Yet, despite those many long journeys along America's roadways, I've never explored CNET's own backdoor -- California. So this summer, that's what I'm doing. For Road Trip 2012, I'll be traveling up and down the Golden State, with short forays into Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon. And that means that for the next six weeks, I'll be making almost daily site visits and bringing you stories on a wide range of topics, from military bases to research institutions to a world-class aquarium to a famous Hollywood monument, and much more.
On this year's trip, I'll be driving a BMW 650i Coupe, and heading south from San Francisco along the Pacific Coast Highway. I'll be heading through Monterey, and checking out the Naval Postgraduate School, as well as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, before heading down through Big Sur, and eventually to Los Angeles.
In L.A., my schedule will be packed with everything from learning about the latest and greatest museum technology at the Getty Foundation to seeing the newest cameras used in the making of 3D films. And I'll check out the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science's Film Archives.
From there, I'll detour northeast to Las Vegas, and then head back into the Mojave desert for a stop at Edwards Air Force Base.
I don't want to give away the full itinerary, and I've already hinted at a few stops. But here are a few more: the Nevada National Security Site, where atomic bombs were tested in the 1950s; the U.S./Mexico border, for a look at how the U.S. government uses technology there; and the Hollywood sign.
As I have each year, I'll be posting stories and slideshows almost every day. And as always, you can get in on the action -- and even win some great prizes, including a complete GoPro camera package -- with the Picture of the Day contest.
I'll also be trying out some new technology, though fewer gadgets than in previous years. As of this writing, I know I'll be using Apple's latest iPad and Lytro's very exciting new camera.
As the project moves forward, you can reach all my stories and see all my photos and videos here, and you can also follow my progress on Twitter, Facebook, Tout, Pinterest, and Instagram. I hope you come along for the ride. It's not a summer vacation, but how could six weeks in the West Coast be anything but fun?