The Birth of a Lifelong Journey
As long as I can remember, I have heard the call of the road. As a 21-year-old college student, I caught the fever to travel after my first solo road trip to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, and a subsequent ferry ride to Juneau, Alaska. That feeling of complete freedom and excited anticipation of seeing what the horizon would soon reveal to me was transformative. I have been wonderfully afflicted with an incurable case of wanderlust ever since. My love affair with the road started with destinations I could reach by car from my home in Seattle, mostly places in the north, like Canada's Arctic and points in Alaska. Over time, it gradually morphed into something more continental and more grandiose in scale. No longer satisfied with linear destinations confined to a few days of travel, I really wanted to see all of the United States, in less limiting strokes, from the backroads and secondary highways where things move more slowly, where geography comes to life and expands along the winding roads, and where culture can be experienced directly. I seized upon the idea that I could really get that experience if I committed to visiting every county, borough, parish, census area and independent city in the United States. Sometime in the 1990s, that's exactly what I set out to do, and my horizons suddenly tilted toward the infinite. Some 25 years later, I am still traveling, county by county, and counting them, marking them on a map as I go, on a life-long journey to touch every corner of America. And I still love every minute of being on the road.