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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.