The main question I’ve been asked is, “Where did you go?” My answer has been somewhat vague since trying to tell someone of all of the places we explored would put anyone to sleep. So instead, I made a Google map that chronicles every place I parked and most of the main attractions.
What exists in the gaps between these stops are the fuels breaks, extra hikes, dog stops, and basic day to day extras that are too numerous to state. I could have cluttered this map with many more stops, but those are for me to remember and reminisce.
How did I remember all of these, you may ask? I didn’t remember them all. I kept a daily journal, something I highly recommend. I enjoy re-reading my journal since my memory is very fleeting, and I usually remember the big stops and forget all the little events in between that fleshed out the trip as a real-life event.
I chose to keep my trip in a small, lined journal. On the right-hand page, I wrote all the basics: where I stopped, what I did, how many miles I drove. I left the back side of that page blank for more philosophical, emotional, “how I’m feeling” documentation. I didn’t write on the back side every day, but the days I did are days I love going back and re-reading.
I know I wouldn’t have remembered all of these marvelous places without my journal, and I am happy to have it. Keeping it wasn’t burdensome since it became my morning routine to check the odometer and rehash the main events from the previous day. I chose to journal in the mornings since most evenings I was tired, plus I liked keeping the journal in the cab where I could record mileage. At night I was ready to get out of the cab and relax in the back.
Alright, now on to the map! Making it was both fun and difficult. Going back through my journal was much more emotional than I anticipated, and I was swept up in feelings of nostalgia. I still can’t quite believe I’m done and wish I were back on the road exploring.
Please enjoy clicking around the map and know that the small bits of info and pictures are just a sliver of the experience I am blessed to call my own.
Tips for navigating the map:
- Use the link I’ve provided that will open the map in its own tab or click on the square in the upper right corner of the map (the “expand” symbol).
- The blue points document overnight parking locations and the green ones are points of interest.
- Click on the points since many of them have either photos or write-ups accompanying them.
- Some of the points don’t have anything. Not all days were as impactful as others.
- I’ve drawn driving directions between most of the blue points just to give a rough estimate of my path. Most of these routes are NOT the routes I chose. When possible, I didn’t travel interstates, but Google Maps tends to default to them. My exact drive pattern is probably lost to history.
- Google Maps only allows so many points on driving directions, so I’ve only drawn the blue points. You can figure out the rest 🙂
If you have questions about how many total miles I traveled, how long I was on the road, or how much the trip cost, please see my previous post, “Miles & Money – The Stuff You Really Want to Know”.