Before setting out on this excursion, I made a fairly detailed plan - where I would sleep each night, how many miles I would ride and on which roads, and a list of possible things to do in each city.
Then I proceeded to ignore the plan almost completely. The only things that stayed the same were the people I was visiting and the states through which I drove. The atlas was an infinitely better resource than a stack of printed Google Maps, even when it occasionally directed me to a campsite that seemed not to exist.
It turned out my endurance was better than I had anticipated, so even after leaving three days late, I caught up to the plan by the time I reached Colorado. Here are the final mileage calcuations for each day, and the total trip.
Day 1: Home to the Catskills, NY (114 miles)
Day 2: to Pittsburgh, PA (428 miles)
Day 3: to Indian Lake State Park, Avondale, OH (273 miles)
Day 4: to Kankakee River State Park, Bourbonnais, IL (316 miles)
Day 5: to Cedar Rapids, IA (313 miles)
Day 6: to Pammel State Park, Winterset, IA (226 miles)
Day 7: to Holdrege, NE (353 miles)
Day 8: to Littleton, CO (377 miles)
Day 9: around Boulder, CO (125 miles)
Day 10: to Pine, CO (38 miles)
Day 11: around Pine and Denver, CO (92 miles)
Day 12: to Rocky Mountain State Park (223 miles)
Day 13: to Conejos, CO (298 miles)
Day 14: to Las Vegas, NM (218 miles)
Day 15: to Sterling City, TX (620 miles)
Day 16: to Austin, TX (270 miles)
Day 17-18: 0 bike miles
Day 19: to Tyler, TX (334 miles)
Day 20: to Winnfield, LA (210 miles)
Day 21: to Marathon Lake State Park, Forest, MS (315 miles)
Day 22: to Piney Grove Campground, New Site, MS (272 miles)
Day 23: to Nashville, TN (190 miles)
Day 24: to Morehead, KY (309 miles)
Day 25: to Pittsburgh, PA (351 miles)
Day 26: 0 bike miles
Day 27: to Salt Springs State Park, Montrose, PA (363 miles)
Day 28: to home (243 miles)
Grand Total: 6,871 miles in 25 riding days, for a daily average of 275 miles.
Why an atlas and not a GPS? Firstly, because many, many places along my route lacked cell reception. And secondly, because of this:
It knew where Planet Fitness was. It dropped me in the middle of that mobile home park in the bottom right corner and told me I had arrived at my destination. What?
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