2,000 Miles in 20 Minutes

Here’s the video of my trip from Sault Ste Marie to Key West taken in the middle of winter (in the northern hemisphere).

The video is technically 1,974 miles in 18:50 minutes, but that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

Winter trees in Key West
Gratuitous palm tree pictures. Winter will end eventually, right?

It’s apparent that next time I do this, I have to bring a lot more equipment. Maybe I need to bring the Top Gear crew with me. Or Ken Block’s guys. I need more video angles, more high def footage, and better acting. I might as well get a faster car while I’m at it. This blogging on a budget is for the birds.

For the lazy like me (TL;DW), here are the times when stuff happens:

00:00 – “Roll Me Away”
01:45 – I-75 entrance ramp
02:53 – Mackinac Bridge
04:00 – Zilwaukee Bridge
04:33 – “Don’t Stop…”
05:05 – 8 Mile Road
05:23 – South Detroit
06:32 – Ice storm
08:39 – Atlanta / “Angry White Guy Music”
13:51 – “Werewolves in Alabama”
14:30 – Key Largo
16:54 – 7 Mile Bridge
17:04 – 458
17:57 – Key West



Some people may care, so here is the list of stuff I used to make the video:



  • The temperature is actually engine intake temperature with a number-massaging algorithm applied to it. It’s least accurate after a stop.
  • Parts of the video are either at 1x, 2x, or 8x speed.
  • I forgot how to turn on one of my video cameras, so I didn’t get as many angles as I had hoped. Old age, or oldage, as I call it (like footage or baggage or pawnage).
  • I also forgot to turn the GPS logger on once in a while. It only affected a couple of clips from the video. More oldage.
  • The GPS route on the map is slightly off. Yes, it bugs me so don’t bring it up. Stupid curvature of the Earth in a Cartesian coordinate world. We should go back to the flat Earth.
  • I didn’t get a video of the end of I-75. I blame my lazy crew of one.
  • I didn’t stop during the drive on Florida Highway 1 to Key West.
  • And yes, I know Journey is from San Francisco. It was them or Madonna.
  • This is a lot of text just to show a video.
  • What else? Oh, yeah. The video.


A video only a Detroit, Michigan based, road trip driving, music enthusiast could like. Who drives a Subaru.

Crankiness Rating: 1 out of 11 (palm trees… so calming… but only if they’re near by, not 2,000 freakin’ miles away…)


  • DukeGanote

    Now don’t you wish we had American Autobahns? Could’ve been 2,000 miles in 15 minutes!

    • EMan

      I’d love an American version of the autobahn, but only if there are no typical American drivers on it. What I would like to see if we had an autobahn system is a higher-level driving test to be allowed to drive on it.


      • DukeGanote

        IMO the expensive driving courses/tests and vehicle inspections beloved by Germans aren’t a requirement. Germany is the cross roads of Europe and hosts drivers and vehicles from across the continent, including US military personnel and families (and occasional US visitors like me too) with just standard US driver’s training.

        Autobahns are the safest German roads — in 2012, the autobahn fatality rate was 1.7 — much lower than urban streets’ 5.1 rate and country roads’ 7.6 deaths per billion-vehicle-km. tinyurl.com/autobahn2012 (re-directs to the English-language summary highway statistics from the Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen). That kind of safety record is consistently achieved by controlled-access highways.

        The feasibility of American-style Autobahns could be easily demonstrated step-wise. First by raising rural toll road speed limits to European levels — Ohio “sold” the idea of a 70-mph limit across rural interstates by initially (and successfully safely) testing it on the Ohio Turnpike for a few years. During my vacation trip last year to Colorado and back, umm, let me say that Autobahn speeds are easily achievable and I don’t see the point of speed restrictions over most of the Great Plains.

        • EMan

          I don’t disagree with your numbers, mostly because I like numbers. But it’s also worth noting that Germany’s autobahn fatality rate is lower than the U.S.’s interstate fatality rate. The question then is, why?

          I lived in Germany for over 5 years. They changed the laws at the time I moved so that I could just exchange my Michigan license for a German one (specific Bavarian law). My colleague who moved there a few months before I did had to take the driving classes. At the time, he was in his 40s, and yet the driving teacher kept emphasizing the seriousness of driving to him. The Germans are serious about their driving. The Germans are serious about everything.

          And speed itself is a very serious things. The scariest driving moments of my life have occurred on German roads, usually at 125+ mph. More than half the time, it’s been a non-German license plated car moving in front of me, clueless of things like closing speed. I put a roll bar in my 944 Turbo shortly before shipping it to Germany after I saw my first autobahn accident. All I could tell from the car in the accident was that it had metal bits in it.

          I don’t see American drivers taking the higher speeds seriously enough. We barely take driving seriously. It’s probably irritating enough to dedicate an entire blog for it.

          I do not want some kid with his dad’s ZL1 Camaro trying to see how fast it can go on the same road as me. Let him park that Camaro in a pool like other kids (http://goo.gl/LPQkTQ).

          The irony here is I think the American interstates (the ones with fewer potholes) can handle higher speeds better than German autobahns, mostly because they’re wider and straighter. Well, maybe I would qualify it by saying those west of the Mississippi, as you’ve pointed out.

          Like I said, I’d love an unlimited highway, but only with drivers who take driving on it seriously.

          • DukeGanote

            As much as I enjoy the thought of teenagers car-pooling like that, nothing stops a teenager until the final toll, as the family of Nikki Catsouras knows (http://goo.gl/k9fHww).

            US States impose many age-related restrictions such as not driving after certain hours, etc. Imposing a hard 130 km/h limit on anyone under 21 would be as viable as any such legislation.

            Frankly I’m amused by the (true) observation that “Germany’s autobahn fatality rate is lower than the U.S.’s interstate fatality rate.” To me, the question is not “why?”– because I’ve been doing this a long, long time. When I started looking into this issue three decades ago, the situation was reversed. I was repeatedly told by surly State Troopers that the US interstate fatality rate was the best in the world because we had the double-nickel, so we’d be foolish to give it up.

            Of course Germany’s fatality rate trend declined like every other nation after the 1973-1974 oil-price-crisis, despite the lack of motorway speed restrictions, so I knew their argument was weak.

            IMO, the answer is simple: a focus on results, rather than the politics of pandering (http://goo.gl/uOT9r5).