I’m getting closer to a semi-final itinerary. And/or to the edges of insanity. It’s really hard for me to tell the difference any more.
Here’s what my route looks like at present:
It’s mostly refinements from yesterday’s version. The via points marked aren’t necessarily all overnight stops, and they certainly don’t represent everything I would hope to do (I’m planning to pause in Springfield MO now, for instance), but this gives sort of the outline of the trip as I’m dreaming it up at present.
A few notes:
- My starting point is now Jackson, MS. Originally this was my end point; in the last version I had tried to cut the travel time by using a more northerly city as my start. Turns out Tupelo has an airport, but actually finding a commercial flight in isn’t the easiest thing in the world.
- The route from Jackson to Memphis shows me going a bit farther east than I actually would… I’m starting out the journey along the Natchez Trace Parkway, and this mapping software isn’t detailed enough to let me show that without sending me all the way to its terminus.
- I managed to work KY back into my itinerary by visiting the Quilt museum in Paducah en route to St. Louis. I’m also planning on visiting a Railway museum in Council Bluffs, IA. These two small excursions mean (God willing) I will hit all 8 of the “missing states” I hoped to on my driving adventure.
- Based on this itinerary, I’m traveling about 4 hours most days. Two of them, I have to do 5-6 hours (not straight through). However, I’m also slating a few stops (St. Louis, Branson, Kansas City and possibly either Tulsa or Oklahoma City) where I’ll stay for more than one night, so I can see a little more of the area.
The Kansas City end point makes for an easy hop over to yet another state to visit an event that will be going on at the same time, provided I can do all this in 10 days or so. That would bring my New States count up to 9, and leave me with only 5 unvisited. (Hey Mark and Tara, brace yourselves for when I decide to see your corner of the country without warning or provocation…)
- I am really excited about this trip… and also starting to intermittently get the fearful worried feeling. Mostly around stupid stuff, like gas stations. It’s official; I am pathetic. (OK, let’s cut me a break. I only just learned how to pump gas, and I’ve only done it once. I’m allowed to be a little uneasy, right? No? Well, maybe I’ll practice on my other trips.)
Am I proposing to pass through a place you know well? Let me know: where ought I to stop in and say hi to your old friends for you, have a great cup of joe, or sample the local cuisine? What’s too beautiful for an amateur shutterbug to miss, too famous to pass up, or too good a well-kept secret to keep from your good friend Gringita?