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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Live in SW England, Work in Europe & the USA where I also travel.
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    180

    Default The Realisation of a Dream

    IMG_4589.jpg

    So it's not a complete trip report (it was only a 6 day 7 State trip so I didn't think there would be enough interest to blog it but as this site has been with me almost since the beginning it seemed only right to make a post on here to note that....

    Last month I (finally) ticked the 48th contiguous State off my bucket list!

    I'd been waiting to visit Arkansas for many years and last month a business trip to the US allowed me to take some vacation time and a quick 2,000 mile road trip to complete my long-held dream!

    Only Hawaii and Alaska left to see now :-)

    Thanks all for the encouragement over the (many) years I've been a member here.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    11,011

    Default Derek, congratulations on achieving the 48th state!

    Derek, congratulations on achieving the 48th state!

    Yep, it's been a long road -- 15 years and counting.

    Loving having you join us here.

    Arkansas has long been one of my favorite states in the USA. So much variety of geography, culture and populations.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    12,012

    Default Ditto.

    Congratulations and Thanks for sharing!

    If you'd like to share any highlights and the 7 States you visited, I for one would be interested.

    Dave
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 10-24-2023 at 09:17 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Live in SW England, Work in Europe & the USA where I also travel.
    Posts
    180

    Default

    Thanks all, it seems incredible to me that 25 years ago I genuinely believed that I would never even get to see one state, now here I am having seen all 48 contiguous – I consider myself extremely lucky to have been able to travel like I have.

    So, to the recent trip…

    Since I last posted on here I have changed jobs… though I’m still based in the UK, I’m now responsible for a couple of sites in the USA, one in Indiana and one in Ohio, so this short road trip was achieved by tacking some vacation time onto a 2 week work trip.

    Day 1

    I’d driven down to Frankfort KY the previous evening after work, booking myself into a locally owned motel on the outskirts of the city.
    I’d picked Frankfort as the state capitol is here, and although I’ve actually visited before, it was closed then so I was only able to walk around the outside. This time I was determined to see inside and stamp my Capitol Collections book.

    Before the Capitol though, a stop to pay respects at Daniel Boone’s grave. As one of the early pioneers Boone was responsible in no small part of the settlement of Kentucky, and as I frequently identify it as my favourite State overall it seemed right to come here.

    IMG_9745.jpg

    Boone’s a figure about whom many tall tales are told, but whatever the truth, his contribution to the earliest days of the USA cannot be denied and his resting place here is as peaceful as it is scenic.

    From American history to American politics now, the State Capitol here is an attractive building, though with the dome currently at the beginning of a 4 year restoration project it’s going to be a while before it looks as good in photos as it does in the guidebooks!

    IMG_9781.jpg

    I end up with a private tour here, one-on-one with a docent who “accidentally fell in love with the history of the State whilst working in a bookstore”
    He’s a brilliant guide and his anecdotes and knowledge of the building, city, state and country in general make for a fascinating tour. We even get to say a quick hello to the Governor and a quick photo stop on the main front balcony is permitted, a nice touch.

    IMG_9794.jpg

    Post-Capitol I have a bit of time to kill, so opt to walk into the centre, about 20 minutes or so along quiet tree-lined streets. The centre itself is bustling on this Wednesday lunchtime and I enjoy a coffee in beautiful sunshine watching the World go by before catching the free city tram back up to my car.

    A nice surprise for me is that the tram makes a stop at the only Frank Lloyd-Wright designed house in Kentucky – The Ziegler house was built in 1910 for a local reverend and is not open to the public. Sadly it also has a very large tree in the front yard so my photo was worse than useless!
    Onwards from Frankfort then, toward my overnight stop….

    I’ve used some points accrued from business trips to book myself into a hotel on Broadway, smack dab in the middle of Nashville. I’m a huge country music fan and it’s been almost 20 years since I was last in TN… looking back on my photos from back then, the changes are huge. The music is still the same though!

    When I came here back in the early 2000s I treated myself to a night at the Grand ole Opry, only to be slightly disappointed that it was at the Ryman theatre rather than the Opry itself. No such disappointment tonight, Lady Antebellum may only perform a small set, but together with the rest of the acts on the bill they made for a memorable return and a great evening.

    IMG_4519.jpg

    A shame it took almost 2hrs after the end of the show for the Uber to show up to get me back downtown, meant that I could only go to one local bar to hear some music. That bar was supposed to be Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, the famous place where many a star got their start, however a rule that prohibits cameras (crazy given everyone has a cameraphone) meant that I wasn’t allowed in, so I went next door instead and this is the closest I got to a return visit to the bar where I spent a great deal of that first trip here!

    IMG_4513.jpg

    A good first day I think.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    11,011

    Default

    Really nice reporting.

    Derek, check your email. I've enabled you access for the Contributors Photo Share app so you can use the larger photos. (Or I will have in about three minutes)

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Live in SW England, Work in Europe & the USA where I also travel.
    Posts
    180

    Default

    Thanks Mark, I'll try to get day 2 sorted shortly and will upload the images that way.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dangermouse View Post
    IMG_4589.jpg

    So it's not a complete trip report (it was only a 6 day 7 State trip so I didn't think there would be enough interest to blog it but as this site has been with me almost since the beginning it seemed only right to make a post on here to note that....

    Last month I (finally) ticked the 48th contiguous State off my bucket list!

    I'd been waiting to visit Arkansas for many years and last month a business trip to the US allowed me to take some vacation time and a quick 2,000 mile road trip to complete my long-held dream!

    Only Hawaii and Alaska left to see now :-)

    Thanks all for the encouragement over the (many) years I've been a member here.
    Awesome! My bucket list is to hit all 50 twice. I don't count simply being in the airport either. I'm at 41 and counting. Funny you mention Arkansas. My girlfriend's family is from Arkansas so I have been there many times. Honestly if they weren't, it might be one my last states to visit too.

    My remaining states are in clusters so I should be able to hit them all in one pass. The Pacific NW (Oregon, Idaho, Washington - although I have been inside the airport in Seattle for hours on a connecting flight) and the deep south (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia).

    Do you think I should count that airport visit? I feel like it doesn't count.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    11,011

    Default Any road trip is better than not going!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram4 View Post
    Awesome! My bucket list is to hit all 50 twice. I don't count simply being in the airport either..
    Being in the airport doesn't really seem like it should count as being on a roadtrip to that state. If so, I would say that I have been to Hawaii -- but I never went beyond the airport tarmac on the way home from Nepal.

    Let's see, I think I have driven at least 300 miles in every state in the USA. I think that makes for a good "bucket list" parameter.

    The number of times in each state for me -- is probably close to 5 or 6 (except for Hawaii and Alaska.)

    But any road trip is better than not going!

    Mark

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    Being in the airport doesn't really seem like it should count as being on a roadtrip to that state. If so, I would say that I have been to Hawaii -- but I never went beyond the airport tarmac on the way home from Nepal.

    Let's see, I think I have driven at least 300 miles in every state in the USA. I think that makes for a good "bucket list" parameter.

    The number of times in each state for me -- is probably close to 5 or 6 (except for Hawaii and Alaska.)

    But any road trip is better than not going!

    Mark
    I hear you. I also feel that if you spend the night in a state, that counts as well. So even though I was only in eastern Montana (drove around an hour) I also spent the night so I guess I was in Montana (even though it was a tiny part). On the other hand I have never spent a night in Iowa but I have driven across it on I-80 a bunch of times plus I stopped at Maid-Rite in Davenport twice, Iowa 80 and Dubuque for a few hours. I suppose I should check out the State Fair and the Iowa Cubs (my Cubs AAA team). And the Field of Dreams field.

    Hawaii being an island should count for you.

    There is a chance that when I am staying in Los Angeles this winter I may have to be in Miami for a couple of weeks. I am considering driving (after driving from Chicago to LA) and everyone I mention this to thinks I am nuts. I probably won't only because I have to work in Miami and can't be late but it is tempting to do the coast to coast drive and back.

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