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  1. #1

    Default Road Trip Challenge

    Hi All

    I have recently finished reading a book by a bloke called Dave Gorman, called America Unchained. In it he aimed to rediscover the real America by avoiding all forms of chain companies - so that meant food, petrol and accomodation.

    I am planning a road trip for 2010 (a long way away) with 3 other friends. We want to hire a camper van a and drive from the East coast to the West coast for about 1 month.

    I'm trying to think of a challenge for our road trip but I haven't found any feasible ideas I would like to do. I have seen the ideas on this website, and although they seem nice they just don't tickle my fancy really.

    The best idea suggested to me so far was to sample all of the top 20 burgers in the US (as listed in GQ magazine). However there are a clump of outlets on the East coast and a clump on the West coast, but there are a few up North and one south in Florida. This would mean doing pretty much the whole perimeter of the USA which I think would be too much for just 1 month? Would it?

    Does anyone have any more feasible ideas? They need to be achievable and novel.

    Thanks a lot.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default We like challenges....

    Quote Originally Posted by joboy50 View Post
    I have recently finished reading a book by a bloke called Dave Gorman, called America Unchained. In it he aimed to rediscover the real America by avoiding all forms of chain companies - so that meant food, petrol and accomodation.
    I was a bit irritated by that book -- a little too narcissistic for me. Here is my review of this book! Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    I have seen the ideas on this website, and although they seem nice they just don't tickle my fancy really.
    Were these the ideas you are referring to? How about actually driving to all of the state capitals -- Midwest Michael has such a route figured out here -- it tops out 11,784 miles

    Or if you want a real challenge -- go to every county seat in any state you want to choose -- Texas would be a real challenge.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-22-2008 at 02:54 PM. Reason: typo

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default challenge ideas

    Yeah, we've had some interesting comments about that book, and I tend to agree that the author started his work from a pretty questionable perspective.

    Since food is your thing, I like the burger idea - except a "top 20" list from a magazine like GQ doesn't sound like it would give a very wide ranging perspective. I'm sure you'd have a lot of great gourmet burgers, but some of the best burgers I've ever had were from some pretty hole in the wall kinds of places that probably wouldn't catch the eye of an outlet like GQ.

    Most every state has an official state food(s), you might try eating some of that food at each meal while you are in that state. Some of them would be pretty basic, like Apples, while others are a little more exotic like the "bizcochio cookie" in new mexico.

  4. #4

    Default A 'local' connection?

    As you're from Hertfordshire England, how about trying to get from one side of the States to the other visiting (and sending a card home from) at least one Hertfordshire namesake town in every state you visit, e.g. Hertford (North Carolina), Baldock (South Carolina), Watford City (North Dakota)?

    It'd take some research/planning but that's at least half the fun.

    Last edited by Peter Thody; 08-17-2008 at 06:15 PM. Reason: added missing word!

  5. #5
    Marcus Guest


    That sounds like an interesting trip you are planning there and I'm curious to read about if in 2010 when you finished it. :)

  6. Default Challange Idea...

    If there are 2 things that I love (that don't go hand-in-hand) they're road trips and beer; better yet, breweries and tours that they offer.

    Try to find local craft breweries or big name brands. They usually no more than $20, you get a sample of the beer they produce and usually an hour tour. It won't take up your whole day. But don't drink more than a sample, or you won't be going anywhere soon!

    I drove from Toronto Ontario to Halifax Nova Scotia for an Alexander Keiths beer/tour and lobster - best 3 day weekend.


  7. #7

    Default Travel with a twist……..

    On the roll of a dice and see where it takes you.

    This concept of adding a twist to travel takes me back a few years to a travel program I thoroughly enjoyed (Discovery Channel) called Diceman.

    In essence the Diceman with just a cameraman, would start a journey somewhere and then events would be determined on the roll of a dice giving one out of six possible options. Either things to do or the next place to visit. The Diceman (Russell Harris), who has an engaging personality, visited a number of countries but Diceman USA was particularly good.

    Here ( YouTube) is a flavour of the program.

    Example one. A dice roll of five provides some really good fun.

    Example two. A horse ride this time.

    So there you go – with four of you travelling to make a choice and two more numbers for luck, who knows what you would experience.

    Maybe too adventurous for a grandad like me but probably not for some. Or is it just stuff for TV entertainment.

  8. #8

    Default Beer tour, wine tour, BBQ, hot dogs, sports

    Hello Joe,

    I had the pleasure of incorporating brewpubs in several Colorado and Utah burgs into a river rafting + Road Trip back in 1994. Between Denver and Green River, UT, and back, we must have hit 7 or 8. I even remember some of them.

    Most states have wine producing regions of one type or another, and wine tourism flourishes in many areas.

    Foodies like barbeque, and locals in all states are wild about their barbequed pork or beef (and, here in North Carolina, there is even barbeque of different styles within the state).

    There are innumerable "famous" hot dog stands throughout the US, too, and as many different condiments to apply as there are hot dog stands to visit.

    Aside from food, there's sports. I know a fellow who traveled the US one summer simply finding and attending minor league baseball games. He had so much fun, he even started going to Little League and Youth League games whenever he encountered them between minor league ballparks. I like auto racing, and the website "Chasin' Racin'" inspires me to patch together a ring of dirt tracks to visit on a Southeast or Midwest tour.

    Your idea of a themed trip sounds fun. I do hope you'll continue to develop your plans and ideas and share them here.


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