26 DAYS, 22 STATES (and one Canadian province)... Four weeks on the road, by myself — just me and my Jeep, some maps and CDs, and two coolers of snack food. OK, plus a digital camera, an iBook, and money for the gift shops. The goal? Get away from LA, visit friends and family, forget about work, and remember how to relax. With a bank of vacation days to burn off, I spend a few weeks planning... Where to go, what to see, whom to visit, who'll feed my cat? On September 11, 2001, a week after leaving the office, the world changes on live TV. For days, I question "How could I just drive for fun now?" Eventually, my mantra becomes "Cherish life by enjoying it." So I go back to planning.

With friends and family already expecting me on various dates, the eastbound drive will be its own mission. Well past midnight on a Thursday in September, I find myself wrapping up the last of my pre-departure details. I leave my Los Angeles driveway about seven hours later, knowing I have dinner plans for Monday in Toronto. I plan to cover the first 2,700 miles in just five days, with abundant sightseeing anticipated along the way. Hmm This is supposed to be relaxing. My journey begins on September 27, 2001, on a warm LA morning.

ABOUT MY WEBSITE. This is my story: My words, my thoughts, and what I saw along the way, as captured by the lens of my Nikon 990 digital camera. You can navigate my website just as I traveled this great country. Each day is divided into as many as three chapters, and each chapter has a photo album to peruse. All pictures in the albums are original and unretouched, uploaded as I shot them. To enjoy the trip at a more relaxing pace, please bookmark my site and visit again.

roadtripchris.com, its name, and all images, content and design contained within are copyright ©2001 Christopher Hoffman. Special thanks to my talented bro Joe Hoffman for his programming skill and inspiration. And extra-special thanks to Joe and my friend Enrique for cat-sitting and for making it unexpectedly easy to be away from home.