There was a day, not long ago, when our itinerary waned and rambled like the Wandering Aengus. We had so much time to play with, and so many days to fill with sites and American sound.
Those days are gone. Today, our journey is brimming with adventures near and far, on a schedule that seems to grow tighter with each passing day. Today, we're on quite the opposite end of things. We've extended the route to include all 48 states, boasting more plotted stops on the course than we'd ever thought possible.
In our 100 days, we've got to cover a lot of ground. And with merely a day, or sometimes even just an afternoon to spend in a particular locale, we've got no time to waste. This means that, from time to time, we're going to have to wake up at the crack of dawn in order to get on the road, and offer the next destination the attention it deserves.
Let's have us a look at a few of those situations.
1. Athens, Maine to Burlington, Vt.
We're leaving Maine and shooting westward for some fun times in Burlington. But on the way we have a stop in the Concord, N.H. area which we can't miss, and which you'll learn more about when it comes. But this leaves us with roughly a 2 or 3 o'clock arrival in Burlington, which might just necessitate a few extra hours in town the next day.
2. Williamsport, Pa. down the Blue Ridge Parkway
Here's a big one. It's a 4 1/2 hour drive from Williamsport to Shenandoah National Park - the starting point of the Blue Ridge Parkway. From there, we've got another 400 miles or so of the most astounding drive we could ever hope to encounter. We cannot do it at night, which means we've got to hit the road from Williamsport at an uncomfortably early hour.
3. Baton Rouge, La. to Memphis, Tenn.
Sure, we've got some time to spend in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. But I don't doubt that we'll wish we'd spent longer in town by the end of it. And our next stop is nothing to sneeze at, either, as we've got an obligatory visit to Graceland ahead of us.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, the most notable rushes we'll encounter during the first half of our excursion. I'm sure that as we approach the dates, as things become clearer, we'll be encountering more of these shenanigans.