2015 Cross Country TripUnited States

Why make a cross continent road trip?

Earlier this year I decided to take a cross continent trip, by car.  Starting on June 6, 2015 with a ferry ride from New London, Connecticut to Orient Point, Long Island, I will be driving across the continent.  The trip will consist of primarily backroads, and cover about 12,000 miles over 55 days.  The question I most frequently get is, why?  Here are the answers.

One of the primary reasons is, because I can.  It’s cliché, and evocative of George Malloy’s answer to why he wanted to climb Mount Everest.  Mallory’s answer was, “because it’s there.”  While it may be cliché it is the truth.  I have been blessed to work in a profession, at this stage in my life, where my “office” is anywhere in the world with an internet connection.  I can write and research literally from almost anywhere in the world.  This freedom, and wondering how long it will last, is one of the major reasons for crossing off this bucket list item.

It is my goal to prove that America is still the “Shining City on A Hill” and while it is “always darkest before the dawn;” the dawn is just beyond the horizon.

Another major reason is because it is a better use of resources than some of the other things, in this fast pace culture I could be spending money on.  The impetus for this trip was a particularly bad three hours at a casino in Connecticut.  After dropping a significant amount of money, the amount isn’t really important, I realized that the amount I squandered could pay for a significant amount of the gas necessary for a cross continent trip.

In planning the trip, a decision was made to only traverse back roads, where it is safe to do so (not across the desert).  The reason for this, is you can’t really see the country on interstates.  What you see is a series of exits, and tall signs with the logos of national chains.  You don’t see the real America, and you certainly can’t stop and talk to the people who live in the places you’d be visiting.

Once that decision was made, a more rewarding reason for the trip came into focus.  But let me step back a moment.  In my roles with Red Mass Group (a Massachusetts Conservative Blog) and Conservative Review, I attended the Conservative Political Action Conference this year.  At that conference, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) gave the opening keynote speech.  In that speech he implored the conservatives present to look at the candidates who would be gracing the stage through the prism of a principled, proven, and most of all positive leader.

Too often, conservatives – like myself – look at the world through a negative prism.  We focus on what is wrong with the current state of the country, and not what is right.  Granted it isn’t just conservatives that do this but ideologue progressives as well.  In doing so we often gloss over what is right with the nation.  The news media falls into the same trap.  Focusing on the negative stories.  On this trip, I’m aiming to change my behavior.

Over the course of two months, it is my plan to talk to people, and find out what is working.  Granted I’ll find stories of despair, but I hope that they will be the opening chapter to a story of hope.  As I travel the continent – both the US and Western Canada – it is my goal, and my hope to find stories of hope across the land.  Stories which show that the spirit of American Exceptionalism that sets us apart from other nations are still part of the fabric of our everyday lives.

It is my goal to prove that America is still the “Shining City on A Hill” and while it is “always darkest before the dawn;” the dawn is just beyond the horizon.

This project is also the reason, that in addition to my writing at Red Mass Group and Conservative Review, I’ve started RobEno.com.  Primarily to document this trip, and these stories, in many different forms of media: written, video, photographic, and audio.   It is my hope that you will follow me on this journey and share the project with your friend, family, and even enemies.

To stay connected with the trip remember to follow my Twitter Account @robeno, and sign up for my email list when it becomes available.   More importantly, if you know of anyone I should meet, say so in the comments. I’ll reach out to connect.

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  1. DickHowe
    May 25, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Best of luck on your journey and thanks for sharing your reasons for doing so. Many of us would do the same if circumstances permitted so post lots of pictures since we’ll be traveling vicariously through you. And thanks for perpetuating that great Lowell tradition of going On The Road.

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