U.S. Highway 12

The lure of the road trip is constant in me, but like everyone, life does often limit a spontaneous response to “Let’s go!” Now is the time to respond with a major road trip across America to cure the wanderlust urges with no particular timetable.

In the afterword of William Least Heat-Moon’s exhausting but brilliant road journal “Blue Highways – A Journey into America,” he writes: “Perhaps it’s in our blood, maybe it’s just in our history, but surely it’s in the American vein to head out for some other place when home becomes intolerable, or merely even when the distant side of the beyond seems a lure we can’t resist.”

On July 1, 2017 my partner Mary and I will begin an adventure to search for the “the distant side of the beyond” following primarily U.S. Route 12 which runs from downtown Detroit to Aberdeen, Washington near the Pacific Ocean (just SW of the Tacoma/Seattle, WA area)…a distance of nearly 2500 miles. U.S. 12 remains mostly a 2-lane highway to Aberdeen, and we’ll begin the trek close to home in Ypsilanti, and we’ll stick to the 2-lane as much as possible. There will be occasional side trips (total shunpiking as my buddy Steve Purdy likes to say) off Highway 12 with the only assured plan now is to end up in somewhere different on 4th of July…on this trip, this year, it will be Mobridge, South Dakota.

The idea of this trip began with an interest in Michigan Avenue and its history in Michigan of following U.S. 12, but once I became aware of the scope of U.S. 12’s footprint, the path for this summer’s road trip was born. That’s the “why” of this trip…the who, what, when, and where will unfold on the road in weeks to come. Before sunrise on July 1 we will hop in our Ford Explorer and head out on U.S. 12 to find the place ahead where, as K.T. Berger wrote, “the road and the sky collide.”

Follow our journey on this site, Instagram (@m.ducker), and occasionally Facebook. Happy Trails!