Pre-Departure & Day 1: NEW YORK

New York is our starting point. Our home base. The trip starts here…

D-day minus 4: The Team Assembles in New York – “Cactus Killer” and “Silly Squirrel” fly into NY-JFK airport from Paris. “Blue Coyote” meets them at the airport and they drive to “base” in Nesconset, NY. The flight will arrive late in the evening, so there is just time for a welcome drink before bed.

D-day minus 3: BBQ and Fireworks – Time for a poolside BBQ and a spectacular fireworks display as part of the team send-off…

D-day minus 2: Pre-Production – Last minute preparations, drilling tent set-up and tire changing, and perhaps time for a scenic flight of NYC and the Long Island coast… (if there is time)

D-day minus 1: Final Prep for Departure and Bon Voyage Dinner: Load the Jeep and enjoy a Bon Voyage Dinner and Drinks (but not too many, as there is an early start in the morning!)


PRACTICAL MATTERS: LET’S TAKE A ROAD TRIP (the challenges of trip planning)

It started out simple enough — the old “wouldn’t it be fun to…” kind of idle chat between two friends on a lazy summer afternoon. “Wouldn’t it be fun to take the Jeep and drive Route 66 to California…” Between us, “Cactus Killer” and I had done an awful lot of traveling over the years. And even after “Silly Squirrel” was born, we continued to travel around, introducing him to the magic of the road from an early age. So why not take on Route 66? … [ read more ]

REFLECTIONS & OTHER THINGS: READY, SET, GO! (anticipation and final preparations)

A few days before departure I finally started to get a bit “excited” about the trip. I know that sounds strange, as we had been planning for months! But maybe because we HAD been planning for months, “working on the trip plans” became almost “routine,” and I didn’t allow myself the luxury of getting really excited about it until now. We were pretty well prepared for departure with a solid and detailed “roadmap.” Actually we had lots and lots of road maps … [ read more ]

NOTES FROM THE ROAD: NEW YORK, A STARTING POINT… (about New York and our departure)

Long Island, New York–halfway between the Hamptons beaches and Manhattan skyscrapers, out here among the strip malls and cookie cutter houses of suburbia, the adventure begins. With the team gathered, we can focus on our final preparations for the journey. We still haven’t quite figured out how to fit everything for 6 weeks into the back of one jeep, but we are almost there–going over our lists one last time, trying to sort out what we really “need” from what we can do without! We hope to be able to take time out to go to some of our favorite New York places … [ read more ]

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: PORTFOLIO: NEW YORK (images from NYC, Long Island and the team’s send-off)

Our cross-country adventure left the East Coast from Long Island, NY, just 55 miles east of New York City. On this first step of our journey, we said “good-bye” to Manhattan’s familiar canyons of concrete and steel and to the rural beauty of Long Island’s East End. This portfolio includes a selection of imagery from the city, the island, and the team’s pre-departure celebration–including some fun aerial shots, and the big-bang bon voyage send-off … [ read more ]


With freedom comes responsibility… And I have the great responsibility of getting us all there and back again safely. Which is exactly what brought me to the Jeep dealership the other day. We need to make sure our vehicle can withstand the grueling workout it is going to get. Our greatest concern is the extreme conditions of Death Valley in August where it can get as high as 130 degrees farenheit! Our Jeep becomes more than just a mode of transport out there. It becomes a critical tool for survival … [ read more ]


We have been going tent camping for years, but never for more than a few days at a time, and as soon as it rained more heavily than a “sprinkle” we’d always bee-line it for the nearest motel. This time it would be different. After outlining our basic itinerary, it became clear that we would be camping out for between 21 and 28 days. And the campsites would vary from large, well-equipped campgrounds to truly remote, primitive backcountry locations with zero facilities … [ read more ]

Connetquot River State Park, on Long Island, for leisurely hikes in the woods and plenty of deer…
Short Beach, on the Long Island sound, for pleasant walks along the shore in the off-season….
Ellis Island, because it is a cool museum about immigration and the quest for the American Dream…
The High Line, one of NYC’s newest parks, on the old abandoned elevated train tracks…
Heritage Flight Academy, for aircraft rental and flight training at Islip MacArthur Airport (ISP)…
Smithhaven Jeep, for their excellent service department…
Tavern on Jane, just because it is a fun neighborhood bar and restaurant…