Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The 42 States

I’ve been to 42 of the 50 states, more than some, short of the mark set by others. The goal for me is not to set foot in all 50 just to say that I did; nor is it a requirement to see all 50 states prior to stepping beyond the borders of my country and seeing the rest of the world. With a few dozen countries under my belt it’s more than a bit late for that, having traveled to Germany with my military family at the ripe old age of 18 months.

Of the 42 that I have set foot in eight of those I have called home at one point or another: Maryland , Illinois , Massachusetts , Georgia , Indiana , California , Kansas where I was born and now Texas . The eight that I haven’t seen include Michigan , Maine , New Hampshire , Vermont , Montana , North Dakota , Alaska and Idaho .

As far as the New England states I was too poor and didn’t have my own car while living in Boston to venture north of the city. I’ve flown over Michigan countless times on approach to O’Hare airport while living in Chicago but the natural beauty and history of the state also remain unexplored. Ever since I was a child I’ve been intrigued by the Battle of Little Big Horn just outside of Billings , Montana so that is high on the list as well. Like Michigan , I’ve flown over Alaska more than a few times on my way to some destination in Asia; Anchorage from 35,000 feet, though, is just not the same.

That leaves Idaho and North Dakota . I’m not the biggest baseball fan in the world so I would need a bit more incentive to visit the great plains that paying my respects at Roger Maris’ grave in Fargo . If Montana is the land of the Big Sky I’m still trying to find the one compelling thing about North Dakota that no other place in the country has to offer other than the tallest free standing structure on the continent. Are there still vast herds of bison roaming the lands? Is there something to do other than the reservation casinos?

Idaho is a bit easier to consider as a destination. Skiing options abound while the Snake River Valley offers world class river rafting and Boise is supposed to be one of the more picturesque state capitals in the country. Whatever the compelling reason or even lack of one, though, one definitely needs to have either a lot of time on their hands or well-placed connections with the airlines to support all of this coming and going. I only have 50,000 miles in my AAdvantage account!

I could say I’ll go to North Dakota as part of a quest to visit every state capital in the country but I’m not about to retrace my steps to the other 42 states just to snap those photos. Maybe I’ll go just for the sake of going, how’s that? It’s still America , right?

They gotta know how to make a good apple pie!

Gotta go!

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