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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.

a map of 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

a map of texas with red points

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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