I have many unique (read: strange) travel goals, one of which is that I am trying to visit every COUNTY in the United States. Yes, you heard that right. Most people are content with trying to visit 50 states (and only about 14% of Americans have even made it that far), but I was never content with settling for the obvious.
At the time of this writing, I’ve visited 48 out of the 50 states (I’ll pick up Alaska later in 2016 and I still need to get to Hawaii), and 1630 of the 3,143 counties in the United States (51.9%)
So when the folks at Chevy gave us the chance to test drive some of their 2016 models as part of their sponsorship of the recent Traveling Dad conference, I definitely wanted to try out the gas saving features of the Malibu
So since we don’t have to stop for gas, what WILL I be stopping for on my next road trip?
It’s a …. potty emergency!
There are 8 of us in our family, and while we do have a minivan that fits us all (though we ARE a 2 rental car family), odds are good that SOMEONE needs to stop to go to the bathroom. Thankfully as our little kids have gotten a bit older, they can at least hold it enough to get us out of sight of the LAST time we stopped…
Actually I’m happy when it’s JUST a potty emergency. On our last trip, my 7 year old announced from the back of our Chevy Venture – “I don’t feel well” and promptly threw up. We’re used to that however and had already passed him back some plastic grocery bags. He managed to get it all in the bags and we didn’t even stop the car! What can I say, when you’re a dad of 6, you’re kind of used to these kinds of things!
Large, wooden animals
When out in the middle of nowhere Minnesota and Wisconsin (for counties, of course), I came up with Dan’s Roadtrip Rule #1:
IF YOU SEE A GIANT LIVING ANIMAL, YOU TAKE A PICTURE OF IT!
For whatever reason, residents of the cold northern states like to have giant animal statues
This is actually only a very small sampling of the large animals we saw over the course of a long weekend
“DAAAAAAAAAAAAD, he’s TOUCHING me!”
Sound familiar? We are 8 people in an 8 passenger minivan, so there is no room to spread out at ALL. In fact, as our littles have become tweens and teens (including 2 are pretty much adult size), it gets a little tricky to arrange seating
We actually have a set order that changes every day about who gets to pick which seat in the car, to make it more “fair”
Every county in the 6 New England states
I told you I had strange traveling goals, right? Not content with just visiting every county in the United States, a few friends of mine and I set out to visit the 67 counties in the 6 New England states (Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut) in one day. It ended up taking a bit over 24 hours, but we captured it by taking a picture every 6 seconds off a camera on the dash
Dive in All Five – jumping in each Great Lake
On epic road trips, good gas mileage is key – you don’t want to be stopping more than you have to for “pansy time”. My son and I joined a few of my friends on a trip to see if we could “Dive in All Five” – jumping in Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior. Here’s the video of our attempt, set to the music of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”, commemorating a barge that sunk in Lake Superior
8 hours, 51 minutes and 44 seconds – Yup, I’m a world record holder!