It is time to call an end to 50 States of Rambling, Listening, Celebrating and Reflecting. My high school and college years were filled with struggles as my parents grew ill and my mother passed away. Throughout those days, I desperately wanted to escape – to jump in a car and hit the road. It took me more than 40 years, but I finally made it.
Starting in October 2017, I crisscrossed our nation several times. Blueberry, a name for our car bequeathed at one of my first stops by Sadie (the young daughter of my friends Kent and Anastassia), was my trusty steed
Over the course of the year, I was on the road 204 days (with Linda by my side for 84) and covered 39,200 miles in 48 states.
Yes, it is true, I missed Alaska and Washington, but I’ve been to both before and am waiting for an opportunity when our whole family can experience the astounding vistas of the “land of the midnight sun” together.
While 50 States of Rambling may be retired, it is now time to launch – McFramblin: Adventures and musings from a gap year that doesn’t seem to end. I’ve taken a break from posting as I sift through my experiences and plot the next stage of my life (more on that later). While I’ve luxuriated in repose in our home in Arlington, I have fit in multiple trips to California, New York, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, a meditation retreat, several conferences, and more dinners, concerts and informational interviews than I can count. But now, I’m preparing for a major international trip so it is time to rev up the blog. A new post will appear tomorrow on that front.
I anticipate I’ll be reflecting on my year of rambling throughout most of my life. I’ve just compiled a short, annotated list of each step of the ramble below. That exercise filled me with memories and joy. There is so much I learned about myself on the journey and there were so many fabulous experiences. I look forward to continuing to share those insights in the posts to come.
Louisiana and Mississippi October 26 – November 2, 2017.
- Blog Posts. Rambling, Listening, Celebrating and Reflecting in Louisiana and Mississippi
- Major Stops. Louisiana: New Orleans for VoodooFest; Cajun Country – Breaux Bridge, Lafayette, Eunice; Mississippi: the delta – Natchez, Rodney, Port Gibson, Vicksburg, Clarksdale, Indianola; Jackson; the Gulf Coast – Ocean Springs, Biloxi, Beauvoir, Gulfport
Arlington to Aspen November 27 – December 18, 2017
- Blog Posts. Bridges, Pittsburgh, Cruising Through the Midwest, Beardstown, Illinois, Walking in My Father’s Footsteps, Kansas: A State of Surprises
- Major Stops. Pennsylvania: Pittsburg; Ohio: Columbus; Indiana: Columbus, Indianapolis, Turkey Run State Park; Illinois: Peoria, Beardstown, Springfield, Jacksonville; Missouri: Fort Leonard Wood, Joplin; Oklahoma: Picher; Kansas: Galena, Baxter Springs, West Mineral, Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan, Abilene, Salina, Minneapolis, Lincoln, Denmark, Sylvan Grove, Walker, Victoria, Hays; Colorado: Denver, Eagle, Aspen
Aspen to California December 19, 2017 – January 2, 2018
- Blog Posts. Traversing Colorado, The Treasure of Our National Parks, Time Love and Selfies
- Major Stops. Colorado: Carbondale, Mesa Verde National Park; Arizona: Monument Valley, Grand Canyon National Park South Rim; Nevada: Hoover Dam, Las Vegas; California: Death Valley National Park, Ridgecrest, Bakersfield, Yosemite National Park, Bodega Bay
Oregon to Spirit Rock January 3 – 15, 2018
- Blog Posts. The Oregon Coast and California Redwoods, Our Victory will be a Double Victory, Meditation Retreat,
- Major Stops. Oregon: Ashland, Grants Pass, Corvallis, Newport, Salem, Portland, Coos Bay; California: Crescent City, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Ukiah, Spirit Rock Meditation Center
California to Florida January 16 – February 8, 2018
- Blog Posts. My Friends go to Austin and the Hill Country – Why am I in Odessa?, Whose History, Dive Bars, Taking My Breath Away
- Major Stops. California: San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Joshua Tree National Park, Palm Springs; Arizona: Yuma, Tucson, Kitt Peak National Observatory; New Mexico: Silver City, White Sands National Monument; Texas: El Paso, Marfa, Big Bend National and State Park, Odessa, Lubbock, Amarillo; Oklahoma: Oklahoma City, Tulsa; Arkansas: Bentonville, Cass, Little Rock; Tennessee: Memphis; Alabama: Oxford, Talladega; Georgia: Bethlehem, Macon, Valdosta; Florida: Citrus Springs, Crystal River, Tampa, Clearwater
Florida to Arlington February 8 – 15, 2018
- Blog Post. Where oh Where is McFramblin, Mystery and Enchantment in My Own Backyard
- Major Stops. Florida: Clearwater, Saint Augustine; Georgia: Savannah; North Carolina: Raleigh; Home
Boston Trip March 22 – 26, 2018
- Major Stops. Connecticut: Mystic; New Hampshire: Pelham; Massachusetts: Andover, Cambridge, Boston
Big Island (Hawaii) Trip March 30 – April 9, 2018
- Blog Post. The Big Island and Our ‘Ohana
- Major Stops. Hawaii: Hilo, Akaka Falls State Park, Honoka’a, Waipio Valley, Pololū Valley, Hawi, Waialea Beach, Kamuela, Papakolea Green Sand Beach, Punaluu, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
Tennessee, Alabama and New Orleans Trip April 13 -30, 2018
- Blog Posts. Music City-Nashville, Conspicuously Silent . . . No Longer, JazzFest and a New Orleans Reprise
- Major Stops. Tennessee: Nashville, Chattanooga; Alabama: Montgomery; Louisiana: New Orleans
New England Ramble June 1-24, 2018
- Blog Posts. Moving Ahead by Stepping Back, Art in Many Forms, Driving Down the New England Coast, An Ode to Small Towns
- Major Stops. Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Mifflinville, Lewisburg; New Jersey: Trenton; New York: West Point, New Windsor, Woodstock, Hudson, Fort Ticonderoga, Altamont, Clinton, Watkins Glen, Elmira; Massachusetts: Amherst, North Adams, Williams, Harwich, Provincetown; Vermont: Wallingford, Bennington, Waterbury, Bristol, Warren; New Hampshire: Woodstock, North Conway; Maine: Belfast, Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, Stonington, Castine, Camden, Ogunquit; Rhode Island: Newport; Connecticut: Gillette Castle State Park, West Hartford
Arlington to Red Rocks to Burning Man July 29 – August 24, 2018
- Blog Posts: Take Me Home Country Roads – West Virginia, A Story of Adoption; A Story of Adoption – Part Two, South Dakota – Natural Wonders, Goliaths and Bikes, Wounded Knee and Little Big Horn – A Stark Contrast, What is Burning Man and why are YOU there?, Lessons from Burning Man and my Ramble
- Major Stops: West Virginia: Dolly Sods Wilderness, Charleston; Kentucky: Lexington, Mammoth Cave National Park, Paducah; Illinois: Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, Roodhouse, Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site, Springfield, Nauvoo; Missouri: Hannibal; Iowa: Saint Ansgar; Minnesota: Blue Earth; South Dakota: Sioux Falls, Mitchell, Chamberlain, Badlands National Park, Wounded Knee, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Mountain Memorial, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Rapid City, Sturgis; Nebraska: Carhenge, Scotts Bluff National Monument; Colorado: Denver, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre; Wyoming: Casper, Thermopolis, Wind River Canyon; Montana: Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Billings, Red Lodge, West Yellowstone; North Dakota: Hardin, Dickinson, Medora; Wyoming: Cody, Chief Joseph Scenic Highway, Yellowstone National Park; Idaho: Pocatello, Shoshone Falls, Boise; Nevada: Winnemucca, Reno, Gerlach
Burning Man to Utah National Parks to Home August 25 – September 30, 2018
- Blog Posts. Adventures Around Every Corner, The Natural Wonders of Southern Utah, Averting Our Eyes Yet Again – Laramie Wyoming, At a Lonely Railroad Crossroads in Nebraska,
- Major Stops. Nevada: Elko; Utah: Salt Lake City, Moab, Arches National Park (NP), Canyonlands NP, Natural Bridges National Monument (NM), Goblin Valley State Park (SP), Capitol Reef NP, Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, Henrieville, Bryce Canyon NP, Kodachrome Basin SP, Grosvenor Arch, Zion NP, Grand Canyon NP North Rim; Wyoming: Laramie, Nebraska: Sidney, North Platte, Omaha; Iowa: Des Moines, Grinnell, Amana, Iowa City; Wisconsin: Madison; Michigan: Holland, Detroit; Pennsylvania: Fallingwater