Monday, January 06, 2014

Road Trips: 2013 Year in Review

Let's wrap up some road trip statistics for 2013, shall we?

Nights by county - Since 2006, I've kept track of where I sleep each night throughout the year, by county. Generally, Durham County (a.k.a. home) gets around 320 nights; Duval Co, FL (Jacksonville) and Lucas Co, OH (Toledo) get around 10 each, and then it varies depending on where we go on vacation.

This year's final numbers:

Durham, NC - 325
Duval, FL - 10
Lucas, OH - 9
Denver, CO - 4
Montgomery, PA - 3
Four-way tie - 2 (Onslow, NC; Page, VA; Shelby, TN; Miami-Dade, FL)
Six-way tie - 1 (Nottoway, VA; Pike, KY; Whitley, KY; Oakland, MI; Henry, IA; Sedgwick, KS)

I spent 40 nights away from home this year, compared to 41 last year. Consistency! I don't necessarily plan it this way, but I think 40 is a good number to shoot for, generally, and with about half of those being with family (my parents, Amber's parents, or other relatives). Five of my 40 nights away from home were without Amber and Marla: two nights on the way back from Colorado, and three nights curling in Pennsylvania.

Counties visited - We drove to Colorado and back - well, I drove there and back; Amber/Marla drove there and flew back - and I planned my return route specifically to get as many counties in as little time as possible. So, that was fun. That put me over 50% nationally, which is something I used to consider to be a lifetime goal. (I'm now at 52.6%, having visited 1653 out of 3142 counties in the US.)

Thanks to other trips I managed to work in throughout the year, I've also now visited every county in the following four states: South Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, and most recently, Florida. That makes 8 states in which I've visited every county; that number was only 4 prior to this year.

Marla won't be finishing off any states any time soon - except maybe Delaware, but Delaware is lame - but, she has visited 24 of the 50 states. Pretty impressive for an almost-2½-year-old!

Interstates driven - Not only was that Colorado trip return route designed to visit lots of new counties, but I also wanted to drive all of I-76 (the western one) and I-72 from end-to-end. So, I did, and that makes 16 completed interstates, nationally. Those were the only interstates I finished from end-to-end this year, although I also finished all of the interstate mileage in Florida.

US routes driven - According to my arbitrary rules, the fact that I've now visited every county and driven every interstate in Florida, means that I can start keeping track of US highway mileage in Florida. Hooray!

Driving all of the US routes in Florida would take a very long time, in part because Florida doesn't believe in urban bypasses for its US routes. Instead, all of its US routes go right through the center of pretty much every city they encounter. I can't even imagine how long it would take to drive US 1 all the way through West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. Yikes. So I guess what I'm saying is, 100% ain't happening in Florida.

Back in North Carolina (really the only state in which I care much about my US route completion), I finished off US-1, US-15, and US-601 this year. I have 1,922 miles to go in the state - that's a lot, especially since much of that is out in the mountains.

So, yeah, I went ahead and added Maryland and West Virginia to my US routes spreadsheet, too, because while I haven't completed all counties/interstates in those states yet, I'm very close. And besides, my rules are arbitrary anyway.

Miles driven - I put 22,785 miles on my car this year, which is the most since I bought it (November 2007). A lot of that has to do with giving my car the lion's share of the road trip mileage, compared to Amber's car; our plan is for me to trade in first, so we'll need Amber's car to last longer than my car.

Here is the average number of miles I've driven in each month, going back through 2005. July is my most active month; April is my least active.

January - 1,494 miles
February - 1,234 miles
March - 1,895 miles
April - 937 miles
May - 2,154 miles
June - 1,727 miles
July - 2,238 miles
August - 1,714 miles
September - 1,432 miles
October - 1,768 miles
November - 2,168 miles
December - 1,994 miles

Road trip outlook for 2014 - Our road trip destinations in 2014 are to be determined, but if we go somewhere in the first half of the year, it will likely be somewhere up north. Maybe even Canada!

I think it's unlikely that we're going to go west of the Mississippi again this year. That is, unless we get invited to another wedding out west somewhere. Anyone getting married in Boise this year? How about Portland? Portland would be nice.

This will depend on where we go this year, but I think these are a reasonable set of goals for 2014:
- Visit Jefferson County, WV (the only West Virginia county I have left)
- Visit at least 3 of my 8 remaining Ohio counties
- Visit at least 3 of my 11 remaining Virginia counties
- Take at least one road trip that will give me 20+ counties on its own (can't be done in a day trip starting/ending at home)
- Drive I-83 inside the Baltimore Beltway (the only I-83 mileage, and also the only Maryland interstate mileage, I have left)
- Finish off at least one other interstate (I-66 in Virginia and I-78 in New Jersey might be the best remaining candidates)
- Finish off at least two US routes in North Carolina
- Spend at least 2 hours in Canada (didn't visit Canada at all in 2013)

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