Tybalt the Bat: Eastbound in May 2006

In late May of 2006, I packed my car and set out from California back to Maryland, where I spent the month of June. Along with me again was Tybalt the Bat, who nine months previously had accompanied me on my initial move west.

On this leg of the trip, I simply retraced the route I had taken on my initial move. However, a little over a month later, when I returned west, I went a different way that took me through several new states.

Day 1: Glendale, CA to Gallup, NM

27 May 2006

East of Essex, CA

Despite the very dry desert appearance (which always makes me think “hot”), this stop in southeastern California was actually quite cold and windy.

West of Flagstaff, AZ

Every time I come through Flagstaff, I'm always a little surprised by how many pine trees there are. It doesn't quite feel like Arizona to me, or at least, it doesn't look like stereotypical Arizona.

A little farther east from this rest stop, I encountered the smoke from a wildfire burning somewhere tot he south of I-40. From a distance, it had a very apocalyptic look to it. Driving through it, the mid-afternoon sunlight took on a weird brownish yellow color.

Day 2: Gallup, NM to Elk City, OK

28 May 2006

Sky City, NM

Day 3: Elk City, OK to Rolla, MO

29 May 2006

I encountered more rain this day. In particular, about 30 to 40 miles west of Rolla, MO, the skies just opened up and traffic had to slow way down. We're talking 40 mph or less, wipers going full bore, and having to watch the lane markers really carefully. They had just repaved that section of I-70, which was both good and bad in the downpour.

It was good because the rain was draining off the road really well. It was bad because they hadn't yet had the time to paint permanent lane stripes. Looking for those little temporary flags through the sheets of rain was certainly an adventure. I actually ended up watching for the indents of the rumble strip marking the edge of the shoulder, since those were easier to see than the actual lane markers.

Day 4: Rolla, MO to Columbus, OH

30 May 2006

No pictures this day either. At this point, I was back in the part of the country where you can drive 200 miles and be in three different states, as opposed to out west, where you can drive 200 miles and still be in the same state. And I haven't even attempted to cross the bulk of Texas.

Day 5: Columbus, OH to College Park, MD

31 May 2006

As I was coming through eastern Ohio, West Virgina, Pennsylvania, and especially western Maryland, I really realized how much I had missed the green of the east coast.

MD Welcome Center on I-68

In early July, I returned west.