My Previous Roadtrips
There's nothing like getting in a pickup truck and hitting the open road. The U.S. is a fascinating and incredibly diverse country, and one of my life's
goals 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 lots of road
trips around the country. 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 perhaps the most
enjoyable, were with others. I haven't shown the many cross-country road trips I took with my family before 1980 but I might post
that map someday. I've posted some thoughts about America, gleaned from my travels, 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 miles per gallon. My truck now has over 250,000 miles on it and you can probably see why.
(Hover your mouse over the map to see my 2001-02 trips, described on this website)
Above: Here a short video about my Toyota truck and all the wonderful places it took me.
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 it 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 (har, har). And I was right (see News: June 24, 2001).
I've posted photos and detailed maps on the following pages: