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Inspired Living

Celebration Ride2 Road Trip (Denver to San Francisco)

Sarah Stanley

Note: Celebration Ride2 was Oct. 11-15, 2011. I'm just woefully behind in writing. Forgive me! As I wrote yesterday, I have mixed emotions on the completion of Celebration Ride2 journey. So much in fact that I forgot to write about getting to San Francisco!

I don't like things out of order so I am frantically trying to write about the road trip from Denver, Colo., to San Francisco, Calif. I'll try to be be brief :).

After running the half marathon in Denver, I rushed to get the car (which was a whole mess in of itself) and then rush back to the house to get a shower and pack the car. Thankfully, Joshua took care of packing the car. He was a Godsend! We wanted to leave at 1 p.m. But we didn't get on the road till 1:45 p.m. And then we took the scenic route to Route 70. Go us.

To help pass the time, we played the license plate state game. We both guessed how many states we would find, which ones we wouldn't and how many provinces we would also see. It was a lot of fun! The catch was that we BOTH had to see them. Tractor Trailers didn't count. But motorhomes sure did!

Joshua was the driver for the entire trip and I was the co-pilot. We made a perfect team. For two complete strangers meeting less than 24 hours previous, we could not have asked for better travel companions! This trip will always go down as the best time of my life.

There was snow in the mountains as we made our way across Colorado. We didn't stop to make a snowman, but we could've. We drove on. And on ...

My legs were screaming for an ice bath. How fitting that the Colorado River ran right along Route 70?! So we pulled over and I hopped out, stripped out of my pants and into shorts and plunged into the FREEZING cold river. The water had to have been 25/30 degrees. Joshua took a few photos (see slide show below) to document the special occasion.

It was at that point that we realized we forgot to pack towels. We started making a mental checklist for Target.

We crossed into Utah just as the sun was setting. I couldn't stop taking photos of the beauty! As you will see below. We had to stop for gas in the middle of nowhere Utah. We found a license plate. You know, the BIG things in life :). I went in to pay for the fuel and the cashier said to never lose my smile. Needless to say, I ran out fast. It did feel great to stretch my legs though! Back on the dark, lonely highway. We were making great time (thanks Joshua).

I was tired so I put my headphones in and my sleep mask on and dosed for a little bit. The signs to Salt Lake City kept getting closer and closer. Such a good feeling when you have a huge task in front of you! And then before we realized it, we were leaving SLC! We didn't even get a photo. It was strange to be looking forward to a landmark and then poof! It was gone!

We continued to drive in the darkness of night. We were both drinking lots of water and well, um, nature was calling. And that's what car doors were made for! We also ran out onto the salt flats and it felt AMAZING to stretch our legs (like little kids). We kept driving until about 12:30 a.m. when we finally decided to call it a night in Wendover, Utah, at the Golden Nugget. The name probably gives it away, but it was quite the experience :). We were both so tired that we collapsed into bed (making sure our bare feet didn't touch the floor of course).

The next morning we dragged ourselves out of bed. Ready or not to attack another full day of driving. At this point I couldn't wait to ride my bike!

We got a kick out of the the state line. In fact, we slept in Nevada and ate in Utah! See the photo in the slide show below :) Back on the road, we hit construction work. And a lot of semis. And rain! Oh the fun!

The drive was pretty much looking at signs to the next major city, searching for new license plates for our list and cracking jokes. We finally arrived in Reno and we decided to get our one meal of the day. It was SO good. Then we got back in the car and hit a mix of rain/sleet/snow going up the Doner Pass. I dozed. We started seeing signs for San Francisco and we were VERY excited. Like little kids at Christmas. In Sacramento we hit a lot of traffic mainly because they didn't know how to drive in the rain. And so accidents were all over the place! I prayed for safety.

We REALLY wanted to find a Target and after much meyhem, we finally did. We quickly got the things on our list (we hit the baby department hard. Funny how endurance events are similar to a baby :) and hit the road. The area wasn't the greatest :).

The signs to San Francisco kept getting closer and we couldn't be happier!! As I have said many times before, I love San Francisco. And I couldn't be happier that Celebration Ride2 was starting from here! Within the next half hour, we could see the lights outlining the city. Almost there, baby! It was of course dark when we arrived. And getting late.

We were staying at the hostel (a frequent guest there I might add) and- happy moment- I successfully navigated our way there WITHOUT a map or directions. I somehow have this uncanny ability to "know" where things are. I'm a human GPS. HAHA.

After checking in, parking the car, eating some food at the hostel kitchen, getting a PRIVATE room upgrade, Joshua & I took a night walk around the city. It felt so wonderful to stretch our legs and clear our minds. And get mentally prepared for the next 5 days that lay before us.

And with that, peace & goodnight from San Francisco!

Two slide shows below. Enjoy!

Celebration Ride2 Road Trip (Denver to San Francisco) Celebration Ride2 Day 2 (Denver to San Francisco)