49 States: We Made It To Alaska!

49 States: We Made It To Alaska!

Well, we did it! We are in the Last Frontier. After my short diversion this week to states number 47 and 48, Ariel and I touched down yesterday afternoon in Alaska! Just setting foot in this state was a pretty massive moment for me because I’m now officially a member of “Club 49” – and it just so happened IN the 49th state. That’s a pretty awesome coincidence and even better because the 50th state to enter the Union, will…

Read More Read More

A Final Note On Iowa, Minnesota And The Northernmost Point In The Continental United States

A Final Note On Iowa, Minnesota And The Northernmost Point In The Continental United States

As I write this on the plane ride home and my last solo trip is already starting to feel like a distant memory. I’m so excited to be reunited with my travel mate (and life mate!) but before I turn my thoughts to our upcoming trip to Alaska, I wanted to post some reflections on what I just experienced. First a bit about the two last states I crossed off my list within the contiguous USA. Iowa and Minnesota certainly…

Read More Read More

Final Day: Prairies, Bison And A Surprise Encounter With a Nuclear Missile Launch Site

Final Day: Prairies, Bison And A Surprise Encounter With a Nuclear Missile Launch Site

The last day on this trip was really only a half day. After doing my usual packing routine, making sure I left nothing behind, I took a look at myself in the mirror – a solo adventurer for possibly the last time in my life… …and then I was off. My main target today was the Sully’s Hill National Game Preserve. This had actually been a national park at one time – and let me tell you something – I…

Read More Read More

Day 3: An Anti-Climactic Conclusion, A Detainment, And An Amazing Sunset

Day 3: An Anti-Climactic Conclusion, A Detainment, And An Amazing Sunset

Keeping with the Paul Bunyan theme of the last post, the morning of Day 3 started with a trip to his….grave? I don’t know. This was pretty amusing considering there’s about a 99.9999999% chance this guy never existed. But it was somehow a little moving. Paul Bunyan is awesome. Is this really where he’s buried? No. It isn’t. But still. Anyway. So I finally made it to the northernmost point of the contiguous United States – Northwest Angle, Minnesota. This…

Read More Read More

Day 2: An Incredible Sidequest To The Source Of The Mississippi River

Day 2: An Incredible Sidequest To The Source Of The Mississippi River

Day 2 began in Rochester, Minnesota where I stayed at the Days Inn. Whatever. Next it was back to the Mississippi River at Lake City. The views there were pretty cool, but not so different really than the Hudson River. Until I looked up… Look, I get that for a lot of people in this country, bald eagles are just birds. But I’m from NEW JERSEY for God’s sake. It might as well have been pterodactyl. Supposedly there’s a bald…

Read More Read More

Day 1: Primary Mission ACCOMPLISHED

Day 1: Primary Mission ACCOMPLISHED

So the first day 1 of this trip are now behind me……..and so far, so good. Day 1 started with a relatively painless experience at EWR and then a pretty long layover in Chicago. The United Lounge at O’Hare was ehhhhhok. Apparently they’ve decided to follow Delta’s lead and offer up Mac ‘n Cheese plus soup. It just wasn’t as good as Delta’s offering in Atlanta. Anyway, who cares, right? United Lounges all suck and you should never pay to use…

Read More Read More

One Last (solo) Ride

One Last (solo) Ride

So this has been a pretty big year for us. Not only did we bring home a new dog member of the family……… But he’s going to be a big brother to our first child this coming January! Needless to say, as excited as we both are, our availability for travel – especially the type of travel we love best – is going to be dropping from complicated (with the responsibility of a dog) to essentially nonexistent (with a baby…toddler…family)….

Read More Read More

Re-adjusting to normalcy: Finding adventure in the everyday

Re-adjusting to normalcy: Finding adventure in the everyday

As I sit here at the Delta Lounge in Atlanta (which is AWESOME by the way), it dawns on me that it’s been four months almost to the day since we returned from our epic New Zealand/Middle Earth adventure. While our trip was only two weeks long, being away from home and seeing new things (not to mention the intense breaks from reality that were our travel days there and back again), where every day’s goal was to simply live…

Read More Read More

On being home…

On being home…

So we got home late last night after an extraordinarily exhausting 53 hours of travel, including some borderline time travel that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. Consider this, our flight left Auckland, NZ on Saturday at about 11:30 pm New Zealand time, crossing the international dateline shortly afterwards. We landed in California (after a 12 hour flight of nonstop turbulence) at 2:30 pm. On SATURDAY. That’s about nine hours BEFORE we departed. We went to sleep in…

Read More Read More

They’re taking the hobbits to Isengard: Rohan, (AKA the Ida Valley, New Zealand)

They’re taking the hobbits to Isengard: Rohan, (AKA the Ida Valley, New Zealand)

They took the hobbits to Isengard. The question was, would we find WHERE they took the hobbits to Isengard from? Anytime I’m going off on the road, I like to take on some side quests. This comes from years of playing games like Fallout and Zelda and can range from simple things like finding the world’s biggest ball of twine (that’s in Cawker City Kansas, also near the geographical “center” of the lower 48 states) to more off-the-beaten path stuff…

Read More Read More