I’ve been going through an old shoebox this week, looking at dusty photographs I took way back in the Summer of 1992 using a cheap instamatic camera on low quality 110 film. I’d recorded an epic circular tour of the United States undertaken by a bunch of scruffy guys in their 20’s, most of us out of school but fairly new to the workforce. I’d been working for awhile but I was still at the bottom of the hierarchy so my employer allowed me to take a month off to join this expedition. We journeyed to many of the famous national parks in the western United States.
This was the approximate route, and I’m doing this quickly from memory so it may not be absolutely correct but it’s very close. Google Maps won’t let me embed the image here because it’s too complicated so this is a screen shot. Don’t bother clicking it. That won’t work. Rather, feel free to see it on Google, but be sure to come back.
Google says this route is 7,276 miles but the odometer on the RV broke 8,000 because we took a lot of short side-trips from the route I’ve described above. We were on the road for 28 days altogether and passed through more than 250 counties. Generally we’d drive one extremely long day, then hike through a national park for an entire day, then hit the road again the next.
There was lots of male-oriented food and beverage involved too. We subsisted on whatever red meat we threw on the grill and we washed it all down with lots of cheap beer. I don’t think I have the stamina to maintain a schedule like that today, either the driving or the hiking (and certainly not the cheap beer), but we handled this just fine when we were a couple decades younger.
I remember thinking even at the time that this would be a memorable trip I’d appreciate forever. I was right. Big Bend, Carlsbad Caverns, Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, Four Corners, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches, Dinosaur National Monument; Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Devils Tower, the Badlands, and Mt. Rushmore all in quick succession. Plus odds-and-ends like Bourbon Street, Las Vegas, Wall Drug and the Corn Palace.
I’ve been meaning to create a set of webpages to better record this amazing trip but I’ve never gotten around to it. Each winter, however, I undertake a project to keep myself busy while I’m stuck indoors. Last year I painstakingly developed a page devoted to the Ferries of the British Islands and the Republic of Ireland. This winter I’m going to warm up my scanner and focus on that 1992 trip. I won’t be posting the results here on the Twelve Mile Circle unless it involves a geo-oddity, though. Most of it will go onto my permanent Travel Page.
Have you undertaken an epic trek you’ll remember forever? Please feel free to share your memories in the comments.