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How We Began
Enjoy the Journey








How We Began

(Whose Idea Was This Anyway?)

Kristine's Musings:
How did we ever get started on our adventures? Below you'll find the original letter we wrote to visitors to our web site about our very first trip around the country.

The Idea For This Trip
The idea for this journey, adventure, trip, or some like to call it "extended vacation" began as a brainstorm late in the fall of 1997. I called Beth and proposed a trip around the United States or a backpacking trip around Europe. After a very short debate, we decided to see our own country first (yes, that is an open-ended statement).

Where Do We Go?
Before us sat a very monumental task. Where do we go? How do we get there? How long do we go? How much will it cost? Our first order of business was for each of us to make a list, no holds-barred, of everywhere we wanted to go in the United States. We e-mailed our proposed cities to each other and surprisingly, the lists were very similar.

From these lists we troubleshot a path and decided to do a clockwise loop around the outside part of the United States starting in Maryland. We then divided the trip in half, San Francisco being the midpoint. I was to plan what to see until San Francisco and Beth would pick up the planning from there.

Planning Phase
I, in all of my anal retentive glory, was overwhelmed by the task ahead of me. So I went to the AAA and slowly accumulated every map, tour book, camp book and destination guide between Washington D.C. and San Francisco. I sat down on the metro and read these tour books on my way to and from work. Now Terry, my brother, would say that this is just way too much planning, but as long as your flexible, you can never plan enough. I didn't make it through every book, but I was fairly close. I did more reading while on the trip (see flexibility).

The next big step was for Beth to fly down to D.C. for a weekend and actually plan the trip, day by day. "Seven weeks, that's so long," people tell me. After planning and traveling this trip, I can tell you it's way too short and goes by way too fast. I am so glad we did this because we really didn't have enough time at the end of the trip. If we hadn't planned, I think we would have missed a lot of sites and would have spent too long in some areas. Yes, there's plenty that we missed, but that's part of the fun, leaving something to come back to see.

So back to Beth flying down to D.C. We sat down with our calendars and our trip plan. With the dates and route planned on Saturday, we sat down with our trusty AAA books and decided where we were camping and where we were staying in hotels. The longest camping stretch we wanted was 3 nights (we later changed that on the trip). We then sat in the kitchen on a rainy afternoon calling hotels, haggling over prices, and juggling credit cards.

That weekend was crazy. We purchased a cell phone, charted our trip on Rand McNally's TripMaker, made Excel spreadsheets of our plans, opened a checking account, and bought supplies at Walmart and Target.

Final Details
Before we left, we gave our parents and close friends a list of our stops. We finished minute details and Beth flew down to D.C.and we left.

A Few Thoughts on the Trip
A few more thoughts before you journey through our web site. A lot of people want to know what I've "gotten out of this trip". I learned innumerable things as I'm sure you can imagine, but there are two that stick out in my mind. First, what a great country we live in. We met so many kind people who were interesting and simply good, honest people. This country is a diverse land of endless places to go and people to see and I've never been prouder in my life to be an American.

The other is that friends are grand. Your friends are a reflection of you and when you have one or two or three that are honest, who will tell you when you have a piece of toilet paper stuck on your shoe, will listen to your problems without falling asleep in their soup, and will be happy for you and with you, then you have one of the greatest gifts in the world. Thanks to all of my friends, you know who you are.

The Best and the Worst
Everybody else wants to know what I loved and what I didn't like. To be short, I loved: Las Vegas (it's larger than life), New Orleans (it's a party at night and relaxing during the day), and Portland, Oregon (it's everything a Generation Xer looks for). I wasn't too fond of Fresno, CA (boring), the Alamo (bad tourist trap) and El Paso (extra boring).

So to end, I'll tell you what I've been telling myself for quite a few years now: "Live your life so that you can never say, the words 'I wish I would have'". The only thing standing between you and your dreams, whatever they are, is you.

Enjoy the Journey.

Kristy & Beth

Our Adventures

Out of the DarknessRoadchix took part in this 26 mile walk for suicide prevention from sundown to sunrise.
Out of the Darkness >>

SkydivingRoadchix and friends discover the joy, fear and adventure of jumping out of a 'perfectly good airplane.'
Jumping out of a Plane >>

Ireland Our first out-of-the-country adventure for Roadchix in the land of dairy, sheep and castles.
Visit the Emerald Isle >>

Roadchix tried to win a Pontiac Vibe for a week.
Visualize the Vibe >>