US Road Trip 2017, Day 17.

The final day of the road trip can be summed up in one word … exasperating. Yup, that’s the word. 

I started out on the eastern edge of Tennessee, and headed west. After already having put on a good 4,000 miles during this little trip, I really didn’t want to be driving anymore. Yet I pressed on under an envelope of stars. 

Needless to say, if you’ve never driven east to west across Tennessee, it took FOREVER! I seriously didn’t think I was ever going to see the sign for Memphis. It was like the Hotel California of states. 

Cruise control on and coffee in hand, I finally prevailed. I crossed the mighty Mississippi River and entered Arkansas. I was happy. For about 20 minutes. 

First, I finally finished the new Daniel Silva book, House of Spies. I’m a huge Gabriel Alon fan. It was unabridged on cd, and it was excellent. I now had to go back to digging for music on the radio.

The road went to hell about 40 minutes into the state. Oh well, bad road is bad road. I continued on unbothered. 

Then, second, about 30 miles east of Little Rock, the whole interstate came to a screeching halt. There had been an accident and the interstate was closed. Stuck in the left lane, no exit even remotely close, and surrounded by tractor trailers, I was going nowhere. The scrum moved a car length  at a time for 2 1/2 hours. When we finally got up to the point where we could pass the accident, it turned out the a tractor trailer load of booze had overturned and slid down the median. You could smell alcohol, even with you windows up. It was a Greek Tragedy. 

The ramp for the bypass around Little Rock was under construction, so I had to drive through the city at rush hour. Great, more lost time. The state of Arkansas ended with an 11 mile construction cone slalom run. The signs said they were rebuilding. From what I saw, it was doubtful. 

I pulled up in Texarkana and assessed. 4 1/2 hours more misery and I could be back in Salado. No stopping now, I continued on. Interstate 30 to Dallas turned into a heavy rain mixed with road construction. Finally getting to Dallas, the ramp for the bypass expressway (635) was closed. I had to overshoot, and come back at it from the other direction, so I could use the other south Bound ramp. I-35 south was a start-stop of road construction. The interstate was completely closed at Temple, Texas for construction. All traffic got diverted onto the frontage road. It was great fun. I pulled into the yard at 12:30am. A 19 1/2 hours of driving day. For a moment, I considered just sleeping in the truck. 

All in all, a round trip circuit road trip across 19 states (most of them crossed twice), with 7 major stops along the way. Total money spent, $ 3,276.67. Total money won, $ 642.00.

Cost: averaged out to $ 192.74 per day. Not too bad. Most of it was hotels and gas. 

I think that, that is that, for a couple days. I have to go back and check in with the real world. 

Get out there! Enjoy!

Enjoying the view in Arkansas.

There’s something you don’t see everyday. 


The Intro.


Glad to see you could find your way here. It took me awhile to find my own way to this spot. As the title of the blog implies, I tend to stray. As in – off the beaten path. Hopefully this blog will turn out to be a place to impart some of the things that I’ve learned along the way. Hopefully, it will also be a platform for chronicling my upcoming pursuits. Any, that’s all getting ahead of itself here.

I’d like to start this travel blog with probably the most relevant question possible. Why? Why does anybody need another travel blog? The internet is replete with travel blogs bosting international travel for $50 dollars a day, or $30 dollars a day. Site helping you through every possible country and situation possible. And, it’s all true – to a point.

I have found that, almost without exception, all the too-good-to-be-true-but-legitimate travel information is specifically intentioned toward people who are early to mid-twenties. People that are just out of high school or college and want to see what the world is all about. People that haven’t yet transitioned over into a 60 hour a week working world. People that haven’t yet managed to accumulate a whole bunch of stuff. If you fall into this category, than this travel blog is probably not going to be very helpful.

Personally, I love these sites. They have great starting ideas. Uninhibited people tend to have grand adventures, which makes me want to have grand adventures. And, I tend to go off on grand adventures. These days, I just do it with a little more comfort.

Traveling in your twenties and traveling in your forties are two different things. Or, they should be. Where twenty-something’s can travel Europe with a backpack for $50 Dollars a day, I tend to travel Europe with a backpack for $150 Dollars a day. (I make every attempt not to Hostel or couch surf anymore.)

This blog, and it’s possibly useless though well-intentioned expelling of information, is fashioned toward the person or people who are not out having crazy once-in-a-lifetime adventures. They are working people. They’re in their 40 or 50 at this point. They put in 60 hours a week at work. They have 2 to 4 weeks of vacation a year that needs to be sub-divided between numerous other events. They are possible home owners and have structured bills that need paying on a continual basis. And, they have amassed stuff. They rules for traveling are the same for these people as they are for their mid-twenties compatriots, it’s just how they go about it is different. I know, in this case it’s me that I speak of.

At the mid-point in your life, adventure requires more pre-planning. Not a lot, just more. This is where the internet seems to be quiet. So, I figured I’d put together a little something. Hopefully, there will be something in here that will help someone out. If not, hopefully people just enjoy the stories.

It’s the plan to make this a weekly event. I’ll do my best to make that happen.

Now, Go! Get out there! Aaron.




The Author. Bombing around Costa Rica. 2002-Ish.