The trip started with a delay of one day, this because my travel buddy had an Uncle who was a pilot at Continental Airlines and we could fly very cheaply, but only on stand-by seats. Our first attempt ended in a drive back home from Schiphol Airport, as there were no stand-by seats that day.
The second day we had more luck and we made our way to New York City via Newark Liberty International Airport.
From New York we had to take a bus to Allentown, Pennsylvania where the Pilot Uncle lived with his wife. They offered to let us stay for a few days for the 4th of July celebration, very cool!
Most days were spent exploring the area, helping out with various chores around the house and grilling some meat on the BBQ.
New York & Allentown
While I had been to the USA a couple of times before with work for conferences, this was the first time on a month-long road trip from the east coast to the west coast.
We started in Allentown on the 5th, after a great 4th of July celebration with more (and bigger, louder) fireworks than I've ever seen in my Life.
We got our Rental Car (a Jeep Grand Cherokee) and from Allentown we made our way to Denver, Colorado via cities such as Pittsburgh, Chicago, Des Moines, Omaha and finally ending up at Denver
Most days were spent entirely on the road, just driving to the neverending rolling hills with farmland. Around Omaha the scenery started to change and slowly the land became more barren and you'd see road signs telling you the next place to get Gas is hundreds of miles away. And to not pick up hitchhikers, only to notice a Prison in the far distance.
Rocky Mountain National Park.
After a few days we arrived in Denver, with the Rocky Mountains looming in the background, a great sight! After a night in a local motel we crossed into the Rocky Mountains.
The great thing about road-trips is that you can stop anywhere to rest or eat. Our car was packed with the biggest cooler that would fit, filled with ice, drinks and condiments. The most dificult part was to find bread that's edible and not white and 90% sugar. I like my bread brown/whole-wheat thank you!
Aaaaanyway, we stopped over near a stream and made our way upstream to a waterfall where we had a very nice lunch, surrounded by nature.
After a while we made it to the National Park proper. On this first trip we did most things the "American way", which means pull over at the viewpoint, walk 10m and take some photos and on to the next viewpoint.
On later trips, I made a point of always exploring the area further, even going on hour-long hikes just to get a better sense of the area. It's something I wished I did on this trip as well.
What I love about America is that there is a huge diversity of climates and temperatures. One minute you're driving through beatiful, lush valleys and the next you're right in the snow.
We stopped for a break at one of the many Picknick area's and then made our way out of the park, down the Colorado River to Utah, state of many beautiful National Parks.