map of road trip along scenic byways across the USA

Map of My Year Long Road Trip Across the USA

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The below map tracks my road trip along America’s scenic byways from September 2010 to October 2011. It shows the general path, but is not exact.

The Plan

When I set out on this journey, my plan was to minimize driving on Interstates while connecting several scenic byways across the lower 48 states. In addition, I wanted to avoid snow, to visit my parents for Christmas, to spend my 40th birthday in California with some friends, and to connect with some others traveling to Colorado in June.

The Journey

As a result, I began in September of 2010 heading northeast toward Maine to enjoy the fall colors. Thereafter, I turned south down the east coast and returned to Dallas for Christmas through the Super Bowl which was held in the metroplex that year. During this time, I lost my lab, Scout, of 13 years, though my dobie, Petey, made the entire journey.

In February, I began again, this time heading west. I was only gone a few weeks before I flew home to be with my father in the ICU. I stayed home through his passing and funeral and picked up my journey in mid-March where I left off in Arizona.

From Arizona I continued west to California and headed up the coast. I veered off the west coast in northern California and zig-zagged through the Midwest states, before ultimately heading west again to Washington. With three weeks left in my trip, I tripped on a fallen tree and ended up in the hospital with a piece of a branch in my leg.

This accident slowed my trip a little, but I got some nursing help from some friends in Oregon where I ultimately finished my journey before tacking on a few other sight-seeing adventures on the way home.

My Experience

I began with no camper van experience and little knowledge of the difference between national lands (forests, parks, refuges). I never had a reservation for a campground. I just floated along with my general plan while meeting amazing new people and while reconnecting with distant relatives and friends. During the time of my travels, van life wasn’t common, so strangers were always inviting me their home and buying me dinner. I think they felt sorry for me!

Over the year, I traveled 57,000 miles in VANilla which needed maintenance, but mostly held up well. I saw tons of wildlife and visited several scenic and historic places. The USA is a beautiful country with a lot to offer.

My Blog

My blog began as a means to let my mom know where I was all of the time without having to constantly call. It has since morphed into an award winning travel blog. I hope I have shared some interesting stories and photos of my travels. If you have enjoyed any part of it, please consider purchasing some note cards or key chains at the link below or utilize my affiliate links on other posts when applicable. ETB

map of road trip along scenic byways across the USA

Interactive Link to Map


Check out the photographic note cards and key chains at my shop.  Each card has a travel story associated with it.  20% of proceeds are donated to charity.

photographic note card, snowy waterfall in oregon
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Published by

Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

22 thoughts on “Map of My Year Long Road Trip Across the USA

  1. I see upsidedown drops, yea, it worked, not only are you brave your a tech person too. I’m loving reading and following your travels. Connie in Louisville, KY

  2. Map #2 didn’t work. No worries, we got an atlas to follow your travels. Great geography lesson for Samantha!

  3. Hey Beth!
    This is so great! I was actually in the middle of the Hudson River Valley Oct 1-5 but didn’t get as far north as you. The trees were starting to be beautiful down where we were (Rhinebeck, NY – where Chelsea’s wedding guests stayed). I have really enjoyed following your adventures – keep it up!

  4. Hi Beth,
    Did you ever asked the dogs if they like thids trip and where may we be going..They look like a nice cozy bed would suit them just fine.
    Love AC

  5. Hey Beth, I have to confess, I have not followed your blog lately. I hope all is well and loof forward to catching up with your trip this week. Kim

  6. Hell, Beth!…If I knew you had bear repellant & a .38, I would have had you sleep with the dogs! It appears that I was in more danger than you! I have a .44 special & a 9 mm….but I left them in S.C. !! P.S. Wilmington is in N.C. NOT S.C. Enjoyed your company & have a lot of respect for people that create their own destiny. Have worked for myself about since I got out of the Army in 1969. Probably knew anyone else would have fired me!Stay well & safe. Love, Frank Cloyes

  7. Hell, Beth! If I knew you had bear spray & a .38, I would have had you sleep with the dogs! It appears that I was in more danger than you! When I told my daughter that I had invited you to spend the night, she said..what if her boy-friend was hiding outside, waiting to come in & kill you! What a world we live in! I’d rather be a little trusting, & take my chances. Life is too short to be a coward! Beth…stay well & safe. Please don’t pull the trigger without good cause! Frank Cloyes

    1. Yes. I agree. Glad I was trusting and got to meet you! Single girls just have to be safe. Hope you enjoyed seeing your daughter and they had fun at the game.

  8. The map works for me! Amazing to see all of the ground you covered!!
    Glad to hear you are back in Big D.

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