That little piece of poetic wisdom is originally from The Lonely Planet USA Guidebook, our trusty companion on this journey.This is the trip you have to do at least once - coast to coast, ocean to ocean, sunrise to sunset. Some do it in days, others take months. There's no right or wrong, no rules, no "best" route. Just go.
For me, there had always been a mystic quality about a road trip from coast to coast and this summer, I made the dream come true, accompanied by my girlfriend and high hopes for a truly great vacation, which weren't disappointed!
A couple of things before I start the actual report:
We started at Newark Airport, New Jersey on August 21st and departed from San Francisco International on September 10th. We didn't choose our own route, we booked the whole thing as a package but we did a lot of research on what we could do, see and experience along the pre-planned route and there were a couple of detours that were very spontaneous and wholly unplanned.
The most important lesson that I - we - learned as we made our way across the country: there are no "must-sees", even the greatest wonders of nature or civilization might leave one person cold and the same person might find things interesting that others would deem trivial. It's really about what you as an individual want to see/do and where your own heart wants to go.
That being said, join us on a trip that was epic at times, weird at others, that led us to big cities, charming small towns, very remote places, to places where we saw wildlife, amazing architecture and to great opportunities for hiking, kayaking, rafting or just plain old strolling around.
This is roughly the route we took, it's not accurate in all places, google says it's 4,600 miles but you can easily add another 20% to that, the odometer said 7,000 when we started and 13,000 when we dropped off the car.
And here are a couple of pictures as a kind of primer, the real report will follow as soon as I'm done with the travel diary (which is another piece of advice I'd like to share: definitely keep a written account of your trip while you're on the road!)