|Dr. Kim Bridges|
Professor of Botany, retired
University of Hawai`i at Manoa
600 Queen St #3904
Honolulu, HI 96813
Progress Report: The 49 state and 10 province expedition
May 10, 2014: Progress Report
The trip across the US from San Diego is complete. The weather was excellent, except perhaps for a bit too much wind at times. A weather front was threatening soon after I left Las Vegas, so each day's drive was extended. On one day, I drove more than 520 miles. This allowed me to stay ahead of the weather and I got to North Carolina about a day and a half ahead of schedule. This was in time to hang out while the storms passed. On the way, I did get Florida by crossing over from Alabama into the panhandle. Not too far in as I had many more miles to drive that day.
Another highlight was driving the "Tail of the Dragon." This is a very (very!) windy section of highway as you enter North Carolina from Tennessee. This is another of the "gotta do" things for Smart car owners.
May 18, 2014: 49 States Challenge is Complete
The meetings in Cherokee, NC finished and I was hen off to get Washington, DC, Delaware, Rhode Island and (finally) Vermont.The weather coming out of North Carolina was bad (heavy rain), so the progress north was delayed by a day. I reached Vermont on Sunday, May 18, just about noon. That completed all 49 states (plus DC).
There was a short break in the schedule in Vermont. Then I headed to Boston to pick up Nancy and to start north to Canada for the 10 provinces part of the expedition.
May 23, 2014: US, East-West North America Extremes
We got to West Quoddy Head (Maine) today. That's the eastern-most highway point in the US. We were at Anchor Point (Alaska) last year. That's the western-most highway point for the US North American road network. That means we've gotten to the two US, North American E-W extremes in our Smart (TwoRed). (That's got to be a first for a Smart car.)
We are now in Canada working on the provinces.
June 8, 2014: The Canadian Province Run is Complete
The Canadian part of the trip started at the Maine border. We headed north to get New Brunswick and PEI then east to get Nova Scotia and (after a ferry ride) Newfoundland. We took a bit of time out to explore Newfoundland and then took the ferry back to Sydney and began the westward drive. There were some pretty long driving days and the two night stop in Montreal was most welcome. Then it was back on the road and we headed west through mountains, over rivers and around lakes. We finally hit the Canadian Plains and the roads got flatter, straighter and slightly less bumpy. Nancy jumped out in Winnipeg for a flight home and Kim pushed on. Alberta was the tenth province and this completed the set (BC was done on the Alaska trip). But doing them all in one run seemed worth the extra effort, so on June 7th, TwoRed rolled into the Rockies in British Columbia. All 10 provinces done in one run. Whew.
Then it was time to head south, crossing the US border in Montana.
With both parts of the challenge complete, along with a few special "extremes," the rest of the trip (south to San Diego) will be a bit less formal (read: wander the side roads).
June 12, 2014: San Diego (at last)
It was a great trip down the western states. Much of the route followed Hwy 395, a mostly 2 lane highway that goes through rural Washington, Oregon and California. There is a small section that goes through Nevada (including Reno and Carson City).
A quick stop was made at Smart Madness before ending up at TwoRed's destination near San Diego. Total distance: 10,907 miles.
TwoRed is kept on the mainland. Eventually it will come to Hawai`i. On March 23, 2014, we decided that we needed more transportation capability in Hawai`i now. Our solution? We leased a 2014 Smart. We're now a two-Smart family. This time we kept it simple: a minimally-configured Pure in silver and black. This seems ideal for running around O`ahu. We call this car 2For2 (you can just say "Toofer" if you are in a hurry). (More information)
2013: The Arctic Circle Challenge
Trip was successful! 5,470 miles (highway) plus 8 days on the Alaska Marine Highway (=ferry). August 4 to September 6. According to many observers along the Dalton Highway, TwoRed was the first Smart car to make it this far north along this road. (Click here for the story.)
2014: The 49 State & 10 Province Challenge
The Arctic Circle trip added three more states. The total for TwoRed travel is now 45 states. We also got one Canadian Province (British Columbia) and one Territory (Yukon) this time out.
The missing states are Florida, Delaware, Rhode Island and Vermont. We also need to add Washington, DC and, eventually, Hawai`i. If you look at the 2014 General Planning page (see the tab at the top of this page) you'll see that we are expecting to get all of the remaining states, except Hawai`i, during 2014. And, if we can, the remaining nine Canadian Provinces.
The general planning for this 2014 expedition indicates that it will be approximately 10,000 miles long and last from April 30 to June 11.
See the progress report on the left.
2014: Dash to Texas and Back
This was a "focused" (i.e., long days) drive from San Diego to Ft. Worth and back. I went across the southern route (Tucson, El Paso, Van Horn) on the way out, spent less than three days at the Ft. Worth meeting, and then headed back a more northern route (Lubbock, Albuquerque, Kingman). Only one small stretch of intense rain from the Summer Monsoons; this was enough for some speeding fool to run off the highway and crash in the median. Nearly two days of driving were off of the Interstates (Texas and New Mexico). That was a good alternative. I particularly enjoyed the drive across northern New Mexico. There were several places on both halves of the drive in which there had been considerable runoff and flooded playas had formed.
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