In Which I Ponder The Mechanics Of A 50 State Checklist

Words

Art of the outside world. Free fiction. Whatever: When the Yogurt Took Over: A Short Story. 2010. Inspired by “No more logical connection to our real one than a world in which an author has imagined humanity ruled by intelligent cups of yogurt.” Whatever: What I Think About Atlas Shrugged.

~~~

[50 States, Cubed]

Been pondering a project that involves each of the 50 US states. What are the options?

Physically, in declining order of time commitment

Living in. AL, CT, DC, MD, NC, NY, PA.

Living in long enough to get mail. Adds summer camps and college to the list. All of the above + CA, NH, western NY, WY, VT.

Visit I. States I neither lived in nor collected mail in, but visited so often, I feel I know the place. Either visiting family members, or living the next state over. CT, FL, ME, NJ, upper NY state, PA, VA.

Visit II. Travel for work or tourism, non-horse. Stay at least one night. Different part of the state if referenced above. Northern CA, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MS, NM, NY, TX, VA, WA. Probably more.

Horse Shows. This would be cool. My showing has been mainly up & down the East Coast: living in the Mid-Atlantic area, intercollegiate in New England, & saddle seat in the Southeast. AL, CT, GA, IN (navigator), MA, MD, NC, NH, NY, PA, SC, TN, VA, VT. You’ll notice that KY continues to be missing from this list. Good thing I don’t let it bother me.

Riding, no show. CA, KY, WY.

5K. In his book Step By Step, Block talks about running a marathon in every state. This is were I got the idea for one-in-each-state. I don’t do marathons, but I could walk a 5K. Maybe put this on the back burner as something to look into when (if I ever get back to) traveling. So far just the one, AL

Geographical Center. Interesting but once you stand there, then what? Two so far, haven’t even done AL, either one of them. AL.com: Here’s why the geographic center of Alabama moved from one county to another, Kaek, 2020. [Tennessee, Georgia]

Geocaching. Another one to add as an adjunct to a future travel list. Also just the one, AL

Just be there. All Fifty States Club. “We ask that your visits entail ‘touching the ground and breathing the air’ of that state.” AFSC: Become A Member. For me this would cover all of the East coast and two drives across the country.

If you just touch the ground, how well do you know a state? For that matter, do you ever know a state? I lived in PA for two years and visited it for many more, but all in the southeast quadrant. There are sectors parts of PA that I know nothing about. The only two states I would say I have seen extensively are NY, due to camp and family, and NC due to business trips throughout state.

Then there are all the states in which I have seen the big city but nothing of the rest of the state: Chicago, Seattle, New Orleans. Can I claim to know anything about IL, WA, or LA?

What would be your measure of checking a state off a list?

Virtually

Let’s be serious. I can’t even haul my carcass into Birmingham. I’m going to travel to all 50 states? I don’t think so. What are the virtual options?

Books. You’d think so, but the definitive book set in a state might not be one I want to read. If I want poignant & heartbreaking, there is always the news. NPR: Traveling this summer? Here are book picks for all 50 states (and then some), Sullivan, Pao, Mazariegos, & O’Reilly, June 1, 2022. I might start making of list of books I have read where the location is essential to the story.

Vwalk a 5K. Good start on this one. AL, CA, DC, GA, IL, SC, KS, KY, MA, MD, NJ, NM, NY, OH, TN, WI, plus vbiking the Route 66 states, and eventually vwalking & vbiking the 10 Mississippi River States

Blog posts I, looking back. Mine & guest posts. AL, CA, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MS, NV, NY, OH, PA, TN, TX, VT. Wanna do a photo guest post from a missing state? 🙂 🙂 🙂 [Vicarious Travel]

Blog posts II, going forward. You saw that one coming, didn’t you? Either a Saturday word post or a Sunday image post reflecting on the state. Stay tuned.

Onwards!
Katherine

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