wine by the color

Monday, May 21, 2007

Many people have a Life To-Do List – things they'd like to accomplish during their time on earth – and I'm no different. I've tried to be realistic and simplistic with my list, which as a result features just three main goals:

1 – visit all 50 states
2 – visit as many countries as possible
3 – sky dive

For the purposes of today's discussion, let's focus on the lead item on that list, although exciting news is forthcoming about another of those items.

Thanks to my travels involved with more than a decade of various employments, I've made substantial inroads where #1 is concerned. When I visited the Lovely Lady of Sheboygan's hometown last December, the state with a motto of “Forward” (?!?) became the 39th state I've crossed off the list.

But I've hit a bit of an impasse. The remaining states – Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota – aren't ones I expect to happen to find myself in for any reason, so I'm going to have to make a concerted effort to work this list down toward its desired terminus.

Of these, the most ridiculous inclusion is Indiana. I lived in a state that borders Indiana for five years. How did I never get there? Had I known it would still be on the list 15 years later, I'd have made an effort to drive over state line at some point. Perhaps I'll work on that later this year when I go to an OSU game. It might be worth driving the four hours from Columbus to South Bend to simply drive into town, flip someone the bird and drive back to Columbus. We'll see.

But until then, it's time to tackle the middle of the country. I have a tournament in the middle of Kansas later this year, and I'm going to use that opportunity to knock five more states off the list. I can drive down to Oklahoma during the week and I think I might fly out a few days early to tackle the Dakotas, Iowa and Nebraska. Outside of visiting Badlands National Park in South Dakota, I'm a bit shy on desired activities for that quintet of states, so recommendations are welcome.

Later this year, I have another tournament in Arizona, and some quick research has revealed that Albuquerque is a scant 463 miles from Phoenix, so I hope to add a few days to that trip so I can cross New Mexico off the list. I've heard great things about Santa Fe and would like to visit there as well.

Then I'll have to do a Southeastern swing to visit Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas. Perhaps next January, when I attend an annual conference in Florida, I can extend that a few days. I dated someone who played minor-league baseball in Arkansas and he claims it's a beautiful state. I look forward to judging for myself.

And that would leave Alaska for the grand finale. I want the accomplishment of hitting my 50th state to be special and, not to insult any states, I really don't want to be cross over the Alabama-Mississippi state line and shout, "woo hoo, I’m in Mississippi!" I'd rather do it in a state I've been looking forward to visiting for a long time. And Alaska is tops on that list. Although a trip to Mississippi would obviously include a stop here.

Hmm. Decisions, decisions.

4 Comments:

  • At 5/21/2007 8:49 PM, Blogger the joker said…

    I think I'm about 35 states behind. That is an awfully ambitious venture...but I believe you will get it done.

    Once you do complete the list, you should spend the next part of your life trying to drop a batch in every state.

    I managed to hit every campus when I was a student at State U. And I believe it has made me a much better person.

     
  • At 5/22/2007 8:44 AM, Blogger SJPSandman said…

    I've been to Indiana.
    Nah nah nah nah nah!

     
  • At 5/22/2007 6:38 PM, Blogger Sunset~Lover said…

    You should combine #3 with the 50th state....But watch out for ice bergs. I hear they're a real pain in the ass.

     
  • At 5/23/2007 6:41 AM, Blogger jersey girl said…

    Joker, some projects just naturally run concurrently.

    S-L, hee! A fine idea, but plans for #3 are already scheduled for the home base.

     

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