We are on the road again! It’s my favorite place to be and I certainly want to savor this fairly short trip because it basically marks the end of my travels in America. Not because I don’t want to travel here anymore, but because this trip includes the last attractions in America that I feel are must-sees. In addition, this trip will complete visits to the entire 50 states for both Lee and I. We can finally check this item off on our bucket lists!
Now that this “last,” great, American road trip is over, I am feeling incredibly fortunate. This is a culmination of a lifelong dream, to visit all fifty (50) of the United States. I am so fortunate to have a wife who shared my dream and completed her own fifty (50) US states during this road trip.
But it’s more than the accomplishment, however kitschy or significant it might be. I am so fortunate to have lived long enough to complete the task that I set for myself.
I am grateful, also, for the people that we met along our road trip. For instance, Karen and Tammy were such enjoyable chums during the parade in Amana, Iowa. They made us laugh and helped us to appreciate this tiny little town. The couple from Davenport, Iowa, that we shared a table with at the Miller Brewery were also interesting to talk to.
We commiserated with a number of other families during our abbreviated visit to Rapid City. Many of them also left early to avoid the impending storm that we now learned dropped thirty (30) inches of snow on this western South Dakota community. There was also the couple from Michigan who we met on the Wisconsin Dells boat ride. They were headed for Devil’s Tower — I hope they got there before the shutdown.
Speaking of that snowstorm, we are particularly fortunate to have received adequate warning about the snow, and so we were able to make some minor changes in our itinerary to avoid it.
With regard to the shutdown, I am so fortunate that we were able to sample sections of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Badlands National Park even though the parks were closed.
Lastly, we Americans are so fortunate that we live in a country with so much to see and with the ability to move freely through it. We are also truly fortunate that men like Theodore Roosevelt and other presidents and visionaries had the forethought to preserve large tracts of land as part of our National Park System. America is so rich in natural beauty, and we should all strive to visit these incredible places.
Even America’s man-made attractions are second to none. Places like the Golden Gate Bridge, the Empire State Building, the Lincoln Memorial, the Gateway Arch, and the Space Needle are a testament to American ingenuity and industry.
Art is alive and well in America too. Museums such as, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and the Smithsonian give the world an opportunity to study and be exposed to some of mankind’s greatest treasures.
Therefore, I strongly encourage all of my readers to plan a road trip across America and start your own countdown of the fifty (50) United States, even if it takes a lifetime.