There are a lot of ways to get to Mudd: plane, train, bus, freelines (?), and commonly – by car. Sometimes, even from as far as 5,000 miles! After a few days in a small sedan, Mudd’s dorm rooms can feel refreshingly spacious. I asked a few Mudders about their experiences taking road trips either to or from Harvey Mudd College and am counting down the days until I can take my next one.
After I completed summer math, my older brother and I drove from Claremont to Houston, where I call home. We spent three days traveling and stayed for a night in Phoenix. We got to check out the Biosphere 2 in Arizona and catch up after a long semester of not seeing each other.
My pro-tip to any prospective roadtrippers is to put your phone down and enjoy the company. Sometimes it’s almost instinctive to pick up your phone when unoccupied and sitting still, but a lot of good can come from resisting the temptation and focusing on all there is to appreciate wherever you are.
While a lot of Mudders travel with parents or siblings, a fair amount take on the open roads with fellow Mudders! Here’s a few groups of students who traveled together, where their trips took them, and some tips they have to offer:
Pro-tip from Seth: “Don’t rush it. There’s a lot of beautiful stuff in the country, and it’s great to have light driving days when you can explore. Also, camping most of the time was really fun and really cheap. If you’re careful, it’s barely more expensive than a plane ticket, and you also get a long vacation out of it.”
Pro-tip from Max : “Be sure to thoroughly pack – we were fully prepared, and everything went smoothly. Angel’s Landing hike must be a top 10 most amazing experience in the United States, 100% worth it!!”
Pro-tip from Jess: “Do some research beforehand on interesting places that are on the way! Some of them are easy to miss but definitely worth it.”
Pro-tip from Eric: “Take your time, have a big enough car, distribute driving better, go with people that like similar music as you.”
Here’s some other awesome tips from some experienced Mudd roadtrippers:
- “Freecampsites.net is your friend, Take a few more days than you need and break up the drive. A 12 hour day is really no fun” – Joe Anderson, ’21
- “Coffee!! Friends! Fun!” – Morgan Frisby, ’19
- “Plan your food!! Especially if you’re camping” – Thomas Martinez, ’21
- “Have a great playlist available.” – Jackson Crewe, ’19
- “Stop and enjoy random stuff on the way. Don’t always eat at fast food places.” – Ben Iten, ’19
- “Plan ahead, try not to spend more than five hours in the car at a time, and bring music for when you run into places without good radio. The app Roadtripper is actually really helpful.” – Macallan, ’21
- “Bring a travel pillow; line up some road trip jams; play 20 questions with the driver; BRING SNACKS” – Callie Glanton, ’20
- “If you’re not going in a busy season, don’t reserve campsites unless you know for sure there’s one place you need to go. We passed tons of campsites that were way better than the ones we had, which were cheaper, and which were empty.” – Domenico Ottolia, ’22
- “Avoid I-40. Northern roads are prettier” – Blake Larkin, ’19
No matter where you are from or where you want to go, Mudd can be a home for you. Mudders are ambitious adventurers who are in it for the journey. Just don’t forget your seat belt!