If you’re on social media at all, you’ve likely seen the Men’s Journal post on Facebook promoting the “Ultimate Road Trip” around the United States, determined by data scientists. The problem is that it stinks. Just in time for summer, CJ Pony Parts has come up with seven road trips that aren’t about mileage, but about the journey.
The for the data scientists in the Men’s Journal piece, the key was hitting every single state, in the least miles possible. “You’ll hit the biggest landmarks in all 48 states on a course that’s absolutely as efficient as possible,” the post says.
What that means is that everything you’re going to see is going to be off a major highway, which is terrific if all you want to see is every Applebees and Walmart in America. If you’re actually interested in seeing the country, we’d suggest doing something other than racing across 14,000 miles of interstate.
That’s what’s so enticing about the trips from CJ Pony Parts. They’re largely focused on America’s Blue Highways, where you’ll find something other than massive retail chains. I’ve done a good chunk of the Loneliest Road — Highway 50 — between Denver and San Francisco, and it was the most memorable road trip I’ve ever had.
The balance of the trips are roads you may have heard of, but haven’t investigated: The Oregon Trail, the Atlantic Coast, the Blues Highway, Route 66, the Pacific Coast, the Great River Road.
Even if you can only manage a short stretch on these roads, they’ll teach you a lot more about America than any interstate ever will.
There’s a larger edition of the infographic at CJ Pony Parts’ website.