A Journey Across America

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in Travel Update, United States | 9 Comments

During our lives, we’ve managed to develop some great friendships. And while we’ve wanted to get together with these friends over the years, life often gets in the way.

But this is the year. On February 26th, we set off on what we call Operation Ambrose—a four-and-a-half-month trip across the USA. We plan to see people, do some volunteer work, and visit new and unusual places. Laurie wants to swim with the manatees. I’d like to backpack at least a short segment of the Appalachian Trail.

Unlike last year where we traveled primarily on foot, this trip will be behind the wheel of our own car. We plan to stay in hotels, Airbnb, with friends and family, and on occasion, our tent. Our rule of thumb for this adventure is people before places and new places before old places

For information about the unusual a friend turned us onto the website Atlas Obscura. I’ve already found information on a German U Boat located in—Chicago. I can’t wait to see it.
We’re going to travel through 38 of the lower 48 states using GPS, helpful apps, and the stack of books we got from AAA.

And hopefully friends and readers will clue us into their favorite places. We already have some great ideas passed on to us.

Our Rough Schedule

The West – February 26March 27

Head south to California on the Pacific Coast via Highway 101—seeking the sun. It’s been a cold and dreary winter in the Pacific Northwest. At Los Angeles, we’ll work our way across to Texas.

The South: March 28 – May 5

In Louisiana, we’ve already registered with the Baton Rouge and New Orleans Habitat for Humanity organizations. Then to Biloxi, Mississippi where I went to Air Force Tech School and on to Florida where we’ll swim and kayak with the manatees. In the Everglades maybe kayak and camp. Although Laurie’s a bit unsure about camping in alligator and snake country. Then work our way up the Atlantic coast to Washington D.C.

The Northeast-Midwest: May 6 – June 12

From DC, we head up through Pennsylvania, then to New Jersey where we lived for three years. On to Massachusetts and then to Maine, where Laurie craves eating a fresh caught lobster. We cross over into upstate New York with a stop at some famous falls. We may cross over into Toronto to visit some of our Canadian friends from our travels. Down to Kentucky and then east to Nebraska. Laurie will get to meet a cousin and her family—people we’ve never seen face to face.

Route 66: June 12 – July 5

After a few days in Chicago, where we’ll visit the previously mentioned unlucky U-Boat, we set out on Route 66—the Mother Road. During this segment, we’ll be doing a side trip to Colorado to see friends up in the Colorado Springs and Denver area. This takes us all the way back to the Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica.

Return: July 6 – Mid July

Back to the Seattle area where we plan to enjoy the summer and do some kayaking and backpack around Mount Rainier.

How about your ideas?  If you have favorite places that we should see in the US, please use the comments section to share them. Maybe we’ll see you on our journey.

Operation Ambrose: Named for Stephen Ambrose, the great American Historian.


  1. worldrover11
    January 27, 2017

    My brother sent me this link of the “Ultimate US Road Trip”. Not our route, but interesting.

  2. Kim Vandel
    January 27, 2017

    Sounds like so much fun! Make sure to share plenty of pictures so we can live vicariously through your adventures.

    • worldrover11
      January 28, 2017

      We plan on doing plenty of pictures, short videos, and of course–lots of stories.

  3. Patty deRidder
    January 28, 2017

    I was wondering if “Ambrose” was after Stephen!

  4. Jim Bunch
    January 28, 2017

    So excited as you begin this journey. Looking forward to your traverse through our neck of the woods. Looks like you may be here around College World Series time so take a look at that. It would be great catching a day at this historic event in Omaha. I need a little advance notice for the Memorial Stadium tour in Lincoln, but it’s quite an experience, especially for fans of college football. I also look forward, once again, to sharing your journeys with my students.

    • Kathleen McLaughlin
      January 28, 2017

      Looking forward to reading about your adventures!

  5. Dennis
    February 3, 2017

    Our friend Sue in New Jersey sent us this link to a video about a rumble strip on a section of Route 66 that plays “America the Beautiful.” Very cool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAFglr10FEA&feature=youtu.be

  6. Julie Ferrier (nee Thompson)
    February 17, 2017

    If you guys are swinging through San Francisco (why wouldn’t you?), I’d love to meet up for coffee/lunch or something. Just let me know 🙂

    • worldrover11
      February 17, 2017

      We’ll be there March 3rd. I’ll contact you about meeting up.