Hey friends! I’m SO EXCITED to be sharing our 50 State Sign Challenge Part 3 with you today! To get caught up, check out Part 1 & Part 2! My fiancé, Trevor, will be taking over today to talk to you about our recent road trip out to Clearwater Beach and New Orleans, where we took the long way to and from Wisconsin in order to get 9 more states!
Hello all! Chelsea’s picture-taking, future Instagram-husband here. I’m taking over today because Chelsea has been asking me to do a guest post for a while now. My idea of good fashion is a plain colored t-shirt and old jeans….so Chelsea recommended that I stay away from the fashion posts and stick to what I’m good at…a travel post.
We decided to tackle our road trip through the southern states during the middle of winter, when Wisconsin can see wind chills hit 50 degrees below zero. We decided on Clearwater Beach as the final destination for our trip (where we would meet up with friends), with a stop in New Orleans along the way. I had previous road trips through the south, but Chels had not, so I was excited for her to experience this region of the country.
Our first day started out with about 12 hours of driving, ending with an overnight stay in West Memphis, Arkansas. There was some major flooding this region of the country during January, and our planned Kentucky sign stop was on a road which was closed due to the flooding. We had to make our own detour in order to get the Kentucky sign, as well as the Tennessee sign. After a night of dining on cheap Chinese food in a cheap hotel room, we were ready for a day of driving to New Orleans.
We try to stay off interstates as much as possible (two lane highways are the real way to see America), but in order to cover so many miles in one week, we had to use interstates for most of this trip. We acquired the Mississippi sign with ease, and ventured down to Louisiana. Louisiana began a 3 state streak (Alabama and Florida as well), in which road construction completely blocked us from the signs. We were forced to get out the maps and figure out some alternative routes to other signs. I enjoyed this because it gave us an excuse to get off the freeway and explore a little bit.
After 5 nights, tons of food, and a lot of drinks in Clearwater, we were on our way back north. Georgia was state number 4 in the streak of signs that were taken away by road construction, so we had to venture on to an old state highway, where we found a beautiful welcome sign peppered with bullet holes. While Chelsea was thinking of Deliverance, I was brought back to the stupid crap I did when I was younger. I wish I had the opportunity to enjoy some beers with the fine people in southern Georgia.
South Carolina and North Carolina were the last two states we needed to hit in order to get every state east of the Mississippi River. Neither of us had ever been to the Carolinas, and we were both looking forward driving through them. We were not disappointed. We found the welcome signs with ease, and took in the beauty these states have to offer. I love Wisconsin, but I could easily see myself living in either of the Carolinas.
Overall, our trip was a huge success. This region of the country never fails to impress me. Southern Hospitality is real, and the people down south make me want to keep going back. After returning home from this trip, I began planning for our next trip out west. It began to sink in that we are only 6 state signs away from hitting all of the lower 48. At the end of this summer, we will be heading out towards west coast, and will be checking off Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada from our list. Right now I hope to make it a two week trip, with at least 7 National Park stops, as well as stops in Seattle, San Fransisco, and Las Vegas. I can already feel myself holding the camera and taking pictures for Chelsea’s blog posts…I’m sure she won’t disappoint!
Until next time,
Catch up on our travels!
50 State Sign Challenge: Part 1
50 State Sign Challenge: Part 2
Be sure to follow me on Instagram to get my exclusive travel tips and tricks!