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Biggest Roadgeek/Trip Regrets

Started by Hunty2022, May 14, 2024, 03:22:19 PM

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Hunty2022

This is a question/thread idea I've had for a couple weeks, and that question is what is your biggest regret as a roadgeek? It can be anywhere from missing clinching opportunities on trips, to cancelling trips, or really just anything/any route you really regret doing/not doing on the road.

Mine is easily taking US 421/I-785/US 29 back home instead of I-40/I-885/I-85/US 15 on May 18, 2023. The main reason I chose the former route is because I thought I was gonna be able to get a picture of NC-3, but the route didn't get me close enough. I would have gotten plenty of new counties in VA/NC from the latter route, including some in Virginia that I probably won't get for a couple years.

In second place is likely the decision I made to continue on I-495/I-66/US 29 instead of merging onto I-95, likely to I-295/I-64 on my way back home from Washington, DC on April 21. With the latter route, I would have my first photos for Stafford County, and expand into more of Prince William/Spotsylvania/Caroline Counties.
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74/171FAN

Mine was probably learning that I-95 ended in Trenton, NJ, the hard way with my parents on the way to New York once because I convinced them to go through Philly for some reason.

Because of that, I was absolutely excited when the I-276/I-95 interchange opened in 2018.  While I missed the Golden Spike Meet, I did drive the new interchange the morning that it opened.
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Max Rockatansky

Kind of regret not really exploring Lahaina given it burned down months after I passed through.

oscar

#3
In Oklahoma I repeatedly missed chances to clinch the short US 266, as I zoomed past on the nearby I-40. When I finally clinched 266, it was in the dark -- no fun.

In the "trip" category, I soaked in a hot spring east of Eugene OR, a few days before the 2017 total solar eclipse passing through the area (which I avoided, like I did in Texas for the one last month). I hiked back to the parking area with a woman I'd soaked with. It turned out that she lived in the eclipse's totality path ... and she had a hot tub in her back yard. I should've tried harder to kiss up to her!

A related possible missed opportunity was that she gave me a little help steadying myself on the easy hike out. I wonder if she sensed that I had some mild balance problems, that became more obvious a few years later and perhaps could've been delayed or fixed if I'd figured that out sooner.
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1995hoo

The thing that most readily comes to mind was beyond my control: In 1989, six of us in my Boy Scout troop, along with two adult leaders, went to the Canadian Jamboree on PEI. We drove up and back, taking three days each time (somewhat excessive, but on the other hand it allowed for a long stop at LL Bean on the way north). My father, as Scoutmaster, was in charge and he took the same route in both directions, including using ME-9 from Bangor to Calais and then up NB-1. I wish I had been able to convince him to use I-95/NB-95 and the Trans-Canada Highway across New Brunswick in one direction, both because I don't especially like using the exact same route in both directions and because I've still never been to the northern end of I-95 (that 1989 trip is still the farthest north I've been on I-95) because it's not an area I get back to very often. But I wasn't driving (wasn't allowed to, the troop's liability insurance didn't allow anyone under 18 to drive any other troop members) and I wasn't in charge. In the scheme of things, that was trivial because it was a great trip in every other way.
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Bruce

Definitely should have pushed myself to go on longer trips during 2020 with the gas prices being at the absolute lowest I'll see in my lifetime. Also visiting more national parks and other popular natural wonders that are now extremely overcrowded and have limited access/entry. If I had more foresight, I would have been all over California for the back half of 2020.
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vdeane

Not taking the express lanes all the way when I was driving south of DC to Florida in 2018.  I saw the high price, saw the regular lanes moving at the speed limit, and assumed that was just trying to meter the backup that regularly formed at the south end before they were extended.  A couple miles after exiting the express lanes, the regular lanes slammed to a standstill, and it was stop and go traffic for the next hour or two.  I could have easily gotten to my hotel in Richmond half an hour to an hour sooner, and kept my evening plans for that night (and morning plans for the next morning, which were upset by needing to eat breakfast after skipping dinner the night before so I could catch the series finale of Once Upon a Time) intact.

Later in that trip, with the benefit of hindsight, I probably would have taken I-75 all the way to Cincinatti (with one overnight moved from Nashville to Knoxville) and filled in that clinch, but at the time, I assumed it wouldn't be all that long before I'd be back in the southeast and filling in some of the clinching gaps.  Instead, I haven't been back since, and with the way things are going, I don't expect that to change any time soon.

Also that trip, I wish I had clinched the piece of I-10 between I-295 and US 17.  Like the above, I assumed I'd be back to continue the clinch in not too long.



Part of me regrets not going to the 2016 Toronto roadmeet (I had balked at the cost of hotels that didn't have bedbugs and backed out; silly me, these days I routinely book at places with double the cost of what I considered too much then!).  On the other hand, I loved the Birmingham roadmeet, which I wouldn't have attended if I had gone to Toronto.  Although I would probably still have my I-81 clinch either way... I probably would have clinched it on the way back from Florida two years later.
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

wanderer2575

I started a thread back in 2017 about missed road sign photo opportunities, and those remain my biggest regrets.

jeffandnicole

Back in the early 2010s, I had furlough days to use from work, in addition to my normal vacation days.  I should've just traveled around the country, hitting every state.  I've considered doing that now or in the future, but I know my days of taking long trips sitting in the car for 12+ hours a day are numbered.

If I knew county-clinching was a thing when I was young, I would've kept track of counties.  I don't have the memory to think back of my various trips and the counties I would've traveled thru.

From 2005 - 2015, I was getting numerous offers for free rooms in Vegas, which was surprising being that I gambled very little. Combined with cheap, direct airfares that were often under $80 each way, they were trips I couldn't pass up.  While we enjoyed those trips and did some traveling out there (I was giving myself yearly personal updates on the US 93 (and now I-11) Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge as it was being built), I still missed doing a few things in Vegas I wished I hit up, especially the neon graveyard.

Missing the 95/PA Tpk Golden Spike meet due to work.  My current office can view the NJ/PA Delaware River Bridge 8 miles away on clear days; the meet was just a few miles to the west of that location.

hbelkins

I've had to cancel a number of planned trips due to illness, illness in the family (including my fur family), car issues, lack of leave time at work, finances, etc.

I had also neglected to get some sign photos in areas where I traveled semi-frequently, and those signs got replaced before I got around to taking pictures of them (the old cutout VA 70 marker off US 58 near Jonesville comes to mind).

As far as trips go, I regret not getting a clinch of I-70 during my recent trip to Utah, but that was out of my control (my brother was driving). Ditto a clinch of US 550.


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JayhawkCO

I don't have much from a roadgeeking perspective. My only real travel regret is not taking the time to go to Monaco when I was in Nice. The easiest possible country visit I could have had.

kurumi

Someday I'd like to drive the Old Priest Grade instead of CA 120 on a Yosemite trip. But that can be a really tough sell when you have passengers. You'd need a roadtrip buddy or more with similar interests.

Insisting on that route over others' concerns, then running into a problem with engine, brakes, etc., would instantly become a top trip regret.
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Rothman

I saw an RV losing its brakes on the Old Priest Grade from CA 120 back in the 1990s.  They had stubbornly ignored the warning signs and were paying the price..."Christ!  It was funny how they had named the only man that could save them now..."
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

pderocco

Quote from: kurumi on May 16, 2024, 01:08:07 PMSomeday I'd like to drive the Old Priest Grade instead of CA 120 on a Yosemite trip. But that can be a really tough sell when you have passengers. You'd need a roadtrip buddy or more with similar interests.
I've done it a couple of times, and my memory of it is that it is less winding, just steep, so it's not really difficult.

Now, Priest Street would be another story. That looks like a hell of a road, but I'm not sure it isn't gated somewhere.

pderocco

I have a lot of little regrets in the form, "I wish I had/hadn't done ____ back in the 1990s when I was doing lots of cross-country trips" because in those days, I wasn't conscious of clinching roads, or even keeping precise records (pre-GPS) of my route. For instance, I have a gap in I-90 that I will probably never fill because I detoured through Badlands NP. I could have driven past it, then come back through it, then driven that section of I-90 again. I also skipped a section of I-95 in Florida and went through Orlando for no discernible reason, and now I really have no desire to go back to Florida. But since I became more conscious of driving roads I hadn't been on before, I haven't made any real mistakes that I've regretted.

vdeane

Quote from: pderocco on May 17, 2024, 03:00:06 AMI have a lot of little regrets in the form, "I wish I had/hadn't done ____ back in the 1990s when I was doing lots of cross-country trips" because in those days, I wasn't conscious of clinching roads, or even keeping precise records (pre-GPS) of my route. For instance, I have a gap in I-90 that I will probably never fill because I detoured through Badlands NP. I could have driven past it, then come back through it, then driven that section of I-90 again. I also skipped a section of I-95 in Florida and went through Orlando for no discernible reason, and now I really have no desire to go back to Florida. But since I became more conscious of driving roads I hadn't been on before, I haven't made any real mistakes that I've regretted.
I have the less severe variant of one having planned trips under the assumption that I'll be going back.  I'd let roadmeets leave me with fragments, pass up opportunities that I'd have to divert to with the idea "I'll clinch it next time", etc.  These days I plan trips with the mindset of "if I never returned, would I still be happy with what I accomplished, or would I feel like I should have covered something that was left out?" and my Travel Mapping map is a lot cleaner for it.
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

I-55

Had I gotten my learner's permit at 15 instead of 16 I would've been able to drive on our family trips to Omaha and Orlando (as well as New Mexico). I have not been to Georgia (aside from I-59), Florida, Iowa, or Nebraska since. Could've added Interstates 4, 25, 29, 35, 280, 475, 480, 680, 840, and Florida's Turnpike to my list of roads driven.
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LilianaUwU

I kept delaying taking a picture of an old sign... and I found out today it was replaced.
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ozarkman417

Not going back or stopping to take a picture, particularly when it comes to errors. Today, while on a trip to MO's Grand Gulf State Park, I intended on getting a photo of a US/state mix-up in the form of a pavement marking here, only to find out the markings were removed entirely (I originally spotted the error in March 2021 and only now have I revisited that part of the state).

The other regret would be not taking a different route back versus taking the same one taken to my destination. Both of these more or less have to do with having passengers with me or being the passenger.

ZLoth

#19
The trips I was not able to take when I lived in California:
  • I-70 from Cove Fort, Utah to Denver, CO - This was actually planned for 2013, but got cancelled due to work. Then, 2015 as part of a three-week trip out of Las Vegas, but again cancelled when that got reduced to one week.
  • US-395 south of Bridgeport, and US-395 north of Lakeview, OR
  • US-50 east of Austin, NV
  • I-5 north of Olympia, WA
  • US-6 in California and Nevada. I've only driven the section between Tonopah, NV and NV-375, and did take advantage of the only opportunity to travel the Extraterrestrial Highway aka NV-375 end-to-end in 2003
Of these, I-70, I-80, and US-50 are the best to make up. I can travel North on I-35 to I-135/US-18.
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Darkchylde

My biggest roadgeek regret would probably be skipping out on a road trip to clinch a bunch of routes in the Midwest a few years back. I had other plans that seemed more important at the time, but looking back, I really wish I had prioritized hitting those roads.

webny99

I'd describe my overall experience as conceptually kind of the inverse of this thread. I have plenty of small regrets, like not clinching I-790, and a few more abstract ones, like trips that family members have been on that I either couldn't go on or chose not to for one reason or another, but none that I regard as terrible decisions per se. If I had to pick one, it would be lack of planning for our 2018 trip to South Dakota. With better planning, specifically around the second night, we could have easily made it Devils Tower, and I would have picked up a new state and a whole bunch of new mileage. Instead, we ended up heading back towards the Twin Cities area (which was our base for the trip) and arriving back much earlier than we needed to.

But I think my list of detours / alternate route I'm really glad I took is as long or longer. I got heavily roasted by my family for a lengthy detour to clinch the CBBT, which ended up adding around 3 hours to the trip home from Maryland... but knowing they would never be talked into doing it again is exactly why I'm glad I pushed for it. That's a whole bunch of Virginia counties and almost 300 miles in TM that I may have never gotten if I didn't insist on doing it then. My 2019 trip through Ohio was similar: I took I-77 south out of Cleveland to I-70 to get down to Hocking Hills even though going through Columbus (which I'd already done) would have been about 20 minutes faster. 20 minutes for 7 new counties and over 150 new miles in TM was a very worthwhile tradeoff. Same for taking I-91 south to CT 2 to get to Rhode Island instead of the Mass Pike to 146.

epzik8

My dad, brothers and I regret passing up on a chance to go through Preston, Idaho, the main setting of Napoleon Dynamite, on a leg of a western RV trip in 2009 going from Yellowstone to Salt Lake.
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akotchi

My biggest regret is that I did not take more sign photos sooner.  For 5-6 years after I moved to this area, I worked off the last exit on I-95 in Trenton when it was at Route 31.  I did not keep any photos of the signs prior to the 1993 extension of I-95 to U.S. 1.
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Max Rockatansky

I didn't start taking road and sign photos seriously until 2016.  Kind of shame considering I could have had a couple decades worth of viable photo stock.  What photos I do have from the early 2000s are crap and poorly framed.  It didn't occur to me back then that people might want older road photos.



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