One of the challenges of deciding to “visit” all 50 states is defining how much is “enough” to qualify as a visit. As an example, I’ve been in both New Jersey and Texas before, but only saw the inside of the Newark and Dallas airports. That hardly qualifies as a “visit.”
In order to keep this project from taking another 20 years, Kathy & I decided that in order to count a state as visited, we needed to have a representative grouping of photos from that state. It doesn’t mean that we have to (a) hit all of the Chamber of Commerce sites or (b) create a photo essay worthy of National Geographic. It just means that we need to be there long enough to come back with some representative photographs.
I’ll be the first to admit that spending a few hours in a state like Delaware is hardly enough to satisfy either of those above requirements. And while 3 days in New Jersey was plenty, thank you very much, there are states that, out of necessity, we will only get to spend a few hours. We’ll try to keep those to a minimum of course, but that is what we’ve decided.
The other part of the equation is that there will be states where we don’t get to the Big Name places. In Indiana, for example, I’d love to get to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But we’re going to find something else, partly because that’s our style, and partly because we need to keep it simple from the standpoint of time and money. As much as I want to go to Glacier National Park, I’ll probably make do with something like Little Bighorn. For now!
So anyway, here is a collection of photos from Delaware. If you are from the Delaware Chamber of Commerce – sorry! Otherwise, enjoy!
The main purpose for our recent visit to the DelMarVa area was to cross Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey off our “states visited” list. While I’m pretty sure I have been in Maryland previously, we hadn’t counted it under the terms of our “50 States” project, so it was time for a do-over. We spent a day traipsing around part of the state, visiting Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Historic Site, Hooper’s Island and Crisfield.
Hooper’s Island had been mentioned to us by a guide at the Blackwater visitor center, and that made for an interesting and unexpected detour. A place – not exactly a town, although they have a Zip code – called Hoopersville sits literally at the end of the world, accessible by a narrow strip of land and an interesting bridge over the Honga River. There wasn’t much going on out there besides some fishing, and it was a very scenic and quiet place
Crisfield we had heard about previously. Self-proclaimed Crab Capital of the World, it is a nice quiet town on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay. We had dinner there before calling it a day and heading back for some rest. Because the following day we were to conquer Delaware and head for the Jersey Shore!
When I made these photos I wasn’t thinking about hurricanes, but they do have a bit of a cyclonic look to them. I have all of my friends along the coast on my mind as I post this, and hope they all remain out of harm’s way.
These are a little cliche-y but I think serve the purpose quite well.
Kathy & I are spending some time in Waynesville, NC trying to beat the heat in Charlotte. We’ve driven some curvy mountain roads during our sightseeing. This is a scene I have passed by many evenings without a camera, and decided to take one along last night just to capture a few shots.
Kathy & I have set a goal to visit all 50 of the US states by the end of 2020. Well, all except one. If everything goes according to plan we’ll cap the project off with a trip to Hawaii in 2021 to capture that elusive #50. We have a long way to go, but do have a plan to get there.
The first challenge was to define a “visit.” Do we need to sleep there, have a meal there, drink a beer there, or what? For us it is easy…we need to take photographs! There are a number of states that we have actually been to through the years, but we have not counted them as visited yet because we don’t have photographs. I know I’ve been to Arizona, New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois & Indiana and others but I don’t have photos from those states, at least none I’m willing to use for this project. We’ve been to airports in Dallas and Newark, but those don’t count as Texas or New Jersey!
Every state has it’s “Best Of” locations, but we aren’t necessarily looking to do that. We’d eventually like to visit the famous places like the Grand Canyon or Yosemite or Mount Rushmore, but those are places that justify longer stays than just a “drive-by” long enough to take a picture or three. For now we’ll be happy to get photos from more off-the-beaten-path kinds of places. It’s our project so we get to decide. I love being able to make the rules!
I’ve recently added a new section to my website titled – amazingly enough – “50 States” with a separate gallery for each state that we have visited so far. This gallery is a collection of representative photographs from each of the states that we are counting as “visited” according to our definition of having a collection of photographs. These are not intended to be the “top” anything or most famous locations from these states, simply photographs that show that we were there.
We’re planning a trip up the DelMarVa peninsula in August to catch Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. Then later this fall we’re hoping to make a road trip out west to catch a dozen or so states in the middle part of the country. I’ll update the photo gallery and the accompanying map as we go, and of course I’ll post about it here on the blog.
If anyone has suggestions about “must see” locations, feel free to pass them along in the comments or via email!
Kathy & I were talking to friends recently who asked me about our travels to Italy, when I remembered that I had never published a gallery of Italy photos on my website. It’s only taken a year, but I finally got around to it. It’s a lot of photos – admittedly way more than I would ordinarily put in one gallery. But it was a huge trip with lots of photos! I ended up with about 3,000 processed photos, so a gallery with “only” 180 or so images is really editing it down!
As much as Kathy & I like to explore new places, there is a certain comfort in the familiarity of places we return to often. Such is the case with our recent visit to Belhaven, in eastern North Carolina. Whenever we visit that area, we return to places like Swan Quarter, perhaps best known as the location of the ferry to Ocracoke Island, but also the location of a number of fishing companies and their boats. Englehard is also the location of an inlet that houses a number of fishing boats. Lake Mattamuskeet is the location of a number of interesting places and the photographs that can be made there.
While I rarely return with anything truly new, it is a good place to go and look for things I haven’t seen previously. Storms wash away old piles of debris and sometimes bring in new subject matter. Businesses come and go and sometimes the change in decor can mean new material. Sometimes returning to a place with fresh eyes can mean new opportunities.
This is another collection of photos from the Leica D-Lux 7 that I took on our recent visit there. I’ve got a few more batches that I’ll post once I’ve worked out the words to go along with them!
People in our neighborhood have gotten used to the fact that we’re gone a lot. When we first moved here it was because we worked all day and often traveled on the weekends. Recently we’ve been off on one adventure or another. A couple of our neighbors say they can tell when we’re home because our window shades are open. I guess that’s a reliable indicator, although I’ve thought about leaving them open just to fool ’em! It is nice to have someone keeping an eye on things, although that has its limits.
One of the most asked questions when we talk to our neighbors is “where are you off to next?” When we got back from our recent trip to Ohio and Virginia we didn’t have anything on the books. But within a few weeks of our return we got to planning, and we now have (I think) 5 trips in various stages of planning. Kathy says she has finally found her calling – planning vacations! For us!
One day we were sitting on our porch talking about our upcoming plans and I said, ” you know, when we were younger, one thing would lead to another and we’d end up with a baby. Now, one thing leads to another and we end up with a vacation! Life is good!