Tuesday, April 29, 2014

2014 Road Trip Goals: Update

At the start of the year, I set some road trip goals for myself. Considering that we just wrapped up our (likely) only week-long vacation of the year, hopefully I've been able to make a dent in some of those goals, eh? Let's take a look:

Visit Jefferson County, WV (the only West Virginia county I have left). Done! Not this past week, butback in February. That made West Virginia the 9th state in which I have visited every county.

...But that's not all! On our way back from Qu├ębec, we made a quick detour from I-87 into Grand Isle County, Vermont, which was the only county in Vermont I had yet to visit. So, Vermont makes 10 states in which I've visited every county.

As for which state might be next, after this week's trip I only have three counties to go in New York. But those three are going to be hard to get. Long Island is a pain to get to, because unless you take a ferry from Connecticut or something, you have to drive through New York City to get there. And, there's never really been a reason for us to head that way. Anyone planning to get married in Suffolk County anytime soon?

Visit at least 3 of my 8 remaining Ohio counties. I got two on our way up to Toledo last week. Still need one more. Maybe when we go there for Christmas?

Visit at least 3 of my 11 remaining Virginia counties. Done, back in February.

Take at least one road trip that will give me 20+ counties on its own. Done! But, let's talk about this for a second.

I didn't specify whether Canadian counties would count towards that goal or not. If it did, then our drive from Detroit to Mont-Tremblant to New York definitely took care of that: 25 new Canadian "counties". (My new Canadian national total: 125/393, 31.8%.)

But if I had to get 20+ counties in the US to meet my goal, then the only way this trip was going to qualify for that was if I took a day out of our Toledo visit and went county hunting in northern Indiana. When staying in Toledo for more than, say, three nights, I usually go off on my own on one of those days and go visit new counties or drive on new interstates or something. Northern Indiana was my best option, in terms of getting the most counties I could in a single day, starting/ending in Toledo.

By the way, this pic pretty much sums up the scenery in northern Indiana. It smells bad, too.

I got 16 counties that day (15 in Indiana + 1 in Michigan). Add that to the drive up to Toledo (1 Kentucky + 2 Ohio), and the drive from Montreal to New York (3 New York + 1 Vermont), and my US total for the trip was 23 new counties. You know, this isn't getting any easier. Before long, the only way I'm going to get any new counties at all is to book a flight to Texas. (And actually, I wouldn't be surprised if I end up doing that one year.)

Drive I-83 inside the Baltimore Beltway (the only I-83 mileage, and also the only Maryland interstate mileage, I have left). Nope! And I don't think this is going to happen this year. We could have gotten it on our way home on Sunday, but I prioritized two other goals instead: 1) finishing I-87 in New York; and 2) visiting the highest point in Delaware. (More on the highest point in Delaware in a future post.) We probably won't be back in Maryland again until at least 2015, so I-83 will have to wait another year.

Finish off at least one other interstate. I got two: I-66 (Virginia/DC) in February, and I-87 (New York) this past Sunday. That makes 18 completed interstates nationally. (Not counting 73 and 74 in North Carolina. I don't really count those.)

Finish off at least two US routes in North Carolina. This is on the agenda for May.

Spend at least 2 hours in Canada (didn't visit Canada at all in 2013). Done! I think we ended up with 54 hours in Canada.

So, with most of that out of the way, now we can settle in and wait for baby #2 to arrive, right? … Well, almost. We're visiting Jacksonville for Memorial Day, and there's a curling tournament in Wilmington (NC) in June. Then, we can settle in.

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