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Whats the background of your interest in all this? Howíd you develop it?

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achilles765:
I apologize if this is the wrong board, if so please move accordingly and accept my apologies, but I was reading the thread about how where you live affects perception, started typing a response and ended up with this following which is way longer and ended up being more about how my interest in roads formed, was developed, and has grown and where I want it to go in the future.

And, it made me wonder how it was with you all. How did you discover and develop your interest in this topic? How have you practiced it and what do you plan or hope to do going forward? 

Mines a little long Iíll warn you.

How did you develop this hobby/interest

I grew up in rural Louisiana/Mississippi just north of New Orleans. Growing up, and until I went to LSU, most of our travel was on two lane state highways (in LA) or two lane county roads with names and no number (MS has so few state highways. There are roads where I grew up that would be state highways in Louisiana and FM roads in Texas). For us, the interstate meant I 55 and was for long distance travel like to New Orleans or Jackson. A freeway was what they had in big cities like LA and Chicago. I was always fascinated by roads and maps. I think itís because of my dad. He was always kind of into that stuff too. Heís the one who taught me about the types of highways and the differences and where they went.
When we would have to go to Jackson or New Orleans I would always be so enthralled by the multiple lanes and the flyovers and left exits and things like that. And always intrigued when we went somewhere with another interstate that wasnít I 55. I remember when being on Interstate 12 or 10 was such an exciting event.
After senior year we went on two big youth trips. One to west palm beach and one to Houston. The palm beach trip was in a bus and at night so I only saw a little road. And I was not as serious about my road obsession then because I was too busy hooking up in the back of the bus with my friend who was the only other gay kid in our small town.
But when we went to Houston it was a smaller group in three cars. And I was intrigued by everything.
Once I had gone off to LsU, I discovered how much I like exploring. Learning the streets and freewaysóstate and us highways. Thatís when it really started. Once I had been to Houston though, there was no going back.
I discovered this site and forum I think in 2006. But it was a while before I started posting and I have had long stretches where Iíve not kept up, especially once I stopped driving in 2016.
Any time i had free time Iíd explore. I learned almost every state and us route in southeast Louisiana and would randomly just take off on a road trip without any notice. One day instead of going to a job I hated, I drove from Baton Rouge to Shreveport and then back via Vicksburg and Natchez.
When I moved to Houston the first time with an ex, I used every chance I could to go out and explore but those werenít as often as I wished.
It wasnít until I moved back to Houston in 2010 on my own that I was finally able to fully enjoy my interest in this stuff. People I know have always known about my deep interest or obsession or whatever you call it with roads and driving. Most of my family will ask me for directions to places before checking a map. It honestly bugs me that my husband would rather use google maps or come up with a route himself than Consult with me, or when he ignores or disagrees with a suggestion I make. And really bugs me when he wonít let me drive the times we have had access to a car. He hasnít yet, I donít think, really quite grasped how much all this stuff means to me and how into it i am.
And everyone has always known I have a tendency to just drive around and explore. But it wasnít until I moved to Houston by myself in 2010 that I could really just get into it fully. With a car I bought with my own money, that I knew was 100% reliable and not worried it was going to break down at any moment, full coverage insurance, and no one to answer to or have to consult with, I drove all over Houston, took random trips to San Antonio and Corpus Christi and Galveston and even Dallas once or twice. Experimented with different routes between destinations both local and long distance. I can get from Houston to my parentsí in McComb Mississippi without touching an interstate. (Strangely though, Iíve never been to Austin or farther west than San Antonio).
One of the best times of my life was either of the road trips two of my best friends and I took from Baton Rouge to Woodstock Connecticut, which also included day trips to Boston, New York, and swings through Philly, DC, Hartford, and Maine.
I used to put off big trips or things because of work or concern about money and gas or worries about the carís reliability, or time or whatever. Often it was fear because my license would be expired or suspended for an old ticket.
Well now Iím 35 and a lot more grown up with a husband and a dog and better credit score. I havenít driven since 2016 because I wanted to save the money Iíd have spent on cars and gas and insurance, and to let my driving record repair.
Now i am about to renew my license for the first time in 9 years, with no restrictions, no flags, a recent record that is spotless, and the ability to actually get and afford a car and insurance.
Iíll be in school from august to December and then Iíll be an emt. Average work schedule will be 3 18-24 hour shifts per week, leaving four days to myself. And of course actual vacation time each year.
My plan is to get a car before or during the semester once I have a part time job again, and financing it. Just a small car note and for a shorter term ideally, mostly to help bump the credit up more. I checked insurance rates and even full coverage is going to be insanely cheap and affordable for me since my driving record is now spotless and Iím over 35. My credit score now being over 700 helps too.
Iím already planning several trips with my husband for when we have time off and shorter ones that are only a dayís drive. His dad lives in Ok city, and I want to visit the bob Dylan museum in Tulsa, which would allow me to see a lot there and on the trip, and half of his family live across the Rio grande valley which would allow me to finally explore all that down there.
Iíve gotten to a point where Iím most interested in seeing all of Texas. Like I wanna explore all of Austinís freeways and tollways, the valley, all that sprawling mess and concrete that is dfw, El Paso, the panhandle.  I also would love to  start exploring part of the rest of the country, especially the mountain west and Pacific Northwest. Colorado, California, Arizona, Oregon and Washington mostly. Maybe SLc and Nevada. Not too interested in the boring square states in the center or the Midwest really. The northeast would be fun to explore again some more. Not really interested in the rest of the south. Or Chicago for some reason. Though I still want to add to my clinched list, including at least one major border to border and coast to coast route.
This got a lot longer than I plannedÖhah. Sorry about that. Iíll end with the list of routes Iíve clinched and the ones I most want to clinch next

Clinched:
I-12
I 37
I 45
I 49( the original Lafayette to Shreveport. And Lafayette to new Orleans At the time,  that was the entire route, though now it is not)
I 59
I 66
I 84 (east)
I 110 (Baton Rouge)
I 110(Mississippi)
I 210 (lake Charles)
I 310, I 510, I 610, I 910 (New Orleans)
I 410 (San Antonio)
I 610 (Houston)
I 345 (Dallas)
I 220(Shreveport and Jackson)
I 635 (DFW)
I 395 (dc and ct/ma)
I 195 and I 295 (RI)
I 195 (DE, NJ)
I 278 (Ny, NJ)
I 291, 384, 684, 691 (ct)
I 459, I 759

Want to clinch:
2, 5, 10, 15, 35, 40, 44, 69(when finished), 80, 90, 95

Max Rockatansky:
I recall going on clinch trips with my Dad even back in the early/mid 1980s so I guess that Iíve always been engaged in the road hobby.  I tend to be more into things like two lane roads and old highway alignments more than anything.  Really I donít know if I ever did anything other than just keep up with things road related over the years.

wanderer2575:

--- Quote from: achilles765 on July 25, 2021, 03:28:48 PM ---<snip>

Iíll be in school from august to December and then Iíll be an emt.

<snip>

--- End quote ---

Just remember you can't stop for road sign photos while you're on an emergency run!  Sometimes I fantasize about being a long-haul truck driver or making myself available for hire to drive someone's car across the country, but then I think I would never make it to my destination, especially within the allotted timeframe.

I really don't know what piqued my roadgeek interest, which primarily is studying road maps and taking road sign photos.  I know the former predated the latter by many years.  As a toddler, I lived on Evergreen Road in Detroit, just a few hundred feet south of the famous Eight Mile Road.  I don't remember, but I'm told that when my parents or grandparents took me on walks in the stroller I was absolutely fascinated with the traffic on Eight Mile.  Somehow that bled over in another form.

behogie230:
I used to like to make highways and bridges for Matchbox cars out of masking tape and shoe boxes. So my parents would take me on construction sites over the weekend when the sites were empty when I was 4 or 5. That joy always stuck with me, one thing led to another, I pursued civil engineering and I inspect paving jobs dailyÖ only difference is now I get paid for it  :-D

Roadgeekteen:
Looking at random road atlases and maps owned by my parents and grandparents at age 5-6.

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