Connecting the dots: The Brown family goes coast-to-coast

Peddie Science teacher Kevin Brown and his family made a coast-to-coast journey this summer, meeting up with lots of friends and family along the way.

The Brown family goes coast-to-coast!

Remembering the fun we had on a driving trip to Prince Edward Island in 2010 (2250 miles total), Maxine and I decided to go a little bigger this summer. We planned a drive to San Francisco. It would be 12 days to get there, three days in the Bay Area and a four day return trip for me (the girls would spend an extra couple of days in Oakland and then fly home to NJ). 7250 miles total.

On August 2, we started our trip (symbolically) in the Atlantic Ocean at Belmar, NJ. The next day, less than an hour after my summer school responsibilities ended, we left Hightstown for Indianapolis on the first leg of the journey. We spent Saturday the 4th at the Indiana State Fair with Peter and Kim Kraft - rode the rides, saw the livestock and witnessed (but didn't eat) the fried butter.

That night we drove to St. Louis, setting up our longest day of the entire trip - 841 miles from St. Louis to Max's sister's place in Denver. Along the way we stopped in for lunch at Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City (literally the man who invented BBQ sauce), and had dinner at the surprisingly nice Gella's in Hays, KS. I highly recommend both places.

We spent a couple of days visiting with sisters, in-laws and cousins in Denver, then headed out for a day in Boulder, Utah at the suggestion (and insistence) of Dan Austin, last year's final Christensen Speaker - a very, very well-traveled Utah native. Boulder didn't disappoint - it's a remote and verdant mountain plateau in the middle of the Utah desert.
Antelope Canyon
Then we headed into Arizona to visit some canyons - the Antelope Canyon (narrow enough for Katerina to spread her arms and touch both walls) on the Navajo reservation near Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon. After a couple of days staring in wonder at the Grand Canyon, we made our way (slowly and carefully over the barely paved I-40) to a 112 degree afternoon at the Hoover Dam and an evening visit with friends in Las Vegas.

Yosemite with Diego Panasiti
Then we headed north through the Nevada desert into the Sierra Mountains to Lee Vining, CA and Yosemite National Park. There we quite literally ran into Diego Panasiti (Peddie Spanish teacher and professional Yosemite guide) in the parking lot of our camp ground. We spent two days touring the park with him before heading west to San Francisco where we cat- and apartment-sat for a friend, saw the sights and met up with some more friends - including former Peddie colleague Michael Mirelman.
Made it! San Francisco with Michael Mirelman

On the way home - Pittsburgh with Oliver Johnston '11
On Saturday the 18th, I hit the road for home. I managed to drive just under 800 miles each day for four days stopping along the way for memorable meals in Reno, Salt Lake City, Cheyenne, Chicago and an afternoon with Oliver Johnston '11 in Pittsburgh - returning to Peddie just in time for pre-planning meetings!


  1. A trip your family will remember for a lifetime!! In 2006, we took out kids on the road for 6 weeks and visited 31 states. It was great bonding time with our three kids and we were able to share the in the beauty of our country, national parks and silly roadside attractions.
    I'm so happy that you were able to share so many great memories with your kids and give them a truly unique experience.


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