กก

4th. Round Trip Crossing U. S. A. by Car.

We are attempting 4th. Round Trip crossing U.S.A. by car 
leaving home on 6/9 and returning home on 6/29 (3 weeks).


The 1st. round trip crossing U.S.A. was in 1975, driving 11,200 miles around U. S. A. when we were very young and less than 2 years since we moved to the U. S. A. from Korea.

The 2nd. crossing was not really full crossing but the round trip from Fremont to Columbus, Ohio only, driving about 5,000 miles in the year of 2000, 25 years later, after I had retired only 2 years ago. We didn't tell Seong-Koo we would be driving to Columbus in advance and they naturally thought we would fly. Passing by the Columbus airport, we called them and told them we would arrive soon, still not mentioning we drove all the way. It was really a surprise to them when they saw my own car at the front of their home, not a rent car. It was really a fun.

The 3rd. round trip driving around the continent was the last year crossing Canada and U. S. A. driving 9,261 miles in 4.5 weeks, 8 years later.

This time, as the 4th. round trip, it is expected to be about 7,500 miles of driving for 3 weeks to attend the wedding of Abe Cho, the son of Jane's sister Young-Hyuk in Ashburn, Virginia, the outskirt of Washington DC. The wedding will take place in a small town called Gloucester, very close to Boston along the Atlantic Ocean on 6/20, Sunday. However, we combined a few more activities to this trip making it about 3 weeks trip.



On the way to Ashburn, we will stop by the Columbus, Ohio for one night  to see Seong-Koo and spend a few days in Ashburn before we travel to Boston. Here, Bo-Hyuk, the younger brother of Jane, will fly from Korea arriving Ashburn on 6/11 and join us to travel together all the way back to San Jose before he return to Korea from San Francisco airport on 7/7/09.

On the way to Boston from Ashburn on 6/18, we will stay one night in New Jersey and meet my cousins, Dong-Ik and Dong-Wook brothers, there. After the wedding, we will separate from Yo-Yoon/Young-Hyuk, see Do-Hyuk, the cousin of Jane, in New Jersey and head for San Jose to return home with Bo-Hyuk together. We will take shortest route to home mostly, but will make some detour to Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park for Bo-Hyuk. 

This is our trip plan this time and we expect about 7,500 miles or 12,000Km of driving for about 120 net hours to drive.

As there are not many people who have crossed U. S. A. even once in whole life time, crossing continent 8 times (4 round trips) would look like crazy perhaps and I myself agree it is crazy idea to do. However, I have my own good reason to do this crazy driving.

First of all, I love driving. Strangely enough, driving does not make me tired while most of people say driving makes them very tired. Even I was sleepy, once I take a wheel, the sleepiness is gone and I have never been sleepy while I was driving.

The second. I think I am very liberal guy and I don't want to be controlled. I don't want my trip schedule is controlled by airline schedule. If I take airplane, I have to go to airport very early in the morning or arrive too late in the evening many times which I hate. If I drive, I can leave any time I want in the morning and stop the driving of the day any time I want, go to a hotel and take a rest. 

Besides, I have to wait 1-2 hours in airport to board the plane every time, while I don't wait at all to drive. My car is always waiting for me at right outside of the home or motel, ready to start the day always. 

Once you set the schedule and purchase a ticket, changing the plan is a big problem, when you fly. You have to pay quite a penalty many cases or right flight you want might be already fully booked and you have no choice but to select a flight you don't want sometimes. If you drive, no hassle. You have total freedom to change the plan any time to anywhere you want.

In addition, you have to check-in and load many baggage and golf bags for every trip and have to pack them well to give to airline, while you don't need to pack them, just put them in the car trunk and drive away, if you drive. How easy to drive compared to airplane trip? 

Also, if you fly by airplane, you have to rent a car at the destination wasting additional time to rent a car and return it at the end of the trip. If you drive, no need to rent a car. Your car is always there waiting for you.

There is one more to add these days. Much poorer airline services than before and much tighter airport security make airplane trip worse and worse. Also, what if airline delayed your flight for many hours or cancelled your flight by various reasons? Especially when you are hundreds or thousands miles away from home? There is no this kind of problem if you drive.

During flight, even it is short flight, all you see is blue sky and  white clouds with possible turbulences, and it looks like airplane is flying so slow. If you drive, the scenery around is continuously changed and it is fun to watch all this scenery on the way. (You also learn a lot during the drive.) The pilot always says "Enjoy the flight" but I have never enjoyed any flight, while I took so many flights in my life.

The only advantage of airplane is short time compared to driving. Sure, when you are busy, you have to take airplane which I do too. However, I am retired now and there are plenty of time, actually too much to kill.

And there is one more reason for me. I can smoke any time I want if I drive my car, while I am not allowed to smoke for more than 7-8 hours to cross U. S. A. including airport waiting time, if I have to fly, which is very painful for me.

As the conclusion, I have all freedom, flexibility and fun if I drive, but there are too many restrictions, possible problems and unpleasant time to fly. This is why I would rather drive than to take a airplane, unless I am really urgent.

These are just my justifications to drive rather than fly, though I know most of the people will disagree, especially if they hate driving. Well, if you prefer to fly, you will fly. I will drive and attempt 9th., 10th. or more crossing trips of 
U. S. A. by car in the future perhaps. 

================================================================

Please click arrow below to see the trip story.

กก