Home > pre-trip > Recurring Themes for the Cross-Country Road Trip Itinerary

Recurring Themes for the Cross-Country Road Trip Itinerary

May 12th, 2009

I’ve had a few people ask me about whether I was going to try and “hit all x of y” during the trip. Actually, I’ve had two people ask me this and both with the same example: catch a game at all 30 Major League baseball parks. So: I’m not doing that. But I still have some themes lined up. Ready?

You sure?

Cuz I can do this later if you want.

K, ready?

Themes currently planned into the itinerary:

  • The 20 Best Hamburgers (as defined by this article from GQ): SF, Napa, Seattle, Chicago, Ypsilanti or Dearborn, Newport RI, New Haven, NYC (x2?), Philly (x2?), San Antonio NM, and Santa Fe. I’ve hit a few of the others, but if I do all of the above, I’ll only be missing the one in Hackensack, NJ and Hollywood, FL. (I probably won’t hit all of the above — they’re uncomfortably concentrated in a few cases.)
  • National Parks  — per the as-yet unpublicized Ninth Itinerary, I’d hit as many as 24 of the 58, including (only?!) 17 that I haven’t visited before.
  • “Great Day Hikes” — There was an article about The 100 Greatest Day Hikes in the last Backpacker magazine. I’m not really using that as a checklist, but I like the concept and day-hiking is kind of the skeleton around which the rest of the trip has been planned.
  • Military and Flight Museums: McMinnville maybe, USAF in Dayton, USMC in Quantico, USN Flight in Pensacola.
  • US Tourist Checklist Stuff I Haven’t Done Before — although, I’m not sure what I’d count under this other than Mt. Rushmore, Niagara Falls, the Statue of Liberty (and I *lived* there even), the French Quarter, and The Alamo. Maybe that’s enough — but if I go just three hours out of my way, I can also see the St. Louis Arch! (Meh.)

Had some other theme ideas also that are sort of in the hopper, although I worry that they’ll get in the way of having an actual semi-relaxing, enjoyable trip. Ah well. They would be:

  • Photographing every broken-down farm building that I see.
  • Photographing every gas station I tank up at.
  • Photographing every state line crossing (so trite).
  • Collecting a shot glass (or key chain or baby spoon or hat pin or…) from each state and/or Sehenswürdigkeit.

Any further thoughts appreciated. Unless they’re no good.


  1. May 12th, 2009 at 20:32 | #1

    Plus Liberty Bell probably. I don’t think “Colonial Williamsburg” or Appomattox Courthouse count.

  2. Telkontar
    May 14th, 2009 at 11:07 | #2

    The America you know was born at Appomattox, you know.

  3. May 14th, 2009 at 14:15 | #3

    But what if I would’ve liked the other one better…? (I’m going to the courthouse, I just don’t think it’s a universal tourist checklist item.)

  4. Telkontar
    May 20th, 2009 at 10:58 | #4

    A Seneca Indian was there, on Grant’s staff. He had the best line: “We are all Americans.”
    I’m still pondering whether I would appreciate Maine or Tennessee more.
    Backpacking had a few dayhikes that you might be interested in — I’ll fax or email a pdf.

  5. May 21st, 2009 at 13:04 | #5

    I think I have that Backpacking issue (the one with the 100 Greatest Day Hikes?). Several of them have been incorporated if that’s the one.

    Re: Maine vs. Tennessee, only one way to find out…!

    (And if “we” are all Americans and therefore the South should surrender to the North, aren’t Canadians also “Americans” and therefore in need of annexation?)

  6. Telkontar
    May 22nd, 2009 at 07:19 | #6

    Not the greatest 100 day hikes, the next month (latest issue). Viz: Custer State Park (SD) — Harney peak (highest ppoint east of th rockes on a killer 10.5 mile loop); FRancoonia Ridge in the White Mtns (3 4000-foot peaks in an 8-mile loop); Maine’s Grafton Loop.
    Canadians are amicable so do not need annexation. We’re already Socialist and Fascist enough south of Canadia [sic] to require adding voters favoring more of such elements. Fine place to visit, though. I’ll ponder yet more.

  7. May 22nd, 2009 at 17:31 | #7

    Actually, if we annexed Canada, that would apparently now make us *less* socialist on average (well, assuming Canada’s trend continues): http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=10208. Pretty sure we should be able to get CA citizenship no problem, right?

  8. February 7th, 2011 at 18:10 | #8

    Thanks for sharing all of this, I’ve read your post on my iphone in the train! Haha.

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