There And Back Again: A Solo Road Trip Across The United States

There And Back Again: A Solo Road Trip Across The United States

On July 9th, 2010 I set out on my longest and most risky adventure. I decided to drive – alone – across the United States with no set path and just a list of things I wanted to see. The only definitive schedule I had was that I needed to be in Los Angeles by July 24th for a 6 pm flight to a conference, and that I needed to be back in New Jersey by August 20th for a close friend’s wedding. Approximately 14,000 miles later I rolled up to my parent’s house at 10 pm on August 18th, late for dinner, but feeling great.

In between those days I had run-ins with large animals, the border patrol, a very weird cop in Oregon who accused me of being a drug smuggler, a sand dune that trapped me in 110 degree heat for hours while waiting for help, and had a run-in with a guy right out of a Steven King story in the middle of the desert who literally said “you’re not from around here, are ya…” I visited 34 states (and one wrong turn into Mexico), dozens of national/state parks and monuments, and countless scenic overlooks.

I took wrong turns, had surprise encounters with bizarre Americana (and Americans!), and often was treated to sights and sounds that only existed for me in that moment. I re-connected with friends I hadn’t seen in years and made some new ones on the road in the strangest of circumstances. It was the closest thing I had in my life to a Tolkien-like adventure (well except for that time Ariel and I ACTUALLY went to Middle Earth seven years later) that often felt like something right out of The Hobbit.

The experiences I had changed me forever and the things I learned on this journey have become part of every travel experience I have had since then. This was the original Main Quest, that in many ways has still not come to an end.

And likely never will.

Ten Years Gone… Two Months On The Open Road

There… And Back Again: Wagons West

The Sitting Bull And Sacagawea Monuments In South Dakota

There… And Back Again: Eastbound And Down

The Last Stage: A Final Day On The Road

The Lonely Mountain
The road goes ever on and on… to the Lonely Mountain?