Carl Reese TDA Contributor
Randal Olson, a data expert and self proclaimed geek, was more than up for the challenge of computing the optimal road trip. Tracy Staedter, of Discovery News, and Randy collaborated some ground rules for the trip.

1. There must be at least one stop in each of the 48 contiguous states.
2. Stops would fall into one of the following categories: National Natural Landmarks, National Historic Sites, National Parks or National Monuments.

Tracy came up with 50 stops and Randy got to work on devising the route with the least amount of driving. The entire trip racks up 13,699 miles and a little over 9 days of driving time.

Map by Randal Olson

Map by Randal Olson

The stops include:

1. Grand Canyon, AZ
2. Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
3. Craters of the Moon National Monument, ID
4. Yellowstone National Park, WY
5. Pikes Peak, CO
6. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
7. The Alamo, TX
8. The Platt Historic District, OK
9. Toltec Mounds, AR
10. Elvis Presley’s Graceland, TN
11. Vicksburg National Military Park, MS
12. French Quarter, New Orleans, LA
13. USS Alabama, AL
14. Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL
15. Okefenokee Swamp Park, GA
16. Fort Sumter National Monument, SC
17. Lost World Caverns, WV
18. Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center, NC
19. Mount Vernon, VA
20. White House, Washington, DC
21. Colonial Annapolis Historic District, MD
22. New Castle Historic District, Delaware
23. Cape May Historic District, NJ
24. Liberty Bell, PA
25. Statue of Liberty, NY
26. The Mark Twain House & Museum, CT
27. The Breakers, RI
28. USS Constitution, MA
29. Acadia National Park, ME
30. Mount Washington Hotel, NH
31. Shelburne Farms, VT
32. Fox Theater, Detroit, MI
33. Spring Grove Cemetery, OH
34. Mammoth Cave National Park, KY
35. West Baden Springs Hotel, IN
36. Abraham Lincoln’s Home, IL
37. Gateway Arch, MO
38. C. W. Parker Carousel Museum, KS
39. Terrace Hill Governor’s Mansion, IA
40. Taliesin, WI
41. Fort Snelling, MN
42. Ashfall Fossil Bed, NE
43. Mount Rushmore, SD
44. Fort Union Trading Post, ND
45. Glacier National Park, MT
46. Hanford Site, WA
47. Columbia River Highway, OR
48. San Francisco Cable Cars, CA
49. San Andreas Fault, CA
50. Hoover Dam, NV

Though the drive time is only 9+ days the road trip would take far longer when you take the time to enjoy each stop. The trip can be a bit more to bite off than most can chew so Randy posted a link using his algorithm for others to plug in their own stops and it formulates the most efficient route to take. In the wise words of Randy “Every major journey begins with a plan.”

 

Source: http://www.randalolson.com/2015/03/08/computing-the-optimal-road-trip-across-the-u-s/

More Info go to CarlReese.net or Facebook.com/EnduranceDriver