Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Quest for 50 States

I'm not one that has a travelling jones - in fact, just the opposite.  Travel in general, and business travel in particular, I find to be overrated at best, and a massive hassle at its worst.  However, given my past and current job, I've had to travel a bit - in fact, I'm on a trip to Orlando right now.  Combine that with my loved ones living and moving around the country, and it has all added up to me ultimately visiting a lot of places.

About 20 years ago I started keeping track of the states that I've visited, with an overarching goal of eventually setting foot in all 50 of them.  The following is how I've fared thus far:

Note that the map above does not reflect the recent trip to Arizona.  With that one ticked off, I'm down to 11 states left to visit.  Here are the highlights:
  • A swing through the Northeast will wipe out 7 of the 11, although Delaware will be a hassle.  I wish I would have taken the time to visit it during a trip to Philadelphia a couple of years ago.
  • New Mexico will be a very tough one.  There is basically no business reason to visit the state for me, and I know nobody there.  That being said, if it holds any of the beauty that Arizona had, it might be worth a visit.
  • Alabama will be a tough one as well.  Again, I missed an opportunity to visit, this time while my folks lived on the gulf coast.
  • West Virginia will be a final tough one.  I'm thinking I may be able to knock it out as my company will soon be moving a work facility to Columbus, Ohio and the drive across the border shouldn't be more than a couple of hours.  If the opportunity presents itself, I'll knock it out.
  • Alaska is only a matter of time.  It will likely come by way of a cruise, but for a good chunk of my life, I've wanted to get in my car and drive there.  I've always told myself that if I ever had the time and the wherewithal, that'd be exactly what I'd do.  Hence, if I ever come up missing, I'm likely taking the long way northwest to the final frontier.  Look for me on the road.  I'll be the guy staring at the Rockies with my mouth open, and with a Yellow Dog riding shotgun in the passenger seat.
In all of the travel across the states, I've been struck by the diversity of the geography, the stunning beauty, and the abundance of blessings that this land holds.   I've also enjoyed the benefit of meeting good folks nearly every place that I traveled. 

It is a remarkable country in which we live.  Even without seeing 22% of it.

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