Maps & GPS

During my journey around the United States, I determined my routes in advance using my laptop computer and then transferred them to my Garmin Zumo 665 GPS unit. While travelling I often listened to XM/Radio and watched the weather from XM/Weather on it. These sample images show the unit in operation.


This capability permitted me to focus on riding and enjoying the scenery without needing to deal with paper maps and notes. Occasionally I deviated from the predetermined route due to construction detours or just for the fun of it.

Consequently the most accurate record of my travel was recorded by the GPS unit to its automatic tracking log, which in addition to the latitude and longitude coordinates also includes the date, time, direction and speed. The various maps that I have provided under the Additional Photos section are based mostly on these tracking logs. To create the map section, I load the relevant tracking log file into Garmin’s MapSource program and position the display to show the route as best as possible. I then make a screen shot of the map and save it as a JPEG image file on my computer.

When I started out on the journey, I had not yet considered keeping a diary or sending out travelogue updates by e-mail. Within a few days after I departed from home, several friends and relatives had convinced me to do just that. My first travelogue e-mail was sent out when I reached Escanaba, Michigan on July 7th.

Upon starting out on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, I would save each day’s photos and Garmin tracking data to my computer. Unfortunately, on the morning of Sunday, June 26th, while attending the MSTA National Rally in Johnson City, Tennessee, the hard drive in the computer suddenly malfunctioned, causing me to lose all of the accumulated photos and tracking logs to that point. I was able to repair the computer, replacing the mechanical hard drive with a totally solid-state drive, that has functioned flawlessly ever since. I also bought a 512GB portable drive for back-up storage of everything and as primary storage of the videos recorded by my ContourGPS camera.

Consequently, some of the early tracking data had to be recreated from the original route plans and may not be totally correct.

A separate map index page contains links to each available map.