About the Trip

What started out as a patriotic pilgrimage to 50 capitols in 50 days – that many thought was impossible – to honor Abraham Lincoln and our veterans “for love of country,” turned into a humbling and sometimes harrowing trip full of surprises!

Daily Herald newspaper

Full of Surprises

The 50 Capitols trip was to have a clear beginning and end, but Mickey Straub could have never predicted the...

  • Incredible challenges
  • Remarkable kindness
  • Serendipitous encounters or
  • The 5 Habits of Success

...strategies that made it all possible, nor how it would become a lifelong journey to promote Lincoln’s core values and that of our nation.  Equally surprising was what he learned about himself and America along the way and how this historic drive would become a road map to inspire others to achieve their goals.

During the 50 Capitols trip, Mickey also became the first (and only) person in history to recite and record the Gettysburg Address at every state capitol in the country!

Abe’s Message

There’s something about Lincoln that inspires us all, but it was Abe’s message in the Gettysburg Address that would unify a nation and inspire Mickey to make this patriotic dream a reality.  In it, Lincoln reminded us that America was “conceived in Liberty,” that we have “unfinished work and a great task” ahead and that we are a “nation under God.”

  • 44 Days to Finish Trip
  • 48 Capitol Tours
  • 2-2.5 Hours Spent at Each Capitol
  • 11 Two-Capitol Days
  • 3 Three-Capitol Days
  • 35 Driving Days
  • 6 Flying Days
  • 14,900 Miles Driven
  • 260 Hours Driven
  • 29 Flying Hours
  • 7-7.5 Hours Driving per Day
  • 400-450 Miles Driving per Day
  • 650 Gallons of Gas
  • 23.7 Miles per Gallon

Perhaps that’s why Mickey was inspired to ask the tour guides at the Illinois State Capitol first, “Is God still in the Capitol?” It was their reaction, one of embarrassment and hope, as well as Lincoln’s own words that prompted Mickey to ask that question at every capitol. After 10 years of thinking and dreaming about it, the trip was launched 18 months later. 

Driving 7-8 hours and 425 miles per driving day, Mickey battled fatigue and wanting to quit, took over 7000 pictures of any references to God, Liberty, Lincoln and that showcased state exceptionalism, as well as recorded the Gettysburg Address.  The trip was finished in 44 days (September 4 – October 17, 2012).

It was a humbling and patriotic pilgrimage only possible with the right formula, faith and friendship…and it gives us all hope.

Here are some trip statistics that you may find interesting:

  • Goal: 50 Capitols in 50 Days (Actual = 44)
  • Inside Tours of Capitols = 48 (Nashville was closed for construction; North Dakota not open on weekends during the Fall)
  • Time at each Capitol = 2-2.5 Hours/Capitol
  • Two Capitol Days = 11
  • Three Capitol Days = 3
  • Driving Days = 35
  • Flying Days = 6
  • Non-travel Days = 3
  • Miles Driven = 14,900 (includes commute, side trips and wrong turns)
  • Hours Driven = 250-275 (includes side trips and stops for gas/food)
  • Flying Hours = 29 (includes HI, AK and 2 round trip flights to Chicago)
  • Hours of Driving/day = 7-7.5 hours
  • Miles of Driving/day = 400-450 Miles
  • Gasoline: 650 gallons 43 Stops (Approximately)
  • Miles Per Gallon (MPG) = 23.7