Escape from NY: The Great 2010 Roadtrip

On July 9th, 2010, my girlfriend and I set out from New York City on a cross-country roadtrip. Our plan was simply to get as far west as we could, avoiding the Interstates at all costs.


Twenty days and 8,000 miles later, we returned to New York City, having driven through 20 states in total. I kept a photo journal of our travels on Scouting NY – click on a portion of our route on the map to link to that particular post, or scroll down for a more detailed index.

Escape From New York: The Great 2010 Roadtrip!

Day 1: Packing, traffic, and boring Interstate travel make for a necessarily uninteresting first day


Ohio to Indiana: The beautiful Main Street USA town of Aurora, Indiana


Indiana to Illinois: Following the Ohio River; Madison, Indiana; the incredible West Baden Springs Hotel


Illinois to Missouri: Small towns frozen in time

Missouri: The arch; haunted hotel; Forgotten industry; The flooding Mississippi; a nuclear waste Superfund site; farmland; and awesome barbecue


Missouri into Kansas: Historic Westport; the first mall in America; the hamburger mobile; Baldwin City


Kansas: Scranton, Osage City, and other time-forgotten towns; halfway point between New York and San Francisco


Kansas to Colorado: Dodge City cowboys; remnants of the Santa Fe trail; dangerous driving on Pike’s Peak; and the best arcade in the US, in Manitou Springs, CO


Colorado: Garden of the Gods; Cripple Creek; an amazing whorehouse; Phantom Canyon Road; swimming in the Arkansas; the Million Dollar Highway


Colorado to Utah: The Mesa Verde cliff dwellings; disappointment at Monument Valley; a town named after a sombrero; and lots of amazing rocks


Utah: The Hole ‘n’ the Rock house; Arches National Monument; dinosaur fossils; and the forgotten town of Helper


Utah to Nevada: Salt Lake City; touching the Great Salt Lake; a cursed resort; the ghost town of Eureka; and our first flat tire.


Nevada to Arizona: Las Vegas; the Hoover Dam; a strange little town called Chloride; and the oddest cemetery in the USA?


Arizona: Route 66; lots of cacti; Phoenix sprawl; and the mysterious Thing?!!


Arizona to New Mexico: Missiles in Tucson; cowboys in Tombstone; Boot Hill Cemetery; the incredible Bird Cage Theatre; tarantulas crossing the road; and violent nighttime storms


New Mexico to Texas: White Sands National Monument; rockets and space apes; the Orla ghost town

Louisiana: New Orleans night walks; beautiful balconies; Cafe Du Monde; the Corn Stalk Hotel; voodoo at the St. Louis cemetery; a gator-filled swamp tour; the Garden District.


Louisiana to Tennessee: Chemical Corridor; Oak Alley Plantation; exploring Memphis; and Graceland


Tennessee to New York: The Great Smoky Mountains, The Biltmore Mansion and a last stop in Washington D.C.


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  1. Thanks for letting us tag along! It’s been great.

  2. Oh, bless you for this, Scout! It will make planning my own road trip in 2012 so much easier–just a single bookmark…thanks!

  3. Great photos and thoughtful narrative, a great adventure for us too.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. I was a little depressed when you first announced your roadtrip, because I knew that meant a couple of weeks with no fun new NYC posts. Gotta say, though, I absolutely loved every road trip entry. Thanks for letting us tag along.

  5. Great set of posts. loved everyone especially the Superfund site with your hair standing on end. When you going to do the north part of the country?

  6. Great blog post; I loved that I got to see highlights from 20 states without leaving my office. I know you couldn’t have included photos from every stop but I was thrilled to see West baden Springs Hotel made the list.

    Being the PR Manager, I am just a wee bit partial but West Baden would make an incredible location for a shoot. Thanks for helping to spread the message.

  7. I’ve been checking this blog daily to see how your road trip is going, and I’ve got to say how jealous I am of your trip. My Dad and I are planning a trip from Vermont to Texas next summer and can’t wait to avoid the highway, you’ve inspired me. thanks

  8. I really want to see the St. Louis Arch one day, and I like the Great Oak Plantation. Reminds me of Literary Walk in Central Park : )

  9. It was great to be able to “ride shotgun” with you guys – definitely inspired our adventure we’re planning for next summer!

  10. As Karen said, “Just a single bookmark”! I definitely plan to retrace a bunch of your footsteps in the not too distant future. Oh, and I’ll keep coming back for the awesome NYC locations! Great job, Scout. I hope you get many new sponsors and zillions more followers.

  11. I just want to say thank you so much for taking this journey and for taking us along with you. I was absolutely riveted by the entire thing and couldn’t wait to get each day’s update. I’m currently on assignment in Hong Kong and Sydney–my first time ever outside of the US! And reading your journey made me feel a heck of a lot less homesick… while also really appreciating the joy of the journey.

    Thank you!

  12. Scout, great!
    Admire you so much.
    to travel a lot around is my best dream now.
    Wish I can have such kind of travel also in the future.

  13. This trip is very much like the one I have always dreamed of doing. Now you have done it, maybe I will be inspired. Ahhh, no girlfriend currently, though I have a couple of nice dogs who would love to go with. My Mom and a friend did it in reverse, California to NYC, in 1951, camping in fields and parks along the way. I wish I could ask her the route they took!

  14. Shame that these posts are not marked on the “Archives/Map”.