Reflecting on Year 4 – The Big Road Trip

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Golf Swings Over America

Looking back on year 4, it can be summed up in one thought. I did a lot of driving, both on the course and off the course. One massive road trip in the fall let me play in 8 states that I hadn’t played in before. And on the same trip, I managed to get rid of that one “blip” on the radar; that being the fact that I only played 9 holes in New Mexico previously. That turned out to be a great experience, replaying the same course in Raton with Brian and getting to spend a bit of quality time with a “local legend” whose stories of golf greats kept us spell bound, albeit briefly.

Earlier in 2015, Maria and I had booked a fall trip for Arizona. We originally planned on flying out and I would have simply played it, as it had been one state that had been “orphaned”, having played all of the neighbouring states previously. But as time went on, I got this notion in my head to drive out and have Maria fly out and meet me in Denver and we could spend a few days in Colorado. Then, Pat and Brian decided to tag along for Arizona and then the wheels really started turning for planning the big trip.

Now the whole planning thing got really complicated when I was offered a job in Virginia, to start late fall and I kept going back and forth on whether or not I would drive out, or go back to the original plan of simply flying out to Arizona. Realizing I might not ever get another chance, I went for the big trip. And in the end, it was great to have Brian along for the return. We got to see a lot of the U.S. that most people will never see in their lifetime, including most Americans. Mind you, we’ve both seen enough of the prairies and we can certainly do without playing golf in the Wind!

Maria did fly out to Denver and we did ended up spending a few days in Colorado before meeting up with Pat and Brian in Albuquerque. Then, the four of us ventured over to Arizona and spent a week in Flagstaff, before returning to Albuquerque where the wives caught flights back home.

So here’s a map I put together showing the driving route (blue dots indicate the route out, black dots the route back). For those who may have difficulty distinguishing the two colours, essentially the route out took me to Ottawa Illinois, across to Grinnell Iowa and then to Sterling Colorado before meeting up with Maria in Denver. The rest of the blue routing takes to Flagstaff Arizona.

A detailed summary follows the map.

map of USA with golf flags indicating locations of courses played.
The Big Road Trip

Details of the Road Trip

Date(s) Activities
Wednesday Sept. 23
  • Depart home near Ottawa, Ontario (late pm)
  • Drive to Waterloo, Ont., quick visit with my son
  • Continue driving into Michigan/Illinois (overnight in car at rest stops)
Thursday Sept. 24
  • Drive to Ottawa, Illinois
  • Golf 18 holes at Dayton Ridge Golf Club
  • Continue drive to Iowa City, IA – overnight
Friday Sept. 25

Tee marker at Oakland Acres
1st Tee at Oakland Acres Golf Club
Saturday Sept. 26

No skiing or sledding sign on tee block.
Odd sign for a golf course!
Saturday Sept. 26 to Wednesday Sept. 30
  • Sightseeing in Colorado including:
  • Celestial Tea, Boulder
  • Segway Tour, Denver
  • Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs
Wed. Sept. 30
  • Drive to Albuquerque, NM
  • Pick up Pat/Brian @ airport
  • overnight
Thurs. Oct. 1
  • sightseeing – Albuquerque
  • overnight
Friday Oct. 2
  • drive to Flagstaff, AZ
  • check-in @ timeshare
Friday Oct. 2 – Friday Oct. 9
Friday Oct. 9
  • Drive to Albuquerque (overnight)
Saturday Oct. 10
  • Drop Maria/Pat at airport (early a.m.)
  • Drive to Raton NM
  • Golf 18 holes at Raton Country Club
  • Drive to Cheyenne, WY – overnight
Sunday Oct. 11
  • Drive to Broadus MT
  • Golf 18 holes at Rolling Hills Golf Course
  • Drive to Dickinson, ND – overnight
Monday Oct. 12
Tuesday Oct. 13
Wednesday Oct. 14
Thursday Oct. 15
  • Drive home
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