It was the summer of 1998. I’d finished my first year of college, and my brother was about to enter his first year of law school. In November of the year prior, we grabbed a United States map and started tacking all the places we wanted to visit. On Sunday, June 7, with no reservations made anywhere, we loaded the family van and departed on a 35-state, 36-day, 12,728-mile tour of the country.

On my PowerBook, I wrote a weekly journal that I emailed to my hometown’s newspaper. These columns ran under the name “Road Dispatches” and are republished here: