Marching To The Trial
March 2006 - Route Overview

S t a t e s    W e ' l l    V i s i t

Georgia (5)

Alabama (2)

Mississippi (1)

Louisiana (New!)

Arkansas (New!)

Missouri (1)

Illinois (New!)

Indiana (1)

Kentucky (3)

Tennessee (4)

North Carolina (6)

South Carolina (-)

The number after each state name is the number of times we have visited that state since these trips started in June, 2004. South Carolina, our home state, is unrated.

R o u t e    O v e r v i e w
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The purple line on the map to the left shows our route. There's a circle at Aiken, SC where we'll begin the trip. And another circle at Louisville, KY where we'll be at the Agility Trial.

You'll note there is also a pink line on the map. This is an alternate part of the trip if there's time. We visited Missouri once before during the Route 2 trip. If we have time we'll explore it some more. The planned route has us nicking the southeast corner of Illinois, a state we've not visited before. If we have time we'll explore Illinois also.

The routes through each state we'll visit are shown below. If you need more detail than is shown on the maps (and I'll grant you the map pictures don't have a lot of detail), click here.

If you'll recall, one of the rules of these trips is that we avoid driving Interstate highways. The goal is to travel the "backroads" as much as possible. However, another rule is that we can take Interstates to get to the starting point of a trip. And from the end of a trip back home. So, from Aiken we're taking I-20 west across Georgia and into Alabama. The trip doesn't really start until we leave I-20 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. And the trip will "officially" end when we get on I-64 on the western edge of Indiana. From there to Louisville and later back to Aiken we'll use Interstates.

A l a b a m a
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We'll go west through Alabama on I-20 until we get to Tuscaloosa where, as mentioned above, the trip really begins. We'll turn north west and drive to the Alabama/Mississippi border.

M i s s i s s i p p i
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Once into Mississippi, we'll go almost due west until we get to the Natchez Trace Parkway. We'll take the parkway southwest to Jackson where it stops temporarily. We'll pick it up again southwest of Jackson and stay on it until it ends at Natchez. Then we'll head due south into Louisiana.

L o u i s i a n a
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Last summer I had planned a trip that went through Louisiana. Then Hurricane Katrina hit and gas prices went through the roof and I had to cancel the trip (rats!). That trip included New Orleans.

On this trip we're going to visit Louisiana at last but we'll be steering clear of New Orleans and the coast.

We'll ride a ferry boat across the Mississippi River at St. Francisville. That should be different. I haven't been on a ferry in years and The Navigator has never been on a ferry. We may take another ferry ride at Melville across the Atchafalaya River. But part of the road from St. Francisville to Melville is marked on the map as "unimproved." So I'll have to check with some locals to see what that means.

Then we'll head west almost into Texas (we'll be going there on a later trip, stay tuned :) and then northeast and exit Louisiana into Arkansas near the Mississippi state line.

A r k a n s a s
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We'll go north to Dermott then turn northwest to Hot Springs. Then north to Harrison and then east to Corning.

Depending on time, we may make a detour though the Ouachita Mountains Forest. This is just west of Hot Springs.

M i s s o u r i
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For the planned route: We'll go north to Popular Bluff and then go northeast to Cape Girardeau and then into Illinois.

For the alternate route (if there's time): This is the pink line on the map. We'll go north to Popular Bluff and then northwest to Clinton, then north to Gallatin, then east to Alexandria and then into Illinois.

I l l i n o i s
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For the planned route: We'll go north to Ware, east to Vienna then northeast to Grayville. The trip will end there as we get on I-64 and head for Louisville.

For the alternate route (if there's time): This is the pink line on the map. We'll go south to Quincy, east to Jose, north to LaMoille, east to Yorkville and then south to I64.

R e s t    O f    T h e    T r i p
Once we get on I-64 on the east side of Illinois, the trip will be "officially" over as we will be taking interstate highways and trying to make time for the rest of the trip. Briefly, we'll take I-64 across Indiana into Kentucky and Louisville. When we leave Louisville a week or so later, we'll take I-64 east to Lexington, KY, I-75 south to Knoxville, TN, I-40 southeast to Asheville, NC, I-26 south to Columbia, SC and I-20 south to Aiken, SC.

N a v i g a t i o n
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