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I know that I travel in ways that many people would find ridiculous. Much of this stems from my bucket list goal and desire to visit all 3,143 counties in the United States.
So while some people might think that driving nearly 1800 miles and 33 hours over the course of 2 1/2 days insane, to me, it fits right in with the goals of the Extra Miler Club, whose motto is
The shortest distance between two points is no fun
We’ll be picking up the counties in shades of grey, including parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas (at the TX/LA/AR tri-state marker). And for good measure we’ll detour to the Louisiana state “highpoint” Driskill Mountain which measures up at a whopping 533 feet above sea level. That’s a bit of a change from our trip earlier this year to Guadalupe Peak – the state highpoint of Texas
[Hiking the Guadalupe Peak Summit – I’m the KING of Texas!]
Louisiana “county” trip
I conceived of this Louisiana “county” trip with my friend Brandon. We used to live near each other in Cincinnati but he has since moved to Southern California. We’ll both be flying into Austin, meeting up, renting a car and setting out on the road. Brandon and I most recently collaborated on a trip through Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Manitoba and Ontario. That’s where we had a crazy international border story as well as conceived Road Trip Rule #1.
I say Louisiana “county” trip because of course Louisiana doesn’t have COUNTIES – they have PARISHES, which, thankfully, are county equivalents. Here is our (approximate) plan
Sounds like fun, huh? 2 of my boys will be tagging along with us and of course since we homeschool them, we count this as “school” 🙂
Travel hacking a road trip
Of course no road trip would be complete without a little bit of travel hacking. While Brandon has dabbled in miles and points, he decided he wanted to save his miles. He found a good deal on a rental car (I had set up a reservation with Autoslash but for some reason it didn’t ever get cheaper) and I am taking care of the hotels.
I ended up booking 1 Point Breaks hotel, and then used a cheap cash stay and a Points + Cash stay to knock out my IHG Accelerate offers. $140 + 10,000 points spent should net me about 40,000 IHG points.
We’re using miles and points to fly Southwest down to Austin and we tried to use Barclay Arrival miles to fly back. I thought buying 3 $95 tickets would work ($285 total) but they posted as 3 different $95 charges so I wasn’t able to use Arrival miles 🙁
Wish us luck!
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Get ready for ultimate boredom on I49 haha. Might I suggest instead of taking 10 over to Slidell, take the Pontchartrain causeway, looks like you’d hit the same parishes and it’s really quite an experience.
I agree with Chris. I-49…I’ve driven this a few times but I drove it years ago when they first opened a stretch of it in the Northern part of the state. It was so new they hadn’t even put up the mile marker signs yet. Miles and miles of nothing and few signs to tell you what was at each exit.
Sounds like a lot of fun. I would never make the trip complete as I would be stopping at everything along the road.
Alot of people in this hobby, me including, like those big audacious trips across the oceans. However, there is alot of good stuff to see right here in the USA.
Stop at Lea’s Lunch Counter in LeCompte for pie if they are open when you pass through!
And if you need anything while you’re in the Baton Rouge area give me a shout.
My wife and I took a two-week 4,815 mile driving trip earlier this year. Among other things, saw 1) the Alamo, 2) Luckenbach, 3) Texas Hill Country and bluebonnets in bloom, 4) the Marfa Lights, 5) had photo made at Trinity Site at White Sands, 6) visited Valley of Fires, 7) an airport graveyard, 8) UFO Museum in Roswell, 9) Spiral Staircase in the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, 10) drove by Shiprock, 11) stood at Four Corners, 12) cruised through Durango, 13) followed US 163 south and traversed Monument Valley, 14) spent three days in Sedona, 15) stood on the corner in Winslow, 16) drove at an even 45 mph over the rumble strip in Albuquerque that played “America The Beautiful,” 17) steak dinners in Texas Panhandle, 18) enjoyed banana splits at a Baum’s in Oklahoma City. Then went home. Wish I knew how to upload photos. Earned 40,000 points with Best Western. Bought Shell gas for 75 cents on the dollar the whole trip. Brought home lots of smiles.
Sounds like an awesome trip!
That map is starting to look real good Dan. Do you have any idea how much longer it’ll take to completely fill it in?
It’s called the ArkLaTex not Tx/La/Ar. I wish I could tell what your stop is in northern Bossier Parish. I think I would drive south to Shreveport and then cross over into Bossier.
And then in East Texas, I recommend detouring to see the Kilgore Oil Museum and exploring the East Texas Oil Boom. Short break and a great depiction of the area and the oil and gas industry.
But wait, have you already done this trip? At least you got a beautiful weekend for a drive.