Summer Road Trip – Home

The day was driving and if I were lucky I’d get in at 2-3am.  Chicago was unkind and the Philadelphia Turnpike was under heavy construction so I wound up getting in arount 5am.  Such is the way of things.  I have no great notes on the drive home except that it was long.  Whenever I take a long drive, I miss returning to my previous house in the burbs.  The roads would go from Interstate, to US route, to state route, to county route, to driveway.  For the city, it goes from highway to big street, to home and the whole time the city is visible on the horizon.

Overall Thoughts: The Dakotas are beautiful.  The upper midwest is an area where I’d like to spend more time and I hope to make time to do so.  The distances are long but not too long compared to east of the Rockies.  The terrain created by glacial movement is quite pretty.  After I got back, I compared my actual map with what I came up with on Roadtrippers and am amazed at how much I missed.  Dozens of sites.  Guess I’ll need to go back.

Total distance: 5,264 miles
Gallons of fuel: 149.9
Fuel Economy: 35.1 mpg

Total cost: $1508.84

As a note, I spent about equal amounts on lodging, food, transit, and attractions.

What was the goal?
I’ve driven something like 400,000 miles in my life. In that time, I’ve spent little time in North Dakota, South Dakota, or Minnesota and I wanted to fix that. Much of my travel was to visit members of my Team Fortress 2 team and since few lived in those states, I mostly crossed them rather than properly visiting. These states also contain a lot of good Americana. It’s “farmers with sheet metal welding equipment and time” country and there’s some gorgeous installation pieces that seem to fit that theme. Also, a coworker of mine from mainland China wanted to take an American Roadtrip so she was going to join me for the first week. Ideally, I’d hit about five National Parks and some dozen other sites.

I periodically check OKCupid while traveling to see what kind of people “match” me in an area. I’m generally progressive but with a strong free speech streak. Younger folk tend to be more progressive than older ones so if I tend to match with people younger than me, I’m inferring that the area is less progressive as it takes a “younger” person to be in the same part of the political as me. Also vice versa as on the west coast I tend to match with older people.

So far, Chicago seems to have the most people with which I mesh and a significant number appear to be red heads.

Also areas become less densely populated, the “looking for someone with this distance” distance tends to increase. In Chicago 5-10 was common, in Duluth and Ely, 100.