i'm josh, and i just registered on your site. i found this site actually the other day. my coworker and I wanted to know if there was such a thing as an addiction to driving. so, through the course of the evening, i stumbled upon your site, and was hooked.
the last major trip that i took was october 2006. i started off by leaving saturday night after work in philly, pa and drove to pittsburgh (have family out there). after staying til monday mrng (delay due to my mother's car needing work, drove it to mechanic), we swapped cars west of pittsburgh, and the trip began.
monday: first stop was supposed to be in chicago, illinois to see the sears tower. but, due to lack of time and hitting chi-town in the middle of rush hour, i skipped that part of the trip. i was able to snap some pics from my digi camera while bumper to bumper in traffic. after i got thru chicago, i headed up to minneapolis/st. paul, MN to stay for the night (about 13-14 hours total driving rain, mostly in rain doing about 70mph).
tuesday: the next mrng, checked out, and went over to the mall of america. i stayed there for a while (few hours), took pics of the biggest mall in america, then headed onward towards wyoming (another 12-13 hours of driving). heading south from the twin cities area, and then picking up interstate 90 in southern minnesota, i headed westward. once i got into south dakota, the weather was cloudy the whole time, turning much colder (20-30 degrees, before windchill, not factoring in wind), and the wind howling with about a 25-45mph crosswind. doing 80 heading west, with a north crosswind was interesting to say the least, especially passing the truckers out there. i finally arrived in sundance, wy, after another long day driving.
wednesday: saw the most things this day. the roadtrip was already halfway over (very sad, lol) it was very cold (about 15 degrees above zero, light winds) and a dusting of snow covering parts of my car. my first stop was devils' tower. truly breathtaking, considering that the rock formation is completely natural in occuring. after snapping pics of the tower, and some prarie dogs on the way out of the park, i began driving down towards nebraska to see mount rushmore. little did i know that the speeds were going to be slow, cause of the elevation changes, lack of passing lanes, and going thru deadwood as well (very cool town, with an old-west feel). i arrived there early afternoon after i believe about 4 hours of driving. stayed there, had lunch at cafeteria, and contined towards carhenge, also in nebraska. carhenge was interesting to say the least. for those who have never been there, what they did was re-create carhenge, but only with old detroit steel cars from the early 80's back to the mid 60's i think. i stayed there, and of course, more pics. after leaving carhenge in alliance nebraska, i headed down to colorado springs for the night to stay....
thursday: the main highlight of my trip came towards the end. i woke up, checked out of my room, and started to head towards pikes peak. another cold mrng (about 20 degrees, mostly due to elevation). unfortunately, due to the weather the week before, the last 6 miles of the hill climb were closed due to snow removal. i went as far as i could go, stopped, and took some pics. my car (93 honda accord, 299k miles at the time) was struggling mightily going up those hills. i was in 1st gear (automatic transmission) just to keep my speed up. and going around the bends, forget it. then, i began my descent. it's a requirement for all vehicles to be in the lowest gear possible due to the steepness of the hill. i descended at 20mph with only tapping the brakes at times, even though my car is geared lower than most cars of the early 90's (only 125 HP at the crank).
after getting off the hill, the next highlight of my trip was coming up soon, but not before i got into a bit of trouble. i was pulled over due to speeding. I was on US 24 at the time, about 18 miles from I-70. the cop was a nice guy, and asked why i was in such a hurry. i told him that i needed to be in kentucky that evening (truthfully). the guy did give me a ticket (80 in 65 zone) however. he did clock me doing 82 in 65 when he saw me, but i was actually doing 85-90 right before he saw me. i figured that i kind of got off easy, considering the circumstances. i was speeding alot due to the lack of traffic and good weather at that time. if it were anything different, i would not have been going so fast.
after i was pulled over, i got onto I-70, knowing that my car was going to reach another anniversary mileage-wise. i pulled over about 10 miles after hitting the interstate. my car had reached 300,000 miles. i was unfortunately able to get out of the car, due the speed of the traffic, and lack of a decent shoulder to walk around on. i still was able to take pics of the odometer reading, and where i was in I-70 (middle of nowhere, lol).
after the anniversary, i had figured out that i had grossly underestimated the driving time of this leg of the trip. instead of it being 10-11 hours, it turned out to be 15 hours. <gasp!> being a solo driver up to this point, doing 11-13 hour legs was doable, but 15 was really going to test my stamina and patience. i wasn't able to take pics the rest of the way, due to trying to make up for the deficit. i wanted to be in GA by friday afternoon. after driving forever and a half it seemed like, i was able to somehow make it to hopkinsville, ky to stay in a free 4 star hotel room. it was free due to my mother using some of her frequent flier miles (thanks mom!). the bed was one of the best beds that i have ever slept on, and i sure needed it after all the driving that day.
friday(last leg): i left late the next mrng, and eventually made to columbus, ga to see one of my closest friends jerrel. this leg was pretty uneventful, and short (7 hours). got there around evening/nightfall.
total miles: approx 5100 miles
gas/hotel/food/drinks cost: approx $1200 for the week
memories/pictures of my first major roadtrip alone: PRICELESS!!! :-)
i plan on checking back on occasion, and look forward to becoming an active contributor of your forum.... take care.