Summer seems far, far off, but here in Northern California, with rain finally making a small dent in our worst-ever drought, it nevertheless is already starting to feel like it's around the corner.
Perhaps that's because I've just begun my planning for Road Trip 2014, my ninth-annual journey to highlight some of the best destinations around for technology, military, aviation, architecture, science, nature, and so on.
For seven of the past eight years, CNET Road Trip has taken me all around the roads of the United States, giving me the opportunity to visit the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest, the Southeast, the Rocky Mountain region, the Northeast, and the West Coast. In 2011, I crossed the pond and covered seven countries in Europe, and last summer, I criss-crossed much of the Midwest, traveling through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri.
This year, the itinerary is still a little unclear, but I know I'll be spending a good chunk of time in Texas. I'll almost certainly be adding states, but for now I'm focused on the Lone Star State.
I've already got a list of a few potential destinations, but as I do every year, I want to ask you, fine readers, for suggestions of excellent places to go I never would have thought of myself.
So, if you have an idea for a Road Trip stop, please send it to daniel--dot--terdiman--at--cnet--dot--com. Here's what I'm looking for: a place in Texas (I'll likely run another post like this one at a later date related to other states) that would appeal to a national audience, that has a heavy tech or geek element, and that is highly visual, lending itself to a big photo gallery.
Some things that might work are manufacturing facilities for iconic brands, famous monuments, large-scale works of art or architecture, and famous or important military or aviation facilities. Past examples of Road Trip items include a behind-the-scenes look at America's Doomsday plane, New York's Grand Central Terminal, the process of printing the next-generation $100 bill at the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing, a look inside NORAD's former home at Cheyenne Mountain, behind-the-scenes at Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, the high-tech gear aboard the most advanced submarine on Earth, and so on. I have already done a story on Johnson Space Center, although I might try to return this year and see what's new.
I'd like to reward readers who come up with a great idea. So while I do have a list of potential destinations, if you send me a suggestion I haven't already thought of myself, and that I end up adding to my itinerary, I'll send you a gift in exchange.
I hope to hear from you, as I know that many of you have extensive experience traveling, and I'd love to be able to benefit from that experience -- and share the wealth with my readers. I look forward to hearing from you.