50 STATE UPDATE

To officially wrap up my coverage of my Tennessee getaway last weekend, it’s time to update my 50 state count.

I picked up Tennessee and South Carolina over the weekend to up my tally to 34 (I actually miscounted and initially gave myself 33 after this trip). That puts me over 2/3rds of the way to completion. I also hit the Cumberland Gap tunnel into Kentucky and wound up at the shopping mall in Middlesboro where I passed a half-hour before heading back into Tennessee and onto Knoxville. The trip into Kentucky upgraded the state from an airport only stopover(and a weak one at that) to an official visit. (As of now the state of Texas and DFW airport remains my only airport stopover state).

I crossed the TN-KY border mere minutes after crossing the VA-TN border

I even tossed around the idea of heading to the northeast tip of Alabama and catching the area around Fort Payne, AL before turning back and heading towards S.C. However, that particular drive would have been far too demanding, especially if I wanted to stop at all along the way. Ultimately I was happy with decision, as I had just enough time to enjoy the drive back and was able to get home by midnight.

34 down, 16 to go. Welcome to South Carolina!

With that I’m left with the following states: Rhode Island, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii. It’s easy to see the chunk I missed. A huge chunk of the midwest with most of the deep south and southwest. Oregon and Rhode Island stand as loners that I’ll have to make a distinct effort to visit on my own. (As it stands, I’m still foggy whether an family trip once plotted course through Rhode Island – as I seem to remember my dad pointing out a Welcome to Rhode Island sign, but I vaguely remember the same with Tennessee and will simply need to make a trip to make things official.

So what’s next? Hard to say – though I’ve been tossing around the idea of a drive to Alaska for next summer (and if that drive starts from DC, a run through Iowa and Nebraska could knock out a couple more – though would definitely extend the drive). A visit to Puerto Rico is in the works (more on that soon) and the “supercollector” in me would ultimately need to add all the territories as well. Outside of Puerto Rico (and D.C. really), I’ll also need to grab American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Outside of the USVI, none of those will be easy (or cheap!). Oh, and I’m not sure I want to mess with Guantanamo Bay anytime soon, but I suppose that counts.

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