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Four Missouri friends visit all 50 states in under a week

Break out the junk food, the mixed CDs, and the highway alphabet game: it's time for a road trip. Josh Willis, Brian Mehrens, Nate Williams, and Chris Watson rolled through Alexandria at 4 a.m. on Tuesday, July 14. While the city may have been sl...

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Chris Watson, Nate Williams, Brian Mehrens and Josh Willis are taking on 13,000 miles of travel to visit all 50 states in one week.

Break out the junk food, the mixed CDs, and the highway alphabet game: it’s time for a road trip. Josh Willis, Brian Mehrens, Nate Williams, and Chris Watson rolled through Alexandria at 4 a.m. on Tuesday, July 14. While the city may have been sleeping, these boys made noise with their flashy, patriotic SUV and American apparel. These four friends, who are no strangers to traveling together, saw a joke on Facebook that they quickly took as a challenge. The Missouri natives decided to race against the clock and visit all 50 states in one week. Currently, the record for visiting all 50 states sits at eight days and 20 minutes. Willis and his friends plan on doing it in less than seven.

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Chris Watson, Nate Williams, Brian Mehrens and Josh Willis are taking on 13,000 miles of travel to visit all 50 states in one week.

While prepping for this trip, Willis was browsing through a Tipsy Elves catalog when he stumbled upon a beautiful American onesie. “I thought, how awesome would it be to wear these onesies all around the United States?” he said. He contacted Tipsy Elves, a company that got its start on the hit show, Shark Tank, and they were more than happy to partner with them. The company wrapped the friends and their ride in red, white and blue. “It was a perfect match for our trip; I think the two guys who won the company wish they could be on the trip themselves.” Tipsy Elves helped turn a fun road trip for friends into the epic American journey now known as “#50states7days.” Knowing they wanted to document the trip, Mehrens suggested that the group reach out to Kodak, which had just released the PIXPRO 360-degree camera. Excited about the idea and using the trip as a focus group for the new equipment, Kodak donated five cameras, including three PIXPRO 360s that were attached to their vehicle. The trip that started in Maine on Saturday, July 11, is scheduled to end in Hawaii today, Friday, July 17. If everything goes smoothly with their flights to both Alaska and Hawaii, the guys will beat the record by 24 to 30 hours. At the end of the road, the friends will meet up with their wives in Hawaii for a couple days of rest and relaxation. “Our wives would not have wanted to be in this car with four stinky men, so they are really excited about being invited to Hawaii,” Willis said. Though the lifelong friends are chasing a record and trying to stay ahead of the countdown clock, the trip is much more than that to them. “The record or the destination, that’s not really what’s important to our trips,” Willis said. “It’s more about the adventure and the time spent together.” For more information, visitwww.tipsyelves.com/50states7days. ROAD TRIP ESSENTIALS As told by #50states7days Food: While the boys have been gifted with various foods, such as hotdogs on the Chicago interstate and custom chips in Rockford, they can’t deny that they love to binge on Twizzlers and Cheez-Its. Music: Listening to a little bit of everything, this group’s favorite thing is to create their own raps. Be on the lookout for their rap about their trip once the journey is complete!

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