They were smaller, grey in color, but I didn’t see any bucks. It was pretty cool seeing this wildlife in another state. The elk looked to be a herd of cows. I’m sure if I was paying closer attention I could have found the bulls in there somewhere!

By the time we got to the sign that read: Grand Canyon Entry Fee $25…It was already dark. It was probably the only bummer of the trip. I was really looking forward to seeing this Wonder.

Moving on, It was past 8pm and we were only halfway through Arizona. We had put in 18 hours of driving and weren’t nearly as far as we’d hoped to be. However, there was a “super” moon out again and we chased it heading east. Tearing through New Mexico as the face in the moon looked down at us. It wasn’t until 2am that we pulled over for a nap.

To be continued…

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Cross-Country Travels Day 1

On April 29, Danny and I began our cross-country road trip from Eugene, OR to Columbus, GA. It was an exciting day for both of us. This is a huge step for me, leaving my family and friends for the summer to be with the man who’s had my heart since June 2008. Image

Here we are with his niece, Jazmyn and nephew, Jaden before driving away. These little ones are adorable. I’m so glad I got to see them again before we left! So, we set off at around 3:30 sunday afternoon. I was exhausted from all-night last-minute packing and such, so a nap was in order. When I woke up this is what I saw:

It was an incredible sight. One that told me we were almost out of Oregon. I’m no geography wiz…so I assumed it was Mt Shasta. Someone correct me if I’m wrong…. Anyway, the drive continued, we stopped for gas once before the night was over. We were starving by 8 and the timing was perfect. We had just reached Redding, CA and the closest In-n-Out burger an Oregonian can get to…


After stuffing our faces wit Double Doubles and fries “animal style” we were on our way again. We didn’t drive quite as long this time…Sacramento was where we stopped for the night.

As I lay my head down and tried to subdue the anxiousness of getting on the road again in the morning, I thought to my self how blessed I really am. I have the opportunity to experience so many new things with this amazing man. I have the most supportive, enthusiastic family which has given me everything I could ever hope for and more. And which has also raised me to know that, no matter what I do, no matter where I go, no matter how far away my adventures may take me, I will always have roots in little Pleasant Hill, Oregon where I know I can return at any time with open arms to greet me.

To be continued…

The opener.

I’m Courtney. I’m from Oregon, currently live in Georgia with my love, Danny. In September 2012 I will begin my journey to becoming a US Marine. This blog is intended on keeping friends and family [and whoever else may stumble across this] posted on things that are going on in my life (…our lives…?) When it’s not so late, and we find a computer with enough space to upload pictures, I will begin with our journey from Eugene to Columbus. It was SUPER interesting so STAY TUNED!