Today, I have three Fun Doug Facts for you. Fun Doug Fact No. 1: I’ve been to 44 U.S. states. Fun Doug Fact No. 2: I have a family event next week in California, on the other side of the country from where I live. And Fun Doug Fact No. 3: I have an Aston Martin with an unlimited-mileage, bumper-to-bumper warranty. See the used Aston Martin V8 Vantage models for sale near you
You can probably see where I’m going with this.
In case you can’t, allow me to connect the dots. On Friday, September 9, I will be leaving to drive across the country in my unlimited-mileage, bumper-to-bumper warranty-covered Aston Martin so I can a) attend the family event in California and b) visit the last few states I’ve never been to. Or to put it more simply, I am about to embark on the most epic Aston Martin road trip in history. And if you live along the way, I’d love to meet you.
Here’s the longer version. About 3 years ago, I realized I had been to every state except for about a dozen. Over time, I whittled down that list to the point where I now have just six states left to see: Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, North Dakota and Ohio. I forgot Ohio when I created the video that accompanies this column. I often forget Ohio.
Meanwhile, a few months ago, my fiancee informed me that my presence is absolutely mandatory at her family’s annual reunion at a lake in Northern California. If I had to rate my excitement about this lake vacation on a 1-to-10 scale, I would commission scientists and mathematicians to work together in order to discover negative integers so low that they haven’t yet been conceptualized.
So I hatched a plan: I will drive there using the most unreliable transportation possible. And if I don’t make it, well, hey — I gave it my best shot.
And this is where my Aston Martin comes into play. Nine months ago when I bought my Aston Martin, I told you I planned to drive it 20,000 miles in a year, in order to really give the bumper-to-bumper warranty a run for its money. So far, I’ve managed just 10,500 miles — along with a lot of emails, tweets and text messages asking how I could possibly hit 20,000 in the short time I have left before the 1-year warranty expires.
Well, this is how.
As it stands now, the Mega Aston Road Trip will cover 6,122 miles — a figure that will undoubtedly expand as I accidentally get lost while approaching the family reunion, only to show up several days late, on the final day. Oops!
The trip will also bring me to five of the six states I have left to visit: Idaho, Iowa, Montana, North Dakota and Ohio. I will not be visiting Alaska because — as I discovered when I was planning this thing — Alaska is far. But never fear: This trip will still be very exciting. I am especially enthusiastic about North Dakota, because they have a bison on their license plate. If I complete this trip without a photo of my Aston Martin next to a bison, dear reader, then I have failed you.
More importantly, the trip will take me to some seriously desolate places, far out of the reach of a trained Aston Martin technician. At one point in western Montana, I will be 694 miles from the closest Aston Martin dealership. Presumably, I will also be shaking in fear.
Anyway, although my drive out to California will be a quick one, with long days and lots of miles covered, the trip back will be slow and leisurely — and that’s when I’d like to meet you. Specifically, I’d like to meet people in the following cities on the following evenings:
Boise — Saturday, September 17
Billings — Monday, September 19
Bismarck — Tuesday, September 20
Minneapolis — Wednesday, September 21
Chicago — Thursday, September 22
Cleveland — Friday, September 23 (Sorry about forgetting Ohio.)
Admittedly, I have no idea if anyone in these cities will actually want to meet me. Do people in Billings watch YouTube? Do people in Boise have Internet? Are there conveyances in Bismarck that don’t have four legs and a mane? These are all things I plan to find out in the next 2 weeks.
If you happen to live in one of these cities and know a good place to meet up for a few hours one evening — maybe a large parking lot where a few car enthusiasts can gather in peace — shoot me an email. I’ll post the final schedule in the next few days after I get your suggestions.
In the meantime, be sure to follow along on my Facebook page, on Twitter and right here on Oversteer for updates. Please especially follow along if you live along my route and run a towing service. Find a used Aston Martin V8 Vantage for sale