When I was a child my family relocated cross-country to California via the Mother Road, historic Route 66. Even at that tender age, I enjoyed the trip in a station-wagon piled high with our possessions, 'Grapes of Wrath' style. It was on that drive that the road-tripper bug infected me.

Years later the country was facing its first gas crisis and the price had reached 75 cents a gallon. With school behind me but the open road in front, the incubation period passed and the road-tripper fever hit. That summer I found Zen in a convertible as mile after mile of lonely Great Basin desert passed beneath me.

Now another gas crisis is here and the price has skyrocketed to over four dollars a gallon. I wondered, just how relevant is the freedom road trip travel gives today?

This fall I'll have the opportunity to find out. My co-pilot and experienced navigator will accompany me driving the narrow country roads of Tuscany, using 21st century Global Positioning Satellite technology to find 14th century hilltown prizes. Traveling this way puts a whole different spin on the sport of Geocaching!

Look for this story on ITKT pages soon.