Summary: America’s Longest Road

Americas Longest Road

The center of the Great Northern Railway logo is a red dot with a mountain goat standing atop a rocky peak. This symbol reminds us of the railway’s greatest accomplishment: crossing the Cascade Mountains at Stevens Pass.

Days before setting out on this trip I had nary a clue that I’d be driving this country’s longest road. Named after the great railroad which it parallels along  its western portion, the highway actually passes into Canada to connect to its eastern portion. With the Great Lakes in the way it was designed as a two-segment road since its inception in 1926. From end-to-end U.S. Highway 2 is almost 2,600 miles long.  Continue reading

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Summary: Time with Kelsey along the PCH

Time with Kelsey along the PCH

This shot has two of the most beautiful things on our Big Blue Ball but only one travelled with me from Tijuana to Victoria! Actually, she did most of the driving so I guess I travelled with her!

“They grow up so fast” is a cliche but I feel the lament in my heart. With Courtney half way through college and Kelsey just two years away from high school graduation I know our days with them are numbered. “Cherish the time you have!”

On the eve of Kelsey getting her driver’s license we took a 10-day trip along the West Coast. It was the latest in our series of road trips with one BIG difference: Kelsey would drive. Days covering lots of  miles and packed with full agendas with only enough motel idle-time to check mail and sleep, that was the plan and that’s exactly how we rolled!  Continue reading

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Summary: Down to the Deep Southwest

Down to the Deep Southwest

I’ll return time and time again because the beauty of Carlsbad Caverns just sucks me in. Other caves are worth visiting but this place is something special. Next time I visit, I’ll be moving in for good! ; -)

From home, I had to get to the start of my adventure up the PCH with Kelsey and that meant driving from D.C. to San Diego. Not a huge deal. There’s always something new to explore along the way and this time I was going to focus on a section of the deep southwest I’ve usually just driven past.

Along the way I did a little bike riding and President hunting. Continue reading

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Summary: Driving the TCH

Driving the TCH

I had no appreciation for how big Canada was nor for how enormous my undertaking would be. There were challenges along the way and it was cold but it was a great trip that I’ll remember forever.

I’m about to head out again and my return may be along Canada’s Yellowhead Highway. This reminded me of another trip I took across Canada along the world’s longest national road, the Trans-Canada Highway. This amazingly long road runs from Victoria, BC in the west to St. John’s, NL for a total distance of 4,860 miles. Funny trivia? Each end has a marker which identifies itself as “Mile 0” … neither wanted to be the end of the TCH! See below:

Driving the TCH

"Mile 0" Marker in St. John's, NFL

Driving the TCH

"Mile 0" Marker in Vancouver, BC

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Summary: Red Rocks to Blue Waters

Red Rocks to Blue Waters

The Colorado River cuts a striking path through the Southwest. At times, man has built very impressive structures to adapt. This bridge is part of U.S. 95 which crosses the river just north of Hite, UT.

My path started with scouring New Mexico and ended with meandering San Francisco. Red rocks of Utah and the Great Basin of Nevada lie in between. My theme was just to get to MacWorld but there were so many delicious small trips along the way that I had to tie them together here. Continue reading

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Summary: New Mexico

Look Back on New Mexico

As I was leaving New Mexico I made one last attempt to get to the greatest of all Puebloan ruin at Chaco Canyon. Five miles down the paved road I hit this transition to dirt. Thirteen more miles of tortuous driving to get there? No thanks! I wouldn’t do that to my lovely 2007 Camry Hybrid which on this trip celebrates passing 100,000 miles!.

Mission accomplished. I’ve travelled throughout much of New Mexico and have developed an understanding of and appreciation for the region. Initially I thought I’d be focused on the geography because of the character of Santa Fe and Taos. It wasn’t long before the pre-Spanish indigenous cultures caught my eye, primarily because of how the State’s character today is influenced by the Puebloans. Surprisingly, the third theme that came through as significant was space technology from rockets to spaceships to UFOs! Continue reading

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Summary: Toying with Tech

Toying with Tech

In the shadow of the Oklahoma City Bombing site stands a moving memorial. Here I recorded the inscription over the gateway using a tool called audioBoo. After 15 years this nerve is still raw.

My goal was to spend time getting to know New Mexico but I had to get there first. On this trip I chose to ease up on my pace, experiment with new blogging tools, and carry a bicycle with me. This provided me with the opportunity to learn, the luxury of taking bike rides, and the time to keep pace with my blogging. A mixed bag but a decidedly pleasant change.

The posts which together capture this ride include: Continue reading

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Summary: Westward Ho and Back Again

Westward Ho and Back

My only weather planning was to avoid winter snow. Almost. An early snow storm caused me to quit early once but the following day was lovely and Fall was radiant … and matched my car!

“One month, one week, and a half” is how Kelsey describes my 39-day, 10,000 mile road trip which ran from coast-to-coast along northern routes focusing on National Parks and Monuments. A jazz festival on Catalina Island and family visits in the Pacific Northwest were other highlights. Looking back, it was a remarkable and gratifying trip.

As I traveled across the great distances I planned many stops. Most of what was new lie between the Mississippi and the Rockies. Once I entered the red rock country of southern Utah until I left Yellowstone I was visiting old friends. In both instances I came away with the reinforced belief that we really have preserved something special in this country. Our National Parks and Monuments are amazing and there for us all to visit and appreciate … not just one time but again and again.

Below you’ll find a coarse depiction of my route. Continue reading

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Summary: Shenandoah-AT

Shenandoah Overview

This is where most people begin the Skyline Drive. I didn’t get here till after I’d hiked and biked the vast majority of its length. Not till the very end did I cap my adventure with the Dickey Ridge Trail hike.

My hike was 125 miles: 115 miles along the Appalachian Trail plus another 10 along Shenandoah’s Dickey Ridge Trail to the park’s entrance. In addition, I biked 105 miles along Skyline Drive. I have no idea where I got the idea pursue this big goal but I can briefly describe how I did it.

Stage 1: It all started innocently enough. “Why not hike a little section of that famous Appalachian Trail which runs 2,170 miles from Georgia to Maine?” I thought. Linden, VA on Interstate 66 was a convenient place to start so I did a couple of one-day hikes along it till I reached Skyline Drive which runs along the ridges of the Shenandoah National Park. When I arrived, the next phase of my adventure occurred to me.  Continue reading

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Summary: England by Train, Paris by Foot

Train Aisle

Railroad began in England so it’s no wonder they have an extensive and very well run network. Towns and cities grew up around railway stations so I planned an adventure around this realization.

I’m about to embark on my latest good pursuits which will be accomplished by rail in England and by foot in Paris. Using a 22-day BritRail Pass and a book entitled “Britain by BritRail” I plan to visit 30-40 towns and get to know their stations and nearby sights. In Paris I’ll be using my box of 50 walking tour cards over the course of a week to familiarize myself with one of the world’s grandest old cities. If all goes well, I’ll be one tiny step closer to becoming a cosmopolitan man!

You can follow my adventures here.

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