8619 miles in 36 days, that's 239 miles per day!

8219 miles in 36 days, that’s 228 miles per day!

After 36 days and 8,219 miles of driving, we are finally back home in Arizona. Our trip combined great photography (Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Bad Lands), reconnecting with long lost friends, and many family visits. Along the way, we spent a lot of time in the car, gazing through the windshield at whatever came our way.

Here are some observations Kathryn and I made “through the windshield”:

  1. Oklahoma is no longer the worst highway driving experience in the country. That honor is now bestowed onto Illinois, with its potholes and copious tolls.
  2. We enjoyed South Dakota much more than we thought we would, with Custer State Park, Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park, and a smooth ride across the state. There was not a single toll to be found. Do you hear that Illinois?
  3. Yellowstone National Park is as magnificent as it is diverse. Can’t wait to go back.
  4. I was told by a friend that "Pappy Van Winkle" is the best bourbon available. At 23 years old this bourbon was amazing.

    I was told by a friend that “Pappy Van Winkle” is the best bourbon available. At 23 years old this bourbon was amazing.

    Kentucky may be too humid but they do have great bourbon, especially “Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve,” aged to perfection at 23 years. Priced on the secondary market at $2,700, it is way out of our budget. However, we happen to have great friends who own a bottle which they shared with us. As the late Colonel Potter once said, “there are not enough o’s in smooth to describe this.”

  5. I-40 in Tennessee has more trucks per car than anywhere I have ever seen. 
  6. If you are going to do a five-week road trip, make sure you are with someone compatible. Lucky for me I have Kas.
  7. The United States is big.
  8. I beat my wife in cornhole. Woo Hoo!
  9. If you are going to buy a toll transponder (EZ Pass), do not do so in Illinois. Wait until Pennsylvania.
  10. Our friends in Kentucky are amazing.
  11. So are our friends in Colorado.
  12. I was able to spend an evening each with my closest friends. Doesn’t get much better than that.
  13. I spent more time with my mother and my father (separately, of course) since my childhood days when I had no choice.
  14. I met up with two friends, one of which I have not seen in 40 years, the other was 22 years ago. Kathryn met up with a friend she had not seen on over 30 years! Where does the time go?
  15. Our first and last meals of our trip were at one of our favorite restaurants, The Turquoise Room, in Winslow, AZ. Had an amazing lunch at the start of our trip and an equally amazing dinner the last night, followed by breakfast as we wrapped up. It’s now diet time.

One of the main reasons for our trek cross-country was to attend the opening of an exhibit of our photographs. This was held very far east (at least for us) in Boston, MA, at the Massachusetts General Hospital. 

You can see our photos hanging on the wall of one of the waiting rooms for cancer patients. (iPhone shot by Michelle Byrne)

In case you were wondering, we visited over 26 states in our 36 days on the road. And, we slept in 18 different beds – on average, that’s one bed every other day. We thought we would book an overnight at a recuperative spa (with chiropractor) but the thought of another bed was just too much for us to handle.

The Trip Out: AZ, NM, CO, WY, MO, SD, MN, WI, IL, IN, MI, OH, PA, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA

The Trip Back: MA, NY, PA, MD, WV, KY, TN, AR, OK, TX, NM, AZ


Not quite as famous as the big 4 behind us, but we do have a following.

Thanks for following along on our trek cross-country and back. Stay tuned for our next trip to England, Whales, Scotland, Iceland, and Greenland. It begins in a week.

And, remember, it’s all about the light!