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The First Cross Country Road Trip: A Journey Across America with Vermont Touring Car

Here is the amazing tale of the first American cross country road trip. Watch the early explorers’ exploits as they set off on a voyage that will forever alter how humans travel.



Here is the amazing tale of the first American cross country road trip. Watch the early explorers’ exploits as they set off on a voyage that will forever alter how humans travel.


A pivotal moment in American history that changed the way people travelled was the first cross-country car trip. Before the invention of the automobile, only trains and ships were available for long-distance travel, and both were sometimes expensive and time-consuming. But, the development of the vehicle allowed for faster and further travel than ever before.

A group of adventurers set out on what would eventually turn out to be America’s first cross country road trip excursion in 1903. In a brand-new Winton touring automobile, H. Nelson Jackson and Sewall K. Crocker led a group of men who were travelling across America. From San Francisco to New York City, they would travel more than 3,800 miles in just 63 days.

The First Cross Country Road Trip: A Journey Across America
H. Nelson Jackson is driving his Winton out in the West.
Special Collections at the University of Vermont is to be credited

The Journey’s Preparations

Jackson and Crocker had to get their vehicle ready for the long, gruelling travel ahead before setting out on their voyage. They planned their itinerary, gathered supplies, and modified their car over a period of several weeks. They made the following preparations, among others:
Since there were few roads at the time, Jackson and Crocker had to carefully plan their route and rely on maps and local knowledge to get around. They also prepared their car with extra tyres, a spare engine, and a tool kit in case they needed to make repairs along the way. Finally, they packed food, camping supplies, and clothing for the trip because there were few hotels or restaurants along their route.

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The First Cross Country Road Trip: A Journey Across America
Pulling the car out
Courtesy of Peter Ramsey

The Start of the Trip

Jackson and Crocker left San Francisco on May 23, 1903, with the help of a bulldog they named Bud. They made good speed as they passed California and Nevada during the first few days of their expedition, which was largely uneventful. Nevertheless, once they approached Utah and met difficult terrain and erratic weather, things quickly became increasingly difficult.

Obstacles on the Way

Jackson and Crocker encountered a variety of obstacles on their journey across the nation that put their fortitude and creativity to the test. These are a few of the challenges they overcame:
They had to navigate perilous mountain passes in Colorado and deal with extreme weather conditions, including snow, hail, and rain. They also had to deal with mechanical issues, including a broken axle and a burned-out clutch, which required them to make repairs on the side of the road.

The culmination of the trip

The First Cross Country Road Trip: A Journey Across America
Winton touring car “Vermont,” 1903
Gift of H. Nelson Jackson

Jackson and Crocker ultimately arrived in New York City after 63 days of travel. They were welcomed as heroes by the public and the media when they arrived amid much excitement. Their expedition had sparked the interest of the American people and shown the promise of the car as a long-distance mode of transportation.

You may interest :

Why was the first road trip across the country significant?
A: The first cross country road trip signalled a shift in how people travelled because it showed the promise of the car as a long-distance mode of transportation.

Who was the first person to travel cross-country by car?
A: The first cross country road trip was headed by Sewall K. Crocker and H. Nelson Jackson.

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How long was the initial cross-country drive?
The initial cross-country race

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Travel Stories

Joffre Lakes Hike: Exploring British Columbia’s Alpine Beauty



Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, located in British Columbia, Canada, is a natural wonderland known for its captivating turquoise lakes and stunning alpine scenery. The park features a series of glacier-fed lakes, and the Joffre Lakes Hike is a popular trek that allows hikers to experience the breathtaking landscapes of the Coast Mountain Range. Here’s what you need to know before embarking on this memorable adventure:


The Joffre Lakes Trail


The Joffre Lakes Hike is a moderately challenging trail that offers hikers the chance to explore three distinct lakes: Lower Joffre Lake, Middle Joffre Lake, and Upper Joffre Lake. Each lake is a stunning shade of turquoise, owing its color to glacial silt suspended in the water.


  • Lower Joffre Lake: The first and easiest to reach, Lower Joffre Lake greets hikers with its beauty. It’s a great spot for a picnic or a quick swim.


  • Middle Joffre Lake: A short hike uphill brings you to Middle Joffre Lake, which is known for its spectacular reflections of the surrounding mountains. It’s an ideal place to take in the scenery.


  • Upper Joffre Lake: The most challenging part of the hike, Upper Joffre Lake, rewards hikers with a breathtaking glacial backdrop. The Matier Glacier looms above, and the lake’s vivid color is awe-inspiring.


Hiking Details


  • Distance: The round trip from the parking lot to Upper Joffre Lake is approximately 10 kilometers.


  • Difficulty: The hike is considered moderately strenuous due to its elevation gain and uneven terrain.
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  • Duration: Plan for about 4-6 hours to complete the full hike, allowing for breaks and exploration.


What to Bring


To ensure a comfortable and enjoyable hiking experience, make sure to pack:


  • Hiking Boots: Sturdy, comfortable hiking boots with good ankle support.


  • Layers: Dress in layers as the weather can change quickly in the mountains.


  • Water and Snacks: Bring ample water and energy-rich snacks.


  • Backpack: A backpack to carry your essentials, including a first aid kit.


  • Camera: Don’t forget your camera to capture the stunning scenery.


  • Sun Protection: Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to shield yourself from the sun’s rays.


  • Bear Bell: In bear country, a bear bell can help alert wildlife to your presence.


Safety Tips


  • Check trail conditions and weather forecasts before your hike.


  • Be prepared for cooler temperatures at higher elevations.


  • Respect the natural environment and adhere to “Leave No Trace” principles.


  • Carry bear spray and know how to use it in case of wildlife encounters.




While camping is not permitted at the Joffre Lakes, nearby campsites, such as Duffey Lake Provincial Park, offer a place to stay if you wish to extend your visit to the area.


The Joffre Lakes Hike is a memorable journey through British Columbia’s alpine wonderland. The pristine lakes, breathtaking glaciers, and lush forests make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and hiking aficionados. It’s a stunning testament to the natural beauty of Canada’s western province.


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Travel Stories

Crystal Beach: A Hidden Gem on Lake Erie



Crystal Beach, nestled on the northern shore of Lake Erie in Ontario, Canada, is a picturesque and tranquil destination that has retained its old-world charm. With its sandy beaches, serene waters, and a laid-back atmosphere, Crystal Beach is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.


The Beach


The heart of Crystal Beach is its beautiful sandy beach, which stretches along Lake Erie’s shoreline. The soft, powdery sand is ideal for sunbathing, building sandcastles, or taking leisurely strolls along the water’s edge. The shallow and calm waters make it safe for swimming, making it a family-friendly destination.


Waterfront Activities


Crystal Beach offers a range of waterfront activities for those looking to do more than bask in the sun:


  • Swimming: The clear and inviting waters of Lake Erie are perfect for a refreshing swim. Lifeguards are often on duty during the summer months in designated areas.


  • Boating: Bring your kayak, canoe, or paddleboard to explore the tranquil waters.


  • Fishing: Cast your line from the pier or join a fishing charter for a chance to reel in some local fish.


  • Beach Volleyball: Engage in a game of beach volleyball with friends and fellow beachgoers.


Crystal Beach Town


The town of Crystal Beach complements the beach experience with its range of amenities and attractions:


  • Restaurants and Cafes: Savor delectable meals at local restaurants and cafes, offering a variety of dishes to please your taste buds.
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  • Shops and Boutiques: Explore the town’s shops for unique souvenirs, beachwear, and one-of-a-kind finds.


  • Mini Golf: Challenge your friends or family to a round of mini golf for some lighthearted fun.


  • Entertainment: Check out local events and live music performances happening throughout the summer season.


Events and Festivals


Although Crystal Beach is a peaceful retreat, it also hosts various events and festivals, creating an inviting atmosphere:


  • Crystal Beach Sandcastle Competition: Marvel at the incredible sand sculptures created by talented artists and locals during this annual event.


  • Canada Day Celebrations: Join in the Canada Day festivities with fireworks, live music, and family activities.


  • Concerts and Live Performances: Enjoy live music, theater, and other cultural events throughout the summer.


Presque Isle State Park


Located nearby in Erie, Pennsylvania, Presque Isle State Park is a stunning natural area known for its sandy shores, wetlands, and diverse bird species. It’s a fantastic spot for birdwatching, hiking, and exploring nature.


Crystal Beach is a serene escape where you can relax by the beach, partake in water activities, or simply unwind. Whether you’re looking for a tranquil day or a bit of beachside adventure, Crystal Beach in Ontario offers a serene and timeless setting for creating cherished memories.

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Travel Stories

Grand Bend Beach: Ontario’s Premier Lakefront Escape



Grand Bend Beach, nestled along the eastern shore of Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada, is a renowned summer destination celebrated for its stunning sandy beach, clear waters, and vibrant atmosphere. If you’re seeking a picturesque lakeside retreat with a touch of excitement, Grand Bend Beach is the place to be.


The Beach


The main attraction, of course, is the magnificent Grand Bend Beach. This Blue Flag-certified beach stretches along Lake Huron’s shoreline, offering a vast expanse of soft, golden sand that’s perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, or building sandcastles with the family. The clear and shallow waters make it a safe and inviting spot for swimming, making it an ideal choice for visitors of all ages.


Water Sports and Activities


For those who crave more than just sun and sand, Grand Bend Beach offers an array of water sports and activities, such as:


  • Stand-Up Paddleboarding: Rent a paddleboard and explore the calm waters close to the shore.


  • Kiteboarding: Take advantage of the consistent winds for kiteboarding excitement.


  • Jet Skiing: Experience the thrill of jet skiing on Lake Huron.


  • Fishing: Cast your line from the pier or enjoy a fishing charter experience.


  • Beach Volleyball: Join a game of beach volleyball on one of the designated courts.


Grand Bend Town


The town of Grand Bend complements the beach experience with a wide range of amenities and attractions:

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  • Restaurants and Cafes: Savor delicious meals at local restaurants and cafes that offer a variety of cuisines to suit every palate.


  • Shops and Boutiques: Explore the town’s charming shops, where you can find unique souvenirs, beachwear, and art.


  • Mini Golf: Challenge your friends or family to a round of mini golf for some light-hearted fun.


  • Live Entertainment: Check out local events and live music performances happening throughout the summer season.


Events and Festivals


Grand Bend hosts various events and festivals during the summer months, creating an electric atmosphere:


  • Lambton Film and Food Festival: Enjoy international films and local cuisine at this cultural celebration.


  • Art in the Park: Explore the works of talented artists and artisans in a picturesque park setting.


  • Grand Bend Motorplex: Experience the thrill of motorsports, including drag racing and stock car racing at the nearby Grand Bend Motorplex.


  • Canada Day Celebrations: Join in the festivities on Canada Day with fireworks, live music, and family activities.


Pinery Provincial Park


Just a short drive from Grand Bend, Pinery Provincial Park offers nature enthusiasts an opportunity to explore its diverse ecosystems, including lush forests, coastal dunes, and wetlands. You can enjoy hiking, birdwatching, and even camp in this natural paradise.


Whether you’re seeking a relaxing day at the beach, an adventure in the water, or a lively town with exciting events, Grand Bend Beach in Ontario provides the ideal backdrop for creating memorable moments with family and friends. It’s a destination that captures the essence of a classic lakeside getaway.

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