When I first set out on The CSA Cookbook Road Trip, everyone told me it was a “once-in-a-lifetime experience.” And while I knew what they meant, in a way it was almost a little sad to think I might never do something bigger or better than this book tour. I certainly hope it won’t be once in my lifetime! I would love to do a cross-country adventure again at some point down the line… perhaps in another country? Perhaps even longer next time?
Neither of us really knew what we were getting into when we took off in May. The last time I’d driven cross-country was in 2001, when my then-boyfriend and I moved from New York to California. Will did a similar trip with his then-girlfriend in reverse, California to New York, but since then and since we’ve been together, our longest drives would only cross two or three states at most.
We had no idea how we’d feel about spending seven weeks on the road and logging tens of thousands of miles behind the wheel. We thought we’d be done with driving for a while once July rolled around… after sitting for so long, in a confined space, going from Point A to B to C to D to E, day after day.
But you know what? We loved every. single. moment. and didn’t want the trip to end. The pace was a little faster than we would’ve liked, but we were able to see and do meaningful things in most of the states we passed through. (Steering clear of the interstates played a big part in that.) Will felt like he could’ve driven back across the country again after we touched the California coast on our fortieth day!
And we realized that a lot of it had to do with the vehicle we were driving. Kia generously outfitted my book tour with their Sedona EX, and it was simply a dream to drive across the country. We really put it through the wringer, from the slick and flooded highways of Central Texas to the steep and twisty two-lane road of Shelter Cove. Whatever weather and road condition we were faced with, the Sedona was smooth as butter. In fact, we love it so much as an adventuremobile that a full and separate review will be posted shortly.
In the meantime, here are a few fun facts from our coast-to-coast road trip. I’m already thinking about the next itinerary!
Total Time on the Road: 48 days
Total Miles Driven: 11,270
Total Miles Skateboarded: 8
Average Mileage Per Gallon: 24 highway, 18 city
Cheapest Gas: $2.39 for regular (Evant, Texas)
Most Expensive Gas: $3.59 for regular (Eureka, California)
Number of Countries Visited: 2 (United States and Canada)
Number of States Visited: 35 US states, 1 US federal district, 1 Canadian province
Number of Car Ferries Taken: 3 (Puget Sound, Riu Saint Clair, Lake Champlain)
Number of National Parks Visited: 5 (Arches National Park in Utah, National Mall and Memorial Parks in DC, Badlands National Park in South Dakota, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Olympic National Park in Washington)
Number of National Parkways Visited: 2 (Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi, Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia)
Northernmost Point Visited: Sandpoint, Idaho
Easternmost Point Visited: Chatham, Massachusetts
Southernmost Point Visited: Houston, Texas
Westernmost Point Visited: Port Orford, Oregon (which is also the westernmost incorporated place in the contiguous 48 states)
Lowest Elevation: Sea level (Washington, Oregon, California, and Massachusetts coastlines)
Highest Elevation: 10,622 feet (Vail Pass, Colorado)
I have to chuckle about the cost of gas in California. After paying less than $3.00 per gallon for thousands of miles, we were welcomed home with sticker shock once we crossed the California border. As of this writing, the price has actually jumped to over $4.50 for regular, at least in Los Angeles. Needless to say, we haven’t taken any road trips since we’ve been back!
This post is brought to you by Kia Motors USA. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that support Garden Betty.