Chronological Tour | City by City | About the Trip | Travel Quotes | European Chronicles


So I quit my job and had $20,000 in the bank. I had planned to move to New York City, but I didn't have to go immediately because there was nothing waiting for me there. I had free time if I wanted to use it. Two years before, I had spent three months in Europe. I'd seen more of that continent than I'd seen of my own country. It was time for the great American road trip.

This is a photographic chronicle of that journey. It lasted from April 30 to June 27, 2001. I returned to Michigan halfway through, after finishing the Eastern leg of my trip. After all, I couldn't miss the Dexter-Ann Arbor Run! My Michigan pitstop lasted from May 20 to May 31 and then I headed off for the Western two-thirds of the country.

The odometer in my 1996 Saturn SL2 read 37,000 miles when I left. Two months and 17,000 miles later I returned, having visited 48 states, two Canadian provinces, and the District of Columbia. People always ask which two states I missed. I'm always surprised by that question, because I would expect the answer to be obvious: Alaska and Hawaii. And I seriously considered Alaska.

Okay, I have something I need to vent about. Sometimes people ask how I liked my vacation. I don't go on vacation. I'm not a tourist. Don't call me a tourist. I'm a traveler. Webster's defines vacation as "a period of time devoted to pleasure, rest, or relaxation." That's not how I travel. That's not why I travel. To quote Robert Louis Stevenson: "For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move." I wish I had come up with that one.

Mandarin's American Chronicles gets its style and design elements from Mandarin's European Chronicles. That site was created in 1999 after I returned from three months in Europe. This site was started in July 2001. I used a Sony Mavica FD-7 digital camera to take pictures, many of them from a moving car through a bug-spattered windshield. That could explain why my European photos are better; I had a steady hand and time to compose them. Also, the subject matter was more, well, foreign on my first trip, and therefore probably more interesting. The original pictures were 640x480 JPEG images. I used Paint Shop Pro to resize, brighten, and rotate them. The webpage HTML was done entirely by hand using NotePad.

For my concluding remarks I will just conclude by saying that in conclusion, New York City is the best place in America. Go there.

slwill@comcast.net