I arrived home from a road trip on Thursday and proceeded to wrap up the online report for it just like I’d done ninety-nine times before. This was my 100th trip; A seven day 1200 mile affair that involved both expressway and two-lane, reached some big water, used mom & pop as well as lower echelon chain motels, and included a little live music, along with diners, narrow roads, long bridges, and old buildings. All in all, a most typical trip.
Wrapping up a trip includes selecting a single image to go into the pool from which images are selected randomly for display in the upper right hand corner of this site’s home page. Appearing at the top of this blog entry are Juan Delgadillo from the first trip and Dirk Hamilton from the 100th. Click the thumbnail to the right for a collage of all one hundred.
EDIT 30-Oct-2011: The collage has been replaced with a clickable version linking each thumbnail to its associated trip report.
The 100th trip wasn’t supposed to be quite as typical as it was. Most of its miles were supposed to be aboard a train that was cancelled at the last minute. Only one of the 100 trips has used a train for actual transportation and that trip also involved a commercial flight and an aircraft carrier. That’s atypical with a capital ‘A’. Just flying would have made that trip fairly unusual. Only eight of the first 100 trips involved an airplane.
So just how typical was that 100th trip? It clearly had many of the typical components. In addition to those listed in the first paragraph, there was some old concrete pavement, some standing stone bridges plus the remnants of one; Some museums, some art, some historic landmarks, and a lighthouse. It did not have any brick or dirt roads and there were no meetings, ceremonies, or banquets. At seven days, it was a little above the 4.74 day average. The longest of the first 100 was last spring’s Lincoln Highway Association Conference outing of 25 days. There were twenty single day trips.
The 100th trip went east whereas more trips have gone west than any other direction. The score, using Cincinnati as the hub and applying some fairly unscientific judgement calls, is west 35, east 24, south 21, and north 20.
The journal for the most recent trip is considerably denser than that first one in 1999. There are more words and a lot more pictures. The 16 day 1999 trip averaged about eight pictures a day. The just completed seven day trip averaged over 22 per day and that’s just the pictures accessed through thumbnails. Throw in those accessed by links embedded in the text, of which there were none in 1999, and the average goes above 25 per day. But the reporting of the 100th trip seems to be the current norm. Its precise averages are 25.43 per day total and 22.57 for thumbnail style only. The corresponding numbers for that record setting 25 day trip are 25.68 and 22.24.
A hundred trips in twelve years is an average of about eight a year but those first few years were pretty sparse. 1999 and 2000 had just one documented trip each and 2000’s was a day trip. The count leaped to three in 2001. The biggest years were 2004 and 2007 with 13 each. 2011 has seen eight so far. Even now, despite what some may think, I don’t really document every time I leave the driveway and there were certainly some undocumented trips in those early years.
I know there are plenty of other ways to slice and dice those 100 trips. I kind of wish I had a record of the mileage for each but I don’t. Nor do I have an accurate measure of the fun I’ve had though I’ve estimated it at infinity plus or minus two. The next 100 will surely go beyond that.