Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Travelling Man

When I travel by car, I look forward to the drive as much as anything.

From the first day I got my license, I would drive anywhere just to say I did it. I had a sweet deal, too- I could use my dad's company car any time I wanted and they paid for all the gas. Can you imagine that?

Of course, it was too good to be true. After I crashed the car head-on in to a tree, I was banned from the company car.

So I bought my own car. I picked up a 1984 Ford Crown Victoria police cruiser which previously used by the Clinton Police Department as car 13. As long as I could afford to put gas in it (14 miles per gallon), the highways were mine.

In college, my friends and I took many road trips. We drove to Washington D.C. in the middle of the night, walked up the steps of the Capital building, then turned around and drove back to school. I drove to Florida a few times. One time I just woke up on the Saturday of spring break, told my mom I was going to Daytona, and left that morning. She thought I was crazy.

And for all the trips I made, I used a pocket map of the United States. I would look at it and think, "It's only 1/2 inch on the map, how long can that take?" Of course, the scale of the map would mean that it would take many hours to travel the "1/2 inch."

Today, I don't travel anywhere without planning the drive ahead of time. I gather maps, printed directions, my cell phone, and at least two water bottles. And with gas nearly $3.00 per gallon, it's cheaper to fly most places than drive anyway.

I viewed a web site recently about a guy who left work at 5:00 PM on a Friday, visited all 50 states on his week-long vacation, and was back to his job at 8:00 AM Monday morning. He drove a rental car to all 48 of the contiguous states and flew to Alaska and Hawaii.

He drove over 8500 miles, stopped for gas 22 times, and the whole trip cost about $2750. In order to hit all the states in just over a week, he had to drive about 1100 miles per day.

Pretty amazing. You can read all about it
here, how he planned for it here, and he answers many of the questions he's been asked about the trip here.

I think the part I like best about the trip is that he didn't tell any of his co-workers about it beforehand. He just left work on Friday and started driving. It wasn't until after the drive and he was back at work that he told people about it.

A little lower on the coolness scale, is the story of a man named Winter, who has "dedicated his life" to visiting every Starbucks in the world. A DVD about his quest named Starbucking is being released this month. Read more
here and watch the trailer below.

Happy Trails!

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