Getting ready for a Lap Around America!

On Monday, August 22nd, my wife Dawn and I will leave the small hamlet of Orting, Washington and start the adventure of a lifetime. Over the next sixty days, we will drive a complete lap around America, and we would love to have you along with us.


Because I am a nerdy guy, I can’t just say, “Let’s go for a drive.” No, I need to have rules to make this more fun. So, for better or worse (and Dawn is leaning toward the latter) here are the rules for our lap around America:

No Freeways     Have you read the wonderful travel book Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon? If not, I recommend it highly. In 1979, Mr. Heat-Moon lost his job and his wife, essentially simultaneously. He set off on a trip around America, sticking only to the back roads, hoping to discover both himself and the country he loved. Dawn and I will be following a similar plan, although he traveled clockwise and we will be going the opposite direction. It is inevitable that at some point, in order to get over a mountain or across a desert, we might have to spend a few miles on a freeway. However, we will hold that to as little as possible and get back on a lovely 45 MPH road as soon as we can.

No Chain Restaurants, Hotels, or Motels     We are after Americana, not corporate culture, 2016. So, no Mickey D’s, or Applebees, or Motel 6 or Hyatt’s for us. Instead, in each small town we find ourselves, we’ll play it by ear. Our trip will closely resemble a cross country road trip from the 1960s, I suppose, but with slightly better technology.

No real plan     I know that we are leaving Orting and heading east of the mountains on our first day, and that we will spend our first night in lovely little Dayton, WA. Beyond that? A complete mystery. We will go the way the winds blow us. We might spend two or three days in a spot if it interests us, or we might zip right through if it doesn’t. Each morning, we will spread the map (yes, a real, old fashioned, paper map) out on our motel bed and see what we would like to see.

We will be posting here every day, or at least every day that we are able to scrounge a little internet. I would love it if you would sign up for email updates and come along with us on this trip. It won’t be the same without you.


  1. Set down the laptop and get packing those boxes…they will not pack themselves and you are going to have to live in that car with Dawn for a lot of days.


  2. Sounds like so much fun!! You’re going to have the experience of a lifetime! I love that you’re taking the minor highways and eating at the local diners. (Do they even still make paper maps?) I can’t wait to follow your adventures through your blog. Thanks!


  3. I have a travel hobby/goal that (among other things) tends to get me off the interstates for a lot of my travels. That’s a great plan. I don’t think I’d go so far as to go back to paper maps though. 🙂

    Have fun. I’m jealous, but will be getting as many vicarious thrills as I can by following your adventure.


    • I admit that I am supplementing our maps with GPS during the day. GPS doesn’t work quite as well if you have no definite goal in mind, which is our perpetual state on this trip.


  4. 15999 miles of relaxation, memories, and scenery of
    this beautiful country of ours!!! Have a wonderful trip… I cant wait to see where your heading next!!


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