US ROAD TRIP 2018

Bite-sized USA.


“It may not be as epic in scale as what’s gone before, but this stateside jaunt will be epic for other reasons, least of all the company. US Road Trip 2018 will be a bite-sized US family affair.”


Image || At the Lincoln Memorial Washington D.C. October 2, 2017 – Day 6 of Epic US Road Trip 2017.

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US Road Trip 2018 Introduction

Here we go again. We hadn’t initially planned a 2018 US Road Trip, hadn’t planned on adding to the 16,634 odometer miles clocked over the course of the 69 days of our recent Epic US Road Trips in 2016 & 2017. But this little US filler is different. It’s kinda the same, but still different – the same in that we’ll largely be covering familiar ground, different in that we won’t be alone. It may not be as epic in scale as what’s gone before, but this stateside jaunt will be epic for other reasons, least of all the company. US Road Trip 2018 will be a bite-sized US family affair.

The great American experience is about so many things: bluegrass and beaches, snow-covered peaks and redwood forests, restaurant-loving cities and big open skies.

Lonely Planet

dMb's Country Overview - USA

USA_globe_with_flag_256United States of America

Region – North America (dMb tag: North America). Capital – Washington DC. Population – 326 million Americans (the world’s third-most populous country). Official Language – None (at federal level) although American English is the national language. Currency – USD, US Dollar ($). GDP (nominal) per capita – US$59,000. Political System – Federal presidential constitutional republic. UN Member? – Yes (founding member admitted November 1945 & one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council). G20 Member? – Yes. Size – 9,830,000 km² (the world’s third-largest country by land area – after Russia & China – is fractionally smaller than the continent of Europe). Topography – Extremely diverse. Climate – Ditto. Brief History & Today – Populated for at least 15 millennia, Europeans first arrived in North America in the 16th Century with the country as we know today emerging from the so-called Thirteen Colonies, the 13 colonies of the North American East Coast settled by the British between 1607 & 1732. The end of the American Revolutionary War in 1783 saw the US becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power, not to mention the eventual ushering in of the seminal US Constitution. Having banished the Brits, less than a century later the Americans felt the need to fight among themselves with the antislavery Yankees of the North prevailing over the slave advocating Confederate States of Dixie, the South, in the bloody US Civil War (1861-1865). Aggressive expansion continued, migration across the Great Plains into the West leading to conflict with Plains Indians, native inhabitants who lost so much to the white man’s expansionist needs. Although World War I confirmed the country’s status as a global military power, the country was to emerge from World War II as the world’s first (& today only) global superpower. Still a worldwide champion – for good or bad – of the very same democratic principles the country was founded on, today the US remains a global trendsetter and a leading political, cultural and scientific force internationally. UNESCO World Heritage sites – 23. Tourism Catchphrase/Slogans – All Within Your Reach. Famous For – Lots of things, good & bad, but mainly for influence & for being a pop cultural behemoth & trendsetter; most worldwide fads, everything from music to media to fashion, originate in the US. Highlight – A road trip just about anywhere. Options are endless on the world’s longest & biggest road network. US Titbits – The word America is attributed to German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller who produced a world map in 1507 on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere ‘America’ after the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the 50 states, federal district, 5 self-governing territories & various possessions of the US are spread across 9 time zones, its extreme diversity in geography, climate and wildlife making it both one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries (the US has the most ecoregions out of any country in the world) and the world’s best road-trippin’ destination; the world’s largest importer and second-largest exporter of goods, the US is an economic juggernaut whose economy, the world’s largest, accounts for approximately a quarter of global GDP; over 30% of the world’s wealth resides in the US even though it accounts for a little over 4% of the world’s population; the US is the only country to have landed a man on the moon & was the first country to develop nuclear weapons (although it is infamously the only nation to have used them in warfare) – its spending on military alone accounts for a whole one-third of global military spending; the US is one of only 3 countries in the world not to use the metric system as the official system of measurement (the other two being Liberia & Myanmar, a.k.a. Burma).
Forget all of your preconceptions. Take a look at America the way it really, truly is today; a land of limitless road trips, astonishing natural beauty and diverse multiethnic cities from coast to coast. Pay your respects to the heritage of Native American tribes, then explore the kitschy side of stateside life at oddball roadside attractions. Taste the American dream – sweet as apple pie, strong as homemade moonshine – for yourself.

Lonely Planet USA, 6th edition

The current American flag flying atop the viewing deck of the Brasstown Bald Visitors Center in Hiawassee, northern Georgia. September 22, 2016.
The country’s greatest symbol, the 50 stars & 13 stripes of the US flag – a.k.a. the Stars & Stripes, Old Glory or the Star-Spangled Banner – represent, respectively, the 50 states of the Union and the original 13 British colonies that became the first US states. The original 13-star version was adopted in 1777, a year after the US Declaration of Independence. The current 50-star version has been the official US flag since Independence Day 1960 – change was needed when Hawaii, the 50th state & thus 50th star, was added to the Union in 1959. It was designed by 17-year-old Robert Heft as a school project in 1958. He got a B-.

Visits – First visit June 1998. Numerous visits since.
Forget all of your preconceptions. Take a look at America the way it really, truly is today; a land of limitless road trips, astonishing natural beauty and diverse multiethnic cities from coast to coast. Pay your respects to the heritage of Native American tribes, then explore the kitschy side of stateside life at oddball roadside attractions. Taste the American dream – sweet as apple pie, strong as homemade moonshine – for yourself.

Lonely Planet USA, 6th edition

US Road Trip 2018 In Numbers

Days

Miles Driven

US States

National Park Visited

National Scenic Byways Driven

All-American Roads Driven

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