- Posted May 9, 2014 by
Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Visited all 50 states?
Been a "Completist" for decades
I fell in love with travel during a family super-vacation in 1962, when we spent five weeks on the road. Since then I've rarely been without some goal for visiting some area, somewhere. And, since 1975, I've been VERY careful to write down exactly where I was traveling to on what day, and what important events happened on each such travel day.
The first goal to complete, of course, is to go to each state. For a few years, this meant I would sometimes make a five mile detour to cross a state border in my car, immediately turn around, and then claim I'd "been to" that state. I'm now happy to say I've can rightfully claim I've actually "visited" all fifty.
Like most people who live in the contiguous 48, Hawaii and Alaska were the last two I'd gotten to. For me, specifically, it was Alaska. My wife and I took a flight from Seattle to Juneau on 1993 May 24, with a stop at Ketchikan. The flight crew allowed passengers to get off the plane for a few minutes, so I asked my wife, "Get a photo of me while I'm here -- this is my 50th!" So there I am at the airport.
I've since completed two other events in all 50: spending at least one night with my wife, and photographing all state capital buildings. We achieved the former on 2012 July 11 in Providence, Rhode Island -- and, of course, a photo recorded the event.
I've also tried to visit the tallest waterfall in all fifty, but this has proven difficult because (1) there is no official definition for the height of a waterfall, (2) local tourist officials like to state "tallest" no matter how dubious the claim, and (3) sometimes not even a state's department of natural resources can answer where the tallest waterfall is. I've been to fifteen places that I can reasonably conclude are the tallest falls in that state, but I doubt anyone can really know where these places are.