Two months ago, i spontaneously relocated come California for a job opportunity. A month prior to the move, I’d never ever even taken into consideration living in mountain Francisco. It sound expensive, and filled v traffic. When it definitely is both of those, i wasn’t about to happen up mine dream project (and I have actually an affinity because that reinventing myself life fully every year, apparently). So right here I am!

Once mine cross-country move was confirmed, I got excited: it to be time to road trip throughout the U.S.! I’d never gone top top a “real” American road expedition before, whereby the journey took more than one day’s drive. How had actually I been to Morocco and also Ecuador, yet not explored the heart of my own country?!

There are several courses you can take between Chicago and also San Francisco. But because we just had roughly five days to do the trip, we took the many direct: the I-80 roadway trip. Yes, that’s one road for 30+ hours. When you acquire on the highway, your general practitioners will say: “continue on I-80 because that 2,000-something miles.” nice insane!

With restricted time until the new job started, ns planned the trip carefully and also made the most of the avenues to avoid along the way. But despite cautious planning and also research, among my favourite pit stops became somewhere that wasn’t also on mine radar prior to pulling turn off the highway. Funny just how that works out, isn’t it?

Let’s take it state by state:

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Iowa: A good Place to gain a Pound

Iowa is what you’d expect Iowa to be: greatly farm land. I’d never been to the state before and didn’t spend lot time there. But we did do one pit prevent recommended by one Iowa-born Chicago girlfriend at Zombie citizens in Iowa City. Here, you can stuff yourself v a tasty burger situated in between two grilled cheese sandwiches. How American is that?


Nebraska: A ar That will certainly Make You miss Iowa

I’m not going to lie. While driving through Iowa, I believed to myself in a snobby, northeasterner way: yowza, this state is boring. It’s flat, is composed mostly of farm land, and also the “city” that Iowa City looked suspiciously choose a suburb.

But the following day, ns took it every back. I missed Iowa every one of the 455 miles I spent in Nebraska.

If you live in Nebraska, I’m sorry to dislike on her state. I’m sure there space some cool points there, but the drive follow me I-80 isn’t among them.

It’s basically this for roughly six hours:


So if girlfriend ever discover yourself driving v Nebraska, craving a $5 footlong (are castle $6 now?), pull over in Sidney.

Wyoming: IT has MOUNTAINS

After driving through Illinois, Iowa, and also Nebraska, naught is an ext exciting than a differed landscape. Ns felt choose a seafarer spotting land because that the an initial time in months once I observed a hill rising increase in the distance.


I also started to see herds the pronghorn, animals that look similar to antelopes. They to be everywhere!


There were more pronghorns, specifically in the Wyoming half, and also if we’d had an ext time, that would have been an excellent to camp out along the reservoir and also have the opportunity to see an ext wildlife early in the morning.


I was established to ultimately stretch my legs and get part exercise in Utah, i beg your pardon is why I decided adventure location Park City as a avoiding point. Small did I understand that late might is the “muddy season” in this region with every the snow melting top top the long walking trails. Whoops!

Luckily, the front desk at Park City Peaks hotel suggested huge Cottonwood Canyon for part hiking the wouldn’t be too wet. Just like the remainder of Utah, it was pretty beautiful!


Not wanting to miss out on anything, we additionally made a quick stop in Salt Lake City. Seriously it to be a quick stop – only about 15-20 minutes to walk about downtown and also snap part photos.


Nevada: surprisingly Awesome

I’ve never ever dreamed about visiting Nevada. Ns associate the state through brutally hot deserts and Las Vegas, a location I’m staying clear of until a job-related conference or bachelorette inevitably forces me there.

But Nevada finished up having one that my favorite places during the I-80 roadway trip.

I’d originally planned to protect against in Elko, the best town along the highway and also the #1 ar that pops up once you Google “places to protect against along I-80 in Nevada.” yet wanting to make more progress, we moved onward till a place referred to as Winnemucca.

Beyond it’s nice cool name, Winnemucca was great. Very first of all, the surrounding area smells delicious many thanks to all the sage growing.




I conduct to have my very first casino gambling endure in Winnemucca. It was mediocre and I shed $20, however it was whatever I imagined a casino to be. Check!

Winnemucca was the critical pit protect against on the way to California, and it was definitely one of the many memorable.

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I-80 Road expedition Complete: California, i Made It!

So what did we do as soon as we made it come California? when there will certainly be many posts around California – seriously, this location is a weekend getaway gold mine – every you require to recognize is that ns made a beeline for In-n-Out Burger.