For Bob Thompson there are many ways to measure the memorable road trip he made in his 2012 Mustang to celebrate his retirement: in miles driven (14,000), states visited (29) and weeks traveled (10)! However, Bob started his summer 2012 trip around the perimeter of the continental U.S. with a different number in mind: four.
Bob plotted his route past four of his company’s office locations, so he could say goodbye in person to friends from his 32 years in the consumer finance industry. “Many of these people I knew only over the phone,” says Bob. “I wanted to meet them.” In Tampa; Chicago; Buffalo, New York and Chester, New Jersey, Bob said his face-to-face farewells before driving off into the sunset in his Mustang.
Bob and his travel companions – longtime friend Kevin Amory and Amory’s nephew Mike Rabbath – listened to rock music as the three six-footers explored the country’s less-traveled routes in the Mustang. “Every night I looked through the atlas to find the most twisting, winding roads,” Bob says. Washington State Route 20 took their breath away with its steep turns through the Cascade Mountains. In New Mexico, their GPS took them literally off the beaten path by sending them rambling down a dirt road toward the Mogollon ghost town. “The Mustang’s performance was flawless,” Bob says. “It took everything we asked of it and just stayed ready for more.”
Idyllic weather let them keep the Mustang’s top down most of the time, a definite pleasure as they drove the entire length of the Pacific Coast Highway. “We had a 360-degree view of everything,” Bob says. “The variety of the land and natural beauty was immense and all-immersing.”
When he returned home to Florida, Bob had one final tally: 5,500. That’s the number of photos he can now scroll through to reminisce about his trip of a lifetime.
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