My Ideal Oshkosh Trip

So if you know me, you know that I’m very involved in something called “Pathfinders”.  It’s a youth ministry group from our church that focuses on young people from 5th to 10th grade.  Every 5 years, there is a big event up in Oshkosh, WI, where they have 35,000 people show up for a week-long get-together.

For me, part of the fun of going to Oshkosh is the trip there and back.  So today I put together my ideal trip.  Where would I want to go?  What would I want to see?  So here it is, my ideal Oshkosh trip:

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It would start out from El Paso, with the first stop at my parents’ house just outside of San Antonio, TX. From there it would go to Pensacola Beach (I hear it’s beautiful!) where we’d spend a day or so. From there we’d head up to ATL and visit my grandpa and head north up to Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, TN. From there we’d continue north up to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky and push up to Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI, using that as a launch pad to go visit Battle Creek on a day trip. Following that, head west to Chicago, visiting Navy Pier and Big Bricks Pizza. Lastly (at least on the way there), we’d head north up to Oshkosh, WI.

The trip back wouldn’t have as many stops but would possibly be just as interesting. Leaving Oshkosh, head west up into Minnesota to go to the Mall of America. From there, continue west and go all the way out to Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota. From there, head south to Rocky Mountains National Park in Colorado and then to Pike’s Peak. Lastly, head south to Las Cruces, NM and then to El Paso.

According to Google Maps, this means that the total distance would be 4,888 miles which would take 77 hours of driving. Figuring high at 5,000 miles, gas prices estimated at (what seems to me as VERY high) $4.50 / gallon, and figuring 37 miles to the gallon in the Prius (which is about the worst I’ve ever seen in the Prius with lots of uphill), that means that roughly speaking, it would take just over 135 gallons of gas, for a total cost of around $610 (rounded to the nearest $10).

If I’m figuring right, this means it would take about 9 days to get there (spending a whole day in Pensacola, full day in Battle Creek, etc.) which means that to be there on Monday we’d have to leave a little over a week before the camporee itself actually started. On the way back, probably about 5 days. Is this realistic? There’s a good chance that it’s not. Needing to get Aimee back to work, plus whomever rode with us (if anyone rode with us) would also have to be considered. But like I said, this would be my ideal trip.


By Chris G. Clapp

Chris is a computer teacher at Horizon Middle School. He also works with Pathfinders and Adventurers in the Texico Conference as the English area coordinator for the Southwest Texico area. He is happily married to Aimée Clapp.

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