One Word: Epic

Well then, that’s what I call a Road Trip. 4,466 miles in total, through 14 states and 2 countries in 20 days of driving, 23 days in total. Maybe epic wouldn’t even begin to describe it…

I had car troubles again but thankfully these didn’t really impact on anything. My plans also seemed to change more than before ‘on the fly’ but that’s the nature of being ‘on the road’.

There’s been some good bar chats in the evenings but not as many as previous trips. Folks really are totally obsessed with their smartphones now and it’s having a noticeable effect on people’s social behaviour. Coming over once a year and spending 3 weeks in the US gives me a unique vantage point to see such changes year-on-year.

Santa Cruz Mountains

The Santa Cruz Mountains viewed from Skyline Boulevard

Despite the distance travelled, at no point did I feel tired during any day. I guess that’s partly down to ensuring I got to bed at a decent time, although I did struggle with jet lag in the first couple of weeks, not quite sure why. I did feel a bit of pressure to keep going, I think in part because of the long daily distances to be driven. And I had to make sure I was driving off mid-morning, with no late starts.

If I’d had a day where something went badly wrong, it might have been a struggle to catch-up the next day. Thankfully this didn’t happen. There weren’t any short days of, say, 140 miles, like there have been on previous trips. And some of the pressure might have been because of a lack of a lot to see or do on some days. But that was the nature of the trip.

I’m definitely glad I did it. I saw some awesome stuff. What was also spectacular this year was the vivid range of autumn colours in the forests. It made for some great landscapes. Trip highlights? So many: Yellowstone, the Carson Pass, New York, the Beartooth Highway, the Needles Highway…

But the absolute star of the trip: Niagara Falls. What an experience. I shall never forget it. Truly and mind-blowingly awesome. Nature at it’s most beautiful. Go there and see them before you die. They really are incredible.

And next year? It’s finally time to do Route 66, from Chicago to Santa Monica. And to go again and see if the 49ers can win at home, of course.

States travelled in and across:

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Michigan
  • Indiana
  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin
  • Minnesota
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming
  • Idaho
  • Utah
  • Nevada
  • California
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