In Yellowstone during the the Great American Western Road Trip.

Great American Road Trip

From 2002-2004, I started planting the seeds of making an escape from the San Francisco Bay Area to somewhere with less traffic, a greater sense of community, a better life-work balance, a lower cost of living, and yet was still an ourdoorsy paradise. During this time, I created a list of a few dozen cities to potentially move to. In 2005, I pulled the trigger: I quit my job, sold my home, and embarked on a four-month journey around North America to visit every town I was considering.

Below is a summary of this journey, an adventure that would take me through 18 U.S. states and 2 Canadian provinces. “Research” through the western part of North America was done out of a forest green Alfa Romeo convertible.

In Yellowstone during the the Great American Western Road Trip.
In Yellowstone during the the Great American Western Road Trip.


  1. To explore all the places in North America that I was considering moving to. At the end of the trip, to make a decision as to where to live. (See my U.S. Cities Comparison to learn about my criteria.)
  2. To visit friends around the country.
  3. To see many of the sites I have always wanted to, including national and state parks along the way.


Below is the itinerary and status of my write-ups on the various cities.

States visited during my 2005 Great American Road Trip.
States visited during my 2005 Great American Road Trip.

Southern Excursion

March 15: Durham, NC
March 16: Chapel Hill, NC
March 18: Asheville, NC
March 19: Knoxville Marathon
March 21: Knoxville, TN
March 22: Atlanta, GA
March 24: Athens, GA
March 25: BMW Zentrum
March 25: Backing Up Museum
March 28: Kitty Hawk, NC
March 29: Raleigh, NC

Northeastern Trip

April 14: Boston, MA
April 18: Boston Marathon
April 22: State College, PA

Western Road Trip

July 2: Eugene, OR
July 3: Portland, OR
July 4: Foot Traffic Flat Marathon
July 5: Oregon Coast
July 29: Brokeoff Mountain, CA
July 29: Lassen Peak, CA
July 29: Burney Falls, CA
July 31: Crater Lake, OR
August 1: Bend, OR
August 2: Smith Rock, OR
August 3: Mt. Bachelor 100, OR
August 5: Redmond, OR
August 6: Sisters, OR
August 8: Hood River, OR
August 10: Beacon Rock, WA
August 10: Yakima, WA
August 11: Stonehenge, WA
August 12: Windshield Repair
August 13: Cruise the Gorge, OR
August 14: Torture 10,000, OR
August 14: Portland Bridge Ride, OR
August 21: Portland, OR
August 22: New York City, NY
August 24: Montclair, NJ
August 25: WA-503 to Mt. St. Helens
August 26: Seattle, WA
August 26: Bellingham, WA
August 26: Vancouver, BC
August 27: Squamish, BC
August 29: Canada Route 3
August 29: Spokane, WA
September 1: Coeur d’Alene, ID
September 2: McCall, ID
September 2: Boise, ID
September 3: Idaho Falls, ID
September 4: Yellowstone, WY
September 4: Jackson, WY
September 6: Pocatello, ID
September 9: City of Rocks, ID
September 10: Logan, UT
September 10: Ogden, UT
September 11: Provo, UT
September 11: Steamboat Springs, CO
September 12: Rocky Mtn. Nat’l Park, CO
September 12: Estes Park, CO
September 12: Fort Collins, CO
September 13: Loveland, CO
September 14: V8 Club Western Nationals
September 15: Breckenridge, CO
September 16: Golden, CO
September 16: Boulder, CO
September 19: US-550, CO
September 19: Silverton, CO
September 19: Durango, CO
September 20: Gasoline Prices
September 20: Taos, NM
September 20: Santa Fe, NM
September 21: Flagstaff, AZ
September 22: Sedona, AZ
September 23: Phoenix, AZ
September 26: Las Vegas, NV
October 1: Medford, OR
October 2: Ashland, OR
October 3: U.S. Cities Comparison
October 19: McKenzie Highway, OR

The Final Leg and New Home

October 29: Plan B
October 30: Fort Collins Awards
October 31: Halloween in Fort Collins
December 14: Home At Last
December 18: Rist Canyon 100k, CO