Forty-nine down, one to go

I’ve been to
Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota,
Buffalo, Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota,
Wichita, Tulsa, Ottawa, Oklahoma,
Tampa, Panama, Mattawa, La Paloma,
Bangor, Baltimore, Salvador, Amarillo, I’m a kille
r

About ten years ago I decided that getting to all fifty states was going to be a bucket list item. It became serious about five years ago. I knew it was going to take some time to finish it off. I didn’t know it would take this much time.

I was stuck at thirty-seven states for many years. My hunt for all fifty really began in 2017 when I went to both Carolinas on the same trip. In 2018, I went to Seattle and Portland to take care of Washington and Oregon. Nine to go! 2019 was a huge year. I picked up Arkansas during a trip to Memphis to visit one of my nieces. A few months later, a vacation to Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone got me to South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. In early 2020, I took a side trip to Utah while spending a few days in Las Vegas.

We were down to the final three. I had day trips planned to Nebraska and North Dakota. A week-long cruise to Alaska would close out the bucket list item in style.

And then came the pandemic.

Nebraska, canceled. North Dakota, canceled. Alaskan cruise, canceled. At a time when people were losing their lives, this bucket list thing just seemed silly.

But, in the last year, we started to get back to normal, or as normal as life is going to be. That meant we could think about traveling again. That meant the hunt for all fifty was back on. It was time to go for the final three. Nebraska here I come!

Last summer we decided to go to Kansas City for a weekend of visiting friends and watching some baseball. Hmmmm….Omaha is only a couple of hours from K.C. Why not fly into Omaha, spend a day there, then drive to Kansas City? DONE! Did you know that Omaha is brutally hot in July? Forty-eight down, two to go.

I’ve been to Boston, Charleston, Dayton, Louisiana
Washington, Houston, Kingston, Texarkana
Monterey, Faraday, Santa Fe, Tallapoosa
Glen Rock, Black Rock, Little Rock, Oskaloosa
Tennessee to Tennesse Chicopee, Spirit Lake
Grand Lake, Devils Lake, Crater Lake, for Pete’s sake

Alaska was always going to be done on a cruise. It’s planned for this July. I want it to be the final state. The celebration on a huge ship will be a lot of fun. But, that meant I had to get to North Dakota first. How? Where? Why?

There were a few choices in North Dakota. Bismarck? Hmmm…a trip to the state capital? It is the state capital, right? Not, Pierre, right? What about Roosevelt National Park? I’ve heard both good and bad things about it. I like national parks but going there would mean at least a few days there. I’m not interested in that. That leaves Fargo. I loved the movie. Maybe that’s the place for state number forty-nine.

Fargo won out when I found a round-trip flight for under $200. It also helped that the flight time was only one hour and twenty-five minutes. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Off to Fargo, I go. WOOT!!! Yep, I spent last weekend in Fargo, North Dakota!! WOOT!! WOOT!! WOOOT!!!!

I’ve been to Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville, Ombabika
Schefferville, Jacksonville, Waterville, Costa Rica
Pittsfield, Springfield, Bakersfield, Shreveport
Hackensack, Cadillac, Fond du Lac, Davenport
Idaho, Jellico, Argentina, Diamantina,
Pasadena, Catalina
, see what I mean

The real question is what do you do when you get to Fargo. My research showed that they have a minor league baseball team. They had a game scheduled for an hour after my plane landed last Saturday. However, the weather didn’t cooperate. Wind gusts at almost fifty miles per hour. No game for me. So, what can a guy do instead of the game?

I went to the Mall. SIGH!

Yep, you read this right. I spent Saturday afternoon at the West Acres Mall. The good thing, and maybe the only good thing is it’s the home of The Roger Maris Museum. Remember him? Maris was a baseball player for the Yankees, Cardinals, Indians and Athletics. In 1961, he broke Babe Ruth’s home run record when he hit sixty-one dingers. The record held up until 1998 when the steroid boys broke it with seventy and sixty-seven home runs. Oh yeah, the reason there is a museum honoring him is because he was a Fargo native. There was plenty of memorabilia, plus a film that detailed his life and career. More importantly, it killed a couple of hours.

That was the highlight of the trip. I had a feeling going in that it would be. I stayed in the hotel Saturday night. I just watched movies and SNL. Not much different than most Saturday nights. Sunday morning, I woke up when my neighbors in the next room were having loud sex. I guess that was the highlight of their trip to Fargo. Maybe someone should tell them about the mall and the museum.

I’ve been to Pittsburgh, Parkersburg, Gravelburg, Colorado
Ellensburg, Rexburg, Vicksburg, El Dorado
Larimore, Atmore, Haverstraw, Chatanika
Chaska, Nebraska, Alaska, Opelika
Baraboo, Waterloo, Kalamazoo, Kansas City
Sioux City, Cedar City, Dodge City, what a pity

It was time to head home. I needed a souvenir to remind me of my trip to North Dakota. I found this coffee cup that you see in the photo at the top. I like that my N.D. swag is also functional. I had tea in it this morning.

That’s the story of state number forty-nine. It wasn’t the greatest trip, but it was something I felt I had to do. Who wants to end up with forty-nine states, right?

Thanks, North Dakota. I’m raising my cup of tea in a toast to the city. Fargo? Yah! You, betcha!!!

I’ve been everywhere, man
I’ve been everywhere, man
Crossed the desert’s bare, man
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man
Of travel I’ve had my share, man
I’ve been everywhere

Songs lyrics from “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash

Related Post: The search for all fifty states

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Filed under: humor, Satire

Tags: Fargo, North Dakota

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