I first got the idea to this cross country trip when I first contemplated leaving the US permanently. I was determined to first visit all the sights I'd been meaning to check out, but hadn't gotten around to on 3 weeks vacation per year. The only "must see" destinations were the Pacific Northwest with Seattle, Washington State, Vancouver and Oregon, and Monument Valley near the Arizona/Utah border. Everything else kind of developed from there. A first calculation put the distance at around 8500 miles, which is not far off from what it turned out to be. Except that I took the train back East when originally I had planned on driving. (Coincidentally, the other long-hatched plan was leaving the US on the QE2. That didn't work out because she only sails until October. And now she's retired.) The only constraint was that I wanted to be back East in December, so I could be home by Christmas. The route was made up as I went along. Some places were added so I could visit friends, others were recommended by fellow travellers on the road. Sometimes I would leave a place earlier than I had planned, sometimes stay longer because I liked it. This kind of freedom is a wonderful thing.
These pages are based on emails I sent from the road September to December 2002. I added links to the parks, places and brewpubs I visited along the way, as well as to the pictures I took. The text has also been edited and extended in a few spots.