The big USA road trip starts… and changes up already 17


I’m writing this from the passenger seat of my mother’s car, which she was lovely enough to loan me, on day six of my current bit of travel craziness, which means this post is about six days late, but I hope you’ll accept my apologies, since I haven’t updated you here since I announced this trip.

A travel buddy of mine and I are currently in the midst of another one of my travel challenges – all lower 48 states in the U.S., done in merely 38 days, in winter, just to toss that extra challenge on top.

48 in 38 – it has a good ring to it, don’t you think?

Here was the map of our original route, which has already changed a fair bit in the first week.

usa road trip

So far, we’ve met Elvis in Vegas, see the sun set over Horseshoe Bend and rise over the Grand Canyon in Arizona, talked to some great locals in Santa Fe in New Mexico, and I just saw the sun rise on the colorful rocks of the Garden of the Gods in Colorado.

elvis in front of welcome to las vegas sign

Elvis, just flat chillin’ in Vegas

This moment, we are approaching the Nebraska border, a state we’ll only be in a short bit of time before getting into Kansas, on our way down to an unexpected stop on the trip, my old home town of Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The reason we’ve changed up the route this early, getting up further north now than we intended, was that a “once-in-a-generation storm” is hitting the Deep South right now.  I’ve lived most of my adult life in the Deep South and although there is a long list of great things about that part of the world – their ability to deal with winter weather isn’t on the list.

sunrise grand canyon in winter

Sunrise over the Grand Canyon

So, we slightly rerouted north, to knock out Nebraska now, instead of a few weeks down the road, and delaying our entry into Louisiana and the storm zone by a day or so, hopefully by which things will be cleared up and back to normal.

And like I said, the added bonus was that this route takes us into Arkansas up in the northwest, where my old home base is. Tonight I’ll be hanging out with friends I haven’t seen in about two years. It will be a very brief stop, as we’ve got to hit the road tomorrow morning for the long drive to New Orleans, but this is a night I’m quite looking forward to, perhaps because of its unexpected nature, but more likely because there’s nothing like seeing friendly faces you haven’t seen for far too long.

As to the rest of the trip, hopefully you’ll just join us in hoping that there won’t be another “polar vortex” in the north, like there was last month, or another “once-in-a-generation storm” somewhere along the route.

 leon storm southern winter storm 2014

It is only one week into this grand driving adventure around the USA, one week into the roughly 13,000 miles we’ll be driving in 38 days, but right now, I’m supremely confident this will be another travel challenge I can meet and conquer.

And I already have the next big travel challenge forming up in my head for later this year….

If you want to follow along with some of the photos I am posting from this roadtrip, you can follow me on Instagram. I am also putting up updates and photos on my Facebook Page, if you’d like to follow me over there. Thanks.


About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.

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