Epic Road Trip 2011: Every Mile a Memory

Epic Road Trip 2011: Every Mile a Memory

The last 2 pieces of the Epic Road Trip 2011 story will be personal reflections from Justin and Mike.  The following is Justin’s entry, thoughts from the road, memories and more.

We are now 46 days past the conclusion of our Epic Road Trip 2011 and along with all of the image processing, blog writing, creation, keyword tagging, geo-tagging, uploading and everything else that went into the post-production recap of the trip, really how much fun I did have.

Sure, this update will make 6 total posts regarding the road trip and just how epic it was.  We covered 3600+ miles, took 9 days and 70+ hours of driving to do it.  But what was most important was the fact that we built in time to have fun along the way.  Looking back on that, I don’t regret any decision we made or wish we would have done anything different.

I look at all of the things that we got to do along the way.  This was not as much about as just driving a car back as it was seeing a part of the country we had never seen before and spending time with friends we had not seen in a while.  As much as I tried to detail everything I could in the previous posts, those recaps were more documentation and telling the whole story of our trip.  Documentation aside, here were some of the highlights for me, personally:

  • Got to hang out and spend time with Sean before leaving on the road trip
  • Coffee with Robert
  • Got to spend time taking photos around Disneyland before leaving
  • Spent time with my grandparents in Arizona
  • Passed by Angels Training Camp in Tempe, Arizona (wish we could have stopped for a game)
  • Had time to reflect on the level and severity of the situation in Mexico, just 2 miles from us when we were in El Paso, TX.
  • Went to breakfast with Dave in Houston
  • Got to wander along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana
  • Experienced some of the absolute craziness that is Mardis Gras in NOLA (2012 anyone?)
  • Saw parts of the south that I had only read about
  • Seeing Mardis Gras celebrations in 3 different southern cities
  • Narrowly avoiding a few tornados
  • Spending a day and a half in the Atlanta area with Trey and Katy
  • Seeing the beauty of South Carolina
  • Spending quality time and catching up with Bryan and Alisa
  • Having lunch with Morgan
  • Covering another 3600 miles with my best friend
  • After 12 days of being gone, getting home to see Juliet

I know, quite the list, but so many things stuck out to me, so many stories surrounding all of those events.  The events leading up to leaving on the trip were also very important to me, as from the looks of things in life right now, I will probably only be back in California a few more times in the foreseeable future, so spending time with Sean, visiting Disneyland, catching up with Robert over coffee was invaluable.

The road trip offered so many memories, memories that I have tried to get down in the previous recaps with a combination of tweets and photos, but I know those will never do the entire memory justice.  Let’s just say, “you had to be there.”

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the Epic Road Trip 2011:

The nerves, the anticipation, the anxiety to get on the road

Ready to roll

Spending time with my grandparents

Saying goodbye

Have to love a Texas-sized sunset

Scenic photos outside a gas station

Lived next to the Pacific, been to the Atlantic, now I can add the Gulf of Mexico to that list.

Gulf Coast

Now I can say I have been to Mardis Gras

Mardis Gras staple

Airborne, sunroof splitting, head smacking beads!


Dinner and drinks with some great friends


The serene beach on Hartwell Lake

Lake Hartwell

Dinner with the Watkin clan.

Dinner with the Watkin clan

Knowing I was less than 45 minutes away from being home.

Empire State of Mind

As much as we were not prepared for it, the trip had to come to an end.  Like it or not, just a fact of life for the majority of us.  But, with another great trip in the books, our road trip total is somewhere around the 11,000 mile mark since 2006, and as one trip gets committed to memory, another trip moves into the planning stages.

Having conquered all but a few US states, I think next on the list is a road trip across Canada.

Epic Road Trip 2012 anyone?

Justin Hamlin

Justin Hamlin is the founder of <a href="http://www.justinhamlin.com">Get Busy Livin'</a>, a blog founded on collaboration and story telling, dedicated to inspiring himself and others to get busy living their lives. He is a writer, photographer, computer nerd, story teller and world traveler. He calls New York home when him and his wife are not hunting down adventure, exploring the east coast or jet setting around the world. You can follow Justin on <a href="http://www.justinhamlin.com">Get Busy Livin'</a>, <a href="http://www.twitter.com/justinhamlin">Twitter</a> or <a href="http://www.facebook.com/GetBusyLivin">Facebook</a>.

  • Some great photographs and memories! I really like the windmill picture from above from petrol station. Awesome capture!

    • Thanks Peter! It really was an awesome trip. Outside of the marketing, hype, etc, it really was a fun trip with some great photos and some great memories.

      Glad you liked the photos and the read!