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Fifty Nifty United States

The official "world record" for driving to the 48 mainland U.S. states currently, as of August 2010, stands at 97 hours. This record was set recently. The participants believe they have discovered a more efficient route which will allow them to complete the challenge in three or so fewer hours. They hope to make the attempt next year. link

The fastest time I could discover for visiting all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, is an "unofficial" "solo" time of 199 hours. The blog chronicling this trip makes for a fascinating read, particularly if you're finding yourself growing restless or feeling housebound. link

My objective would not be to set a record; nonetheless, I would like to visit all 50 states in a reasonably quick time. My goal would be to complete the task in something along the lines of a three week window. link

I have the advantage of starting from Hawaii. Initially I was thinking in terms of a 48-state trip, but since I'm already in Hawaii, I may as well fly to the mainland U.S. via a stop in Alaska. Sure, the expense would be more, but I'd be covering 50 states in one trip.

Upon mentioning this scheme, "conversationally," I immediately encountered stiff resistance from "other household members."

"Why not just visit the states you haven't been to?"
"If you go that fast, you won't really see anything."
"Why not spread it out over several trips so you can see things?"
"That would be expensive."
"Why would you want to do that?"

Why, indeed? Why hike across the Grand Canyon in one day? Why fly halfway around the world to Spain to spend one hour throwing tomatoes at 40,000 total strangers? Why did Mallory try to climb Everest? JUST TO SAY YOU'VE DONE IT!

Tangentially, I heard on television the other day that on a peak day at Everest as many as 90 people a day reach the summit. People line up on the shelf below the summit waiting their turn for a quick photo op at the top. I suspect fewer people complete a "50 state trip" than climb Everest these days. There ya go, one more reason to do this.

I'm going to start planning and saving some money. Off the cuff estimate: this could be kind of expensive. Maybe a simple Caribbean cruise would make more sense?



If and when this starts coming together, I'll have to get in touch with my old travelin' buddy Trippy.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 4th, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
:: sigh ::
Sep. 4th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
You are optimally located for a Trans-Canada Highway road trip!

Are you still on track (ha!) for the Trans-Siberian rail journey?
Sep. 4th, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
:: of course, Trippy would totally go ::
Sep. 4th, 2010 10:19 pm (UTC)
Meanwhile... Alaska this fall is booked. I'll send you an email reminder mid-September.
Sep. 5th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
After the 50 states you should hop over and do the European states. ... before boarding the TransSiberia.
Sep. 6th, 2010 12:59 pm (UTC)
Well, we all have our reasons for going. So good on ya for making the first move to actually go!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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