Today I wanted to share all the different ways that we like to record our adventures. We are totally obsessed with maps, and just love to have everywhere we’ve been to, hiked, or letterboxed on display. The best part about having those maps is that we can look at them and remember the memories we made in each location. (The down side, however, is that the places we haven’t been stand out like a sore thumb, and we start to come up with crazy ideas for how we can fill them up!)
• First of all, we bought a US road atlas after we got married, and we began highlighting the different roads on which we drove. At first, this was just a way to remember where we road tripped in each state during our honeymoon, first cross country move, and weekend trips, but then it became a “Let’s see how many roads we can drive on in Arizona!” I admit this is something of an addiction, as to this day whenever we’re driving and we turn onto a new highway, we yell “New road!!” Obsessive? Maybe…but after just 3 ½ years of road tripping, our map looks pretty dang impressive, especially in the states where we’ve lived. (Along with this, Curtis also has two large maps — one of the US and one world map — which he has been recording trips for much of his life. While we don’t always decorate our temporary homes, those maps are always the first things on the wall!)
• Atlasquest.com — We have been letterboxing together since before we were married, and now our letterbox finds page has a record of everywhere we’ve boxed together. Letterboxing has proven to be a great way for us to get out and see places that we may not have known to visit, whether that be just a small park or a true hidden gem in a scenic area. And once the hike or vacation is over, we have the physical “souvenir” in the form of an image stamped into our logbooks.
• Google Maps — While we can log on and look at our lists of letterbox finds any time we want, Curtis really wanted something more, so he also keeps a personal Google Map where he pinpoints every single box he’s found, using a different color for different years.
• mob-rule.com — After a few months of drawing on our maps and recording letterboxing finds, we needed more, so we started County Counting. Curtis found this awesome website that is free to use and lets you create your own personal map. We have 3: Curtis’ letterbox density map, which displays how many boxes he’s gotten in each county and which ones he’s simply visited since owning a car. I have my own personal map, showing every county I’ve been to since marriage and the cities/counties I know for sure that I visited prior to marriage. Finally, our third one is our joint map, with every county we’ve visited, together or separate, since May of 2013 (when Curtis bought his car). Do we actually think we can visit every county? …Um, yes. 😉 This is one reason why we love our cross-country road trips. We try to never take the same exact route twice, and every new county sign is cause for celebration.
• Peakbagger.com — This is a site that Curtis recently discovered, where we can log every single peak we’ve hiked. The site is great for showing you all the different hiking challenges there are and once you record your peaks, it’ll show you how close you are to completing a challenge. (Curtis also started a Hiking Challenges page on this blog to serve as our official record of which hikes we’ve completed for their respective challenges.)
• AllTrails.com — Not only is this site great for finding trail reviews online, it’s also our favorite way to record our hikes while we’re doing them! You can see Curtis’ account here. The only downside is that often times on our longer and more epic hikes, his phone will run out of battery and we’ll lose the recordings. I’ll forever wish that we had a recording from our eventful Supai hike in 2014!
• My blog! 🙂 I started recording our life on here a few months after we got married just for the purpose of having a way to share our adventures with friends and family back home, and we’ll be forever happy to have all of these posts to serve as detailed memories we’ve made! That is, given that the internet doesn’t just disappear one day…
• My USA Travel Index and Canada Travel Index — I have to admit, I’m really proud of all the work I’ve put into organizing the places we go on this blog. I say I did that to make it easier for visitors to find specific posts of places they want to know about, but really I did it because it makes me happy to see that. If you visit those pages, you’ll see a breakdown of states or provinces. Click on a state (try Arizona, it’s one of the more impressive ones 😉 ) and it’ll either show you all the posts from that state if we haven’t done much, or it’ll break down into cities, attractions, and hikes. For states that we’ve lived in or visited more often (South Carolina, New York, Utah), there will be a long list for each category which you can click on and see every post having to do with that specific city, attraction, or hike. (Also check out my page specifically for National Park Sites in the US!) Because that gets long and confusing, I’ve also added Google Maps to some pages so you can see where things fall in that specific state. I admit that most of my posts are just about what we did in each area and not necessarily a helpful travel guide, but if you just want to have an idea of what to expect, you can find it here!
• Other sources I used to enjoy using for mapping our travels were social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, but all 3 have gotten rid of the “map” pages. HUGE disappointment. Maybe the desire to have a map of one’s travels isn’t as popular as we think…
What do you use for recording your adventures? Let us know if you have any online maps or accounts, we really enjoy seeing them, in the least nosy way possible. 😉