Travels (2001-02) >
My Previous Roadtrips
There's nothing like getting into a pickup truck and hitting the road. The U.S. is a
fascinating and amazingly diverse country and
one of my main goals in life is to learn as much as I can about it. I
figure the best way to do that is to see the U.S. first-hand, and as a result,
I've taken a lot of road trips around the country. In fact, I
visited all 50 states before I was 25 and have lived in 20 cities in
eight states -- so far.
The messy map below shows the major road trips I've taken since my college
days. While my friends were getting married, buying houses and having
kids, I was traveling and learning about America. Most of my trips have been solo, but a few, and probably the most
enjoyable, were with others. I haven't shown the many cross-country road
trips I took with my family when I was younger, but I'll post that map someday.
I've learned a lot about America from these travels, some of which I've posted
on my Best and
Worst of the 50 States page.
I took most of these road trips with
my Toyota pickup truck,
which I bought in 1984 and which still gets over 30 mpg. My truck now has over
250,000 miles on it and you can probably see why.
Road Trips: 1980 - 1999
(Mouseover the map to see my
2001-02 trips, described on this website)
are my road trip "rules-of-thumb":
different routes. I like variety so I always try to take a
different route. Before I leave on a road trip, I study my Road
Atlas to see where I haven't been yet and then plan my trip
Stay off the
Interstates. Whenever possible, I stay off Interstate freeways.
Although Interstates are great for getting you quickly from one
place to another, they're also bland and monotonous. Two-lane
highways are a lot more interesting, and you can pull off the road
anytime you want.
Bring a camera. I always bring along an SLR
camera whenever I travel. Over the past two decades, I've shot over
20,000 slides of North America, and on my current trip, I've shot
about 16,000 digital pictures.
Learn about the area. Road
trips are a great way to learn about America. Historic signs are "must stops" for me,
as are interesting small towns and offbeat attractions. AAA Tour
Books are a great resource for planning road trips and whenever I'm
traveling, I read them
each night to plan my next day's adventure.
Visit friends. A road trip
is a great way to maintain friendships. I've been able to keep close
ties with many of my friends from college by traveling and dropping
in -- even if they don't want to see me!
Avoid Oklahoma. Just
kidding. Actually, I like Oklahoma, but as you can see on the map
above, I didn't visit there between 1980 and 1999. I'm not sure why
I avoided Oklahoma, but I figured that my Toyota truck would get
there "Sooner" or later -- and I was right (see
News: June 24, 2001).
Left: My truck and I at Looking Glass Rock, Utah a few years ago. This little-known area south of Moab is my favorite camping spot in North America.
I've posted more detailed maps and additional photos on the following pages: