This year I had the ‘tremendous good fortune’ to spend roughly the equivalent of three straight months in a car, driving approximately 25,000 miles.
That is equivalent to one circumnavigation of the globe at the equator.
Roughly 10,000 miles to get out to California and back from Ohio, and several thousand more on various trips along the east coast. Not all of them were spread out over multiple weeks – 1500 miles accrued in about 36 hours in February … roughly 40 miles for every hour spent on the trip if you included the time spent sleeping at our midpoint.
The map below shows each of the states I manged to visit this year. Oh, Arkansas. How ever did I miss you?
The single most important lesson that I learned on this trip was to plan, plan, plan and plan some more, and then to throw the plan right out the window as often as possible.
Having the plan meant we were prepared in broad strokes for where we were going to be, or how we would get somewhere. Being willing to drop the plan and divert somewhere else at a moments notice meant we kept discovering interesting places and locations we didn’t know to look for. Virtually every memory that I have of a place on our trip came from some deviation or side trip … following a random road for a while, or deviating from a park to go explore an interesting canyon.
The map above was built by a great tool I found here: