Best display of rubbernecking: Colorado. We saw a total of 5 accidents all within a couple miles. We were thinking it was because of increased game-day traffic heading into Denver.
Most efficient detour around a major accident: Wyoming. We were rerouted to an access road, and when it was time to get back on the highway, there were bright red flares in the road marking the turn. I was impressed.
Most fog: Utah. It lasted for nearly two hours straight (until we crossed the border to Nevada) and was slightly frozen. Frozen fog, Utah? Really?
Worst fog: Not to be outdone, Monterey Bay stepped up to the plate about 20 minutes before we got home. It was night time, we'd been driving for 13 hours, and I was at that time nearly blind because of all the headlights in my rearview mirrors. Good times.
Most interesting weather: Colorado. Crazy wind chill, followed by snow, followed by sun and 50+ temperatures. Wee!
Grossest bathroom: Some local gas station in Lovelock, Nevada.
Cleanest bathroom: The Chevron off the I-80 exit in West Wendover, Nevada. That came as a surprise.
Most wind: Wyoming. Let's say I was relieved when the signs said 35 mph gusts.
Prettiest scenery: Tahoe Forest. Yep, California still takes the cake, but that's probably only because the Tahoe area reminds me of Washington where I grew up.
Creepiest area: California desert. I hate driving through the area surrounding such beautifully named towns as Boron right next to Edwards Air Force Base. When I drive through there, I'm always reminded of The Hills Have Eyes (which I've never seen in its entirety because I get too creeped out by the thought of mutant and/or deranged hillbillies that want to torture me and/or eat me alive).
Biggest canyon: Arizona. Duh. Of course the Grand Canyon was spectacular, but what moved me most was how connected I felt. More than 4 million people visit the Grand Canyon each year. We all come to marvel at nature. That's what's really spectacular.
State that looked most like Arizona: New Mexico. Sorry, NM, but other than an annoying dust storm in Albuquerque, there wasn't anything remarkable. Two days of driving through deserts had me pretty annoyed by that point.
Weirdest purchase: An unfathomably ugly swimsuit at the Big 5 in Kingman, AZ. I forgot to pack mine, but I was determined to sit in a hot tub after a long day's drive.
Whitest knuckles: Mine, driving in the dark on the winding highway leading up to Salt Lake City.
Smelliest armpits: Mine, after day one of the drive home. So, driving west in the winter = having the sun on your face and neck. All. Day. Long.
Sleeper hit: Nevada. The first time I drove I-80 through NV was when I moved to California. It was the last day of a 6-day trip, and NV seemed barren and just plain awful. This time, we saw snow-capped mountains, and there seemed to be a little town every 50 miles or so. It was fairly pleasant.
And a special shout-out goes to Best Western. They are not all created equal; however, the ones we stayed in were clean, spacious, and inexpensive. We stayed in Williams, AZ, for $55! The most expensive one we stayed at was $81. If you add up the total cost of our three hotel stays, you might be able to afford a nice hotel room in Monterey :)