The next road trip?

road tripHopefully it will end better than the last one.

It’s been nagging me all month about not being with my best friend and her family this past Christmas.  Ten years in a row and then “oops”.  Something needs to be done.

Current readers know I’m about to trade in my 10-year old (but trusty) Avalon for a brand new Legacy.  If you’ve been shopping for cars (or listening to the commercials), you know most of them are now offering free maintenance thrown in.

Subaru offers the common terms:  2 years/24,000 miles.  My problem:  24,000 miles is more like three years for me, so it’s almost like Subaru is ordering me to take my new car for a long trip, just to gain the full value of my freebie.

Well, I thought, if I’m going to do that, why not combine it with visiting my best friend. Best part of that thinking is it would be in the Spring or Summer…no cold to fight with.

Okay then, hypothetically, what would that trip look like if I added in a whole bunch of other distant friends I haven’t seen in a long time.  Take a look…

Boca to Jacksonville – 308 miles

Jacksonville to Daphne, AL – 399 miles

Daphne to Houston – 480 miles

Houston to Scottsdale, AZ – 1,176 miles (probably need to split that up…maybe Roswell?)

Scottsdale to North Las Vegas – 308 miles (my buddy!)

North Las Vegas to Hot Springs, SD – 994 miles

Hot Springs to Madison, WI – 824 miles (boy these states are big)

Madison to Canton, OH – 485 miles (I need to stop somewhere, why not Hall of Fame?)

Canton to Durham, NC – 487 miles (well, not exactly where my friend lives, but close?)

Durham, NC to Greenville, SC – 241 miles

Greenville to Jacksonville – 387 miles (about halfway and reporting back)

Jacksonville back home – 307 miles (somehow, it’s one mile closer coming back)


Whew.  I’m exhausted just researching it.  That’s 6,396 miles.  Bet that helps me take advantage of my free maintenance!

If you figure my new car “average” MPG of 30, that’s 213 gallons.  Let’s round it up to 250 and assume $2.50 per gallon (very conservative).  That means gas alone will run me $625.

Figure at least half the places will require me to find my own room (remember, all these people are friends who haven’t seen me in a lonnnng time, so I might just get offered the spare bedroom before they remember me), let’s call that another $500 (hey, I only need overnights in most stops).

Now, if we figure each stop is roughly two days and then add a “spare” day for whatever, that’s a little over a month away from home.

Considering I went bonkers on my last trip after just 8 days, that sure seems unlikely, but I would have the “carrot” of seeing my best friend at the long end of the trip and that might take the edge off (and perhaps add another couple of days).

What do you think?  Any suggestions of other stops along the way, should I be crazy enough to try this?  Like walking, there’s no shortcut if I turn around, so I might as well make the next road trip a doozy!

(If this were a book tour, I could deduct the whole thing off my taxes…..nah.)