In early October 2013 I drove out of New Orleans in Louisiana on I-10 W towards Baton Rouge. I headed out across the mangrove swamps and Lake Pontchartrain to start my first American road trip, travelling north up Highway 61 into the Mississippi Delta towards my eventual destination, Chicago.
This website has the story of that journey – and the others I have completed since. Two years later I drove south down the Pacific Coast Highway in California then swung back north to visit the Wine Country of Napa and Sonoma. I ended the journey by staying in San Jose and seeing the San Francisco 49ers play at Levi’s Stadium.
In 2016, back again in California, I first headed towards Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada. The plan was to head north then come back south down the Gold Rush Trail, California Highway 49… but then sometimes not everything goes as it should on a road trip, does it? 🙂
In October 2017 I did my Cross Country Expedition starting in Ohio, via Nashville and other places, and ending my on-the-road element in Texas. But again I finished the trip in San Jose to watch the 49ers.
Next year, 2018, I went slightly mad. I landed in New York at JFK and just over three weeks later I took off back to the UK from San Francisco airport, having driven Coast To Coast across the United States of America. I drove 4,466 miles in 20 days…
In mid-October 2019 I finally drove Route 66 having been planning to do it for a number of years. I went all the way from Chicago to Santa Monica on what remains of the old original highway. Then I went to see the 49ers again. And I saw them win, at last! The pages describing my trip are now, at last, live. Goddam pandemic seemed to suck the energy out of me to get the trip written up! Because of which of course, my plans for 2020 have been well and truly scuppered. Who knows – in early 2021, as I update this – when I might get to visit the good old USA again.
Some of my photos aren’t brilliant, especially those where the natural light is not good. Many museums and other places however ban the use of flash, plus music clubs don’t like you to use it. If you click on most of the images on a page they will display larger in a new window.
This site is not meant to be a definitive travel or tour guide, it’s just tells the stories and experiences I had on my particular journeys. I thought however that some of what I saw and heard may be of interest to anyone planning or doing similar trips, or visiting the places I did. Please leave a comment or ask a question on any of the pages if you’d like to do so.
I’m a white guy who lives in the UK and I’ve just turned 60 (!!!). I can’t quite believe I’ve made it this far…
I was lucky enough in my corporate career to travel to various countries all over the world. Much of that travel took me to the USA where I had (or manoeuvred…) the opportunity to add days on here and there and “see some of the sights”. Then a few years ago I thought I’d like to explore in more detail some of the places I’d been to before. But I also wanted to experience some of the many sights I knew of in America but had not visited yet. Like Graceland and Sun Studio, for two examples. Oh, and to see some American Football (as we in the UK call it) live ‘on the field’. The thing was, having been a fan of the sport for decades, I’d only ever watched it on TV.
I’ve visited many places on all of the trips where the environment, cultural mix and day-to-day reality was very different from my everyday life. Given those differences, I describe my encounters in factual terms and, where relevant, highlight how a situation was different to my usual life.
On most of the trips I’ve done I had to miss out visiting some towns, museums, clubs etc. because I didn’t have the time to see everything. One day I might return and explore some more. Such as I did on the Ohio, Nashville & Texas trip when I returned to Clarksdale. Equally, and this to me is an important point for a road trip, as I travelled around I discovered many other places of interest that I didn’t know about beforehand. I describe most of my ideas about road trip ‘thinking and planning’ in the Highway 61 pages. So I went where I went, and I found what I found. But if I do go back, I’ll make sure I see those new discoveries then.