Venturing Across America

Interstate 40 (I-40) is the 3rd longest major east-west Interstate Highway in the United States, after I-90 and I-80. Its western end is at Interstate 15 in Barstow, California; its U-Hauleastern end is at a concurrency of U.S. Route 117 and North Carolina Highway 132 in Wilmington, North Carolina.  We, essentially, covered every state included on the I-40 in our move from California to North Carolina and we did it with a two month old. After 41 hours of driving, we arrived at our new home in Charlotte, but it wasn’t without its tedious moments. Boredom knows no limits when you are staring at the highway for roughly 12 hours a day. We needed to find something to do; we needed to come up with a game that lasted more than ten minutes or didn’t make us want to kill each other. The U-Haul Supergraphics provided us with hours of entertainment and forced us to remain focused on the road. It was the perfect way to pass the time since the game was never-ending.

Venture Across America SuperGraphics aren’t just eye catching pictures that U-Haul artists dream up and creatively place on vehicles. They are carefully researched rare findings, little-known facts and mysteries that exist throughout the United States and Canada. But they don’t stop at simply placing an extraordinary picture on the sides of their vehicles. They keep the intrigue alive by putting each graphic on the uhaul.com website so that people can find even more information on the graphic that just drove by them on the highway.

Darren and I used the Venture Across America SuperGraphics twofold. First, we played “spot the U-Haul” then we figured out what state or province each SuperGraphic represented and I looked up the facts and findings on each one.

Our U-Haul SuperGraphic represented Montana. The side of the truck said, “Did you know… Sacajawea seemed to vanish after leading the Corps of Discovery through the perils of uncharted wilderness. Why did she mysteriously disappear after the Lewis and Clark Expedition?” I remembered hearing about Sacajawea in the movie “Night at the Museum,” but I didn’t know much about her. I checked out the U-Haul site and learned that she saved the important expedition that documented and mapped America. She helped lead the Lewis and Clark expedition to victory. As an English and History major, you would think that I would know a little more about Sacajawea; I’ll blame my ignorance on studying more recent history like WW1 and WW2.

U-Haul The Bay of Fundy represents New Brunswick, Darren’s home province, and we were able to spot two truck graphics along the I-40, but in 41 hours we never did see The Phantom Ship of Nova Scotia. U-Haul, I feel my province is under represented.

Secrets of the Singing Sands, with its visual representation of music, ocean, and sand is my favorite graphic. Singing Sands Beach is one of many that make up more than 500 miles of coastline throughout Prince Edward Island; however, it’s the only one where visitors can hear sounds similar to singing emanating from the white sands. I grew up in Nova Scotia and visited Prince Edward Island several times, yet I’d never heard of Singing Sands Beach. I was surprised with the creativity of each graphic and tidbit of information presented on the trucks. What a cool idea.

Darren: 82, Lesley: 69
These were the final scores of our “spot the U-Haul” game. In all fairness, I was texting, writing, and tending to the baby during most of the trip so I think I should have a “tending to tech and baby” handicap. Darren, however, believes that he is the rightful winner because he had to keep his eyes on the road and hands on the wheel at all times; that reminds me, there was a LOT of singing during the trip as well. If he was ever going to be sick of my voice, it would be now.

As a teacher for 8 years and a student for life, I’m constantly aiming to learn new information and share it with my family. Education is the key element in the Venture Across America series. By approaching unusual and unfamiliar subjects through SuperGraphics, U-Haul invites people to venture beyond the obvious and challenges them to explore new territory, which truly reflects the goals of Bucket List Publications and my personal objectives in life.

*SuperGraphics offers coloring pages along with a chance to enter artwork and potentially win prizes. It’s another great pastime for kids and worth mentioning, but I think I’ll stick to researching the information on the trucks; after all, I could obviously use a refresher on Canadian and American facts.

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39 thoughts on “Venturing Across America

  1. Leslie, I love what you did with this blog. You make me wish I was driving cross country just to spot U-Haul Graphics. Another adventure in traveling. Kudos to creative you!

    • Thank you for the kind words. I love when companies offer things above and beyond their normal services. I’ll be renting a U-Haul again when I move into a house, but I won’t wait until then to try and spot a graphic.
      :)

  2. Super fun! I love that stuff. I grew up in Clarksville TN where my parents and the rest of my family still live. Do you know where the song “Last Train to Clarksville” by the Monkees came from??

  3. What a great idea! Kudos to U-Haul. It’s funny in the post that you put the first picture of the U-Haul I wondered what that graphic was all about. Thanks for filling us in. I will be on the lookout now.

  4. Oh wow. I didn’t know about this UHaul program. Very cool. Next time we are on a road trip (and they do loom in our future) we’ll have to play along!

  5. And the horseshoe crab is featured as the Delaware graphic! Hope to see the Bay of Fundy one some day :-)

  6. I haven’t seen Nova Scotia but will keep an eye out for you. I really enjoy reading the facts when we spot a U-haul. They rent them close to here, I may have to go and just take pictures of all the graphic :)

    • I’m actually originally from the east coast – Nova Scotia. I lived in California for two years and before that I was in New Brunswick. I also lived in Manitoba and northern Quebec so I’m not a stranger to the four seasons. I’d prefer three seasons, no winter, but I’ll take what I can get.
      :)

  7. I love this post. You should’ve received extra points just for multi-tasking! I have not seen so many U-haul graphics, but you’ve introduced it. What a great game to play if you need to drive so far!

  8. A very interesting post: I enjoyed reading it and looking at the pictures.
    Good luck in your new environment! Will keep my fingers crossed for you, or, as we say in German, “Ich halte die Daumen.”

  9. Love this idea! We are heading out on a 12 hour road trip in one direction during June – then another 16 hour road trip in August in a different direction. I will have to get my boys watching the UHaul graphics to help pass the time! Sounds like it will make a great car game for us.

  10. Wow it sounds like you did almost the exact same move I did when I got out of the Navy. My son was only 4 at the time (luckily his grandma flew out to get him and he didn’t have to be along for the drive). We moved from San Diego to Charlotte. Enjoy the city and I look forward to posts about your new digs :-)

  11. Leslie, this is the COOLEST! I had no idea, and I’m excited to play the game even on our 5-hour drives to NY. :) Also, kudos to you BOTH for making the trip with a baby in tow. And congratulations on the new home and the new life your family’s about to begin!

  12. I really want to drive past a U-Haul! This sounds amazing.. the closest thing we have in Britain is the ‘Eddie Stobart’ game on the motorways; each iconic haulage wagon carrying the signature green, white and red liveries and trucking goods the length and breadth of these little islands. Eddie Stobart has a long tradition of giving its trucks female names which are carefully painted on the front and side of the drivers cab; many an hour was spent as a child spotting these lorries and trying to guess which (often double-barrelled) name was on the front. My favourite was seeing ‘The Lady Margaret’ apparently named after former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher :)

  13. I’ve been to Barstow. And, my daughter and her husband made a similar journey two years ago (Ft Lewis, CA to Fayetteville, NC) with a 2-week-old baby. Tough trip with a newborn, or a two-month-old.

    Congrats on a completed trip.

  14. Nice. I see you made it to NC without boredom. Enjoy the east coast. I’d like to go out there and hike around some mountains and raft on some rivers.

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