Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cross Country - Zipping through the Midwest

Day 4 - 09 March

Needless to say, Central America has comparitively drier terrain than either of the coasts. Hence we decided to spend the fourth day of our road-trip predominantly hotfooting past the Midwest and Central America. To meet our target of 600 miles for the day, we were thinking of setting off at around 9am. But we started driving around noon. Blame it on our "mutual trust" on each other to set the alarm.

We started driving through Kansas, mostly through miles of barren-land, dry enough to give one hallucinations while driving (hallucinations just like those one gets minutes before falling asleep). Yet, thanks to the nonstop chatting (No No I'm not calling Kavitha a chatterbox), even driving through Kansas was pretty exciting! What we did not know back then was that we were in for a much "cooler" experience once we reached Colorado.

The first sight of the snow-clad Mountain ranges around Colorado Springs was definitely a pretty sight.

About an hour later, we were driving through the same Mountains, which made us gape in wonder earlier. The drive through the mountains was an experience in itself. Kavitha did an amazing job driving, as the winding roads snaked through the mountain ranges. For about an hour, views around were increasingly magnificient, with the Colorado river flowing alongside the road and the cliffs shading us from the sun. I have to be honest - I was tempted to stop the car at every corner and take photographs.

Then came the best part. As Kavitha was driving through the mountain ranges and climbing the high mountains, what started as a mild snowfall quickly graduated into a blizzard of sorts. I took the wheel. We had to switch seats without getting off the car to avoid getting completely drenched. I drove for the next hour - carefully following a Honda Civic that consistently maintained a speed of 10-15 mph.

The roads were hazardously slippery and the visibility was less than 10 meters. It was quite an experience to drive through the mountains. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.

After getting back to ground level, we stopped for a sumptuous Chinese dinner. We are now about to hit the sack for a well deserved slumber. All in preparation for Monument Valley and Grand Canyon tomorrow!


Alan Smithee said...

You could do atleast 50 safely if your car is an AWD and has electronic stability/traction control. The trick is to drive straight on the tire tracks if available and avoid abrupt turns and braking hard.

Arun Sundar said...

Our suv is an AWD, but 50 konjam over'a therila?! That too when there was about 10% gradient and quite a bad visibility (less than 10m) with hostile sleet and on top of it, we were on a 4000 mile cross country trip. I gave safety the priority. Anyways, on a lighter note, looking at your comment, I felt like asking "were you driving auto in chennai before?!"

Nandini Vishwanath said...

:) Lovely account of what happened. And I love the last pic!

Jegu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jegu said...

When i was looking into those pictures i guessed it's Colorado... Driving in hills is always nice feeling though i didn't drive much and i was just a passenger..
Last pic is very nice..!!!

Try to take some pictures about GC's color change... :)

Alan Smithee said...

Okay, may be in your case there wasn't a tire track to follow. There will not be sleet on tire tracks.

To answer your other question, quite surprisingly, I did once. The driver of the auto I was in was drunk to his nose and passed out. I drove to the nearest petrol bunk and left him there to take another auto. Must have been about 1-2 km.

Preeti Sharma said...

Hiya. I see the two of you have more important things to do than merely working or lucked out! Also really enjoyed the profile write up. What would the economy do without you...