Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Go West, Young Man! And Then Go Northeast.

Have you ever seen an RV with one of those maps of the USA on the back with all the states filled in that the RVer has visited? You'll find it just below the sweet airbrushed panorama of a dolphin jumping over a sea turtle or a wolf howling plaintively at the moon as a giant comet streaks by, unless it's a rental, and then you'll just see 1-800-GO-RVING and a back-up camera. You'll know they're full-timers if they're showing off both their map of interstate conquest and appreciation for soft-focus animal portraiture.

I've always wanted an RV (Because what's better than owning your own home and being able to park it wherever you want?), but so far I've had to make do with my compact pickup truck. I know what you're thinking- "What better canvas for a mural of a wolf fighting a grizzly bear or a galloping herd of wild mustangs than the back window of a pickup?!" Believe me, I've thought about it, but my truck has a sliding window, which is good for breezes but bad for murals- it would break up the flow, you see. Yeah, there's plenty of room back there for Calvin to be pissing on random shit for sure, but that's not my style either. Actually, my ride is devoid of all personal expression, unless you count the gigantic dent on the side which clearly implies "Yep, I'd rather pocket the insurance money than have a dent-free car." I'm waiting for someone to run into the other side so I can buy a kayak.

While I don't have an RV on which to display my intracontinental travel tick-list, I do have a blog. So here's my map, graded in color. In blue are the states I've both driven and slept in. In purple are the states I've only driven through, not stopping long enough to sleep. Red states are the ones I've visited only from the inside of the airport. White states have yet to feel the tread of my shoes or tires, along with Alaska and Hawaii.*

The reason I was thinking about this is that I should be filling in a few more states with blue or purple before long, because the lady and I are planning a trip to New England in August that could see us knocking off perhaps five more. Exciting, no? That would only leave eight states entirely unvisited for me, but I have no reasonable expectation of ever seeing North Dakota. Who does, really?

*Also, my truck and I have both been to Canada, but not at the same time.

The furthest I've ever been from home (even though we were homeless at the time), Redwood National Park, California.

I also have a post up today at the Greenists, if anyone's interested.


Courtney said...

I prefer "between homes" rather than "homeless."

SUPER excited for New England.

Jacob said...

I've got you beaten east of the Mississippi with Ohio and Maine added to my blue states and Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire added to my purple states. Also, Mississippi would be blue for me, but West Virginia would be purple and I've never been to Jersey.

West of the Mississippi you've gotten me beat by quite a margin. Except for Hawaii and Alaska (which are both blue for me) I've only gotten as far west as Wyoming and so basically there's just a corridor of blue and purple between Missouri and Wyoming about two states tall, except for Louisiana.

Anonymous said...

You could put that map on the tailgate of the ol Ranger.


Julie said...

If someone like you can't get to ND the state has no hope. Pity.

What's wrong with MS? Too many S's in the name creep you out while you're trying to sleep because you think a snake has climbed into your sleeping bag to keep warm? Just a guess. Since it's close, it should be blue.

Lynn said...

We like you best at home. Love, Mom.

The Modern Gal said...


1. There is no reason to sleep in Mississippi.
2. You're not missing out by not going to Ohio.
3. North Dakota does not exist. Dave Barry says so.

My map is surprisingly similar to yours, although I've had plenty of unfortunate interactions with Ohio.

Chris said...

New England would be fun. I've really only seen Boston from the inside of a business hotel/conference center. (A separate category? Green states, maybe?)

nancypearlwannabe said...

Oh ho ho, we are going to do so much more than merely SLEEP in these New England states. Bring your walking shoes. I am known as the Freedom Trail march drill sergeant!

Sid said...

Looked at this map ... And honestly ... well I'm not really familiar with American states and have no idea which ones you've visited - just that you've visited a lot.

Also New England??? Gonna have to google that to determine if I should be jealous of your impeding trip.