US States & Time Expended

  • Post last modified:January 20, 2023

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Here’s an ongoing post about my visits and residences. It’s US States & Time Expended in each one. Yes, I have spent time in all fifty US states. And I want to encourage you to visit all 50! And just to show how I did it, here it is! There will be links from here to other posts and back to here from more posts. I want to tie things together and give some ideas about how to visit places you might not have considered. Although this post seems like a better fit for those interested in visiting all states, you may also find it interesting. Here’s a link to a trip that included more states than any other trip.

US States & Time Expended
Picture of car magnet for The Driveby Tourist!

If you visited all fifty, want to, or are planning to do so, here’s a link for you! Again, just trying to show US States & Time Expended in each. And why you should visit each state! Please comment about your experiences. Here are the 12 states in order of where I’ve personally spent the most time: MN-Much of my life, ND-24 years, AK-12 months, NE-11 months, FL-10 months, AZ-9 months, CA-6 months, TN-5 months, WI-4 months, KS-3 months, CO-3 months, WY-2 months.

My list of best places is included. I’ve included an “area” of the state, a “place,” and a city. My ideas change over time as well. And I’m still completing the list! And I welcome your input, as some states’ “best places” are from just a short visit.

My visits to all 50 US States & Time Expended

Why visit all 50 states? Many people don’t think it’s worth it.

Since I had a big start by the time I was 30, I started to plan for business trips, vacations, and other reasons to drive through a state. (I’m still updating, but I believe I’ve driven TO and IN 48 states. My trip to all 26 east of the Mississippi in the fall of 2021 brought me through all 26 east of the Mississippi.)

In 1970, a friend and I drove from Minnesota through North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and back home. In 1974, my wife and my oldest daughter (before my other two were born) drove from Minnesota through North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Washington.

I’ve driven to and through Iowa many times. I drove Route 66 in 2018, including Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. The Great River Road took me through every state that borders the Mississippi River, including Louisiana and Arkansas.

I’ve driven IN Alaska but not TO Alaska. And I’ve never driven IN Hawaii. (I don’t think I need to say that I haven’t driven TO Hawaii!)

Best Places in each of the US States & Time Expended

Sequence visiting states (counts refueling and leaving plane for this purpose) Includes the first visit to Hawaii

1. Minnesota2. North Dakota3. Illinois (and —->)
4. California5. Georgia6. Florida
7. Alabama8. Mississippi9. Louisiana
10. Hawaii11. Washington (State)12. Alaska
13. Montana14. Idaho15. Oregon
16. Nevada17. Utah18. Wyoming
19. Colorado20. Kansas21. Nebraska
22. Iowa23. South Dakota24. Texas
25. Arizona26. New Mexico27. Missouri
28. Wisconsin29. Indiana30. Ohio
31. West Virginia32. Pennsylvania33. Maryland
34. Virginia35 Washington, DC36. Michigan
37 Vermont38. Massachusetts39. New Hampshire
40. Maine41. Connecticut42. Rhode Island
43. Kentucky44. Tennessee45. Arkansas
46 North Carolina47. South Carolina48. Delaware
49. New Jersey50. Oklahoma51. New York
I believe this is the correct sequence, or close enough! In January 2014, I decided to visit all 50 again!

Alabama

Best Place to visit

Area: Gulf Coast -Place: Alabama Music Hall of Fame -City: Gulf Shores

My time spent

Prior to 2014:
1965 – I changed planes in Birmingham on my way to Pensacola. Later, I drove into Mobile from Pensacola with a guy who had a car. On Memorial Day weekend, I went with three others to visit one guy’s uncle in Lake Charles, Louisiana. We drove through southern Alabama both ways.

After 2014:
In 2021, I drove from Atlanta to Birmingham and then to Montgomery, where I spent a night. After visiting Florida for a night, I spent a night in Gulf Shores after seeing Bamahenge (a quirky place!). The next day, I drove through Alabama, including a visit to Selma, and then spent the night in Tuscaloosa. From there, I drove through part of Mississippi and, after spending a night there, drove across northwestern Alabama, stopping in Florence to see a Frank Lloyd Wright home and in Muscle Shoals to see the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. From there, I drove to Nashville, TN.

Aggregate time = 3 days

Link?

Alaska

Best Place to visit

Area: Kenai Peninsula -Place: Fairbanks -City: Homer

My time spent

Prior to 2014:
1968: From mid-January until nearly Thanksgiving, I spent time on Adak Island in the Aleutians. I was home for about 3 weeks in October when my dad died.
1979: Five days in Fairbanks for a work trip.
1980: Five more days in Fairbanks for a work trip.
1981: From mid-November until mid-December, I spent the entire time going live with a computer system at the hospital there. When I left, sunrise was about 10:30 AM, and sunset at about 1:30 PM! After leaving Fairbanks, I visited Kenai and Soldotna, also for business.

2011: Five days on the Kenai Peninsula for a fishing trip with three other Navy guys.

2013: Four days in Sitka for a work trip.

After 2014:
2014: In May of 2014, I spent 12 days in Sitka for a “go live,” which is what we called it when we “went live” with a computer system in the hospital there.

Aggregate time = ~one year

Link?

Arizona

Best Place to visit

Area: Colorado River area by California -Place: Grand Canyon -City: Sedona

My time spent

Prior to 2014:
1975: For a computer system install from October 1st until December 5th in Mesa. I went home for the second weekend in October and for Thanksgiving.
1976: Problem-solving for a week in March.
1977: Installing a financial system in Mesa for a week in January. I was there when the Raiders beat the Vikings in the Super Bowl!
1980: Installing a computer system in the hospital in Chandler for a week.
1982: Attended a class in Phoenix for one week
1983: A week in August preparing for a system install in Mesa in December and January
1983: System install in Lake Havasu City
1983/84: From mid-December until early February, spent most of the time doing a system install in Mesa.
1984: Follow up on a system install in Havasu.
1988: IBM conference in Phoenix for four days.
1992: Conference in Phoenix for a full week as we spent some vacation time around it.

After 2014:
2015: January thru mid-March, did the “snowbird” thing!
2016: January thru the end of March, “snowbird” thing again!

2018: Route 66, spending nights in Holbrook, Winslow, and Kingman

Aggregate time = 9 months!

Route 66 Links -1 Route 66 Links – 2

Arkansas

Best Place to visit

Area: Mississippi River –Place: Still Looking –City: None yet

My time spent

Prior to 2014:
While visiting Memphis, I crossed the Mississippi into Arkansas for just a couple of hours.

After 2014:
2017: Great River Road trip, spent a night in West Memphis, AK, and in West Helena, AK, and drove the road both north and south.

Aggregate time = 2 days

Links from the Great River Road trip: Day 9

California

Best Place to visit

Area: California’s Route 66! –Place: Catalina Island –City: San Diego

My time spent

Prior to 2014:
1965: Navy Basic Training in San Diego from December 30, 1964, to March 20th, 1965
1966: Three days in San Francisco before leaving to go to Japan
1967: Overnight, when returning from Japan
1968: Overnight, when flying home from Adak on emergency leave
1970: Just drove through from Portland, OR to Reno NV
1982: Five days in the LA area for a business trip
1989 into 1990: I flew into LA on Christmas eve and spent Christmas Day at Disneyland with my kids. Also drove to San Diego and San Francisco, spending New Year’s Eve and Day there. Home again on January 4th or 5th.
Between 1983 and 2002, I attended four or five weeklong conferences in San Diego. Average 5 days each time.
2002: Bakersfield to visit in-laws – 5 days
2007: Eureka to visit in-laws – 4 days
2011: Eureka to visit in-laws – 6 days

After 2014:
2014: Navy Reunion in May, and vacation time after the reunion for 10 days in San Diego
2018: Route 66 completion: Barstow, Pasadena, Anaheim (4 days), Yucca Valley, Death Valley (8 days total)
2018: Navy Reunion again in San Diego and some extra time in Anaheim with in-laws (9 days)
2019: Annaheim and other places in the extended LA area (7 days)
2020: Annaheim and other places in the extended LA area (10 days)

Aggregate time = 6 months

Links to various places in California:
Catalina
Getty Museum
USS Midway
Capistrano
San Diego

Colorado

Best Place to visit

Area: Rocky Mountains –Place: Rocky Mountain National Park –City: Aspen

My time spent

Prior to 2014:
1978: Sterling for about 3 weeks consolidated
1980: Loveland for about 3 weeks consolidated
1981: Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Loveland, Sterling – 6 days
1996: Boulder, RMNP, Colorado Springs, Aspen, etc – 12 days
1999: Denver for 4 days
2001: Denver for 3 days

After 2014:
2015: Passing through with stops for 3 days
2016: Passing through with stops for 3 days
2019: Denver in April and November for 14 days
2020: Denver and the surrounding area for 11 days (3 trips)
2022: Greeley, 2 nights; Grand Junction, 2 nights; and Sterling, 1 night.

Aggregate time = 3 months & Here’s a post about part of Colorado

Connecticut

Best Place to visit

Area: Atlantic Ocean Shore –Place: Mystic Pizza –City: Mystic

Prior to 2014:
1982: Less than one day
2006: Class in Bridgeport for 3 days

After 2014:
2021: One night in Hartford in October and visited a couple of places, including Mystic Pizza!

Aggregate time = 4 days

Link?

Delaware

Best Place to visit

Area: Southeast section-Coastal –Place: Around Lewes –City: Lewes

Prior to 2014:
1984: Drove across the state from Annapolis, MD, and then took the Lewes to Cape May Ferry to New Jersey

1989 (or so): I had lunch in Wilmington while at a business meeting in Philadelphia.

After 2014:
2021: Drove from Baltimore into Delaware, visited the state capital, and stayed one night in Milton, DE. After a quick trip to Ocean City, MD, then back to Lewes to catch the late afternoon ferry. Spent about 24 hours in the state.

Aggregate time = 1 day

Link?

Florida and US States & Time Expended

Best Place to visit

Area: Southwest Florida –Place: Sanibel –City: Sanibel

Prior to 2014:
1966: Navy school from mid-April to mid-December (8 months)
1985: Conference in West Palm Beach for five days
1996: Orlando and Sanibel for 10 days
1997: Sanibel for 7 days
1998: Sanibel for 7 days
1998: Orlando for a conference for 5 days
2002: Miami and drove to Key West for 5 days
2002: West Palm Beach for a conference for 5 days
2003: Orlando for a conference for 5 days
2011: Orlando for conference and vacation for 7 days

After 2014:
2019: Vacation for six days to Daytona Beach and Orlando
2021: On Eastern trip, spent one night in Panama City and drove the beach to Alabama the following day

Aggregate time = 10 months

Here’s a post about Florida

Georgia

Best Place to visit

Area: North Georgia –Place: Georgia Guidestones –City: Atlanta

Prior to 2014:
1965: Changed planes in Atlanta!
1986: Two-day visit to Atlanta for business
1995 thru 2003: Attended 5-day conferences three times

After 2014:
2021: One night in Augusta and two nights in Atlanta

Aggregate time = 3 weeks

Link?

Hawaii

Best Place to visit

Area: The Big Island -Place: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park -City: Kona

Prior to 2014:
1966: Landed in Honolulu to refuel while going to Japan. We got off the plane while refueling. Put my feet on Hawaiian soil and breathed Hawaiian air!

After 2014:
2023: Spent four nights on Oahu and six nights on The Big Island (Island of Hawaii)

Aggregate time = 10 days

Link upcoming

Idaho

Best Place to visit

Area: Northern –Place: Area around Coeur d’Alene Lake –City: Coeur d’Alene

Prior to 2014:
1970: Three days in Boise
1974: 10 days in Moscow

After 2014:
2019: Three days in Cour d’Alene

Aggregate time = 2.5 weeks

Here’s a post about Idaho

Illinois

Best Place to visit

Area: Southern –Place: Not sure –City: Springfield

Prior to 2014:

1975: Class in Chicago (4 days)
1976: Conference in Chicago (3 days)
1978: Drove through Chicago going out and coming back from Washington DC (1 day)
1981: Install a system in Hoopeston, IL (5 days)
1984: Drove through Chicago going out and coming back from Washington DC (1 day)
1985: Conference in Chicago (2 days)
1991: Weekend courtesy visit partially funded by a company with whom I did business (That was OK to do back then!) (2 days)
2013: We spent 3 nights in Springfield visiting the Lincoln Presidential Museum and other Lincoln sites.

After 2014:
2016: Drove through Chicago going to Boston and Maine
2018: Route 66, 1 night in Chicago, 1 night in Pontiac, and 2 nights in Troy
2019: Spent 4 days in Chicago on a long weekend pleasure trip (4 days)
2021: I spent two overnights on my trip through all 26 eastern states

Aggregate time = ~3+ weeks

Here’s a link to our time in Chicago

Indiana

Best Place to visit

Area: just drive through! –Place: Indy 500 Race Track –City: Indianapolis

My time spent

Prior to 2014:
1978: Drove through from west to east, going to Washington DC and east to west driving home.
1984: Drove through from west to east, going to Washington DC and east to west, driving home.

After 2014:
2014: Drove across while en route to North Carolina. Entered the state by Chicago and drove into Ohio and Cincinnati. Drove back across I-70.
2016: Drove through on I-90 on the way to Boston and Maine, spending a night in South Bend. Drove back home again from east to west, spent a night near Cleveland, and visited the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.
2021: Drove the state’s length (north to south) and spent two nights in Indianapolis. I visited Indiana Dunes National Park (link) and spent two nights in Indianapolis.

Aggregate time = 5 days

Iowa and US States & Time Expended

Best Place to visit

Area: Northwestern –Place: Northwestern Lakes –City: Spirit Lake

Prior to 2014:
1970: Drove through on I-29
1993 through 2013: Dubuque, Field of Dreams Movie Site, several times to Boyden and Spirit Lake to see in-laws, drove through to in-laws in Kansas

After 2014:
2017: Two nights in Des Moines for a Bob Seger concert
2014 to current: Six to eight times to Spirit Lake to see In-laws there and drove through to see in-laws in Kansas
2019: Two nights on my way to Denver to see some attractions
2020: Drove through going to Denver and returning.
2022: One night to deliver furniture to in-laws in Iowa and another trip to visit in-laws

Aggregate time = 3.5 weeks

Here’s a link to a post about Iowa

Kansas

Best Place to visit

Area: “All over” –Place: Eisenhower Presidential Museum –City: Scott City

Prior to 2014:
Many visits to in-laws between 1993 and 2013. Maybe 15 times?
2013: Attended High School football championship game in Hutchinson. Brother-in-law, an assistant coach.
2014: Three weeks for system implementation at the hospital in Scott City and a visit to in-laws.

After 2014:
2015: Here for 3 days over Labor Day to visit in-laws
2018: Drove across KS on the 13 miles of Route 66 in the state & returning from Route 66, spent three nights here. Two with in-laws and one in Kansas City
2021: Visited in-laws for four days in April
2022: Visited in-laws for eight days in September

Aggregate time = 3 months

A short distance of Route 66 (13 miles) runs through Kansas!

Kentucky

Best Place to visit

Area: Mammoth Cave National Park area -Place: Louisville Slugger Museum -City: Louisville

My time spent

Prior to 2014:
1981: Visited Paducah and Benton on a business trip.
1984: Spent the night in Frankfort on a family trip to Washington DC
2007: Drove into Harlan County while working in Kingsport TN

After 2014:
2021: Spent just one full day on my trip through here on my way east. Louisville, Frankfort, and a couple of other stops.
2021: Spent two nights (Bowling Green and Hopkinsville) while on the “home stretch” of my Eastern 26 road trip

Aggregate time = 5 days

Here’s a link to Kentucky from my Eastern 26 visit in 2021.

Louisiana

Best Place to visit

Area: Along Mississippi River –Place: Restaurants!! –City: New Orleans

Prior to 2014:
1990’s: two times for a conference of about five days each
2010: Five days for in-law college graduation

After 2014:
2016: Six days in New Orleans for vacation and visit in-laws
2017: Two days while driving Great River Road

Aggregate time = 3 weeks

Links from Great River Road trip in Louisiana: Day 7 & 8

Maine

Best Place to visit

Area: Atlantic Coast from New Hampshire to Bar Harbor –Place: Acadia National Park –City: Bar Harbor

Prior to 2014:
1982: Drove into Maine, had lobster and drove back into Massachusetts. No overnight stay.

After 2014:
2016: Spent six nights in Maine, one in Kennebunkport, two in Camden, and three in Bar Harbor.
2021: Drove into Maine while in New Hampshire while visiting all 26 states east of the Mississippi River

Aggregate time = 6 days

Link?

Maryland

Best Place to visit

Area: Annapolis area –Place: Fort McHenry –City: Annapolis

Prior to 2014:
1978: Drove through Maryland on the way to and back home from Washington DC
1984: Drove through Maryland on the way to and back home from Washington DC

After 2014:

2014: I drove through on the way home from North Carolina
2018: I flew into BWI and took the train into Washington, DC. No overnight stay.
2021: I spent two nights in Annapolis on my Eastern trip.

Aggregate time = 3 days

Link?

Massachusetts

Best Place to visit

Area: Places along I-90 –Place: Fenway Park –City: Boston

Prior to 2014:
1982: Two overnights in Massachusetts. Mostly driving. Night in Worcester and the second night in Boston.

After 2014:
2016: Four days in Boston
2021: One day and an overnight in the Springfield area, then drove through Quincy and Boston a couple of days later.

Aggregate time = 7 days

Link?

Michigan

Best Place to visit

Area: Upper Peninsula –Place: Da Yoopers Tourist Trap –City: Marquette

Prior to 2014:
1984: Returning from Washington DC, family vacation, drove across the border, and had lunch.
1985: Attended a two-day conference in Ann Arbor
2002: Visited Isle Royale National Park. One night in Copper Harbor before taking the boat to the NP, then three nights in the park.

After 2014:
2019: Drove through much of the Upper Peninsula. Spent 3 days and 2 nights in the UP.
2021: Spent one night in Grand Rapids and saw the Gerald R. Ford Museum.

Aggregate time = ~1 week

Links: Gerald R. Ford Museum and trip through Michigan

Minnesota and US States & Time Expended. But this is home!

Best Place to visit

Area: North Shore of Lake Superior -Place: Split Rock Lighthouse -City: Duluth

My time spent

Prior to 2014:
Born here. Between birth and 17.5 years old, was only outside the state a few times. Twice I got further than Fargo. Up near Michigan, ND, once for 4 days and once for three weeks. Other than that, in Fargo maybe a dozen times.

After the Navy, lived in Detroit Lakes and Moorhead for about two years. Then lived in the Twin Cities from 1973 to 1975.

Moved back to the Twin Cities in 1997 and have lived here since. I’ve been to many parts of the state. I still have a goal to visit every state park (65) and every county (87) in Minnesota.

After 2014:
From 1997 through “today,” I’m still living in Minnesota!

Here’s a link to a cornerstone post under construction. This is the only link to it until I “go public” with it in early 2023.

Mississippi

Best Place to visit

Area: Gulf Coast –Place: Vicksburg National Historic Park –City: Tupelo!

Prior to 2014:
1965: Drove west then east from Pensacola to Lake Charles, LA round trip

After 2014:

2017: Two nights in Natchez while driving the Great River Road
2021: Drove the Natchez Trace and visited Elvis Presley’s birthplace and childhood home in Tupelo

Aggregate time = 3 days

Here’s a link to a post from the Great River Road trip

Missouri

Best Place to visit

Area: Route 66 –Place: Uranus –City: Springfield

Prior to 2014:
1995 thru 2013: Drove through to see in-laws in Kansas
2004: Night in Liberty
2013: Three days in Bethany MO for “Go Live”

After 2014:
2018: Route 66. Nights in Rolla and Springfield

Aggregate time = 7 days

Links to Missouri on Route 66. Day 4. Day 5. Day 6.

Montana

Best Place to visit

Area: Western –Place: Glacier National Park –City: Whitefish

Prior to 2014:
1970: Drove thru from North Dakota to Idaho, no overnight
1974: Drove thru from Minnesota to Idaho, spending one overnight in Billings

After 2014:
2019: Eight nights in Missoula, Kalispell, and East Glacier while touring and visiting Glacier National Park.

Aggregate time = 9 days

Links to posts about Montana: Montana Idaho Road Trip

Nebraska – worked here, so it’s included in US States & Time Expended

Best Place to visit

Area: Sand Hills Scenic Byway –Place: Carhenge! –City: Chadron

Prior to 2014:
1979: North Platte for 4 weeks to install a system
1981: Grand Island for 4 weeks to install a system
2003: Lincoln and then Omaha, a total of 4 nights
numerous drives through Nebraska to get to Kansas

After 2014:
2015: Drove across the state twice and worked in Scottsbluff from March until Thanksgiving
2016: Drove through on Interstate 80 going to Arizona
2019: I drove across on I-80 in April while en route to Denver when my brother was ill. I spent two nights going out (caught in a storm in Kearney for two nights going out). I came back and spent three nights (Scottsbluff, a small town in the Sand Hills, and Norfolk)
2020: Drove through Nebraska on three separate trips to Denver, spending two nights in June, one night on the first July trip, and two nights on the second July trip.

Overall, maybe 10 months in Nebraska

Links to posts about Nebraska: Iowa/Nebraska,

Nevada

Best Place to visit

Area: National Parks –Place: Arches NP –City: Springdale

Prior to 2014:
1983: Flew into Las Vegas and drove to Lake Havasu, spent 1 night on return.
1984: Same as above
2008: Spent 6 nights in Reno for Navy Reunion

After 2014:
2016: Spent 5 nights in Reno with friends
2018: Spent 1 night in Las Vegas returning from Route 66.

Aggregate time = 2 weeks

Link to Long Road Home from Route 66

New Hampshire

Best Place to visit

Area: White Mountains –Place: Castle in the Clouds –City: Concord

Prior to 2014:
1981: Drove through NH near the Atlantic when doing a weekend trip to 5 of the New England states. That was trying to reach all 50 the first time around.

After 2014:
2016: Drove across NH near the Atlantic and spent the night in Portsmouth. From there, drove into Maine and then into the middle of the state.
2021: Driving across the northern part of the state. Spent a night near Conway before driving the Kancamagus Highway. A couple of key stops were the state capitol in Concord and the Franklin Pierce Presidential home.

Aggregate time = 3 days

Link?

New Jersey

Best Place to visit

Area: South New Jersey –Place: Cape May –City: Somerset

Prior to 2014:
1984: Drove from Cape May to Philadelphia, no overnight
1990: Atlantic City for a few hours while at a meeting in Philadelphia
2007: Flew into Newark for an interview, no overnight

After 2014:
2021: Passed through Cape May and spent a night in Wildwood
2021: From Wildwood through Trenton and Princeton to Somerset.
2021: From Somerset to Edison to a small town near Newark
2021: From area new Newark to the Statue of Liberty and into Manhattan

Aggregate time = 4 days

Link?

New Mexico

Best Place to visit

Area: Route 66 –Place: Miraculous Staircase –City: Santa Fe

Prior to 2014:
1983: 3 weeks in Los Alamos for a system implementation

After 2014:

2015: One night in Santa Fe while en route to Mesa for “snowbird time”
2016: One night in Albuquerque while en route to Mesa for “snowbird time”
2018: Two nights while on Route 66

Aggregate time = 3.5 weeks

Links to posts about Route 66. Day 10. Day 11. Day 12.

New York

Best Place to visit

Area: Upstate –Place: Woodstock –City: Lake Placid

Prior to 2014:
1987: Drove into Manhattan while on a work trip to Philadelphia (50th State!)
1992: 5 days at an IBM class north of New York City

After 2014:
2016: Spent nights in Rochester, Seneca Falls, and two nights in Cooperstown
2016: One night in Utica, NY, while returning from Boston and Maine
2021: 3 nights in Manhattan on Eastern 26, then 1 night near Albany after leaving New York
2021: 1 night in Seneca Falls and 1 night in Buffalo on Eastern 26

Aggregate time = 2+ weeks

Link?

North Carolina

Best Place to visit

Area: Outer Banks –Place: Corolla (Spanish Mustangs) –City: Raleigh

Prior to 2014:
1984: One night in western North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Visited Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
1996: Visited Raleigh area for a job interview. One overnight.

After 2014:
2014: Four nights in Asheville and seven nights on the Outer Banks
2021: Drove through North Carolina and spent two nights in Raleigh

Aggregate time = 15 days

Link?

North Dakota and US States & Time Expended. But I lived here once!

Best Place to visit

Area: ND Badlands –Place: Theodore Roosevelt National Park –City: Medora

Prior to 2014:
Lived in the Fargo-Moorhead area for 24 years total

After 2014:
I’ve been back many times to visit daughters and grandchildren and for in-law’s Christmas

I’ve only published a couple of posts about North Dakota. Toward Bismarck from Fargo. Back to Fargo. From Bismarck.

Ohio

Best Place to visit

Area: No specific area! –Place: Rock Hall! –City: Cincinnati (Yeah, I know!)

Prior to 2014:

1978: One night in Columbus and one night in the Cleveland area
1984: Passed through Ohio
1999: Spent four work weeks in Columbus

After 2014:

2014: Drove across Ohio on our way to North Carolina and, one night, returning
2016: Drove across Ohio while going east. Spent two nights while returning as well as a full day at the Rock Hall.
2021: Spent three nights and most of four days on the Eastern 26 trip. See the link below for more information.

Aggregate time = 30 days

Here’s a link to a post about Ohio!

Oklahoma

Best Place to visit

Area: Route 66 –Place: Oklahoma City National Memorial –City: Tulsa

Prior to 2014:
1986: Visited hospital in Tulsa for a corporate visit and overnight


After 2014:
2018: Route 66 spent 3 overnights on the trip. Route 66 has more miles in Oklahoma than any other state.
2022: Drove into Oklahoma from Western Kansas

Aggregate time = 4 days

Links to Oklahoma from Route 66: Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9.

Oregon

Best Place to visit

Area: Columbia River –Place: Pacific Coast –City: Astoria

Prior to 2014:

1970: With a college friend, drove from Fargo to Boise, Portland, Reno, and back home through Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska. Spent two nights in Portland.

1974: Visited Clarkson, Oregon, briefly while visiting family in Moscow, Idaho.

1995: Visited family in the Astoria area for two days.

2011: Flew to Portland for a drive down the coast to Eureka, CA. Spent one night in Eugene on the way and one night in Portland before catching a flight back home.

After 2014:
2022: One day touring the area from Portland to the coast. I Visited Seaside, Oregon, a beautiful little beach town. Seaside sprung up near the landing spot for Lewis and Clark on the Pacific Ocean. After spending the night prior and the night after this trip, I drove to the “Tri-Cities” of Washington (Pasco, Richland, and Kennewick. I returned at the end of the trip to spend the night before flying out of Portland to return home.

Aggregate time = 9 days

Link?

Pennsylvania

Best Place to visit

Area: Central part of State –Place: Gettysburg National Military Park –City: Bethlehem

Prior to 2014:
From 1986 through 2002, visited Malvern (Philadelphia area) about ten times for work-related trips.

After 2014:
2021: Drove from Buffalo, NY, southeast into Pennsylvania, spending one night in Allentown and one in Harrisburg. Also visited Gettysburg. I visited Jim Thorpe, PA, and will write about it when I do my post for PA.

Aggregate time = ~1 month

Link?

Rhode Island

Best Place to visit

Area: The southern coast –Place: Newport Harbor –City: Newport

Prior to 2014:
1981 or 1982: Drove through the state and stopped for lunch in Providence.

After 2014:
2021: Drove across the state from Connecticut and into Massachusetts. Drove down into Newport to see the site where Bob Dylan went electric. That actual place isn’t marked, but I stopped at a couple of places where the Folk Festival occurred (and occurs). Spent one night in Providence.

Aggregate time = 1 day

Link?

South Carolina

Best Place to visit

Area: East coast –Place: Historic Charleston –City: Charleston

Prior to 2014:
1984: Drove into South Carolina, put my feet on SC soil, breathed the air, and left! Total of about 30 minutes!

After 2014:
2021: Drove into the state on my Eastern trip. I spent one night in Florence and two nights in Charleston.

Aggregate time = 3 days

Link?

South Dakota

Best Place to visit

Area: Black Hills –Place: Custer State Park –City: Hill City

Prior to 2014:
1970: Drove across SD while en route from Lincoln, NE, to Fargo, ND.
1971: Honeymoon in Black Hills for 5 days
1982: Two nights in SD, visiting Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Deadwood, Spearfish, etc.
1996: One night in Deadwood and saw some sights. Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and others.
1999: Drove across SD from Wyoming, no overnight

After 2014:
2014: System installed in Sisseton. Total of 18 days
2015: 3 nights in the Black Hills. Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, others
2020: One night and a visit to Badlands National Park
2020: Overnight in Rapid City while en route to Denver

Aggregate time = 30 days

Link to post about Badlands National Park

Tennessee

Best Place to visit

Area: Northeastern –Place: Navy friend’s home –City: Nashville

Prior to 2014:
1984: Three nights in Memphis sightseeing
2006: One overnight at a class in Memphis
2007: Four months, for about four days a week

After 2014:
2017: Drove through along the Mississippi River and spent one night in Memphis
2021: On the Eastern trip, I spent two nights in Nashville and one night with a Navy friend and his wife in his country home south of Nashville.

Aggregate time = 3+ months

Link?

Texas – Must include the second largest state in US States & Time Expended

Best Place to visit

Area: Route 66 –Place: Riverwalk –City: San Antonio

Prior to 2014:
1970: Conference in Ft. Worth for school for 3 days
1993: Overnight visit to Dallas for work
1994: Overnight visit to Dallas for work
1995: Conference in San Antonio for 5 days
2011: Conference in San Antonio for 3 days

After 2014:
2016: Spent 4 nights in San Antonio for Navy Reunion
2018: Drove Route 66 across the Texas Panhandle. Spent one night in Amarillo.

Aggregate time = 18 days

Posts about Route 66 in Texas. Day 9. Day 10.

Utah

Best Place to visit

Area: Southern Utah –Place: Bryce Canyon National Park –City: Springdale

Prior to 2014:
1970: Drove across from Nevada to Wyoming. Stopped but not overnight
1980: Flew into and out of Salt Lake City on three business trips to Evanston WY
1982: Three nights for a business trip in Salt Lake City
1983: Two business trips of three days each in Salt Lake City

After 2014:
2016: Visited Arches National Park while returning from Arizona, but not overnight (And visited the Four Corners area!)
2018: Returning from Route 66, spent one night in Green River and visited Monument Valley
2022: Visiting four National Parks, spending four nights near Zion in Springdale, and visiting St. George and Arizona as well. Then spent one night near Bryce Canyon while visiting there. I followed up with one night in Moab after visiting Capitol Reef and before visiting Canyonlands.

Aggregate time = 17 days

Link?

Vermont

Best Place to visit

Area: Northern area –Place: Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard –City: Burlington

Prior to 2014:
1980: Visited an IBM plant in Burlington, VT, traveling on an IBM Gulfstream jet! No overnight.

After 2014:
2021: Visited Ben & Jerry’s, Trapp Family resort in Stowe, and spent two overnights in Burlington. More when I publish the post from that trip and link it here.

Aggregate time = 3 days

Link?

Virginia

Best Place to visit

Area: Appalachians –Place: Shenandoah National Park –City: Virginia Beach

Prior to 2014:
1978: 10 days in Fairfax, VA, visiting in-laws
1981: Weekend in Fairfax, VA, with in-laws after attending a work-related class in Washington DC.
1982: Thanksgiving week with in-laws in Fairfax
1984: Two weeks in Fairfax, Washington, DC, Appomatox, Colonial Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, Virginia Beach, and other attractions with in-laws

After 2014:

2021: One night in Fredricksburg and visited the James Monroe Presidential home and museum. Another night in Staunton, VA, before visiting Shenandoah, NP. A third night in Charlottesville before visiting Monticello and on to John Tyler’s home. Then into North Carolina. More info in the link when I publish the post about Virginia about my “Eastern 26” trip.

Aggregate time = ~1 month

Link?

Washington

Best Place to visit

Area: Olympic Peninsula –Place: Mt St. Helen’s –City: Seattle

Prior to 2014:
1968: Two nights while flying to Adak while in the Navy
1968: Eight days while being separated from active duty in the Navy
1974: Two nights in Spokane when visiting in-laws’ family
1982: Overnight, when returning from Fairbanks on a business trip
1983: Three days on a business trip
1986: Five days attending a conference
1993: Visited my step-daughter in Seattle for seven days
1994: Visited in-law’s family for seven days
1995: Two nights for an interview in Vancouver

After 2014:
2014: Changed planes when going to Alaska to install a computer system
2022: Four nights in Kennewick, WA, for a conference

Aggregate time = ~6 weeks

Link?

West Virginia

Best Place to visit

Area: Scenic areas I visited –Place: New River Gorge NP –City: Green Bank

Prior to 2014:
1978: Crossed the state at Wheeling on a trip to Washington DC

1986: Attended a conference at The Greenbriar for 4 days.

After 2014:

2014: Drove through a portion of the state while returning from North Carolina
2021: Spent two overnights and a portion of three days on the Eastern 26 trip

Aggregate time = 6 days

Here’s a link to my visit to West Virginia in 2021.

Wisconsin and US States & Time Expended

Best Place to visit

Area: South Shore of Lake Superior –Place: Apostle Islands –City: Bayfield

Prior to 2014:
1964: Train through Wisconsin to Chicago but never got off so likely doesn’t count.
1978: Driving to in-laws in Virginia and spent the night in Madison. Returning spent a night near Milwaukee
1982: Spent three days in Hayward, WI, for two days of work but took the family along and enjoyed a few days of vacation when work was done.
1984: Drove through again on the way to Virginia but only stopped for a meal going each way.
1995: Four days in Bayfield WI camping and seeing attractions. Took the ferry to Madeline Island and rented scooters for a few hours.

2002: Spent a night in Copper Harbor and three nights on Isle Royale National Park, an island in Lake Superior.
2008: Worked all week in Madison from July until Christmas, driving there every week.
Western WI is only about 40 miles from my home, so I was likely there other times as well.

After 2014:
2016: Scored tickets to a Packers game and attended the game at Lambeau! (No, I’m not a Packer fan but everybody should see Lambeau.)
2019: On a trip through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, drove through Central Wisconsin and spent the first night in Green Bay.
Multiple trips into nearby Wisconsin for “gig economy” jobs.
2021: Spent two nights and much of three days on my Eastern 26 trip

Aggregate time = ~4 months

By the way, here’s a link to a trip through Wisconsin. And another link through Wisconsin to the UP of Michigan.

Wyoming

Best Place to visit

Area: Around Riverton & Lander –Place: Devils Tower –City: Lander

Prior to 2014:
1970: Drove from Salt Lake City to Denver through Wyoming. Spent one night in Rock Springs
1979: Several visits to Riverton and Lander to install computer systems in the hospital. Total of 5 weeks
1981: Spent four nights in Cheyenne for a corporate meeting
1982: Four weeks total in Evanston, WY installing a computer system in the hospital
1999: Overnight to visit Devils Tower

After 2014:
2015: Drove through Wyoming many times while working in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. (Flights in and out of Denver.)
2020: Drove through Wyoming from the Black Hills to Denver

Aggregate time = About 2 months

Link?

Bonus to US States & Time Expended, including outside the US!

Canada

1970 – Winnipeg for Memorial Day weekend.
1982 – Vancouver, BC, for a conference
1985 – Family visit to Winnipeg
2005 to 2007 – Flew to Toronto, and drove to Hamilton, Ontario, to work for McKesson at St. Joseph’s Hospital nearly every week from March 2005 to April 2007. I flew here nearly 100 times during those years! Averaging 4 days a week for an estimated 97 weeks works out to 388 days!

Overall, likely consolidates to about 14 months.

Japan

Service at Naval Security Group Activity, Kamiseya Japan, from January 1966 to November 1967.

That’s 22 months.

Mexico

1981 – Walked across the border into Tijuana!
1990 – Walked across the border and took a taxi to the shopping district with family during a California vacation

Wake Island

1966 – Landed here to refuel on the way to Japan in January of 1966. I spent somewhat over an hour here! But I was there! Touched the soil and breathed the air!

And that’s all for my collection of US States & Time Expended

Classic Rock Recollection

“America” by Simon & Garfunkel

“Let us be lovers, we’ll marry our fortunes together
I’ve got some real estate here in my bag”
So we bought a pack of cigarettes and Mrs. Wagner pies
And walked off to look for America

“Kathy”, I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh
“Michigan seems like a dream to me now”
It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw
I’ve gone to look for America

Written by: Paul Simon

#Visit50states

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