Skip to main content

Roadgeeking with Kids - County Collecting

A popular pastime within the roadgeeking hobby is county collecting.  In a nutshell, you keep track of all the counties in the US - and now Canada and Mexico - that you have been in.  It is one of those quirky little things that not only roadgeeks enjoy but also pretty much anyone that likes to travel.  Mob-Rule.com is the home for most county collectors and it is an interactive site that allows you to track your counties and label them however you wish.  You can label them by year visited, by if you have resided or spend the night there, how you visited them and even with whom.  Others even have rules for the counties to count, they or their spouse has to actually be driving, must visit the county seat, must do some sort of activity or transaction within the county.

I started keeping track of my overall counties about 15 years ago.  It was a lot easier to remember where and when you went there when you were 26 then now at 41.   County collecting can easily be a family affair.  I keep track of the counties both of my son's - Colton (5) and Nash (2) - have been to.  In Colton's case, he really enjoys it.  We started to tell him about his new counties when he was close to three, and he's been excited about getting new ones ever since.  In 2017, when we went to St. Louis on vacation, Colt told me his goal was to get 100 counties on the trip.  Though we didn't, he would ask how many we got each day and what part of the state they were in. On a recent trip from Charlottesville, Virginia to Charlotte, North Carolina, he picked up another six counties and was upset that he couldn't get ten!

Chris Allen updating the family county map after their recent cross-country roadtrip
I can't say that we are the first to keep track of our children's counties.  A good personal friend of mine - and also part of the hobby - Chris Allen - started to keep track of counties for his oldest daughter, Marla.  He would then also do the same for their youngest son, Bruce.  A number of other roadgeeks do this also.

However, the Allen's have done another great idea.  They have been keeping track of counties that their family of four have done together.  But this is where they take it to another level, the Allen's have blown up a photo of the US county map that is found on Mob-Rule, and after every trip that they collect, the family colors in the counties they have visited.  The map then goes back in the picture frame and is hung proudly in their living room. 

The finished product!
The Allen's were kind enough to share photos of the family updating their county map after their most recent cross-country adventure to New Mexico and Arizona!

This is a great way to get the whole family involved in a silly little hobby and can make those long road trips with kids a little more tolerable.

Comments

Jim T. said…
It's also a great side effect that the kids will grow up with a much better appreciation for where things are, the size of the country, etc.

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 232

This past month I drove the entirety of California State Route 232 in Ventura County. CA 232 is an approximately 4 miles State Highway aligned on Vineland Avenye which begins near Saticoy at CA 118 and traverses southwest to US Route 101 in Oxnard.  The alignment of CA 232 was first adopted into the State Highway System in 1933 as Legislative Route Number 154 according to CAhighways.org. CAhighways.org on LRN 154 As originally defined LRN 154 was aligned from LRN 9 (future CA 118) southwest to LRN 2/US 101 in El Rio.  This configuration of LRN 154 between CA 118/LRN 9 and US 101/LRN 2 can be seen on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Ventura County. 1935 Ventura County Highway Map According to CAhighways.org the route of LRN 154 was extended west from US 101/LRN 2 to US 101A/LRN 60 in 1951.  Unfortunately State Highway Maps do not show this extension due to it being extremely small. During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 154 was assigned CA 232.  Of n

Interstate 40 and the H-Bomb

Interstate 40 within California is entirely contained to San Bernandio County over a course of 155 miles from Interstate 15 in Barstow east to the Arizona State Line at the Colorado River.  Interstate 40 is aligned entirely in the Mojave Desert over the same general corridor established by US Route 66 and the National Old Trails Road.   Interstate 40 is known as the Needles Freeway and has an interesting backstory which included the prospect of the Bristol Mountains being excavated by way of nuclear blasts as part of Operation Carryall.   Part 1; the history of Interstate 40 in California The focus on this blog will be primarily centered around the construction of Interstate 40 ("I-40") within California.  That being said the corridor of automotive travel east of Barstow to the Arizona State Line was largely pioneered by the National Old Trails Road ("NOTR")   In April of 1912 the NOTR was organized with the goal of signing a trans-continental highway between Baltim

Interstate 15 Exit 239 to Zzyzx Road; intersecting the Mojave Road and Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad

    Interstate 15 Exit 239 in the Mojave Desert of northern San Bernardino County, California accesses the well known oddity of Zzyzx Road.  Zzyzx Road connects 4.5 miles from Interstate 15 to a small community of the same name which is located on the shore of the dry Soda Lake.  "Zzyzx" was coined in 1944 by Curtis Howe Springer as what he promoted as to be last word in the English Language.  On the surface Zzyzx appears to be something of a modern invention but the area has significant overall historical importance as part of a transportation corridor through the Mojave Desert.  Zzyzx lies at a point which was the intersection of the Mojave Road of the 19th Century the Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad of the early 20th Century.   The backstory of Soda Springs, the Mojave Road, Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad and Zzyzx The present site of Zzyzx is located upon a natural spring along the western shore of Soda Dry Lake.  This spring has historically been known as "Soda S