Thoughts on the Route in General

“It was an Elan. A delightful little thing famously made of Kleenex and unicorn farts.” ~ Sam Smith

I thought it would be useful to clarify and explain some of the assumptions I have made in planning this mega adventure. Of course, the entire thing carries an assumption that I will make it all the way around the country and home again for which the only appropriate word is “chutzpah.” I do have a couple of fans who actually think I can make it all the way even faster than the plan. Nonetheless, I have noted the days have been planned around 350 miles or seven driving hours which allows time for stops at points of interest if I so choose, or finishing a day with time for a walk, a dinner with friends or an early bedtime if I am tired.

Sticking to the Plan

At some point in the 35 days of planned driving, something will create a reason to stay put…to just stop! It may be weather or mechanical malfunction or even just a desire to stay and explore or visit for a while. Thus the days that are spelled out are essentially meaningless after the first one. I am telling folks I expect to be on the trip for about six weeks which is a week more than the required planned drive time and it may be even longer. And the dates I used are simply speculation based on never stopping or getting behind. So, you see, the entire thing is useless other than to provide a track to run on for planning the whole shebang.

If you are interested in my whereabouts on any given day whether you are sitting at home waiting for the inevitable slip up, or are looking to connect somewhere along the way, the best thing to do is check the blog each morning to see what I have posted the night before. At a minimum I will post my location each evening, for sure if it is different from the plan, and I will do my best to post photos and some description of the drive to recap the day. My intentions may outrun my actual performance so be gentle with me if that happens.

Actually Being on the Road I have Posted I Plan to Be On

As you might imagine, I do not know the best roads in a huge swath of this country, so I have used the default roads selected by the Google Maps algorithm when “Avoid Highways” is selected. While these plans have provided a useful method to generate a route plan, I have already been advised by some people following this boondoggle that there are better routes and I probably will avail myself of their local knowledge. Hopefully, I can incorporate these changes early enough to alert those who are expecting me in their neck of the woods before I actually arrive, but again, the best thing to do is check the blog each morning to see what I have posted the night before. I already am reworking the route through the Carolinas thanks to Henry Hawthorne, and looking at the route through Maine thanks to Michael Johnson. Please keep the suggestions coming as the time is dwindling to sit at my desk and play with maps…it won’t be long until departure day!

In addition to suggestions from those following my blog, I may get suggestions from locals where I stop along the way. These reroutes, though, will only happen if I have nobody expecting me to be at some specific point that may change. In other words, if you have heard from me directly that I will be at a specific place at a certain time I will honor that whether or not I get a local suggestion.

I think it is important to address the “You HAVE to stop at the X, Y or Z for sure!” recommendations one more time. I know where the world largest and the second biggest balls of twine are located and each is only a few miles off my intended route but I have zero intention of stopping there. Why? Because I am clear in my objective which is to reach the four corners, the centers and the high and low towns, and to meet up with friends along the way. If I deviate for every “must see” along the way, this will be a six month trip rather than a six week trip. My wife and my budget will never allow that! So thanks for suggesting all these things and please do not take it personally when I don’t use your suggestions.

Keep ‘em coming!!

About Me

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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4 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Route in General

  1. I have not commented for awhile but love the process as you define the parameters of your trip before you even know what the back roads are like. Let’s see. Flip phone. Paper maps. Little car. 350 miles each day. Adventure plus! So why not visit all the ‘balls of string’ in the entire nation? I was hoping you could stop by the Seminole village or help catch Boa Constrictors in the Everglades since you’ll pass by both as you go out of your way to visit us. Can’t wait for pictures!

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  2. I LOVE ROAD TRIPS!!!! However I hate planning. My planning always fail. My thoughts and prayers will be with you Ross. Tim

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  3. I’m sure you’re familiar with these, but they’re the first quotes that come to mind whenever I plan my road trips:

    Michael Chabon: “Man makes plans… and God laughs.”

    Dwight Eisenhower: “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

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