He didn't get where he is today by stealing somebody else's catchphrase.

The Plan

It's always good to have a plan. Hell, 1,500 mile road-trips don't just plan themselves - so here's mine.

I aim to go through at least three national-parks (Shenandoah, Great Smoky Mountains and Hot Springs) and across a good few states (District Of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas). I've also left about four or five days to spare - just in case anything interesting I'd not thought of comes along. Here's the map of my journey....

My visit to Hot Springs is my way of paying a small bit of homage to the Japanese trip that wasn't.

The American Automobile Association say that this journey is about 1,475 miles, but I still haven't entirely made up my mind about what I want to do between Little Rock and Dallas, so that might increase just a bit. I did plan going to Cadillac Ranch, but unfortunately, it adds about 700 miles to my trip - and there's limits on how far I'm prepared to drive. In the meantime, here's my to do list of "challenges", varying in difficulty.

1) Visit an Indian reservation.
2) Not get shot.
3) Capture a video-clip of a tumbleweed flying by. (Does that even really happen?)
4) Wear a bad cowboy hat. It's been suggested that I change hat every time I change state.
5) Go to a country bar and select something awful from the jukebox.
6) Find a bear, preferably shitting in the woods.
7) Fire a gun.
8) Eat grits, no matter how disgusting they appear to be.
9) Photograph the most obese individual I can find.
10) Attend an evangelist's church service.
11) Go to a strip-club. (Nice juxtaposition, huh? I nearly fell off my chair when my partner suggested that one)
12) Photograph an Elvis look-alike.

As you can see, my list has changed a little bit from its predecessor, but is a more realistic set of tasks to do based upon where I'm travelling through. I did try to rent a convertible for the journey, but unfortuantely, not a single car-hire company seems to have any in stock - which was a shame, but I'll try my luck again when I reach the vehicle pick-up desk.

In the meantime, if you've got any additional ideas for challenges, feel free to post a comment.
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