Hi folks! My name is Del Leu and thanks for visiting my website. I created this website in May 2016 to describe my travels during an 8-month road trip as I visit dozens of extreme geographic places around the U.S. and Canada – just me and my truck. So far I've posted dozens of stories, over 1,600 high-res photos and more than 30 interactive panorama pictures, so be sure to check them out.
Above: Here's my trip so far: five months, 23 stops -- including a long one in Lake City, Colorado -- and 11,083 miles. Click on any red line (my route) or blue dot (my nightly stops) to see more information. And click on the "tile" button to change the basemap; my favorite is the National Geographic map. To expand the map to a full screen, click on the link above left.
So what's "extreme geography"? Think of places like the highest city in the U.S., the lowest lake, the largest county – basically anything with an "est" in it. I do computer mapping for a living and in my spare time, I love visiting "est" places for fun. And I'm taking an 8-month break from work so I can do just that. By the way, feel free to check out my travels and adventures from 2001-2012 on my companion website, www.DelsJourney.com.
So here's a quick summary of my current trip: I worked in Qatar, a small country in the Middle East, for three years doing mapping work and returned to my hometown, Portland, Oregon, in March 2016. After getting a new truck (see below), I spent two months in Portland getting ready for my trip.
I left Portland on May 13 and so far have visited the American West and Southwest. After spending the summer in Colorado getting my website set up, I recently resumed my road trip. After several days in Utah, I'll be traveling around the Midwest for a few weeks, then to the Northeast and, by October, I'll be heading down the East Coast to Florida. Before the trip is over, I'll have traveled through something like 42 states and dozens of National Parks.
Above: Here's me and my Toyota truck (with the XT GEOG license plate) near Lake City, Colorado in July. Look familiar? Take a look at the last picture in the slideshow at the top of this page. Back in 1986, when I worked as a BLM ranger in Lake City, I took that shot at this same location.
Since leaving Portland, I've visited several extreme geographic places, which are listed here and include:
- The wettest city in the U.S. (Forks, Washington)
- The hottest and driest place in North America (Death Valley)
- The lowest lake in North America (the Salton Sea)
- The highest city in the U.S. (Leadville, Colorado), and most importantly
- The funniest town name in America (Humptulips, Washington).
One of my goals is to become the first person to visit all 16 extreme geographic compass points in the contiguous United States, like the westernmost point (in the state of Washington), the southeasternmost point (in Florida) and the west-southwesternmost point (in California). There are a lot of misconceptions about where these places are, so I wanted to set the record straight. I figured that one way to do that is to visit them and post a story about each, with maps and calculations. So far, I've been to seven of the 16 points – nine still to go!
I've also recently learned how to take and post interactive 360-degree panorama photos, like Google Street View pictures but with much higher resolution. So far I've posted about 30 high-res panoramas of some of my favorite places in the American West, so you can peruse that section, too.
Once again, welcome to my website, thanks for visiting and please check back soon for more updates!