I am hooked on usa-c2c.com. I first discovered this site after reading a local newspaper article about Gab and Michael's 2-year journey. I have always dreamed of visiting all of the USA's national parks, and some day I plan to do just that, but for now my life does not allow me to travel very much. For me, reading the regular updates that are posted on usa-c2c.com has been an inspiration. I check this site daily, and I always get excited when I see that a new site review or new pictures have been posted. Gab and Michael are very talented writers. Their descriptions are so vivid, you almost feel like you have visited the Park after reading one of their reviews. They obviously care a great deal about the treasures that this nation has to offer in the form of their national park system.
This site has a second mission, and that is to raise awareness for childhood cancer research and prevention. They started their journey on 3/21/04, which was Gab's 16th year in remission from Hodgkin's disease, a form of childhood cancer.
This is the kind of site that the Web was built on. Sites that hook us with personal experiences, teach us, make us laugh, make us feel connected as an online community. Everyone should add usa-c2c.com to their Favorites menu. It's a site that is growing in popularity, and the reason why is obvious - It's informative, well managed, and simply entertaining.
The USA-C2C.com trip has been featured in articles in the Wilton Bulletin, the Stamford Advocate and the Wilton Advocate.
This is our favorite article. It appeared in the Sunday Patriot News, Harrisburg, Pa. on June 27, 2004:
LIFE ON THE ROAD
City couple travels the country for two years, keeps track of the journey on their Web site
Sunday, June 27, 2004
BY KELLY NIEDERWERFER
Of The Patriot-News
Michael Sedor, deeply touched by his visit to Ellis Island, recorded his impressions in a journal.
"We are a nation of travelers, a nation of searchers, a nation of immigrants. We have never been stagnant. We move for a better life, we move for answers, we move for adventure, we move to escape, we move."
The concept of movement is not unfamiliar to Michael and his wife, Gabrielle. On March 21, the anniversary of the day Gabrielle's cancer went into remission 16 years ago, the Harrisburg couple set off on a two-year journey across the country.
Packing the bare necessities into their Nissan Altima, they traded a domestic lifestyle at their Front Street apartment for one where progress is marked by miles on the odometer.
Their agenda includes visits to each of the 320 national parks in the continental United States. They also plan to stop in 48 state capitols and 50 major metropolitan areas, recording each leg of the trip in an online journal hosted on the couple's Web site, www.usa-c2c.com.
"It's a lot of work, but it's been a very fun time," Gabrielle said. Keeping the Web site up-to-date has been a difficult task while traveling in places without electricity or phone service. So far, the project has received many positive responses.
At the end of the trip, Gabrielle and Michael plan to translate the online journal into a book, documenting their exploration of America's treasures. But Gabrielle says that the Web site also serves another function. "It's for peace of mind. It's nice to keep in touch," she said. The journal has been a way for family and friends to keep tabs on their progress.
The first stop on the tour was Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site in Elverson, Pa. "From nearly two years of planning, saving, and belief, the culmination of a lifetime of dreams has begun," Michael wrote.
Valley Forge was the next site on the couple's itinerary. From there, they traveled through New England to Maine, then south through New York, Ohio and Kentucky before heading north again to Michigan, hitting many attractions along the way.
So far, Michael and Gabrielle agree that Ellis Island is on their list of favorite places. While they intended to spend only a few hours, they ended up touring the site for the entire day. Gabrielle has learned to expect the unexpected. "The plans change from day to day," she said.
When the trip was originally planned, the Sedors weren't expecting gas prices to spike to around $2 a gallon. "We're already way over budget," Gabrielle said.
Financing for the trip has come from a number of sources. The Sedors saved up for a year before their departure. Gabrielle also works part time for the Pennsylvania Association of Resources for People with Mental Retardation, a statewide nonprofit organization based in Harrisburg. Thanks to her laptop and cell phone, Gabrielle is able to do her work while on the road.
The travelers also found a sponsor, www.greenfieldonline.com, which has promised some financial support. Individual sponsors and donations, which can be made on their Web site, provide additional funding.
Gabrielle and Michael said they try to keep their expenses below $100 a day -- $40 for meals, $50 for lodging and $10 for miscellaneous items. Camping and staying with friends and family along the way help keep their budget in check.
"Some days cost much more than we anticipate, other days much less," Gabrielle said.
But managing their finances and the high price of gas have not dampened their spirits or slowed their momentum. The pair continue their journey, personally fueled by their combined curiosity and love of learning. Gabrielle said that the trip has amounted to "one huge history lesson" for the couple.
"As far as American history, we're almost embarrassed at what we didn't know before," Gabrielle said. She graduated from Brown University with a degree in English and American literature. Michael is a graduate of Georgetown with an honors degree in American studies. Both are 29 years old.
The husband and wife team considers the trip to be as valuable as any year spent in school. "I think every grad student should do this," Gabrielle said.
But the Sedors have found that the more miles they put behind them, the more their excursion has taken on new meaning.
As they make their way from state to state, the two have been disappointed to find that budget cuts and lack of funding have caused many national parks to only open on certain days. This has forced the Sedors to rearrange their schedule on several occasions.
"It's definitely affecting our trip. I'm just glad we made the decision to go when we did because who knows what it's going to be like in the future," Gabrielle said.
The Sedors would like to see increased funding for the national parks in the future. "We try not to be political, but we really feel that we need to say something," Gabrielle said. "It's turning into something of a mission."
As of now, they aren't sure where this mission will lead them. The couple plan to continue traveling, possibly abroad, after they complete this trip in March of 2006.
Gabrielle said she would recommend such a trip to anyone. Her advice is to "take enough time" and "leave room for changes and exploration."
USA-C2C.com is an independent website, not affiliated in any way with the National Park Service, the National Parks Foundation or any of their partners.