Around the country in 33 days

Kim%E2%80%99s+route+around+the+United+States.+The+black+path+traces+their+path.+With+permission+from+Joe+Kim.
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Around the country in 33 days

Kim’s route around the United States. The black path traces their path. With permission from Joe Kim.

Kim’s route around the United States. The black path traces their path. With permission from Joe Kim.

Kim’s route around the United States. The black path traces their path. With permission from Joe Kim.

Kim’s route around the United States. The black path traces their path. With permission from Joe Kim.

Brian Fan

Kim’s route around the United States. The black path traces their path. With permission from Joe Kim.

Kim’s route around the United States. The black path traces their path. With permission from Joe Kim.

From California to Maine and all the way back to California, math teacher Joe Kim traveled to all states in the continental U.S for a family vacation. The Kim family started their trip by heading north, through Oregon and Washington before turning east and hitting their first major destination: Yellowstone National Park. There, they took a look at the rainbow colored hot springs and even witnessed Old Faithful’s eruption.

As they continued east, the Kim family stayed at the more well known attractions for the better part of a week, while other times, they transversed several states in a single day. They traveled across North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa, keeping close to the border in order to hit several states in one trip.

It was in North Carolina when trouble caught up with them.

“I was driving and I smelled fuel. I thought it was no big deal and kept driving for a while, but then the car started sputtering, so I had to pull over,” Kim said. It was a scary moment. At 2500 miles away from home with a broken car in an unfamiliar neighborhood, help seemed to be a long way off.

“We ended up calling the tow truck — we had to wait two hours, luckily it wasn’t too hot.” Kim said. Fortunately for them, the shop was able to fix the vehicle after tinkering for a while. “I said to him, I’ll give you sixty dollars, additional, if you can get it fixed today. But, since we didn’t know how the time would work out, we ended up getting a hotel and all that,” Kim said.

The last leg of the trip took them west through the tip of Texas and all the way back to the west coast. “We could have went to some other places, but we were tired so we decided to just drive four hours straight back home.” Kim said. The trip across all forty eight states lasted thirty three days.

A trip around the country seems interesting, but perhaps Kim had a purpose in taking his family across the U.S — a lesson that would help his children as they deal with increasingly difficult situations.

“It teaches them how to deal with different situations.” He paused for a moment. “The road trip was a good experience for my kids because it taught them how to deal with problems in a calm manner.”