Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Arizona Road Trip (2): Race to Sedona(!)

Immediately after I left Lost Dutchman State Park, I set up my GPS for Views Inn in Sedona and headed north. In fact I first headed west to Phoenix and from there to north. It was a very scary drive. First off people drive like maniacs and the speed limit is 65 miles/hour and gets to 75 miles/hour at some spots. I drove 60 mile per hour at the most and I was not comfortable! There are not basically many rest areas on the road or you have to get completely out of the highway and I was worried for both my check-in and getting lost. Some damn hotels clearly say in their booking information that they would not let you in past certain hours. When we went to Newfoundland last year it took longer than usual from Placentia to Twillingate. We stopped at Terra Nova National Park on our way and at Gander for dinner. It was a very difficult drive from Gander to Twillingate due to poor lighting of the road, unfamiliarity with the area (our first time to NL, like this is my first time to AZ) and stupidity of the damn GPS! I finally was able to find the road and got ourselves to the Inn and the amazing guys had left a note for us and the left the lobby door unlocked. Unlike those people some hotels, as I mentioned, have indicated what I just said above so I just kept one eye on the road and one eye on the GPS and one foot on the gas pedal and kept going. 75 miles per hour is no joke. Not even is 65! It's 125 km and 104 km/h respectively! Besides highways in Arizona or generally in the US (not that I have been to any other though) are huge! Four very wide lanes and with all sorts of signs and exits and merges. It would have been very hard to get to Sedona, Had I not installed and set up my GPS. So here's where you can see why the US is a high consumer of gasoline, not that any other country is not but long drive requires lots of gasoline and although automakers have spent millions of dollars of their budgets on research and development of low consume engines, people like to drive big pick up trucks and SUV and those damn things eat lots of gasoline. It's no the road warriors time in the US because the gasoline is cheap. It's measured per gallon in the States which equals to 3.78 liters. I guess I saw some $2.26 or similar per gallon. I drove for hours and hours and paid $20 only to get gasoline for my half-empty tank but I have to add that it was a small car, a Ford Fiesta. Other would have spent much more. The highway, which is later I learnt was an Inter-state one and No. 17 is called is well-lit but you miss an exit or take a wrong lane and you're done. I several times wanted to stop and rest but was scared! What would have happened, Had the GPS failed somehow?! I would have been able to find the road but with much difficulty. Eventually I realized that I had to get off I-17 and head towards west. I get off the highway and found myself in this narrow and dark but well-maintained road. It didn't take long that I turned north and reached Views Inn. Fortunately there was still a girl at the lobby and she helped me to check in. That was past 22:15 or something! 
(Photo: Sign shows the north-band of Interstate highway number 17 in Arizona. Of course I took this later when I was driving to Flagstaff) 

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