the best
and worst
of 200 days

"Quote of the day." -k.
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Best Day
Sailing the
Florida Keys

Best Weather:

Best Cities...
New York, NY

#2: Los Angeles, CA
#3: Santa Fe, NM
#4: Washington DC
#5: San Francisco, CA

Best National Parks...
Arches, UT

#2: Assateague, MD
#3: Sequoia, CA
#4: Mesa Verde, CO
#5: Zion, UT

Best State Parks...
Baxter, ME

#2: Valley of Fire, NV
#3: Bahia Honda, FL
#4: Oscar Scherer, FL
#5: Mt. Monadnock, NH

Best Attractions...
Spam Museum, MN

#2: Book Depository, TX
#3: St Louis Arch, MO
#4: Gobbler's Knob, PA
#5: Ball of Twine, MN

Best Meals...

   Bar Harbor, ME
#2: Little Plearn Thai
   Berkeley, CA
#3: Cajun Connection
   La Salle, IL
#4: Giordano's
   Chicago, IL
#5: Rusty Bucket
   Jaffrey, NH

Extra Bests...
Factory Tour: Ben & Jerry's
Mexican Food: Popo's, Roswell
Breakfast Cereal: Red Berries
Tourguide: Mesa Verde

That Wasn't So Bad, Was It?
We originally expected this trip to take three months, max. That's keeping it within the double digits. Well, we went a little bit past that with our final number of 200 days, but it was worth every extra night bundled up in four sleeping bags, four sleeping pads, eight pairs of socks, three pairs of pants, and six shirts.

As much as we've loved camping through this very long winter, the trip is finally over. And that means it's time for us to reflect on the best of times and the worst of times.

When you go through our best and worst lists, keep in mind that we had no control over our experiences on any given day. No one really does. It's the old "wake up on the wrong side of the bed" syndrome. There were some cities that fit our moods perfectly at the moment we entered them, while others just left a bad taste in our mouths for no apparent reason. It all depends on if you wake up feeling like Cincinnati or Santa Fe (and it's a good thing we never woke up feeling like Cincinnati, because we never went there).

Often we found that what we had looked forward to the most paled in comparison to the cities that truly surprised us with their offerings. Take the first and last days of our trip as examples. While we were very hyped up for the first day, we were even more thrilled to enter a ghost town with a near-Hollywood past (if you can consider CBS "Hollywood"). It was a great way to start the trip.

Then take the last day in Seattle. We'd been in the rain for days and both of us were sporting low-scale head colds. When faced with touring Seattle for the day, neither one of us was up for it, yet we did it "for the site" for a few hours. After that, we realized we were being ridiculous and retreated indoors. We weren't meant to enjoy Seattle that day, even though it's a charming city with a lot to offer.

Throughout the past 200 days we've tried to take each day as it's come, without letting expectations of what we thought we'd experience get in the way. If we didn't enjoy a city, that was okay. We accepted that as our experience in that city. If a day was particularly enjoyable, all the better. We took each day for what it was worth and tried to share that with you.

Here's some things we didn't share with you...

The Missing Links!
So much to do, so little time. Ideas flow out of us like bad burritos from a taco stand. Here's a few things little ideas that didn't make it into the site...

Still or Animatronic: This contest would have tested your eyeballing to determine if the mannequins in the photos were able to shake their booty or not. Perhaps we'll get the chance to play this one in Oz.

State Photos: Every state has a 'welcome' sign. Our success rate in capturing these on film was an impressive 13%. We wanted to see which of the rejects you could identify. It probably would have turned out to be only slightly less difficult than the Skyline Contest.

Find the Bruckheimer Tree: Every couple of months, we'd get the urge to start hunting down the perfect Jerry Bruckheimer tree. With our attention span, it just didn't pan out.

Engine Cook-Off: We're not the only ones camping out this winter (occassionally we'd see others) so we thought we could create some fast friends by hosting an engine cook-off. For some reason, this never took off.

best of this gong show...




we've chosen our favourite photos in this special archive...

Worst Day
North of Fargo

see the full map...

Worst Weather:

Worst Cities...
Detroit, MI

#2: Torréon, Mexico
#3: Atlanta, GA
#4: Atlantic City, NJ
#5: Custer, SD

Worst National Parks...
Buffalo River, AR

#2: Saguaro, AZ
#3: Craters of the Moon, ID
#4: Crater Lake, OR
#5: Olympic, WA

Worst State Parks...
Winter Island, MA

#2: Big Bend
#3: Kansas
#4: Answer
#5: Answer

Worst Attractions...
Nash Tracks, MA

#2: Birthplace of Kirk, IA
#3: Dr. Pepper Museum, TX
#4: Four Corners
#5: Plymouth Rock, MA

Worst Meals...

   Bar Harbor, ME
#2: Country Breakfast
   Route 65, AR
#3: Jack-in-the-Box
   Southwest USA
#4: China Buffet
#5: Answer

Extra Worsts...
Factory Tour: Crayola
Mexican Food: Taco Bell
Breakfast Cereal: Donut-O's
Tourguide: Sol, Biosphere

Your email address...

© 2002. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. The best is yet to come.