Category Archives: Route

Final Route Map

Timm & Theresa Route Map

Click on the image above to see an interactive map with every stop along our trip.  You can click on any pushpin to see a summary description of the associated park and a link to images of the park on our photo blog

This awesome interactive map was made with the FREE Google Maps tool, and it was embedded into our blog using the FREE Map Channels mapping tool.

We visited a total of 94 parks, including 29 national parks, 24 state parks, 11 national monuments, 9 national forests, and 6 provincial parks.  We stopped in 18 US states and 3 Canadian provinces.  We started in Kentucky in January 2012, then headed south to Louisiana, west to California, northeast to North Dakota, north into Alberta, spent the summer in Alaska, back south to California, then ended up in Florida in November 2012.  We spent 292 days or about 9-1/2 months on the road.  We drove 17,794 miles in our RV and another 8,640 miles in our SUV for a total of 26,434 miles.  For more details about our trip, please check out our Final Trip Analysis.

Sunny Florida, Here We Come!

We wrote earlier about how our trip of a lifetime is coming to an end.  We listed four options that range from heading straight home to dilly-dallying along the way and ending our trip in Florida to visit my family.  Many of you emailed or commented with your opinions, and we truly appreciate your input.  We are so fortunate to have family and friends who are so supportive of our dreams!

You have probably figured out from the title that we are choosing “Option 4: End in Sunny Florida”—but with a twist.  Instead of visiting every park along the way to Florida, we plan to visit only a few of the best parks, just to break up the long drive. 

As I mentioned in the previous article, when eating a delicious dessert, we always want to know when it’s our last bite so we can really savor it.  So we are ending our trip with three spectacular bites, er, parks:  Snow Canyon State Park, Zion National Park, and Grand Canyon National Park.

As I write this article, we have already visited Snow Canyon and arrived today for five wonderful days in Zion. But we’ve also visited each of these parks before.

Theresa enjoying lunch on a petrified sand dune in Snow Canyon State Park

We visited Snow Canyon when Theresa got me a hot air balloon ride there as a gift for my 40th birthday.  Snow Canyon has some of the most colorful rocks in the world and giant petrified sand dunes. 

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Sometimes, It’s a Bumpy Ride

When I first looked at maps of Alaska, I wondered why it showed so few roads and decided (wrongly) that the map was only showing the major “highways.”  At one point, I suggest to Timm that we visit a remote area and he explained that we couldn’t get there by driving because there were no roads to take us there.  “No road?? What do you mean there’s NO road?" I asked.  I didn’t understand how there could be NO roads.

I soon learned that the vast majority of Alaska is wild and remote, accessible only by plane or water ferry.  This includes the capital city of Juneau.   Furthermore, I came to discover that many of the so-called major roads shown on the map are gravel!  Gravel?  Yes, miles and miles of gravel.  The below map shows these gravel roads marked by a blue circle. 

Map of Alaska.  Copyright © U.S. Public Affairs Resource Center

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Our New Best Friend: “The Milepost”

We have a new constant companion on our journey along the Alaska Highway.  It is a book called The Milepost 2012: Mile-By-Mile Highway Log.  For the past 809 miles of our 1,348-mile driving journey through Canada, the passenger has been reading religiously from this amazing 784-page book, which literally details of every mile of the Alaska Highway.

The Alaska Highway stretching across Canada for as far as the eye can see

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Updated TnT Route Map

Please check out our updated TnT Route Map.  It’s now current through Yoho National Park in Canada.  Click the image below to see the map, or click “MAP” in the link bar at the top of this blog.

Click to view the TnT Route Map

To the left of the map, there is a list of all the parks and places we’ve visited in the order we visited them.  Click on a park name to see a brief description of that park, plus a link to the corresponding photo tour. 

You can also hover your mouse pointer over any one of the “pins” on the map to see the name of that park.  Click on the pin to see the park description and photo link.

Journey to Alaska

Timm standing at Mile 0 on the Alaska Highway

Our journey to Alaska begins tomorrow morning.  We’ll be driving 1,387 miles on the infamous Alaska Highway from Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada to Delta Junction, Alaska, United States.  Along the way, we plan to stop at Stone Mountain and Muncho Lake Provincial Parks in British Columbia, and Kluane National Park in Yukon.  We’ll stay in campgrounds and also try to find some nice dispersed camping spots.  We expect the trip to take about 2 weeks and hope to arrive in Alaska around June 23.

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Canada: It’s All That, Eh!

Timm and I are in Alberta, Canada in Banff National Park.  We entered Canada 7 days ago from Montana and wanted to provide an update on our observations so far.

Theresa, Timm, Shadow and Darby (hidden) happily hiking in Waterton

 

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Oh Canada

Today is our last full day in the USA.  We are hanging out in Great Falls, Montana, doing our research on Canadian parks now, because Verizon Internet in Canada costs 25 cents per megabyte, ouch!  There are so many beautiful parks in Canada, it will be difficult seeing all that we want to see and still make it into Alaska by July 1st.  So we’ll have to use the same method we’ve been using in the USA, and spend just a few days in each park to get a small sample of what each park has to offer.

Classic view of a cloudfree Peyto Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Copyright © Frank Kovalchek. Image used under Creative Commons 2.0 License.

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Major Route Change

After careful consideration, we have decided to make a major change to our planned route.  Due to weather and other factors, we are essentially going to reverse our loop, i.e., go counter-clockwise instead of clockwise.  So our new route will take us from Death Valley to Nevada, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Canada, Alaska, Canada, Washington, Oregon, and end up back in California.

Mojave National Preserve during a winter storm

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Speaking of Maps

As I mentioned in a previous post, you can track our route across the country on an interactive Google map.  But we also show our route in a much lower-tech way: on the side of our RV.  It’s a fun little ritual each time we visit a new state to pull out our sheet of colored stickers and affix a new state to the map on the driver’s side of our RV.

When driving down the highway, you may notice many RVs have an outline map of the USA, colored with the states they have visited.  We saw an RV today that had every state west of the Appalachians colored, plus Alaska and the western half of Canada.  By the time we finish our trip, we should have visited 24 states.  I wonder if any RVers out there have visited all 49 states (not including Hawaii, of course)?

Map on Timm & Theresa's RV