In April of 2015 I had been working as an IT Field Engineer doing all sorts of high stress system/network troubleshooting. After the third Saturday in a row of on call night work, I could see this work/life imbalance was just going to continue. Around that same time I visited an old coworker at the paddle shop I used to work at, she asked what I’d been up to. The conversation went something like this:
“That’s it? No trips or anything interesting?”
Followed immediately by me thinking about how I hadn’t had a vacation in two years. And noticing just how boring it is if all you have to talk about is work. So I put in my two weeks notice, the company ended up getting me to work another four weeks to finish up projects and then I’d do something. I’d never been further west than the Ozarks in Arkansas so I decided to drive around the lower 48 for a while.
My goals for this adventure were:
- Sleep in the truck when possible to save money
- Visit friends and family
- Make it to Colorado, Oregon, and Washington
- Not return home for at least a month
I had a rough idea to drive out to Colorado as fast as I could, stay with a friend there, then make my way over to the Pacific Northwest to stay with another friend. From there I’d take a northern route back to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to end the trip. While I didn’t end up recording my exact route, I did stick pretty close to my plan. Below are most of the places I stopped on the trip, with friends places removed for privacy.
Gas was cheap that summer and my Ram 1500 has a V8 gasser in it, so the fuel economy was relatively low, but for the truck I was satisfied. It was especially fun driving manual in the mountains. I tracked the gas in a Google Sheet for no particular reason.
Favorite photo from the trip:
Other photos from the trip, grouped by location: