U.S. Route 20

I’ve written recently about how I feel about the open road, and since today is one year since Les and I completed our longest road trip to date I decided to write about the journey.

The end of our journey in Newport, Oregon
The end of our journey in Newport, Oregon

One year ago today Les and I spent our first day as residents of Oregon, in fact we arrived at our house in Coos Bay just before midnight on July 10, 2013. On our way here we drove most of US Highway 20, the longest highway in the United States. Within a few weeks of being here we went back to where we had left U.S. 20 and finished it. So we can now say that we have traveled every mile ( 3,365 according to the Federal Highway Administration) of the longest highway in the country  from where it starts at Kenmore Square in Boston, to where it ends at the Walgreens in Newport, Oregon.

The idea to take Highway 20 from end to end started off as a way to avoid the interstates; we knew we were going to have a moving van that wouldn’t be going freeway speeds, we enjoy taking the road less traveled, and we noticed that U.S. 20 ran right past our house in NY and went almost all the way to where we were moving to in Oregon. From there it became something to do just to say that we had, so we drove to Boston and came back on Highway 20 to get that section taken care of.

But as we were driving across the country seeing all these places we’d never seen before, it became something more. It became a symbol of our achievements, one of my goals in life is to take a photo in every state and this got me a lot closer. It became something to accomplish, not just for the story, but for the feeling of really conquering the longest highway in the country.

Highway 20 let us see so much of this country we live in…

Big cities,

An intersection on U.S. 20 in Chicago
An intersection on U.S. 20 in Chicago
The view of the Prudential Tower  from east bound U.S. 20 on our way to start our journey
The view of the Prudential Tower from east bound U.S. 20 on our way to start our journey

small towns,

Ranches on Highway 20 outside of Cody, Wyoming
Ranches on Highway 20 outside of Cody, Wyoming
Royal, Nebraska, population 81
Royal, Nebraska, population 81

farmland,

The view from a rest area on Highway 20 in Illinois
The view from a rest area on Highway 20 in Illinois
Potato farm in Idaho
Potato farm in Idaho

the wonders of nature,

The sunrise on our last day of moving, as seen from U.S. 20 in Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve in Idaho
The sunrise on our last day of moving, as seen from U.S. 20 in Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve in Idaho
Not technically Highway 20, but this is the view from its equivalent inside Yellowstone National Park
Not technically Highway 20, but this is the view from its equivalent inside Yellowstone National Park

and the achievements of man.

Tunnel on U.S. 20 near Buffalo Bill Dam in Wyoming
Tunnel on U.S. 20 near Buffalo Bill Dam in Wyoming

 

Just before sunrise at a rest area on U.S. 20 near the Idaho National Labratory in Arco
Just before sunrise at a rest area on U.S. 20 near the Idaho National Labratory in Arco

One of these days I’m going to find a big U.S. Route 20 federal shield sign to hang in my house to commemorate this journey, but they’re harder to come by than you might think.

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