Rather than putting all of this into one entry that nobody would ever read, I'll be breaking it up into bite-sized chunks and posting one chunk (a day or 2 of the trip) each day for a while.
In February, I collected my 50th state, so now I can turn my attentions to other collections.
Yes, the 2 hardest to get were my 2 last ones. (When I told people I had 49, and they asked me which one I was missing, and I replied "The one that's REALLY hard to drive to", unfortunately most people then asked "Alaska?".)
The spouse had 48 states -- but had the 2 that I was missing decades ago.
WorldCon was in California this year, and we decided to go out via Utah and return via Oregon in order to collect all 50 for the spouse as well.
Near the start of August, the spouse left, due to the 2nd job, returning to Ohio on the 19th. My car had been taken to Ohio, as work needed to be done on the spouse's car, and I needed to shepherd that. A friend & I left on the 19th, Ohio-bound, in the spouse's car, which I'd packed. We met the spouse, and the friend drove my car back to Michigan, and the spouse & I left for California.
I'd bought a GPS just before leaving, and I'd had it map me a route from home to the building I needed to find, going via the only gate into the gated community that would be open... and discovered my first true weirdness with the GPS -- Seems it doesn't understand locked gates. For most of the way in (being paranoid, I'd also printed out some google-maps, so I was not without resources) it kept telling me to turn around, take the highway, and go in one of the other (locked) gates.
As we left the house, I set the "trip B" Odometer. 8/20/06 started in Brazil, Indiana, with Trip B reading 402.9. I filled my Ultimate Gulp (also bought very shortly before leaving -- 64 oz 7-11 mug) for 63 cents.
This evening we arrived at the spouse's dad's house. Got some great Mexican food for dinner.
As we left at 8:10 Eastern (7:10 local) our "trip B" was at 1024.
I filled our Ultimate Gulp again at a flying J in/near Muskogee. She'd told me it would cost 76 cents, but when I tried to pay, since we were also getting gas, she wouldn't take my money!
Discovered the 2nd oddity with the GPS. I'm sure it was a case of doing what I told it to do, not what I wanted it to do. I'd downloaded some information about some of the major highways I knew we'd take, and some cities that I thought we cared about. Well, that seems to tell the GPS that I have an extreme desire to take the roads it knows more about rather than the most direct route it knows about utilizing the basemap.
It decided that the best way to get from Muskogee to the Four Corners area was by going North to Limon Colorado, to Denver, to Grand Junction, and down the east side of Utah. When we were in Albuquerque NM, it wanted us to go back most of the way through Texas. This was true at least at exit 138. A little bit further along, exit 134, the loop it wanted us to take got a bit smaller, and it now only went nearly through Denver, but not quite all the way. The path nearly looked like a lollipop -- It got us within 20 miles of the Four Corners monument, sent us most of the way to Denver, and then brought us back in from the North.
(Actually, while we were in Muskogee it had wanted us to go North, but when we got far enough West and South it resigned itself to letting us going a more southern route -- to Denver via Amarillo Texas rather than Tulsa.)