In late 2001, 13-year-old Jonny said, "Hey, Dad, let's drive across the country this summer. Wouldn't that be cool?"
"Yeah, it'd be cool," Tim said, thinking that would be the end of the discussion. But it wasn't. Jonny kept coming back to it. They could spend the whole summer together. They could visit people. They could see the sights across America. Maybe they could write a book...
Pretty soon Tim was thinking, "Why not?" After all, he's one of the few guys -- working for himself, by himself -- who actually can take off a whole summer. And besides, it was his teenaged son's idea. That was what was really cool.
So now it's a plan. Tim and Jonny have spent much of the winter and spring plotting, refining the route, warning friends and relatives and near-strangers that they'll be dropping in looking for food and shelter (and maybe laundry once in a while). They've been working on their lists of what they'll need and where they'll go and what they'll do when they get there. Many cities -- and people they wanted to visit -- have been scratched because of time constraints. But it's still an ambitious undertaking: eight-plus weeks, and 8,000-plus miles.
They'll leave Ridgewood after school ends in late June, and take the northern route west through Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, up into Wisconsin to see grandparents, down through Illinois for more grandparents and the Fourth of July, and then across the Great Plains to the Rockies.
After a few days in Denver and higher up in northern Colorado's Front Range, they'll make their way through the mountains to northern California. Down the coast to southern California, then east toward Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Across the Southwest and Texas, through Memphis and Nashville, and then they take a left in North Carolina and come up the Eastern Seaboard to be back in Ridgewood for Labor Day.
Tim and Jonny hope they're coming to your town on this trip, but if not, feel free to get in touch and come along for part of the ride. They're happy to pick up hitchhikers at any airport (or bus station, for those who prefer to ride the Dog) in one city along the route, and then drop them off at another city further on.
Check the other links here, as they go up, for more on the itinerary. When they actually hit the road, Jonny and Tim plan to update this site regularly with reports and pictures of their progress. And they'll welcome your e-mails in the "Your Comments" section before, during and after the Big Summer Trip 2002.