12/1/20: Topic - Trip Plans for End of the Year


I hope everyone is doing well, despite the strange and uncertain circumstances we continue to find ourselves in here and all over the world. With restrictions tightening up more than any other time this year, it's no secret by now that there is very little we're able to do for fun. It seems one of the few safe things to do despite all of this is to isolate yourself in your vehicle for a road trip just for the sake of taking one. And that's exactly what I intend to do, hopefully starting this coming weekend. I usually don't travel or even feel like traveling much this time of year due to the risk of bad weather and the limited daylight for highway photography. However, I find myself in a situation in which I'm going to be out of work for at least another month or so, allowing me the option to take my time and also to somewhat escape any bad weather in the northeast for two weeks. As you might guess, this means that the upcoming planned trip will be geared toward clinching and photo documenting Interstate highways in several of the southern states. If all goes according to plan, this run, when completed, will result in me finishing off all Interstate mileage in 7 more states. Those states are Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Kentucky. If this happens, it will mean that in 2020 I was able to finish off and document all Interstate mileage in a whopping 14 states. I don't know about you, but I would say that is a pretty significant step toward my end goal of driving and documenting the entire Interstate Highway System!

The general details of this trip are that it will run about 7,200 miles and last for 15 full days. It will fill in gaps in routes and cover a lot of 3di's which I've never been on before. In between this, I will have the opportunity to update photo coverage for other routes which I haven't photographed in several years. Looking back at some of the older photos, I can't stand to not replace them since usually their quality and detail is rather lacking.

Now, onto the trip plans. I've split them up by state, in no particular order.

West Virginia: I-77 South (full, re-clinch)

Virginia: I-77 South (full, re-clinch)

North Carolina: I-74 (northern segment from I-77 to US 52, full, both directions), I-77 South (from VA border to I-40), I-40 West (from I-77 to TN border)

Tennessee: I-40 West (NC border to I-65), I-640 (full, both directions), I-140 (full, both directions), I-275 (full, both directions), I-440 East (re-clinch), I-75 South (full), I-24 West (full), Unsigned I-124 (full, both directions), I-65 (AL border to I-40, both directions).

Georgia: I-75 (full, both directions), I-575 (full, both directions), I-24 West (full), I-59 (full, both directions).

Alabama: I-59 South (full), I-65 (from I-85 to TN border, both directions), I-565 (full, both directions), I-22 East (full), I-759 (full, both directions).

Mississippi: I-59 South (full), I-22 East (full).

Louisiana: I-59 South (full, re-clinch), I-10 (from MS border to Baton Rouge, both directions), I-12 West (full, re-clinch), I-510 (full, both directions), I-310 (full, both directions), Unsigned I-910 (full, both directions), I-110 (full, both directions), I-610 (full, both directions), I-49 North (full, partial re-clinch).

Arkansas: I-49 North (full - southern segment, Fort Smith segment, and northern segment), I-49 South (northern segment), I-30 East (full), I-530 (full, both directions), I-440 (full, both directions), I-430 (full, both directions), I-630 (full, both directions), I-540 (full, both directions), I-40 West (from I-440 to OK border), I-40 East (full).

Texas: I-369 (full, both directions).

Kentucky: I-24 West (full), I-69 North (full), I-69 South (from I-24 to TN border), I-169 (full, both directions), I-75 North (full).

Indiana: I-64 West (from I-69 to IL border), I-64 East (full).

Illinois: I-24 (full, both directions), I-57 South (I-24 to MO border).

Missouri: I-57 (full, both directions).

Ohio: I-75 North (full), I-76 East (full).

Pennsylvania: I-76 East (OH border to Exit 110).

Notice that I've routed in some backtracking to enable me to re-photograph stretches in which the photos are older and of lower quality and detail. Needless to say, it will be an intense 15-day run, but here's the catch: With the limited daylight this time of year, I'll only be traveling about 480 miles per day on average. If the need arises, I also have the option of taking an extra day or two to complete the run.

Note that once again, for the fourth trip in a row, I'll only be doing photo documentation on this trip as there are currently no plans to continue doing video documentation going forward. During the run, if possible, I might try to make a few small site updates since I'll have more time in the evenings due to the short daylight this time of year. I can't guarantee it though. As usual, you can follow along with the trip updates daily on the site's Facebook page. That about sums up all I had to say regarding this upcoming trip, and I look forward to clinching all these Interstates and bringing you the Photo Guides for them. Until next time, stay safe and healthy, and just wear a damn mask!

Tom

8/5/20: Topic - Trip Plans for August 2020


I'll start by saying that I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy in this very difficult time. It's rather unnerving to see where we are today compared to the last time I made a blog post and went on a trip, which was nearly a year ago. The pandemic has made traveling rather tricky in 2020, needless to say. If you were willing and able to make any road trips thus far this year, or plan to in the coming month before summer winds down, I wish you safe and healthy travels. Since I live alone and work in a field which keeps me mostly isolated from others, I feel like I should try to make the best of the current situation and make a run despite the challenges that exist. I will follow all state and regional guidelines during the trip, which will hopefully lead to another good "Clinchfest" full of gathering new content and making a very significant stride toward my goal of having the entire Interstate Highway System clinched and documented right here on Cross Country Roads.

Now, onto the trip plans. Note that these plans are subject to change at certain points, depending on the state and regional guidelines in the areas I'll be traveling. However, after putting this plan together, I'm confident that things can work out as planned and I remain hopeful of that. One particular Interstate highway which I've remained weak on in terms of documentation on the site is Interstate 35. This upcoming trip will largely remedy that, as you will see in the route breakdown below. However, perhaps the biggest accomplishment to be met by this trip is that it will clinch the remaining miles of Interstate in SEVEN different states! There are quite a few states in which my completion of their Interstate mileage is lacking by just one route, or even just a few miles of one route. That is where this run comes in. Checking off seven more states' Interstate mileage in terms of coverage and documentation is a huge step toward my end goal. The seven states which will have their Interstate mileage completed and documented in this run are as follow: Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico. I'm lacking very little in Iowa, Missouri, and South Dakota so it only made sense to work them into this run. I'm currently very weak on photo documentation of the Interstates in Kansas, and that will also be addressed. I-35 will be clinched and documented from its northern terminus to the Oklahoma border as well. In other words, this is a key trip in terms of both finishing up some odds and ends as well as covering new stretches of Interstate which I've not yet been on.

Anyways, onto the general trip plans. I'll be starting in Minneapolis and proceeding as follows in no particular order. The run will last a total of 10 days.

Minnesota: I-35W North (full), I-35 North (I-35W to northern terminus), I-35 South (full), I-35E South (full), I-535 (full, both directions).

Wisconsin: I-535 (full, both directions).

Iowa: I-35 South (full), I-29 (full, both directions), I-380 (full, both directions), I-880 (full, both directions), I-129 (full, both directions).

Nebraska: I-129 (full, both directions).

South Dakota: I-29 (full, both directions), I-229 (full, both directions).

Missouri: I-35 South (full), I-29 (full, both directions), I-229 (full, both directions).

Kansas: I-35 South (full), I-70 West (full), I-70 East (Topeka to Missouri border), I-135 (full, both directions), I-235 (full, both directions), I-335 (full, both directions), I-470 (full, both directions).

Colorado: I-70 West (Kansas border to I-25 in Denver), I-25 (full, both directions), I-270 East (full).

New Mexico: I-25 (full, both directions).

Wyoming (time permitting): I-25 (Colorado border to I-80), I-80 (I-25 to Nebraska border), I-180 (full, both directions).

As you can see, it will be a pretty busy run. Since this is most likely the only major trip I'll be taking in 2020 (due to the pandemic), I tried to cram as much coverage into this trip as I could and it will total around a little over 5,000 miles if I'm able to cover everything listed above. I guess I should also note that just like my two trips last year, I'll only be taking photos since I've discontinued video content.

Site updates will obviously not be made during the time I'm making this trip. However, I will most likely post updates along the way to the site's Facebook page. That's all I had to cover today in this blog post, and I look forward to making the most of this upcoming trip to continue bringing more Photo Guides of the Interstate Highway System to the internet! Thank you for your time! Stay safe and healthy!

Tom

9/18/19: Topic - Upcoming Trip Plans for September 2019


Upon completing the "Clinchfest" I went on last month, I now have plans to make one more major trip in 2019 and it starts in a few days. Before getting into the details for the upcoming run, I'll take a few minutes to recap the August 2019 trip and its major accomplishments. Last month's run lasted 6 full days and covered just over 4,000 total miles. It had the dual purpose of covering some newer 3-digit Interstates as well as photographing several stretches which I had clinched previously but had no proof or documentation of. The main achievement of this past run was that I clinched every mile of Interstate in both Indiana and Illinois, which is a huge step forward toward my goal of clinching and documenting the entire signed Interstate Highway System. It led me to several parts of states that I hadn't been to in quite a few years, and went according to plan. In a way, I was using that trip as a way to gauge whether or not I had it in me to squeeze one more big run into 2019.

As it turns out, probably not to your surprise, last month's trip fueled me to want to make one more big one this month. This second "clinchfest" of 2019 will have a similar scope as the August run in the sense that I'll complete all miles of Interstate in two different states, as well as cleaning up the the photo documentation on previously clinched routes. With that said, this upcoming trip will cover the Pacific Northwest, primarily focusing on Washington and Oregon. My documentation of Interstates in Washington and Oregon thus far has been sparse and consists merely of 720p videos, which isn't quite good enough for me. I hope to remedy that on this trip.

Similarly to August's run, I will only be taking photos since I've discontinued videos indefinitely. The plans for the entire run are as follows.

After landing in Seattle...

Washington: I-5 North (I-90 to Canadian border), I-5 South (full), I-90 (full, both directions), I-405 (full, both directions), I-705 (full, both directions), I-205 (full, both directions), I-82 West (full), and I-182 (full, both directions).

Oregon: I-5 South (full), I-205 (full, both directions), I-405 (full, both directions), I-105 (full, both directions), I-84 West (full), I-84 East (I-5 to I-82).

California: I-5 South (Oregon border to Sacramento), I-505 (full, both directions), Unsigned I-305 (full, both directions), I-80 East (I-505 to Nevada border).

Nevada: I-80 East (full), I-580 (full, both directions).

Utah: I-80 East (Nevada border to I-15 in Salt Lake City), I-15 North (I-80 to I-84), I-84 West (I-15 to Idaho border).

Idaho: I-84 West (full), I-184 (full, both directions).

Like the last run, this one will be around 4,000 total miles and will last 6 full days. Since my photo documentation in Washington and Oregon is nearly non-existent (I was only doing videos at the time when I was last there in 2013, *slaps myself in the face*), this run should hopefully provide full photo documentation of everything in Washington and Oregon, while also giving photo coverage of previously clinched routes in the direction opposite of the one the videos were shot in. Since it's been over 6 years since I was last in the Pacific Northwest, I'm greatly looking forward to experiencing its roads and scenery once again.

Since I'll be away on this trip, site updates will likely not take place for a little over a week. However, if you're interested, you can stay updated on the run by following the CrossCountryRoads social media channels: Facebook, Instagram.

That's all I had to talk about today, and I hope you'll accompany me on this next trip while I continue to check off the miles of Interstate in the Pacific Northwest! I look forward to bringing you more Photo Guides of Interstate highways to the internet! Thank you for your time!

Tom