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48 Before 30: Driving the 48 Continental States – Part 5

I knew my last trip would be a long one, and one that require me to use some toll roads. There’s just no easy way around the Northeast without paying to use roads. The only site seeing I intended on was the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. It’s a place I’d wanted to go to for many years, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I ended up taking in a few more sites along the way, so let’s start breaking down the final trip of my 48 before 30 journey.

April 30, 2011: The first day included roads I had driven a number of times by now. For that reason I didn’t waste any time getting to my destination, Indianapolis. It was a long day, but I also had a long trip ahead of me. Miles: 740.3 Time: 11 hours, 1 minute States: 4

May 1, 2011: I headed out early in the morning, as I wanted to make sure I had time to tour the Hall of Fame. Indeed I made it to spend a few hours there, even though I had to take a strange detour past Toledo to pass the Michigan border. I highly recommend the NFL Hall of Fame to all fans. There’s bound to be something in there for any fan to take note of. My only disappointment was that Walter Payton’s bust was elsewhere at the time.

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Once I left the Hall of Fame I headed back up towards Cleveland. Not exactly a fancy meal this evening, as I went to Waffle House. Miles: 512.7 Time: 7 hours, 48 minutes States: 3

May 2, 2011: I left early in the morning again, as I had decided to check out Niagara Falls. The town of Buffalo looked like a horrible place to me. Everywhere I drove appeared to be a high industrial area. I was not impressed at all. The gigantic waterfall was impressive for sure, but personally I was a little let down. I was actually more excited to know there was an old fort North of the area. I probably would have went had my camera not died on me.

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After taking in the beauty of mother nature, I headed back on the tollroad through New York. I made it into Albany at a decent time, so I would be able to catch a movie. I enjoyed eating at Ralph’s Tavern, and watched Hoodwinked Too. Miles: 468.6 Time: 8 hours States: 3

May 3, 2011: I suppose seeing Niagara Falls got me in the mood to see waterfalls, so I stopped by Cohoes Falls in the Albany area before I got on my way. There was no interstate to drive on to get through Vermont and New Hampshire, so I was able to drive through the countryside. The speeds were certainly slower than I had been getting used to, but it was well worth the views I experienced through the Northeast. I stopped in Maine to eat, and headed back down South. Originally I wanted to go North and drive the All American Road in Acadia National Park, but I decided it would simply take too long.

The drive around Boston was quite slow. I wasn’t going through during rush hour, but the traffic was horrendous. It’s the only place I recall that allowed vehicles to use the breakdown lane/shoulder as an actual lane. I was still able to make it into Providence in the afternoon, and spent the evening at the waterfront downtown. I ate at Dave and Busters, and watched Source Code in the theater. Miles: 379.4 Time: 8 hours, 27 minutes States: 6

May 4, 2011: My travels of a southern direction started out innocent enough. Yet, as this was my first trip using GPS, I realized how GPS can get you into trouble. Once I got into New York City I was following my GPS faithfully, as I didn’t want to miss any turns in this area. Things did not go as planned. My GPS didn’t bother telling me how a section of the road was going, and therefore I got stuck in an exit lane. No problem! Why not just take the exit, and head right back up the onramp?…because there wasn’t one. So I start taking turns, and my GPS didn’t seem to know what to do. Eventually I made it though some interesting areas. Areas that reminded me of New York on TV. Food carts, double-parking, etc. Once I got back onto the interstate I changed my mind about going through the Lincoln or Holland tunnel. I had explored the town enough, and would continue on South. When I checked the map later in the evening, I realized I had been driving around the old Bronx area.

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I got down into Baltimore, and wanted to eat downtown. I ate at Hard Rock Cafe, and then walked around the harbor. I took the opportunity to walk through an old submarine and an old wood ship. Both very interesting to me. After that I headed to my hotel for the night. Miles: 389.7 Time: 7 hours, 33 minutes States: 7

May 5, 2011: I got up early so I would have time to stop by D.C. and see some sites. My idea was to drive to the Thomas Jefferson memorial, and walk from there. However, good ‘ol GPS got me again. The first issue was getting into the area, as I kept losing signal under overpasses. Once I did make it there the buses got in my way, and funneled me over to Arlington Cemetery. No problem really, as I was going to walk anyway. I hadn’t planned on going to Arlington, but when I got out of my pickup I looked over and thought “Well that’s not far, I’ll spend 20 minutes here, and take a short walk over to the monuments.”  So an hour and half later I decide that I’ve got to leave the cemetery, so I can get across the river. Needless to say it was all a lot further than I thought. In all I spent about 4.5 hours walking around, and I was certainly tired. I would very much recommend D.C. to everyone, and would love to go back with more time on my hands.

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As tired as I was it just wouldn’t matter anymore. I made it into West Virginia at 4:40 pm CST, and at that point I had officially made it into all 48 states. I was DONE! Unfortunately I still needed to get home. It took a while for the GPS to find my eating destination, but I finally found Riverside Anchor for some pizza. What better food to celebrate the end of my journey? Miles: 460.1 Time: 8 hours, 56 minutes States: 3

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May 6, 2011: I had officially gotten all 48 states, so nothing was going to ruin my mood. Of course, the low tire I had in the morning certainly tried. Once I got my tire aired up I headed back home. I stopped in Louisville to eat at Tumbleweed Southwest Grill, and continued on until I got to Columbia, MO. I’m a KU fan, so I have to hate the place. While there I was able to catch Thor in the theater. Miles: 611.8 Time: 10 hours, 4 minutes States: 5

May 7, 2011: Now that I was done I didn’t waste any time getting home. I had been staying at 70 MPH everywhere, but couldn’t wait to get home. I made it home in the early afternoon feeling fulfilled. Miles: 380.4 Time: 5 hours, 29 minutes States: 2

I got to see some sites on this trip, and some of those I would like to go see again someday. I would still like to explore New York more, including driving through the tunnels. I would also like to spend more time in D.C. with plenty of time.

Total Trip Miles: 3,943.4 Total Trip Time: 66 hours, 51 minutes States: 20

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