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Home > Travels (2001-02) > My Previous Roadtrips


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.



My Road Trips:  1980 - 1999 

(Mouseover the map to see my 2001-02 trips, described on this website)


Here are my road trip "rules-of-thumb":

  • Take 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 accordingly.

  • 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: