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All 50 stating

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It was November 2004 when I joined the all-50-states club. A quest that I first considered possible in 1991 was completed when west coast work trips two out of three weeks simply screamed for me to arrange flying to Hawaii for the week in the middle. Noting cheap inter-island flights, I charted the Hawaiian adventure with several days each on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island, and knocked off the Aloha State's two National Parks (and the Valor in the Pacific NHS) before ever setting touching all 59 of them as a possible travel goal. 
I actually knew the year before I'd be heading to Hawaii, as I enjoyed a great Alaskan trip that included a boat tour operator in Kenaii Fjords National Park precisely pointing the boat southward and noting that the next land mass we'd hit would be Hawaii. "Next year," I remember thinking. It made sense to me after all that the 49th and 50th states would be the 49th and 50th I visited. 
Further, if we go back just one more year, when I fin…

Travel Goals and Parsing Ballpark Visits

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With the Minor League baseball season wrapping up, I confidently state that I don't expect to visit any new ballparks this year. Well, there is that one ballpark down in…no, no; not this season.
Looking back over this past spring and summer, I am happy with visiting a dozen new stadiums. Some ballparks were visited as fulfillment of wish-list objectives, while others were attended to round out itineraries for day trips, overnighters or as part of my grander summer vacation out west.
As I mull over where I've been and what I still need to see, it seems that I'll most likely never visit every MiLB venue, but I'll note that my various wish lists and travel goals—ballpark, National Parks and otherwise—will allow me to eliminate some new ballparks each season from the proverbial to-do list. Perhaps I'll get to half of them, or maybe 100 of them, but all 160 seems doubtful.
Just for the sake of parsing out my ballpark travel goals a bit and sharing some of my thinking, …

On Travel Goals

From August 4, 2013 through the start of this MLB season, it felt good knowing that I had seen all 30 teams play in their current home ballpark. I've watched the home team play in a total of 43 ballparks, in fact.
The Braves opening their new stadium this year of course knocked me out of that all-30 club. Surprisingly to me, though, I didn't feel an overwhelming urge to visit the new ballpark as soon as the season got underway. I was perfectly content to wait until the NFL schedule release later in April to see if I might in one weekend couple a visit to SunTrust park with one to Mercedez-Benz stadium to catch the Falcons in their new digs. A few weeks later, the scheduling gods did set up the alignment I sought, but I balked when realizing the football half of the setup was a Sunday night game in their new stadium's debut. While that'd be nice to see, chances are it's going to be more expensive than I'd like. So, I still haven't made plans to see the Brav…

My firmly mounted ski map

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I must have used more paste when gluing my ski map to its cork base, because it is not sagging at all. After all, there are a mere 45 pins on it, the vast majority of which are on the upper right side. No, there are few pins in the Cascades, Rockies and Sierra Mountains, and not enough to sufficiently prevent the sagging, lumping and other visible eyesores afflicting my National Park map discussed in my previous post.

The problem with this one is the pin color selection. Clearly red pins against a red mountain outline was not the most prudent decision. Then again, nor would have white, black or blue pins been any better. Green and yellow pins might stand out more, but they just don't seem like ski colors, do they? Anyway, I may buy some bigger pins next time I'm in a crafts store. I'll also try to get a clearer picture, but, for now, here is a tabular representation of my ski resort visits; as with my last map, resorts are sorted alphabetically by state, and here followed…