How many roundtrips have I made in a vehicle across country?
1.) 27-28 yr.s old. Boston-TransCanada highway all the way across and up the Rockeys from Banff to Jasper to Prince Edwards Island, where I caught a ferry for Juneau, then another to Haines, then drove the Alcan (when it was unpaved) all the back down to Edmonton, from where I dropped down into Montana (with a stop at Glacier National Park, where I saw 'my bear'), then veered west for Seattle, and dawdled down the coast (including the Lost part in Northern Cal) all the way to San Diego, then up Vegas and the Grand Canyon and finally Salt Lake City (you see the up-and-down-ness of this trip?), from where I struck out back across the Rockies to Denver and then shot south through Kansas to see a friend in Manhattan (hi Susan!), after which I hied back to Boston by what-route I don't recall. Three weeks later, I packed up my life in Boston (goodbye grad school Philosophy! Ptui!)
2.) 28 yr.s old drove the 'northern route' from Boston to Seattle. Wyoming in winter was an eye opener. Four years later, my second wife and I drove first from Portland to Missoula, where we stopped for a couple of years, then finished up by reaching NYC.
3.) 37 +/- yr.s old Post-divorce. Motorcycled from NYC to Key West and back twice over a two year period (this is going across country the 'short way' and from Savannah, Ga to Taos, New Mexico and back, which is 2/3 the long way.
4.) 38 +/- yr.s old Motorcycle from NYC to Portland, going more southerly (through St. Louis and Lawrence, Ka on the way out--hi Susan!--and coming back east as northerly as I could, riding the high line through much of northernmost Montana, which was lonely and wonderful. I was fat then. Old friends looked at me as if sad about something. I never knew what.
5.) 40 yr.s old Savannah, Ga to Portland, OR in October, 2001. I'm now completing the leg back. The first leg back was Portland to Houston in July, 2007, when I was 47. Now I'm heading for Philadelphia. People tell me I look wonderful (thanks Beth!)
I haven't counted a ton of long distance driving in which I merely meandered through the northwest, by both car and motorcycle.
If I get the gig I'm hoping for this spring in Portland, I may well make the drive from Philly to PDX and back, because I have belongs in storage that should be hauled in.
I've done my spirit quests.
(And I haven't even yet told you about the ten months living in a crumbling A Frame house on a nearly deserted beach on Great Exuma, or about living on and learning to sail a 32 sloop for eight months all over the Bahamas--hitchhiking through Israel and backpacking Egypt were nothing in comparison to that.)