Road trip planning

Every year, me and my buddies go on a road trip. The rules in the past have been simple: we drive as much as possible, we sleep as little as possible, and we drive for at least a 3 or 4 day weekend. Oh, and it’s almost always in late August or early September, due to school (not me, but my buddies).

Year before last, our goal was Mt. Rushmore, and we also managed to work in the South Dakota Badlands, Devil’s Tower, get very near the Geographic Center of the United States (there are rattlesnakes at the ACTUAL center!), and we covered something like 3700 miles.

Last year we only covered 3000 miles or so, and went to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and came back through the Canadian Rocky Mountains. So beautiful.

This year, for some reason, the rules aren’t enough. We want more. So an idea was kicked around, to wit: we drive somewhere far away, run a 5K race, and then turn around and come back (there was also the “eat some pie” idea but I’ll save that for another post). I think the running idea came up because I’m now running; my friends have been running for years.

So I was doing some research last night and found a couple of cool races that fit in the criteria.

Oh, and also, I have a secondary plan. Our previous two road trips have been across the US and into Canada. Wouldn’t the next logical place to visit be Mexico? I call this “completing the NAFTA trifecta”. I’m still trying to convince my buddies that it’s a good idea.

First up I found Cloudcroft, New Mexico. There’s a 10K race there on September 19 that’s billed as “the highest 10K in the world!” Cloudcroft, you see, is around 9000′ above sea level, up in the mountains. Just imagine: late summer, no oxygen, sleep-deprivation from the nearly 1800-mile drive from Portland, and then running a 10K? We would so earn that t-shirt. Y’know, if we didn’t die.

Second, I found an 8K in El Paso, Texas. The coolio-est part of this race is that it’s at night, which, if you think about it, is really the only way they could run a race in Texas in late summer. This one is on September 26.

Both of these places are within 50-60 miles of each other, but in the moutains. Cloudcroft is near places like Roswell, NM, or Carlsbad (where the caves are), and El Paso is near the Mexican border, which means it would be a simple matter to cross over and complete the trifecta.

I haven’t heard back from my buddies yet but I’m hoping they like these ideas…