This spring I'll be riding from New Orleans, LA to San Diego, CA. I haven't spent much time in the Southwest so there are MANY places I want to visit and people I want to see. I'm having difficulty chosing a route. If I tried to see every place I wish to, my route would zig-zag all over and it'll take forever to get to Californi, but I'd enjoy it the whole way. Or I could just hop on the ACA southern tier route and zip right along. I've never ridden a designated route and I like the idea of meeting other touring cyclists. But I don't wish to feel like I missed out on much of the Southwest.
On my last tour from Vermont to Louisiana I was 1500 miles in and only 200 miles away from where I started. I felt a bit silly.
Do other tourists who make their own routes run into these issues? Most routes I've seen seem to head in a general direction. When you know you won't be back in a region, how do you pass by a "attraction", knowing you will probably never be that close again?