Road Trip report: Aug 15th, 2017

Aug 15th holds special significance for me. It was on a 15th August that I landed in the US so many years ago. The day is also a friend’s birthday. This year’s August 15th has seen two new things: first time I am in South Dakota and first time I crossed the North American continental divide by road.

If you are wondering where yours truly is, I am on the road. Last week Thursday, I left San Jose CA and visited Courtenay and her family in Oakland CA, the first stop on my journey. Friday evening we all drove to Grass Valley CA, about 140 miles to the north. We were visiting Saundrine and her family. .

The next part of the journey was from Grass Valley CA to Salt Lake City UT on Saturday. I had driven that road some years ago for visiting the Yellowstone National Park.  It was past 10 PM when I reached SLC.

Like the Christian lord who rested on Sunday after creating the world, I took a break on Sunday. My friend Kashyap drove me around town and as I usually do in any city, visited the local Costco.

The journey continued on Monday: from Salt Lake City UT to Gillette WY. I’d been to Wyoming before during that Yellowstone trip. I stayed at a hotel for the night.

Yesterday — Tuesday — I continued heading east. I was on I-80 East for about 100 miles, and then took US-212 East for about 250 miles, and about 100 miles on SD-20 East. I am visiting an old friend in Watertown SD.

I have done about 1800 miles so far. It’s been really interesting. I intend to write about it when the journey is over. The road is relaxing, the landscape endlessly interesting, and the people are nice.

People out here in the country are easy going, laid back and have time to chat for a while. Let me leave you with a conversation I had with an elderly gentleman.  Late afternoon yesterday, I had stopped to fill up at a convenience store/gas station on SD-20 East, about an hour from Watertown.

He: Hi. I see that you have California plates. What happened? Did you make a wrong turn at Reno?

Me: Ha ha. Not really. I am driving from San Jose California all the way across the country.

He: So you’re taking the scenic route. That’s good. I like driving too.

Me: First time I am in South Dakota. Never been this far east by road before. 

He: I am not from around here either. I live in Minnesota. I’m here to help my cousin with his wheat harvest. 

Me: I didn’t know it was wheat harvest time. Hope you get a good one. 

He: We will — once this rain allows us to. 

Well, I have lots of stuff to share — pictures, videos, thoughts — in the next couple of weeks. The big thing along the route is the Great American Total Solar Eclipse, which I intend to catch in Carbondale IL.

Be well, do good work and keep in touch.

Author: Atanu Dey


7 thoughts on “Road Trip report: Aug 15th, 2017”

  1. wow man..good stuff, driving across US.

    And I like how you go “Aug 15th holds special significance for me. It was on a 15th August that I landed in the US so many years ago. The day is also a friend’s birthday”

    But not a word of the (fake) independence day in India. . HAHAHA well done.


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