Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Road Trip Video

The Road Trip video is complete! See the long-ass video at:

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Well, the one down side is that any vacation I take for the rest of my life will have to be compared to this road trip, and I have a feeling they will fail to meet the bar that was set by the last 21 days. But other than that, I can't complain! What an amazing journey it was. I am dumbfounded at the amount of memories I now have in my head. Random moments have been popping up the last few days. Like seeing Yellowstone Lake the first time and being astonished at just how blue and clear the water was. Or watching the sunset from my hotel room on the Pacific Ocean. Or remembering how stressful driving through Chicago and Boston was. Or driving through Wind River canyon in Wyoming and becoming so speechless the only thing I could say was, "wow.........." Or in Erie, PA, as I was sitting at a stop light, a van drove through the intersection in front of me, and the little girl in the back seat was pressing her face up against the window and making a goofy face towards my camera. These are the best souvenirs I got from the trip, and I'm going to treasure them for a lifetime.

So, where do I go from here? First, it's back to the real world. I need to mow the lawn this evening, and then tomorrow morning, it's back to work for the first time since June 12. Surprisingly, I don't feel too bad about going back to work (I do about the lawn, though!). Three weeks away from work for an adult is just as good as a summer vacation for a kid. So I'm ready for that. But I do have one more trip related issue, and that is the Video. I've been working on it for most of the day yesterday and today, and I just about have a long "director's cut" put together. Then comes adding music. Then lastly, cutting it down to a "theatrical cut" so that you don't get bored when you watch it! Hopefully I should have it done by the end of next weekend, if not before. If you are interested in seeing it, check back here occasionally, or keep your eye on my Facebook page.

Lastly, I want to thank some people. First off, thanks to you for reading this blog. I hope you enjoyed it, I hope you (somewhat) felt like you got to travel across the country with me, and most importantly, I hope I gave you a nice distraction to break up your work days! Thanks to those of you who followed me on Twitter and Facebook. Thank you Natasha for offering me your guest room, and for showing me all the fun Billings has to offer! Thanks to Laura and Jojo for letting me stop by, relax, and take some great pictures of Lexi! Thanks to Vince, Elaine, Ty, Luke, my Grandma, and my Grandpa for stopping by and celebrating with me. Thanks to Kevin, Toni, and Owen, Paul, Annie, and Drew, Sarah, and Anne for stopping by and celebrating with me on night two (with special thanks to Dad for grilling a great dinner!). Thanks to Thatcher, Liz, and Soren for celebrating with me, and helping me on the very last leg of my journey! And thanks to my Mom, my Dad, Eric, and Julie for all your support, for celebrating with me, and most of all for putting up with me!

Two years of planning, three weeks of driving, a lifetime of memories. It was nothing short of a complete success.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Day Twenty-One Stats


7807.0 miles of driving, at 32.9 miles per gallon, at an average speed of 55 mph.

(BONUS STAT: 0- The number of traffic tickets I received added to the number of traffic collisions I was involved in over the 21 day trip. I am most proud of this stat.)

(BONUS STAT: 485 hours, 12 minutes- The amount of time that passed from when I pulled out of my driveway to when I pulled back in.)

Day Twenty-One

IT IS FINISHED! 21 days, 31 states, 7,800 miles. And it is all behind me. What an amazing journey it was. I haven't the slightest idea how to cap this off... so for now, I'm not gonna! I'm going to post the final stats here in a few minutes, and I'm going to take a day or two to let everything sink in before I try to write a closing post. So check back at the end of the weekend, and I'll put the cherry on this sweet, sweet sundae.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Day Twenty

Day Twenty had no driving, there will be no photos, and there will be no stats. Today was all about being with family and friends. It was a great way to un-officially end this trip. The official end comes tomorrow, when I make the last drive from St Louis to home in Eudora, KS. I'll have some final stats and maybe some photos for Day Twenty One up sometime Friday or Saturday. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Old Photos and Posts

For those looking for my older photos and blog posts, look on the right side of this page, look for where it says "Blog Archive", and click the arrow at the left of "June (58)".

Day Nineteen Stats

As of Day Nineteen...

7505.1 miles of driving, at 33.0 miles per gallon, at an average speed of 53 mph.

Day Nineteen Photos

The fog was eerie this morning over Charleston.

The capitol building in Charleston.

This was fun to drive through!

This is the bridge on I-64 to get from Louisville, KY to New Albany, IN.

Ahhh, familiar territory! St. Louis, I'm back!

Day Nineteen

Day Nineteen is in the books, and I am just one short drive away from completing my trek across the country... but that drive will have to wait until Day Twenty-One! Tonight and tomorrow, I'm a-partying St. Louis style! Today, I left Charleston, WV (and not a moment too soon!), made my away across Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, and around four o'clock, nine hours after departing WV, made my triumphant return to my childhood home. I'm hanging out with the family tonight, going to hang out with my peeps tomorrow, and on Friday, I will drive the last 300 miles of what will be a 7800+ mile trip. I might have a few photos to share from today, I have to go through the few that I took and see if there is anything worth sharing. Otherwise, you may not hear from me until Friday. We'll see...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day Eighteen Stats

As of Day Eighteen...

6977.4 miles of driving, at 33.1 miles per gallon, at an average speed of 47 mph. Love that interstate, bringing the numbers back up after all the city driving brought them down!

Day Eighteen Photos

All these photos were taken from the Virgina/West Virginia area. Such beautiful country.

Day Eighteen

Now that was more like it! Today was a scheduled 8.5 hour drive that took almost exactly 8.5 hours. Love it when things go to plan! Today, I started in Elkton, Maryland, and I wound my way down through Baltimore and around Washington D.C. Surprisingly, traffic was light in both cities, with only a small amount of congestion that slowed things down. I'm sure I would have experienced more had I gone through the hearts of said towns, but I knew that would be bad idea jeans. After D.C., I got into Virginia and West Virginia. Such beautiful states! It was like being back in the northwest part of the country- winding roads, beautiful mountains, and gorgeous views. These mountains were not snowcaps, however, they were completely tree covered. Hell, almost everything I saw today was completely tree covered! 99% trees with an occasional house or town breaking through the foliage. There were also a number of expansive valleys along my route, so expansive that I used a couple of four letter words to express my astonishment. Absolutely gorgeous. I ended my drive in Charleston, WV, where I am resting tonight. Tomorrow, I make the final push into St. Louis, where I am spending two nights and relaxing with friends and family. Just three more days and this whole adventure will be over... I wonder which "R" I will feel more... relief or regret? See you tomorrow!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day Seventeen Stats

As of Day Seventeen...

6503.5 miles of driving, at 32.1 miles per gallon, at an average speed of 37 mph.

Day Seventeen Photos

(click on images for larger size)

This is Lexi.

...and she's a good girl!

It was rainy and cloudy in the early part of the day...

...but it cleared up very nicely later in the afternoon.

Downtown Philadelphia

This was a few minutes away from my hotel.

And this is a tribute to my Eight State Drive today!

Day Seventeen

Blech! I don't even want to get into today's details! It was a 12 hour day from hotel to hotel, when it was only supposed to be 8-9. There was traffic, rain, a lowly inflated tire, wrong turns, and all sorts of silly things. I'm sure no one wants to hear me talk about all that, so here's the main bullet points of the day. I left Boston, visited with my Aunt Laura, Jojo, and their dog Lexi in Attleboro, MA, made the drive through New York City and Philadelphia, and ended the day in a little town called Elkton, Maryland. The stat of the day- I was in eight states today: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia(edit) Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. That's a record for me! I have just a few photos to share with you, and then I get ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow I head for Charleston, West Virginia, and the next day is St. Louis!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day Sixteen Stats

As of Day Sixteen...

6105.8 miles of driving, at 31.1 miles per gallon, at an average speed of 34 mph.

Day Sixteen Photos

View of Boston from the south.

A shot from the Big Dig underneath Boston.

The Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge over the Charles River in Boston.

A foggy Atlantic Ocean. It was freezing cold with the wind coming off the water and the drizzle falling from the sky, but looking out at the ocean always entrances me. Today was no different! To be able to say I saw both the Pacific and Atlantic within 11 days, and that I drove from one to the other, that's something I'll be able to treasure for a lifetime.

Day Sixteen

Day Sixteen was a planned rest day, where I actually get to sleep in the same bed two nights in a row. Funny thing happened on this rest day... there was very little resting! Much fun was had today! I started out with an early morning session of candlepin bowling at a 24 hour bowling alley. At 8am, I was the ONLY person bowling in the entire alley! That was an experience. After that, I took a side trip up through New Hampshire and into Maine, two more states I get to check off my list of states I've been to. I turned around in Kittery, Maine, where I found out that Kittery is the oldest town in the state. Pretty historic. I returned to the hotel, where I stayed for about... 10 minutes, after which I met my Aunt Laura, who lives about 30 minutes south of Boston, at a soccer pub to watch the US Soccer Team take on Brazil. A disappointing 3-2 loss, but we drank some great beer! After leaving there, we went for my second round of candlepin bowling (I mean, how many times do I get up here to the northeast, the only place they have the game?). It was Laura's very first time candlepin bowling, and she did pretty well! I got back to the hotel around 7pm, which meant I was going non-stop for about 11 hours. Some rest day!! I've got a few photos to share from my drive today, and then it is time to start packing up for tomorrow, when I start my journey back home. See you then!

Day Fifteen Stats

As of Day Fifteen...

5919.2 miles of driving, at 32.0 miles per gallon, at an average speed of 34 mph.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day Fifteen Photos

These guys were hanging out in my hotel parking lot this morning.

Eastern NY/Western MA is very reminiscent of the western part of the country, with the trees and the mountains and the twisting roads. It was a great change of pace from the urban environs that dominate from Chicago eastward.

Been a while since my last panoramic. So here!

This and the next two photos were taken on my side trip up to Vermont. Beautiful country!

The Dr. Seuss Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield, MA.

More from the Sculpture Garden.

Getting close to Boston...

...and here it is! This shows you the fog I was talking about. Tops of the tallest buildings could not be seen.

And this is the site of the end of Route 2o. There used to be a sign showing "Route 20 END", but it looks as if it was removed during the re-construction of the intersection in the last year.

This shot of downtown was taken from the Massachusetts Ave bridge heading over to Harvard.

Day Fifteen

It is official: I have driven US Route 20 across the country! This afternoon I drove triumphantly into Boston, and just north of Fenway Park, I completed the last mile of the longest road in America. It wasn't the most beautiful of days- the city skyline was shrouded in fog (as you will see in the photos I post). But that could not dim the excitement... and the relief! Months and months of planning coupled with a few years of dreaming has finally borne its fruit. It actually hasn't set in yet that the task is done, probably because I know I still have some driving yet to do. So no bittersweet feelings yet, just sweet ones!

As for what actually happened during the day, I started out the day near Albany, NY, and I made my way into Massachuestts. I took a short detour off of Route 20 to cross the border into Vermont (another state I can check off my list), then headed towards Springfield, MA where I visited the Dr. Seuss Memorial Sculpture Garden. Afterwards, I made the last drive into Boston, where I snapped some photos, and then shot up to the Harvard bookstore where I bought me a souvenir (the Harvard campus being just a stone's throw away from the end of Route 20. It was either that or some Red Sox stuff, and I wasn't about to do something silly like that!). I fought some of Boston's famous traffic on the highway down to the hotel. I mean, seriously. 4:30pm on a non-gameday Saturday afternoon. How the hell is there a traffic jam at that point of the week?? Oy. But through the traffic, the fog, and the drizzle, I made it to the hotel, where I rest for the night. Route 20 is done, but the adventure still continues... See you tomorrow!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day Fourteen Stats

As of Day Fourteen...

5674.4 miles of driving, at 32.9 miles per gallon, at an average speed of 38 mph.

Day Fourteen Photos

WARNING: You will only like a large percentage of today's photos if you are Cardinals baseball fan. A sports overload is coming. You've been warned, non-sports fans.

Early in the morning.

Also early. You could see the rays of light clearer in person, but you can kinda see them here!

The central part of New York state is really gorgeous.

I read that for a great hamburger in Cooperstown, you come to the Cooperstown Diner. It only seats 24 (and that is pretty cramped), so if you are lucky enough to get a seat...

...THIS is what you get! I mean, holy crap. Scary thing is, this is only the second largest burger I was served on this trip. (I'm still kicking myself for not taking a photo of the Pilot Butte Drive-In burger. I think I'm still digesting it. Here is a photo from the web that shows a Pilot Butte burger:

And now for a bunch of photos from the Baseball Hall of Fame. These all center on St. Louis Cardinals players and memorabilia.

Back to reality. More of beautiful New York state.

And more.

And me getting tricky with the camera again.