Friday, July 31, 2009

USA in 80 Days Preview

You know 15 seperate chapters really is a bit crazy. I'm going to cut that down a bit. It's down to 13 at the moment. I'll edit the entries below as I link to the individual previews. In the meantime, here is a link to a complete google map of the likely route. Obviously its general, the idea is to garner enough feedback in advance to make sure I don't miss anything on the way through.

As we approach 75 days to go, some of the peices of this puzzle are starting to fall into place. As a way of organising this, killing time/practising my blogging, and introducing you to some of the places we might be visiting, I will be previewing the journey. I have split the drive up into 15 distinct chapters, which may sound like alot, but hopefully these mini-journeys will serve to keep the whole endeavour on track by reminding us not to linger too long in one place.

A quick re-cap for those just joining. My girlfriend and I are flying from Australia, renting a van in Los Angeles, and driving across the continent to New York in 80 Days(details). Here is a rough sketch of the trip, with the chapters numbered:

High tech, I know. I will post a google maps link with every preview blog below (here is a previous post with a map). Following is a brief description of the major towns and attractions that will fill each chapter of the journey. Now of course all of this is subject to change. Some parts might get more ambitious, some parts less so. As I go, any feedback on places or activities I mention would be appreciated.

Chapter 1 - California Dream.

Hollywood, Disneyland, San Francisco. Neverland will hopefully be open to the public - just to say we've been.

Chapter 2 -Casinos & Canyons

I've heard they have casino's in Vegas... and if we lose all our money in one go, the Grand Canyon might be a solution.

Chapter 3 -The Deserted Desert

The Old West, probably less forbidding in winter, all the way down to border town El Paso

Chapter 4 - Texas

Who would have thought that both Cowboys and Spaceships would come from the same place?

Chapter 5 - Mississippi Delta

Down in New Orleans and over in Alabama, hoping to have a  good ole' time with some good ole' boys down here.

Chapter 6 -  Graceland and the Gateway

Memphis, Tennessee is going to be a central focus of our journey with the Mississippi up through the continent.Going backwards through the "Gateway to the West" marks the entry into a part of America that I am more familiar with.

Chapter 7 - The Windy City

There are gonna be some blues houses in Chicago that won't know what hit them! The home state of Barack Obama and Kevin McAlister.

Chapter 9 - My Mid-Western Hometown

If there is any part of the USA I could call home, it would be Traverse City, Michigan. This chapter could possibly be the most boring for everyone else. But super-fun for me as I see old friends all over the state.

Chapter 10 - Oh! Canada

Ok, not technically the USA, but what's a little border crossing between friends, eh? Besides, it's the quickest way to get to Niagara Falls - a place embedded in our childhood imaginations.

Chapter 11 - Appalachian Crossing

Down through Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Kentucky and West Virginia. We are hoping the cold air doesn't keep the banjo players off their porches. 

Chapter 12 - Plantation

Charlotte to the coast and then North will give us a chance to visit some of the first European settlements on the continent.

Chapter 13 - The Capitol

The place where it all happens. Smithsonian museums on the mall, and the White House will be a must. Might invite Barry out for a beer.

Chapter 14 - New England

Balitmore and Boston. The Revolutionary War has left some impressive history behind.

Chapter 15 - The Big Apple

New York, New York, what a wonderful town! Seeing the ball drop in Times Square on New Years Eve will bean experience. So will finding somewhere to leave the van.

From there we will be flying accross to the United Kingdom for the next part of our adventure. Check back soon for the first of the USA in 80 Days previews, Chapter 1 - California Dreams. 


  1. This is fantastic guys! I would love to embark on this kind of journey as well. My boyfriend and I are such travel buffs and we dream of seeing the world together. We wish you the best of luck... we will "follow" your travels. Bon Voyage!!! =)

  2. You should come to Austin, smoke some hookah with some good people who enjoy foreigners. 2714 guadalupe st. Austin, TX. Ask for me, Thomas

  3. Hey Alex and Mick

    Hope you had a good trip over. Can't wait to see your first lot of pics. Be good.
    Love Aunty C