The longest road trip: How to set a world record

Anje Rautenbach
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 ROAD TRIP COMMENCE: Setting the record for the longest road trip is as simple as starting with an idea. ~ iStock

When you think of a road trip a list of endless possibilities, friends, family and laughter, unexpected discoveries and one epic playlist come to mind. Usually.

But for Greg Cayea and Heather Thompson the concept of ‘have car, will travel’ is a bit different.

The couple, who started their road trip journey in Arizona, broke the world record for the longest road trip in one country after Cayea, author of “No Direction Home: The Drifter Chronicles Volume One” got inspired by Tony Robbins' audio book, Awaken the giant within.

In Greg’s blog, Scrambled Gregs, he wrote that Tony Robbins asked him through the headphones, “Are you setting ambitious goals?” and that Robbins shouted in his ear, “Well it’s time to stop and dream big”.

And he did just that.

The previous record was set by four men from India in April 2016 to raise awareness for the ‘Clean India Mission’, a government initiative to clean towns and cities across India;  they covered a distance of 22 406.66 mile (36 060.1 km) in just over a month.

But that Guinness World Record didn’t last for more than five months; it is history already as the couple passed the 22 406.66 mile record more than a month ago.

The couple has visited to 22 national parks so far and while Yellowstone National Park, Zion National Park and Crater Lake National Park were two of their favourites, driving more than 36 000 km is no walk in the park. It’s no drive in the park either.

Cayea and Thompson have a few rules as they make their way through America’s 48 adjoining states:

1. No backtracking

2. No stopping for longer than 14 days in any one place.

3. Film two minutes of video footage per every hour on the road

4. Keep a logbook of all mileage, starting points and rest breaks

5. Keep a witness book of people along the way that can vouch for our journey

6. No round trips.

7. Submit GPS data showing all tracking from the journey that includes times, dates, distances and routes and live stream every day @9PM EST.

In an interview with Travel + Leisure, Cayea said that they thought the journey would be good for them as they were preparing to move to Philadelphia, and that being on the road is a big part of his life. This is quite evident from his book – also their way of funding their road trip – in which he said, “Every chance I could, I would get on the road, because that’s where I felt most at home”.

So far the couple rated the Beartooth Pass as one of the most scenic drives and they are quite fond of visiting interesting spots like the ghost town of Bayhorse in Idaho. A few weeks ago they even tried to find Ravenswood, a ghost town by Area 51 but landed in a ditch with grasshoppers attacking the car and covering the windshield, all while live streaming (just before phone fell and the screen got shattered).

Cayea and Thompson’s 2008 Subaru Outback has seen and experienced more than what any four wheels could’ve ever imagined; from driving around the lakes of Glacier National Park to being house, home and bedroom to the couple’s mattress while being parked at truck stops, rest stops or even at a Wallmart where they got woken up by the bright lights of police officers in Eureka, California.

 You can subscribe to their journey on Stre.am, under the username @heatherandgreg, to watch their daily videos.

You can also follow the journey on Twitter and Instagram at @gregcayea, where Greg posts a few cartoons he has drawn along the journey.

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