What's Your Longest Drive?

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The road trip is a staple of American culture, inspiring films, books, and even albums. At some point in our lives, most of us will pack our belongings in the trunk and head off on a new adventure via road. The last time I took a major road trip was in 2000, when I traveled from Charleston, WV to Portland, OR -- a journey that Google Maps now tells me is 2,548 miles, or about 1 day, 13 hours straight through. (I took five days to do it, as I'm a wimp.) In those days I didn't have Google Maps to guide me through it -- I got a TripTik® from AAA and flipped its pages across the country.

Blogger Alan Taylor has taken it upon himself to discover the longest drives you can chart on Google Maps. The list is amazing, currently topping out with North America, Unalaska, AK, USA to Southern Newfoundland, Canada (pictured at right). That's a journey of 7,267 miles, or about 6 days, 15 hours. Some of the trips aren't road-only -- for example the Australia - Cape Bruny, Tasmania to Mardie, Western Australia trek involves getting on a Car Ferry for 3 km.

Historical note: in early 2007, Google Maps suggested that you swim the Atlantic (3,463 miles) if you plotted certain paths between the U.S. and the U.K. -- apparently as a tribute to Benoît Lecomte, the first man to complete the feat (sans kick-board) in 1998. Unfortunately the swim-the-Atlantic feature is now disabled, so you're going to have to accept "Can't get there from here" as a response for some transcontinental voyages.

So this leads me ask: what's the longest road trip you've taken? Bonus points for crazy stories about the van breaking down, "are we there yet" jokes, and stories of woe involving gas station restrooms.

(Via Anarchaia.)

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May 5, 2008 - 11:16am
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