Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
As some of you may know, I am a taker of long drives in my old Lotus cars. I was thinking of another long drive as sort of the swan song of my Lotus life…sort of going out with a bang as it were. The stimulus for this drive was a fellow who, in the middle of the Covid pandemic, decided to leave his home in New Hampshire and drive Route 66 in a 1930 Ford Model A. That is a long trip at 45-50 miles an hour on back roads, but it stirred something within me. Why not, I thought, do a trip that would be really meaningful…a megatrip to see all the beauty and grandeur of this amazing country? And then, I thought, what if it could be of benefit to something worthwhile as well? So it was that I resolved to plan such a trip and solicit contributions to my favorite charity.
Since I have driven from Colorado to the east coast and back, to the source and terminus of the Mississippi and back home and all along the Gulf coast to Sebring FL and home already, it seemed fitting to consider something bigger. After circumnavigating England, Wales and Scotland it occurred to me that a similar tour of the United States might be in order. I began planning with the hope that I could get a meaningful route nailed down to allow a spring 2021 departure. While I believed that fall weather would be more congenial than that in the spring, I simply didn’t have enough time to put all the arrangements in place and as I began fleshing out the concept plan into a real driving plan, I found much of the normal travel support was closed due to Covid. Based on the assumption that we now have a vaccine that will allow a more normal travel environment in the spring, I am targeting a mid-April departure. Then I needed a plan for where to go…a purpose for the trip.
As I began looking at my USA wall map and consulting Google maps, I thought of a perimeter loop but starting from my home in Colorado, it is a long way to drive to the perimeter and a long way back from completion of such a loop. And as I looked further, there is a huge dip to get around the Great Lakes without going through Canada, which is prohibited now due again to Covid. The more I looked the more obvious it became that a diagonal crossing makes more sense as it acknowledges the dip below the lakes and connects to Colorado.
So it was that I came up with an initial plan that looks like this:
I will touch the four furthest points in the Contiguous Continental USA which are reachable by public road:
- Cape Flattery WA, the most Northwest point in the contiguous United States
- Near Madawaska, ME, the most Northeast point in the contiguous United States
- Card Sound Road, FL, the most Southeast point in the contiguous United States
- Jalama Beach County Park, CA the most Southwest point in the contiguous United States
Hi, I’m Ross and I’m a tripoholic. I love driving especially in my old cars and then writing about the adventure that always follows. I’m old enough to know better but that doesn’t stop me. If you like stories of the road, every word true no matter how far fetched it may seem, then grab a beer or a cup of coffee and join me!
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As I searched Google for these points, the search engine also disclosed some other gems about extreme geography so I added them to the plan. I will touch:
- The highest elevation town in the USA, Alma, CO at 10,578 feet above sea level
- The lowest elevation town in the USA, Furnace Creek, CA at 190 feet below sea level
- The geographic center of the 50 States near Belle Fourche, SD
- The geographic center of the 48 contiguous States near Lebanon, KS