Where I've Been, How I Got There, and Why I Was There

List | Map | Chart by year

I am an experienced traveller, mostly due to the annual vacations that my family (my parents and my younger brother) would take while I was growing up (any unidentified "we" on this page means "my family"). (My mother actually documented many of the details of these trips in typewritten logs in the fronts of the picture books of the trips, so my travel history is fortunately pretty well preserved.) I have visited 45 U.S. states plus D.C., 2 Canadian provinces, and one Mexican state. The list and explanations:

United States:

Alabama: A couple times while visiting relatives in South Tennessee (see Tennessee and Texas), I have made side trips to North Alabama (twice just to get to the state line, once to visit relatives in the Florence area). We also crossed the state on our 1984 Florida vacation (see Florida). Cities along route: Huntsville (saw the Space Museum), Birmingham, Montgomery, Dothan.

Alaska: Haven't visited

Arizona: Both my parents are Arizona fans; the family room has an Arizona/Southwestern U.S. theme. We went through Arizona the first time on our 1977 trip to El Paso and Los Angeles. We revisited in 1979 when we made a trip to the Grand Canyon to meet up with the friends from Los Angeles -- see California. Subsequent visits came in 1982 and 1989 with my family (also on trips to Los Angeles) and 2018. See California for the details of the trips (including the one just to the Grand Canyon -- it's listed with the other three because of the similarities between all four trips). Major cities visited with my family: Phoenix (all four years), Tucson (1977, 1989), Yuma (1977, 1989), Flagstaff (all four years).

Arkansas: For decades faint memory. Went through it to and from Los Angeles, 1977. Trivia: The motel where we stayed in Little Rock is where my family found out about the death of Elvis Presley the morning after; we had been in Memphis the previous day. I barely missed a revisit to Arkansas when we went through Memphis in 1989, seeing the I-40 Mississippi River bridge in the distance. I did return to Arkansas in 2013 retracing the 1977 return trip (see Texas).

California: When my dad was stationed at K.I. Sawyer Air Force base in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (see Michigan), my parents met a couple from Los Angeles. Visits to their home (and one to Grand Canyon National Park to meet up with them) led to my visiting most of the states to which I've been. The four trips:

I returned in 2018 with my girlfriend, my first trip driving over 5,000 miles. Destination was San Diego (in addition to the Grand Canyon) but we also drove through Los Angeles.

See also the other respective states.

Colorado: Went through it on the 1979 trip to the Grand Canyon and the 1982 trip to California (see California). Visited the Garden of the Gods Park on the 1979 trip and went through the Eisenhower Tunnel and visited Colorado National Monument on the 1982 trip. (Between 2001 and 2008 I received superstation KWGN Channel 2 from Denver so my knowledge of that area is now disproportionately large compared to other locales which I hadn't visited in around 20-30 years.) Returned in 2018 twice on the trip (originally planned as once).

Connecticut: Went through on the way back from the Boston area in late 1983 (see Massachusetts) and on the way back from Canada/New England in 1987 (see Québec). Saw Hartford both times. Passed through on I-95 in 2014 (see Massachusetts).

Delaware: Went through southern Delaware on the way back from Ocean City, MD (see Maryland). Also passed through Northern Delaware on the side trip to Baltimore, MD from South Jersey in 1997 (see New Jersey) and on the 2014 trip (see Massachusetts) First saw Dover in 2017.

District of Columbia: Passed through on the way back from Ocean City, MD, in 1985 (see Maryland), and went through on the way to the Outer Banks, NC, in 1986 (see North Carolina). In 1988, immediately after my high school graduation, my high school band went to D.C. and played four concerts in the area. My parents followed us out and I went home with them after some obligatory sightseeing. We returned later that year on another of many trips to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In 2014 my girlfriend and I visited the National Zoo along with driving through downtown (see Massachusetts) and revisited in 2017 and 2019.

Florida: As with other families, this has been a recurring desitination for us. I visited it a couple times before Kindergarten; my memory is very hazy about those trips. The two trips I remember most:

I also visited Florida in the Summer of 1995, but it was in a carpool to a convention in a hotel outside Walt Disney World, so no real sightseeing. Route: I-76 to I-71 to I-75 (with a stopover south of Atlanta) to Florida's Turnpike and back (no stopovers).

Florida, specifically SeaWorld Orlando, was the destination of my first trip driving over 2,000 miles, the 2012 roadtrip (NE Ohio south to Orlando then a more westerly route north via Western NC).

Georgia: Seen many times on the way to and from Florida (see Florida). Also visited when visiting the Chattanooga, TN area (see Tennessee).

Hawaii: Haven't visited

Idaho: Haven't visited

Illinois: Since I was born and raised in Southwest Michigan (see Michigan), my family would take one-day trips to Chicago fairly often. The most frequent destination was the Museum of Science and Industry. Other destinations included Marriott's Great America amusement park (now Six Flags Great America), Brookfield Zoo, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium. I have also been to Chicago and "Chicagoland" on my trips with the Kent State University Jazz Ensemble to the Elmhurst Jazz Festival at Elmhurst College (in Elmhurst) in 1992, 1997, and 1998. My family also went through Illinois on our four trips to the West (see California) and I revisited on the 2013 trip (see Texas), 2015 trip (see Wisconsin), 2016 trip (see South Dakota), and 2018 trip.

Indiana: I spent many days in Indiana while growing up in Southwest Michigan (see Michigan). My mom's side of the family has lived in and around South Bend since they moved to this part of the country in 1948. Also, South Bend was the nearest major city to us in SW Michigan, so we went there for many other reasons (shopping and other services). I have also seen other parts of Indiana more than once; it is a state along both of the two routes of the long trips I have taken the most frequently (see Pennsylvania and Tennessee), as well as along the route to Chicago and beyond (see Illinois and California). I have also made a couple of one-day trips to Indianapolis (1986 and 1990) to visit distant relatives.

Not visiting Indiana in 2007 now means that there is no state where I've lived or visited each year of my life.

Iowa: Zipped through it on the last day of the 1979 Grand Canyon trip (see California). That was it until 2016 until we dipped into it briefly from Minnesota along I-35 and US 65 (see South Dakota). In 2018 we reversed the 1979 trip for the most part but actually stayed overnight just outside Des Moines.

Kansas: Visited on the way to the Grand Canyon in 1979 and Los Angeles in 1982 (see California) plus the extreme southeast corner in 2013 (see Texas) and the length of I-70 in 2018. Note: Stayed in Salina the first two trips; both times there was a severe storm that hit that night. Go figure. :)

Kentucky: A state on the way to Lawrenceburg, TN (see Tennessee). I have also been to other places in Kentucky on other trips (to Florida, Texas, etc.), usually taking I-75 if not taking I-65, plus my family made a two-day trip to Mammoth Cave National Park with my mom's brother's family in 1986.

Louisiana: Visited on the way to El Paso and Los Angeles in 1989 (see California). Got to cross the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway (southbound), drove through New Orleans, and rode on the seemingly endless viaduct that is I-10 (between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and again west of Baton Rouge).

Maine: A "sort-of" state, one of those where you cross into it just to say you were there, then leave. My family went on a side trip from the Boston area (see Massachusetts) to visit Maine one evening when my dad got back from attending his business classes, but we didn't get there until after dark (it was Fall so the days were short, plus there was difficulty in leaving the Boston area due to the unusual traffic patterns unfamiliar to us). At least it was a moonlit night, so we could make some features out. It was dark, I entered, turned around, and left, but I was there! I tried again in 2014 (see Massachusetts again); this time it was light, I went farther in, and my girlfriend and I even had dinner there. Still haven't gotten out of York County, though.

Maryland: My first visit to Maryland was in 1985, on a trip to Ocean City. The route:

I also went through Maryland when my family went to the Outer Banks of NC (see North Carolina), and when my high school band went to play in Washington, D.C. (see District of Columbia). In early 1997 on a side trip from my trip to New Jersey, my then-roommate and I visited Baltimore (see New Jersey). While in the city known for its seafood, we ate at a Tex-Mex restaurant (shrug). Also redid the I-68 section in 2011. The 2014 trip (see Massachusetts) consisted of taking I-95 from Delaware through Baltimore to the D.C. area then I-270 and I-70 to Pennsylvania, with another visit to the Sideling Hill cut on I-68. We reversed that in 2017 then went through Annapolis and later Ocean City and Salisbury. We passed through from D.C. to PA in 2019.

Massachusetts: My first trip to Mass came in the Fall of 1983 when my dad had to go on a business trip to a corporate school in Framingham, near Boston. We went east along I-94 to Detroit, through Ontario, Canada on (then) King's Highway 3, through the Niagara Falls/Buffalo area to I-90, then along I-90 to outside Boston. My days were spent in a hotel room doing homework (I was in 8th Grade), but almost every evening of the week-long trip, my family would take a trip to some place in the area, including going to sites in Boston and taking a side trip to Maine (see Maine). On the way back to Michigan, we went to the Cape Cod Canal area via Plymouth (and Plymouth Rock), then headed west (no time to visit the actual Cape) through Providence, RI, then along US 6 to Hartford, CT, then took I-84 WB to I-81 SB to I-80 WB to PA 28 southwesterly through Pittsburgh to visit my parents' friends, then took the Western PA-to-Southwest Michigan route home (see Pennsylvania). We also went through Massachusetts on the 1987 Canada/New England trip (see Québec). The 2014 trip consisted of I-90 through Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts, with a side trip to the southwest corner of Vermont, then a side trip to Maine like in 1983, I-95 to New York City, the Garden State Parkway to southern New Jersey, various roads to Philadelphia, I-95 to Washington, and the I-270/70/Turnpike routing back into Ohio.

Michigan: This is where I was born and raised. I lived in the southwestern part of the state the whole time I lived there, in Berrien County. From my birth in February, 1971 to November, 1971, I lived in a mobile home in Watervliet. My parents had lived in the mobile home while my dad was stationed at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base (now Sawyer International Airport), a few dozen miles south of Marquette in the Upper Peninsula, from 1966 to 1969. When he was discharged, my parents moved the mobile home to a trailer park in Watervliet. When we moved out of the mobile home in late 1971, we moved into a house in tiny Millburg, outside the Twin Cities area (Benton Harbor/Saint Joseph), where we lived until 1985. In late 1983, my dad's job went from a regional office of his company outside Benton Harbor to the main headquarters in Buchanan, to the south, near South Bend, IN (see Indiana); the family moved to Buchanan in January, 1985. I lived in three different houses there in the span of just over two years. In late 1986, my dad found out that his whole company was being acquired by a company in Euclid, Ohio; he started his newly-relocated job in February, 1987, and we were no longer Michigan residents as of April, 1987. The rest of my dad's side of the family still lives in and around the Twin Cities area; in fact, with my mom's side of the family living in nearby South Bend (see Indiana), my immediate family is the only part of my non-distant family (grandparents and younger) that doesn't live in that region (locally known as "Michiana", a contraction of Michigan and Indiana). While we visited the relatives "back there" (and by default my home region) fairly regularly after moving to Ohio, unfortunately as time has gone on, the trips have become fewer and farther in between, mostly due to finances and work schedules; unfortunately, 1998 was the first calendar year in which I didn't even visit my home state (although I saw it from the Indiana Toll Road on a trip to and from suburban Chicago, since I knew where to look). I also have not visited various years since 2006, although Google Maps' Street View had covered Berrien County and adjacent South Bend/Mishawaka/Elkhart by the end of 2008, so it's been a reasonable substitute for visiting (I actually have visited in 2009, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2018, the 2016 trip being my first trip to the Upper Peninsula and Mackinac Bridge since 1981).

I have been to other places in Michigan on day trips, field trips (most notably the Kellogg cereal plant in Battle Creek and various Dutch-themed attractions in and around Holland), and during high school marching band camp (Mich. State U., 1985; Central Mich. U., 1986); my 1981 family vacation took place entirely in Michigan (our destination was the house of the friend of my parents who moved back to the U.P. after leaving "the Base" [K.I. Sawyer AFB, see above]; see Wisconsin for another trip to the U.P.). I have been to Kalamazoo many times; it was the nearest major city after South Bend, IN (South Bend is slightly closer and somewhat larger). Surprisingly, I have only been to Detroit eight times in my life, and most of those times I was just passing through. I identify more with Chicago (see Illinois) than Detroit, even though the former was out-of-state and the latter wasn't.

See also my homepage.

Minnesota: Even though I grew up in Michigan, it took me until I was 45 to visit. On the 2016 Mt. Rushmore trip we crossed the state westbound on I-90 then eastbound on I-94 to the Twin Cities then continued east on US 8.

Mississippi: Went through on I-55 between Memphis, TN, and New Orleans, LA, on the 1989 trip to El Paso and Los Angeles (see California). Saw Jackson. In 2013 entered, turned around at the first exit, and returned to Tennessee on I-55/69 (see Texas).

Missouri: We went through Missouri on three of the trips out West (see California) plus the 2013 trip (see Texas). Saw the Gateway Arch in St. Louis in 1982, 1989, and 2013 (the latter with fireworks in front). Saw Kansas City in 1979 and 1982.

Montana: Caught a tiny piece of the state at Alzada on the 2016 Mt. Rushmore trip. Alzada is probably used to people coming over the boundary from the Devil's Tower area of Wyoming just to say that they were there.

Nebraska: Went through on the way back from the Grand Canyon in 1979 (see California). Had a flat tire on I-80; bought its replacement in North Platte. Another highlight was camping in a campground which we realized too late abutted a railroad switching yard. North Platte was the location of the motel on the 2018 trip.

Nevada: Visited on the way to Los Angeles in 1982 (see California). Camped on the SE side of Las Vegas; went to a casino for a couple hours the next day where my parents worked the slots and we kids hit the video games (same results :) ). Drove through without stopping (except for a construction backup) in 2018.

New Hampshire: New Hampshire so far has been a "just passing through" state. We went through it to and from Maine in 1983 (see Maine), eating at a pizza place in a mall in Portsmouth. While we travelled the length of Vermont on our 1987 trip (see Québec), we actually crossed the Connecticut River to camp, in a campground outside Lebanon, NH. We stopped at a shopping center on the way out of Lebanon and NH and back into Vermont. The 2014 visit was similar to the 1983 one (see Massachusetts).

New Jersey: For many years, New Jersey had been another "sort-of" state – we just missed it on I-84 on the way back from Boston in 1983 (see Massachusetts), and actually entered it after exiting from I-84 on the way back from Canada/New England in 1987 (see Québec), going to the McDonald's and a gas station at the border, then getting back on I-84. Then, in January, 1997, I took a trip with my former roommate to visit his old roommate from the dormitory at Kent State who had taken a job in southern New Jersey ("South Jersey"). We stayed with him for a week; while we were there, we toured Cape May County, and took side trips to Atlantic City, Baltimore, and New York (City). Our route out was I-76 from the Kent, OH, area to its terminus (passing through Philadelphia, PA), then NJ 42/Atlantic City Expressway EB to the Garden State Parkway SB (same route back in reverse). When we went to NYC we took the GSP to the New Jersey Turnpike to Elizabeth, where we had an unexpected stopover due to a snowstorm. We looked for food that night by crossing the Outerbridge Crossing (I-278) into Staten Island, NYC, but found that that area was all residential and industrial. We eventually found a diner-type restaurant in Linden. The next day we got back on the NJTP and headed up to the Lincoln Tunnel. My roommate had known about a parking garage near the exit of the tunnel from a previous trip, and he found it again – the New York Convention Center garage at W. 42nd St. and Dyer Ave. We parked and toured Manhattan on foot and by subway. On our way out, we took West St. south to the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, then I-278 west and south out of town to the GSP south. Our trip to Baltimore was basically NJ 47/NJ 55 NB to US 40 WB across the Delaware Memorial Bridge to I-95 SB and back. My girlfriend and I saw a lot of South Jersey in 2014, including fireworks in North Cape May (see Massachusetts).

New Mexico: Went through on all of the five trips out West (see California). Saw Albuquerque on all but the first and last trip.

New York: My first trip to New York was just passing through in 1983 on the way back from Toronto, ON (see Ontario), using I-90 WB. Less than two months later, we crossed the entire state on I-90 on the way to Boston, MA (see Massachusetts). We returned from that trip on I-84 through New York, and repeated that in 1987 (see Québec). I took a side trip to New York City from South Jersey with my then-roommate in early 1997 (see New Jersey). I have also visited the western part several times during local drives from NE Ohio including trips to Niagara Falls (1992, 1996, 2011 [see Pennsylvania], and 2018) and trips to play band concerts at the Chautauqua Institution in 1999 and 2002. The 2014 trip (see Massachusetts) mirrored the 1983 trip but also included a time later on in New York City.

North Carolina: While my family went through North Carolina on the way to Florida in my early childhood, my first significant visit there was to Asheville during one of my dad's business trips in 1980. A side trip to the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Blue Ridge Parkway (see also Florida and Virginia), has made North Carolina one of my favorite states. Later in 1980 and again in 1984 we passed through North Carolina on the way to Florida. Between 1980 and 1988, my family made numerous trips to Western North Carolina. In 1986, we made a trip to Eastern North Carolina, to the Outer Banks. The route:

North Dakota: On the 2016 Mt. Rushmore trip we entered the state from the south on US 85 and left on I-94 to the east, staying in Dickinson and stopping in Bismarck en route.

Ohio: For many years, Ohio was simply the state between Indiana and Pennsylvania -- we drove all the way across it on our way to Western Pennsylvania (see Pennsylvania). In fact, nearly the whole route in Ohio was on the Ohio Turnpike (we exited at the easternmost complete interchange, then-Gate 16 (now Exit 232), and took OH 7 SB and OH 14 EB into Pennsylvania.) In 1980, we went to Florida through Ohio (see Florida); in 1982, we crossed the state diagonally on the way back from the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, TN (see Tennessee); in 1983, we crossed the state entirely on I-90 east-to-west (see Ontario); in 1985, on the way to the Great Smoky Mountains, we went through the Cincinnati area, stopping at (now Paramount's) King's Island amusement park. Then, in late 1986, my dad found out that his job was transferring to Euclid, OH, outside Cleveland. While he was working on the transition of his job from Michigan to Ohio, the family as a whole was in the process of trying to find a house in Northeast Ohio while periodically staying in motels in the area. We finally found one, just east of the city of Mentor, and moved into it in April, 1987. My parents bought it outright in 1995 (they had previously been renting it). I transferred from community college to Kent State University in January, 1991, and lived on campus during the next 4½ academic years. After graduation in 1995, I lived with my parents. In the Fall of 1996, I moved to Kent as a resident while attending graduate school. I have moved back again temporarily as of October, 1998, while I get my finances in order. During the Summers of 1994 and 1996, I worked at Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, and lived in housing provided by Cedar Point. I have visited many places in the state while I've lived here; the annual Ohio Music Education Association conventions have helped me do this -- I've attended ones in Columbus (1989, 1992, 1995, 1998), Dayton (1990), and Cleveland (2003 and 2006). The revised route to Lawrenceburg, TN, has also helped (see Tennessee and Texas).

See also my homepage.

Oklahoma: Went through on the way back from Los Angeles in 1982 and 1989 (see California) and on the way to Texas in 2013 (see Texas). In 1989, while looking in Oklahoma City for an ATM which could take a bank card we had, we ended up on a brand-new freeway -- I-235. We went right past the Oklahoma State Capitol Building.

Oregon: Haven't visited

Pennsylvania: My parents met many friends while my dad was stationed at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base in the U.P. of Michigan (see Michigan). After my dad and his friends were discharged, most of them returned to their homes. One friend and his wife lived outside Aliquippa, PA. My parents and they started visiting each other, and the trip my parents made soon became one of the most regular trips my family made. The original route of the trip was I-94 EB to US 23 SB to the Ohio Turnpike EB to OH 7 SB to OH 14/PA 51 EB to PA 60 SB (during that time this was the northern terminus of the PA 60 freeway) to the PA 151 exit. Later on, the route was altered a bit when we would go south (southeast) to drop down to the Indiana Toll Road at the beginning of the trip, especially after we moved to Buchanan. An interesting twist is that when the daughter of the couple would want to visit us, but neither of the families could afford to make the whole trip, we would both travel halfway and "make a trade" at the halfway point, which happened to be Fremont, OH. Of course after we moved to Ohio in 1987, the trip was shortened considerably (and the frequency of the trips slowed down). I have also seen much of the rest of Pennsylvania; for instance, the 2011 trip's routing consisted of I-90 to Niagara Falls, US-219 to US-22, then US-22 to I-99 to I-70 to I-68 (with a side trip south on US-522) to I-79 into greater Pittsburgh, then I-376 to PA-68/OH-39 to US-30 then OH-21/I-77/I-271. See also Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ontario, and Québec. I attended high school marching band camp in 1987 at Edinboro University of PA in Edinboro, near Erie; I met someone a few years ago who grew up in the south suburbs of Pittsburgh, and she took me visiting there once in 1994. I have also visited the northwest section many times during local drives from NE Ohio.

Rhode Island: Passed through it (in about 45 minutes) on the way back from Boston in 1983 (see Massachusetts). While passing through Providence, we passed right by the Rhode Island State Capitol while on the surface streets. In 2014 (see Massachusetts also) my girlfriend and I went the long way on I-95, still seeing the capitol.

South Carolina: Passed through it on the way to and from Florida a few times, the last in 2012 (see Florida). Visited greater Myrtle Beach for the first time in 2019.

South Dakota: Finally got there in 2016 on the Mt. Rushmore trip. We took I-90 west all the way from Northeast Ohio, stopping first in Sioux Falls then continuing to the Rapid City area. On the way out we swung through northeast Wyoming and a tiny piece of Montana before taking US 85 north to I-94, then east to Mineapolis/St. Paul where we took US 8 to US 2 to the Mackinac Bridge, then followed US 31 all the way back to I-80/90.

Tennessee: I have a lot of roots in the south -- my maternal grandfather came from West Tennessee; my paternal grandmother was born and raised in South Tennessee, while her eventual husband came from nearby Northern Alabama. (To complete the series, my maternal grandmother was born and raised in London, England). While I have visited the area in West Tennessee where that grandfather came from (on the way back from Los Angeles and El Paso in 1977, see California, then in 2013, see Texas), by far the most trips I have made to Tennessee have been to South Tennessee -- to Lawrenceburg, at the junction of US 43 and US 64, near where my grandmother grew up. In fact, I visited that area at least once a year every year through 1989, and again in 1995, making it the most frequently-visited destination of all the trips I have taken. (My dad used to spend entire summers down there when he was growing up, so the trips have been happening for quite some time.) The route:

Lawrenceburg has more than once been a stop on a vacation to another destination (see California, Florida, North Carolina, Texas). I have been to other places in Tennessee more than once -- I have visited Great Smoky Mountains National Park multiple times; I have been through the Chattanooga area a lot (I have many pictures of downtown, all from the same vantage point on nearby Lookout Mountain, but from at least three different years; it became a tradition :) ). In 1982, my family visited the World's Fair in Knoxville. The route: We have been to Memphis in 1977 and 1989 on the trips out West (see California) as well as 2013; we saw (but didn't stop at) Graceland (the Elvis Presley estate) in 1989, also 2013.

Texas: My mother has a friend in El Paso; we have visited her family on the trips out West in 1977 and 1989, as well as seeing different parts of the city (and a foreign country) as well. In 1977, we went through Dallas/Fort Worth; in 1989, we visited Houston and NASA, and San Antonio and the Alamo. We have also seen the panhandle, in 1982 and 1989. (For the routes of all three trips, see California.) Texas, specifically SeaWorld San Antonio, was the destination of my first trip driving over 3,000 miles, the 2013 roadtrip (NE Ohio via Chicago, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, and Fort Worth, then through Dallas, Memphis, West and Middle Tennessee to Ohio).

Utah: Visited in 1979, 1982, and 2018 (see California). Made a stopover at the Great Salt Lake and went through Salt Lake City in 1979, and visited Arches and Zion National Parks in 1982.

Vermont: Travelled the length of the state via I-89 SB and I-91 SB over two days (see New Hampshire) on our 1987 Canada/New England trip (see Québec). Cut the southwest corner in 2014 (see Massachusetts).

Virginia: Visited on various trips (see District of Columbia, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and the 2017 and 2019 trip pages). Saw the Naval Shipyard in Norfolk on the 1985 Ocean City trip (see Maryland) and in 2017. In 1988, we travelled the length of the Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway system, starting in Front Royal, Virginia, and ending at the US 441 connection in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina. The 2017 trip was my first time driving across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, and also the first time driving the Blue Ridge Parkway within Virginia.

Washington: Haven't visited

West Virginia: Went the length of the state on I-77 on the 1982 World's Fair trip (see Tennessee); stopped to eat in Beckley, saw Charleston. Went the length in the opposite direction on the 2012 Florida trip (see Florida). Also visited on 1985 Ocean City trip (see Maryland), 1986 NC Outer Banks trip (see North Carolina), 2011 Niagara Falls/Maryland/Pittsburgh trip (see Pennsylvania), 2014 East Coast trip (see Massachusetts), and in 2017 and 2019. I have visited WV on local road trips originating in NE Ohio.

Wisconsin: For as many times as I've been to Chicago, you'd think I would have been to Wisconsin a lot. I haven't. In 1978, my parents celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary by revisiting their honeymoon destination: Wisconsin Dells. We then went to the U.P. of Michigan and back across the Mackinac Bridge to home. While we made a couple trips to Wisconsin before 1978 to visit a couple in Watertown that my parents knew, we made none after 1978 as a family. The closest approach was camping at Zion State Park across the border in Illinois as part of a 1982 trip to Great America (see Illinois). I finally returned in 2015 with my girlfriend on a trip to Chicago, Milwaukee, and Wisconsin Dells. We partially retraced that route in 2016 going to Mount Rushmore then crossed the top of the state on US 8 on the way back.

Wyoming: Went through on the way back from the Grand Canyon in 1979 (see California). I vividly remember approaching Evanston, where we had decided to camp that night. Fireworks exploded in the air just as we were entering the town, because it was July 4th. The next day, we crossed the state; when we stopped at a rest area on I-80, we noticed the weather was cool and Fall-like, on the 5th of July. This incident led my parents, especially my mom, to an aversion towards the states with higher latitudes (notice that the states in the "Lower 48" to which I haven't been are all along the northern tier of the country). I returned briefly to northeast Wyoming in 2016 on the Mt. Rushmore trip.


Ontario: In 1982, my dad had to take a business trip to London, Ontario. He took us along. This was my first trip to Canada. (Route basically was I-94 to Ontario King's Highway 401 and back.) The following year, my family went to Toronto and Niagara Falls. Trip out: I-94 to I-69 to (then) M-21 to I-94 to King's Highway 402 to King's Highway 401, etc. Route back (within U.S.): I-90 from Buffalo, NY to South Bend, IN. Later in 1983, we cut through Ontario on the way to Boston (see Massachusetts). In 1987, we visited Niagara Falls and Toronto again, on the way to Québec (see Québec). We also visited Niagara Falls in 1992 and 1996. (My subsequent trips to Niagara Falls have been only to the U.S. side.)

Québec: 1987 was the year my family first visited French-speaking territory (I had been taking French in high school). The route:

Even with the French studies, the visit was still intimidating!


Chihuahua: On our trips to El Paso (1977 and 1989, see California and Texas), both times the host family took us across the border into Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. Although I was actually in Mexico, we hadn't had to show passports to enter, and most of the billboards where we were were in English, so it didn't seem authentic. But that was as much as the time that we had would allow.

Here is a map showing where I've been. Click on it to show the full-sized image.

This image was created by applying colors in Microsoft Paint to this image, produced by the U.S. Census Bureau Tiger Mapping Service. Tiger maps are in the public domain.

Map added October 28, 2000

State/ProvinceYears visited

United States

AlabamaEarly 1970s, 1984, 1989, 2013
Arizona1977, 1979, 1982, 1989, 2018
Arkansas1977, 2013
California1977, 1982, 1989, 2018
Colorado1979, 1982, 2018
Connecticut1983, 1987, 2014
Delaware1985, 1997, 2014, 2017
District of Columbia1985-1986, 1988, 2014, 2017, 2019
Florida1973, c. 1975, 1980, 1984, 1995, 2012
Georgia1973, c. 1975, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1995, 2012
plus during trips to Chattanooga, Tennessee
IllinoisVarious years Early 1970s-1985 including 1975,
1989, 1992-1993, 1997-1998, 2000, 2009, 2013, 2015-2016, 2018
Indiana1971-2006, 2009, 2013, 2015-2016, 2018
Iowa1979, 2016, 2018
Kansas1979, 1982, 2013, 2018
KentuckyEarly 1970s-1989 including 1973, 1995, 2012-2013
Maine1983, 2014
Maryland1985-1986, 1988, 1997, 2014, 2017, 2019
Massachusetts1983, 1987, 2014
Michigan1971-1997, 1999-2006, 2009, 2013, 2015-2016, 2018
(saw in near distance in 1998)
Mississippi1989, 2013
Missouri1979, 1982, 1989, 2013, 2018
Nebraska1979, 2018
Nevada1982, 2018
New Hampshire1983, 1987, 2014
New Jersey1983, 1987, 1997, 2014
New Mexico1977, 1979, 1982, 1989, 2018
New York1983, 1987, 1992, 1996-1997, 1999-2002, 2007, 2010-2011, 2013-2014, 2016, 2018-2022
North Carolina1970s, 1980, 1982, 1985-1986, 1988, 2012, 2017, 2019
North Dakota2016
OhioVarious 1970s and Early 1980s including 1974, 1985-2024
Oklahoma1982, 1989, 2013
PennsylvaniaVarious 1970s and Early 1980s including 1974, 1985-2024
Rhode Island1983, 2014
South CarolinaEarly 1970s, 1980, 2012, 2019
South Dakota2016
TennesseeEarly 1970s-1989 including 1973, 1995, 2012-2013, 2017
Texas1977, 1982, 1989, 2013
Utah1979, 1982, 2018
Vermont1987, 2014
Virginia1982, 1985-1986, 1988, 2011-2012, 2014, 2017, 2019
West Virginia1982, 1985-1986, 1989, 1996, 2011-2012, 2014, 2017, 2019-2020
(saw in near distance in 1998)
Wisconsin1975/other 1970s?, 1978, 2015-2016
Wyoming1979, 2016


Ontario1982-1983, 1987, 1992, 1996 (Early 1970s);
saw in distance in 2011, 2013, 2018, and 2021


Chihuahua1977, 1989

Table added October 1, 2000

Methods of travel:

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This page created on Friday, January 8, 1999/Moved to XOOM (later NBCi) October 29, 1999/ Moved to roadfan.com April 14, 2001/Last revised May 22, 2024

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