After a week at home, I've finally been able to process some of the stats from my trip across North America. I've done one road trip before driving from Chicago to Los Angeles, but never something this extensive or widespread. After nine weeks of driving, flying, and exploring this place many of us get to call home, I can honestly this place is amazing. From coast to coast, there is something for everyone: beaches, forests, mountains, deserts, and more. The opportunities for exploration and discovery are endless. If you haven't already, get out and explore it. North America is a special place.
Here are some of the stats from my trip:
2 Countries: Canada and the U.S. are by far the biggest countries in North America, but there is certainly a lot more to see. Still on my list are Greenland and Mexico. Eventually I will hopefully be able to knock those, and a couple more, off my list.
29 States: I left through Michigan and reentered the U.S. in Vermont. Personally, I preferred going clockwise around the U.S. as I felt that the west coast and the Rockies were more scenic than the east coast and the Appalachians (sorry east coasters). In order of appearance, I drove through (or flew to and then through): Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Alaska (fly), Wisconsin, Michigan (started and finished). After this trip, I've only got five states left to visit (Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Arkansas, and North Dakota).
2 Provinces: Immediately upon leaving the U.S. I entered into Ontario. I explored the southern part of this Canadian province before heading up to Quebec (no, I do not speak French). There is certainly a lot more in both of these provinces to discover, but for now, I'm checking them off my list.
>900 miles in one day: The furthest drive I did in one day was from Houston, TX to western New Mexico. Unfortunately, this was also one of the most boring parts of my drive as well. Texas (as well as Nevada and South Dakota) have very little to observe.
3 thunderstorms: I was lucky enough to only encounter bad weather on three separate occasions. In addition, all three of these storms lasted a grand total of thirty minutes. I had a guardian weather angel looking out for me along the way (thanks, Anna)!
Over 10,000 miles driven: From door to door (and not counting the miles driven in Alaska), I logged over 10,000 miles on my 2009 Subaru Legacy. No, I didn't get my oil changed along the way, and no, I didn't break down. I'd buy a Subaru again in an instant and would recommend their cars to everyone. By the end of the trip it had 110,000+ miles on it, and is now for sale. Any takers?
4 Great lakes: I've lived in the Great Lakes state my entire life, and can now say that I've visited every one. Lake Michigan, Erie, Ontario, and Huron (in the order) were seen along the way, and I can now say I've conquered the entire Great Lakes region.
2 oceans: The Atlantic and the Pacific (and I saw them both within one week of each other). Along with that, I also touched the Gulf of Mexico and Prince William Sound (Alaska) along the way, which though they touch the oceans, are not technically part of the bodies of water. Success.
333 gallons of gas (we won't calculate how much money that is): One of the main reasons I recommend Subarus to everyone is because of their unbelievable gas mileage. My Legacy averaged 29.7 miles/gallon over 10,000+ miles of driving. Based on that average, I calculated the I went through roughly 333 gallons of gas (and a lot to global warming). Sorry, Earth.
1 windshield: Thanks to the rogue rock south of Montreal, I destroyed one windshield along the way.
1 tire: Though it had already been patched, the Pacific Coast Highway ultimately got to me and destroyed one tire I didn't need to lose.
6 National Parks: They say hindsight is 20/20, but I should have bought a National Parks pass for my trip. I can honestly say, though, that the National Parks program is one of the greatest things the U.S. has to offer its citizens. These parks, initially setup by Teddy Roosevelt, are some of North America's most pristine locations. Though I only touched a few of them (Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Denali, the Badlands), I will certainly be back again. My favorite? Grand Tetons without a doubt. This place is a hidden gem just south of Yellowstone (the most overrated park in my opinion).
I hope you all enjoyed reading the blogs from this nine week adventure. I had a blast, and can't wait for more adventures like it abroad.
Enjoy the video I put together from my time on the road!