Yesterday, I drove 13 hours from Augusta, GA to Muncie, IN. Today, I will be driving about 6 hours from Muncie to Elgin, IL for a wedding this weekend. And on Monday, I’ll be driving 17 hours from Elgin back to Augusta. This is the longest solo road trip that I’ve ever taken, and it’s been loads of fun (with the exception of some creepy backroad detours I wound up taking).
What I’m curious about though, is if there is any interest in developing a user submitted website for road trip details? For instance, if you’ve traveled from Atlanta to Chicago before, you could post details of any sites you saw, mileage, advice, etc. I used to abhor GPS devices, but then I decided to get the Navigon software for iPhone and I’m a believer. With the exception of losing 30 minutes due to detours (which could have been avoided had I purchased the Live Traffic package, but I’m a cheapskate), it was perfect.
For instance, this is the basic outline of my road trip up to Muncie:
- Departed from Augusta at 10:30 AM.
- About 15 minutes later, I entered South Carolina, the second of eight states that I’d be traveling through.
- Got off I-20 onto US-25, drove for maybe an hour to highway 121, about another hour in, got onto I-26W.
- Along the way, I found Trenton BBQ, which I had previously heard about but was uncertain where it was.
- Passed a pawnshop, considered purchasing a gun and picking up on the way back.
- Followed I-26W all the way to Asheville. Along the way, I encountered a very heavy storm, absolutely torrential sheets, could hardly see 30 feet in front of me. Also entered North Carolina, three states down.
- Stopped for lunch outside of Asheville, right off I75. Somewhat seedy area, but Burger King was great. Been traveling for about 4 hours now.
- Taking I75 for a loooong time. Entered Tennessee, fourth state of eight. Hit another thunderstorm outside of Knoxville, even worse than the one in Asheville. Not only was there torrential downpours for 30 minutes, I was also in a hotspot for lightning strikes. I had one bolt hit probably not even 100 feet away.
- Entering Kentucky, state number five! While heading down I75, I briefly considering detouring to Elizabethtown (I love the movie and I’ve always wanted to go there, even though it wasn’t actually filmed there), but it was around 80 miles out of the way and would’ve added on an extra hour or so. I decided to save some gas.
- Around 7, I stopped in Berea (home of Berea College) and visited the Traveler’s Artisan Center. Talk about a lush rest area. I wish more states had places like these…
- Passed through Lexington. Saw a lot of horses in the area, but not a single blade of bluegrass… also saw an Amish commune.
- Crossed the Ohio River into Indiana, state number six, but promptly entered Ohio (my birth state!) after maybe 20 miles. Stopped at a Wendy’s. Travel time so far is around 10 hours.
- I somehow made the mistake of setting my GPS to take me along the backcountry highways through Ohio to Muncie, rather than continuing on the interstate. I did see a gorgeous sunset though, smelled lots of manure, saw the Coney Fair, but then I hit Oxford, Ohio.
- Oxford is home to Miami College and headquarters for some of the biggest Greeks (Delta Zeta is one of them, and Sigma Chi Phi). Since school hadn’t started yet, it was dead. I was sticking with US-27, but the straight and narrow was completely closed. The GPS recalculated a route for me, but it took me along some of the creepiest backroads ever. The small towns I passed through would have made Stephen King proud.
- Finally got back on 27 after about 30 minutes of detours. Took that and I-70 up to Highway 3, which I took straight into Muncie. Arrived around 11:30 PM, for a total driving time of 13 hours and 674 miles.
Anyways, I think it would be a lot of fun to establish a website containing stories of people’s road trips, utilizing the Google Maps API. This way, people planning to go somewhere could have an idea of some places to stop, things to see, things to avoid, etc. If anybody thinks this is a good idea or would want to help spread the word, get it started, help with programming, etc., lemme know in the comments or email.