Everyone has contemplated their own Great American Road Trip. And plenty of people end up typing in “Los Angeles” to “New York” in Google Maps and following that squiggly blue line across the U.S. with their mouse. But for the truly dedicated, if you’re going to see the country, you really have to see it all.
Washington Post columnist John Kelly would like us to meet the Extra Miler Club, a group whose members aspire to visit all 3,143 counties in the U.S. And then there’s Reid Williamson:
Reid has been to every single county in the United States. The 64-year-old from Annandale is one of 32 known “completers,” as travelers who have bagged every U.S. county are known to members of the Extra Miler Club, a group devoted to county collecting … Call it a very organized form of wanderlust.
Indeed. The website of the small group reflects this “very organized” tendency. Although you don’t need to provide official “proof” that you’ve visited every county, many members do so anyway. One “took a large book with him and got signatures of officials in each county to witnessing his presence there. He also recorded the dates and times of each visit,” the site’s FAQ page informs.
There is a downside to county collecting. It’s not that such obsessiveness can dampen the bohemian spirit of a road trip, it’s just that not all counties are equally interesting (read: some are very boring). Sure, it’s fun to authoritatively flip through a road atlas and say, “Been there, not much to see, but it was a beautiful stretch of highway.” But even Williamson conceded to the Post: “I might not have gone to some of them if I wasn’t doing this.”