36 Lessons Learned On A 90-Day, 48-State Road Trip

September 12, 2014

This summer, Chris Strub quit his job to take a wild, 90-day, 48-state, 15,484-mile solo road trip. Here are 35 lessons he learned:

 

1) The best cheeseburger in the country can be found in downtown Milwaukee, at AJ Bombers.

2) Baseball fans in Fargo never scream at umpires during Red Hawks games ... even if they deserve it.

3) If three girls at a bar in Wrigleyville, Chicago, ask if you want to go on a boat -- GO.

4) Downtown Portland, Oregon, has an awesome, diverse selection of awesome local beers.

5) It never rains in Oakland. Ever. Ever.

6) Tinder is the greatest iPhone app of all time. (No explanation necessary.)

7) There is nothing -- NOTHING -- like seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time.

8) When trying to navigate the traffic hell that is downtown Houston, not even Waze can save you.

9) Cat’s Meow Karaoke Bar on Bourbon Street only has two Britney Spears songs to pick from.

10) Heading southbound in California, If you have a choice between the 1 and the 101, always take the 1, or you’ll regret it later.

11) Hooters in Bloomington, Ill., has Guitar Hero, and Shannon is very, very good at it.

12) ​Never trust a hotel’s guest laundry machine.

13) Hash House A Go-Go in Las Vegas is absolutely worth the wait.

13a) Saving money with a hotel off of the strip seems like a good idea, but it’s not. Spend the extra to stay on the strip, and save yourself the cab rides. (There’s no Uber/Lyft!)

14) The larger-than-life television screen at AT&T Stadium (take a video tour with me!) has its own elevator INSIDE.

15) Hostels are an inexpensive, awesome way to travel without busting your budget …

15a) … but sometimes, you get what you pay for.

16) Almost every continental breakfast in the south offers biscuits and gravy.

17) The worst baseball stadium food in the country might just be in center field at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

18) The best baseball stadium food in the country might just be the cantina tacos at Safeco Field in Seattle. (See video!)

19) If you visit the Liberty Bell and there’s a line out the door, stand in it. It moves very quickly and it's totally worth the wait.

20) When planning a 48-state road trip with the itinerary printed on the back of your t-shirt, don't forget about Rhode Island.

21a) Actually, Rhode Island really wasn’t too bad after all.

22) Invest in a GoPro. It’s unbelievably worth it.

22) If you take a guided tour of Beauvoir -- the retirement home of Jefferson Davis -- ask if you can sit up front during the horse-drawn carriage portion ...

22a) ... then go down the road to Shaggy's and order the crab cakes.

23) No cross-country trip on Route 80 is complete without a stop at the Cozy Inn in Salina, Kansas.

24) People everywhere are really nice, but it’s hard to top the good folks of Wisconsin.

25) For all the crap it gets, there’s really a lot to like about Cleveland.

26) The best beer in the country? Heady Topper, out of Burlington, Vermont.

27) Presidential birthplaces are super cool, quick tastes of American history.

28) Junkman’s Daughter in Atlanta is a true hipster’s paradise.

29) Yes, altitude makes running a half marathon way, way, way harder.

30) If you find the real-life Los Pollos Hermanos (Twisters in Albuquerque), for the love of god, make sure you order the green chile on the side.

30a) If you do the Breaking Bad tour, skip Rio Rancho High School (Walt’s school) -- it’s way out of the way and there’s nothing photogenic about the exterior.

31) I still have no idea what’s so great about Waffle House.

32) Great American Ballpark might be the best stadium in the U.S.

33) Jack Kerouac’s favorite bar, Vesuvio’s in North Beach, Cali., does not serve food. If you ask for a menu, they will laugh (politely) at you.

34) Pulling off for a picture with every “Welcome To" state sign sounds like a really great idea, but in reality it can be super dangerous. States in the northwest are the easiest -- some even have clear pull-off areas.

35) If you have a dream, and put your mind to it, you can do anything.

36) America is the greatest country in the world …

36a) … but there’s no place like home.

 

-- Check out Chris on Instagram to see photos from all 48 states --

 

-- Buy the official #TeamStrub t-shirt and help Chris get back out on the road --

 

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