Monday, June 20, 2005

State racing...

Alison asks if you get to count a state if you've just been to the airport.

I think the answer is yes and no. On the one hand, you've been there, so sure. On the other hand, I think it is appropriate to have a separate list which leaves off states that you just stepped in, flew through, drove through, or trained through. A state counts if you've been there, but only really counts if you've actually done some activity there, be it business or pleasure. Stopping at Denny's doesn't count. Spending the night does, I think...but if you want to tighten up the rules, you can.

For years, I had several states like that...I'd flown through Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Cincinnati (Kentucky) but hadn't done anything there. But I've visited Phoenix thrice since for both business and pleasure, done a weekend on the Strip in Vegas, and spent the night in Kentucky after a Reds game.

Anyhow, here are states from my 47 that either DON'T count or MIGHT count, depending on your strictness.

ALABAMA: Drove across it on the way to Sandersville, Georgia from Leesville, Louisiana for a teaching conference. Drove back across it as I headed back to Leesville. Didn't sleep or really even stop there. A definite no.

ARKANSAS: Been across it a couple of times, spent the night in West Memphis once...but I think I can count it because I went out of my way to see Bill Clinton's hometown of Hope and Maya Angelou's hometown of Stamps.

KENTUCKY: Spent the night there once. See above. A probable yes, unless you're being strict.

NORTH DAKOTA: Took the train across it on a trip from Elyria, Ohio to Glacier Park, Montana. They switch engines for a half hour in Minot, so I got off the train to stretch my legs. I guess this is a no.

RHODE ISLAND: Took the train across it between Boston and NYC. A definite no.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Drove across it twice. Didn't really stop since I was honoring the NAACP boycott. This one has to be a no.

TENNESSEE: Drove across it once. Spent the night east of Memphis, from which I called my buddy Brooklyn. Holiday Inn, I think. This is a "yes" with the same shakiness that Kentucky is a "yes."

VERMONT: Went there for about an hour, but visited Robert Frost's grave. Gotta count that.

WEST VIRGINIA: Have driven through Wheeling twice. No way that counts.

So, I've been to 47 states, but if you're strict and require that I either spend the night or do something specific to that state, I have "really" been to 42, and if you're more strict and require one to do more than spend the night in a hotel, I've "really really" been to 40.

Does that help, Alison?

1 comment:

Shannin said...

Oh, using your rules I can remove Nebraska off my list. Man, did I hate driving through there. B-O-R-I-N-G.

Now that I'm living in Minnesota, I'm hoping to add the Dakotas to my list. Hey, living this close, I have to at least drive to Fargo (not during winter though).