Friday, December 31, 2021


We decided to take an impromptu trip to some areas we hadn’t visited before. Thanks to come Covid-related flight cancellations from 2020, we had to use our vouchers before November. So we booked a trip to Tulsa. We left on Friday night, and touched down around 10:30, entering Tulsa County at the same time – our first new county of the trip. We picked up our Toyota 4Runner, and checked into our hotel – the Hyatt Place Tulsa.

On Saturday morning we set our sights for Victoria, Texas. We mostly went south for the day. However our initial direction was northwest on HWY 412 out of Tulsa to pick up Osage and Pawnee Counties. We then went south on HWY 28 and picked up Creek County. From there we hopped on I-44 and picked up Lincoln County to the west. At that point we got off on HWY 377 and went south. Near the city of Prague we took a brief trip east on HWY 62 to reach Okfuskee County. We then continued south picking up Pottawatomie, Seminole, Pontotoc, Coal, Johnston, Marshall and Bryan Counties – all in Oklahoma.

We continued south into Texas, picking up Grayson, Fannin, Hunt and Rockwall Counties. We did our best to avoid the Dallas metro area. But we did get briefly stuck in traffic on I-30. Once we got out of that, we continued south and southeast, entering Kaufman, Van Zandt, Henderson and Anderson Counties.

As we approached Palestine, we went southwest on HWY 79. We briefly entered Freestone County (where we had been before) and then entered Leon County. At Buffalo we went south on I-45 until we entered Madison County. From there we zig-zagged south and west and picked up Brazos, Grimes, Washington and Fayette Counties. In Fayette County we got onto I-10 and did a quick turnaround west into Colorado County. From there we went south through Lavaca County and Victoria County, finally reaching our hotel – The Homewood Suites by Hilton.

On Sunday we woke up early and began our trip back north. We hugged the coast for a bit as we headed east first. We picked up Calhoun, Jackson, Matagordo and Wharton Counties. We took a bit of a crooked route around the Houston area, picking up Austin, Waller, Fort Bend, Harris, Brazoria and Galveston Counties.

We were planning to drive to the coast in Galveston. But traffic was bad. And it would have taken too much time. So we turned around and headed back north. We headed toward the city of Mont Belvieu – which is in Chambers County. From there, we drove an additional few miles north on HWY 146 and crossed into Liberty County. We then got back on I-10 and went east, driving into Jefferson County. We drove around Beaumont and went northwest on HWY 96 for five or six miles until we crossed into Hardin County. We then turned around and headed back toward Beaumont and I-10 again. A few miles later we crossed into Orange County. From there we continued northeast on HWY 12 and exited near the city of Mauriceville. From there we turned left and went about three miles to the border of Newton County. We went another mile further and crossed into Jasper County. At that point we turned around to head back to HWY 12, where we bid adieu to Texas for the day, and set our sights on Louisiana.

We continued northeast on HWY 12 and crossed into Louisiana, and Calcasieu Parish. Our destination for the night was the Homewood Suites by Hilton in Shreveport. We kept a pretty straight path heading mostly north, and picked up Beauregard, Vernon and Natchitoches Counties. Near the city of Bellwood, we turned left onto a dirt road for about two miles, until we crossed briefly into Sabine County. This was a textbook example of “No County left behind!” After we doubled back, we continued north, picking up De Soto, Red River, Caddo and Bossier Counties. We actually had a seafood dinner at Ralph & Kacoo’s (in Bossier County), before heading to our hotel (in Caddo County).

On Sunday, our destination was back to Tulsa. But we sure took a crooked way to get there. We got onto I-49 and went north. A little while later we crossed into Arkansas, picking up Miller County. Four miles later we got off the interstate onto HWY 71, in order to pick up Lafayette County. Getting back onto I-49, we continued north, and eventually veered west into the state of Texas so we could pick up Bowie County, just south of Texarkana. We then hopped onto I-30 and went northeast, picking up Hempstead, Nevada, and Clark Counties. At Caddo Valley we got off the interstate and went north on HWY 7, crossing into Hot Spring County and Garland County. When we reached Hot Springs, we took some time to visit Hot Springs National Park.

After we left the Park, we continued north. Our hotel was back in Tulsa. But as usual, we did not take a direct route to it. We went north on HWY 7 until we crossed into Perry County. One mile later we got off HWY 7 and turned right onto HWY 132. We then traveled about one mile more until we crossed into Saline County. This was a crazy mile however, as it was not much more than one curvy lane through a heavily wooded area. We were praying no car would be heading toward us at any point. And thankfully, none did. Once we crossed over, we turned around and went back. From there we continued north on HWY 7 until it hooked up with I-40 West, picking up Yell, Pope and Johnson Counties in the process. Just past Clarksville we got off the interstate and traveled south on HWY 109 in order to pick up Logan County. Turning around and getting back onto I-40, we continued west into Franklin and Crawford Counties. Near Alma we hooked up with I-49, taking it north, all the way to the Missouri border. We crossed through Washington and Benton Counties (in Arkansas) and McDonald County (in Missouri).

Once we were in Missouri, we zigzagged our way west, crossing into Oklahoma, and Delaware County. We then circled north, over the top of the Neosho River, coming back down, and crossing into Craig County, near the city of Ketchum. A few miles later we turned south on HWY 82, went about one mile, then crossed into Mayes County. From there we doubled back north until we picked up HWY 60 going west. We then crossed into Nowata County. At the city of Nowata we went south on HWY 169 and entered Rogers County. A few miles later we turned right in the city of Talala, drove a few miles, and entered Washington County – our last new county of the trip. We then headed straight to the Hyatt Place Tulsa, the same hotel we’d stayed at two nights earlier.

The next morning, we got to the airport and flew home. All in all, save for Hot Springs National Park, we didn’t see a lot of exciting things. But we did cover a lot of ground, picking up 81 new counties. So what’s next? A return visit to Hawaii in 2022. Stay tuned!

                                                NEW COUNTIES - 81
                                                TOTAL COUNTIES FOR 2021 - 123
                                                ALL TIME COUNTY TOTAL - 2205

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