At some point in the next 20 years, I really hope I can retire, buy a big RV, and travel every inch of the U.S. Interstate system with my wife and other family and friends. I love each and every state I've visited because of... uhh... whatever is unique... about each and every one of them. (I also love the states I haven't visited, but probably for different unique reasons.)
Though I'm not the most salty traveller I know, I suppose I've travelled my fair share. I covered a lot of states as a kid during Drum & Bugle Corps tours, then added several new ones while in the Army. After that, though, my rate of new state coverage went way down. I just hung out with family and friends in the Western states for a long time.
It picked back up in 2005. In fact, it was a banner year for me in that regard, compared to the 15 or so previous years. Here's a quick rundown, with links to accompanying Flickr Photosets:
|In June I visited bogosity and his dad in Mansfield, Massachussetts, so I could visit him in his home town before they headed off to Texas for good. (Here are my Massachussetts photos.)I'd heard a lot about it over the course of our 18-year friendship, but this was my first visit to Massachussetts (and also Rhode Island, which happens to have an airport more conveniently located for Mansfield than Boston). I got to meet Damon and his family for the first time on this trip, and also got my introduction to discgolfing, which rocks. One other minor note about this trip is that it was my first time going on any significant trip alone since getting married. That didn't make it as cool as some might expect, :-), though it certainly was nice to get a lot of dedicated time with bogo.
|In late September, zmary, Tommy and I visited Mary's brother David and his wife Julie and doggies in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee. (Here are my Tennessee photos.) It wasn't my first time there, but it was my first time flying into the Atlanta airport, and thus my first visit to Georgia. (This makes it one of several states like NY, IN, MT, and RI, and countries like England, that I haven't so much visited as travelled through. Still goes on the "Visited States" map, though.) It was very nice.
|As part of the same 2-leg trip, we then travelled to my sister Da-Niel's home near Warren, Ohio to visit her and her family (and doggies). (Here are my my Ohio photos.) This was my first visit to Ohio, and it was very nice. It was overdue. We hadn't gotten to see them since they moved to Ohio a couple of years ago, and kids grow so fast...
|Finally, over the New Year's holiday, the three of us travelled along with fjarlq to Texas to visit bogo in his new home, along with his local friends and family. (Here are my Texas photos, and here are fjarlq's Texas photos.) Texas was... you know... very nice.
So... what did I learn during my travels?
- I like the U.S. It's very nice.
- I love my friends and family. They're very nice.
- I'm fortunate to have the time, resources (including a willing wife and good-natured son) to get around and visit people. I hope that never changes.
- I'm much more of a people photographer than a scenery photographer. (Not that I'm a real photographer at all. And not that I didn't already know this about myself. Just wanted to point it out in case you clicked the links above expecting to see... you know... scenery.)
- The entire eastern half of the U.S. is an old, big-ass forest. If you think you see some trees... look closer, because there are probably trees between those trees, and smaller trees between those in-between trees, and bushes and grasses growing under those. (Also, there are probably squirrels and leprechauns, but I'm not supposed to talk about them, so you didn't hear this from me.)
- Texas has no mountains, but part of it does have "hills"... although they roll so gently and uniformly, it might be difficult to tell that unless you look closely.
- I can still ride a dirt bike.
Finally, for posterity, here is my updated "visited states" map. (Note the new, huge, Longhorn State addition...)