Hey there, friends and followers alike!
My apologies for the lack of posts as of late; I’ve graduated and visited six new states since my last post! As such, this part-one post will be a sort of tribute to my spring travels, and it will hopefully inform and entertain in the meantime!
A few weeks after my Salt Lake City trip, I drove down to Omaha, Nebraska, to see the Henry Doorly Zoo. I was glad to add state 30 to my list, but the zoo itself was underwhelming and not entirely worth the four-hour drive. Most of the animals were not yet available for the summer (in mid-April), but I was able to admire many nocturnal and aquatic animals. My favorites were probably the tigers and the peacocks (although, ironically, neither fit into the categories I just listed), and I caught a nice shot of a young lad sleeping (featured above).
About a month after my Salt Lake City trip, a coworker and I drove out to some of the eastern states we hadn’t seen. From Waverly, IA, we drove through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania the first day. I really enjoyed driving through the Amish communities in northern Indiana, but the first day was mostly just a long drive and a short sleep at a KOA in Erie, PA. We packed up and left at around 4:00 or 5:00 a.m., as the just-starting rain pushed us eastward.
On the second day, we made it to New York and drove up much of the western border of the state to reach the Adirondack Park. We saw Syracuse around midday, and we stayed at a gorgeous cabin-like hotel in Lake Saranac, NY. We didn’t really care for the restaurant at which we dined, but the town itself was rather nice. The waterfall below is sadly my only picture from New York, and it was simply a part of the roadside nature off the edge of the highway.
Day three kept us very busy, and we opted to drive further than our original plan. We continued out of the Adirondacks past Lake Placid, and we drove all the way across Green Mountain National Park to the eastern edge of Vermont. The Green Mountains were a strange and thrilling experience for me, as all technology failed us in the terrain, and we became much closer to the beautiful nature around us. This area of eastern New York and Vermont was much more rural and agricultural than I anticipated, and Vermont was incredible, to say the least. We crossed over the border into New Hampshire, and we stayed only briefly at a state park, wherein I snapped a picture of the woodland treasures.
From New Hampshire, we continued back through Vermont and crossed through the northwest corner of Massachusetts. For those keeping track, this makes NY my 31st, VT my 32nd, NH my 33rd, and MA my 34th state. We drove through the Catskill Mountains in southern New York, and this was hands-down my favorite part of the trip. The Catskill Mountains are extremely underrated, and though I captured no pictures of their beauty, they are an American treasure not to be missed. We left the Catskills with bittersweet hearts, as we knew that the exciting portion of our journey had reached its end.
Day four brought us back through NY, PA, OH, and IN; and we stayed on the Indiana-side outskirts of Chicago. I managed to delay us on Friday morning by running out to the Indiana sand dunes, which are actually really neat and completely underpublicized, before we stopped in Chicago for some deep dish pizza. I, personally, didn’t really think the deep dish was any better than regular pizza, but we made it back through Illinois and into Iowa City, IA, in time for me to attend a Peace Corps send-off celebration at the University of Iowa. Our travels concluded shortly thereafter, but the northeast left a longing in me to finish off the few states I have left out there. Maine, I cannot wait to see your beauty someday soon.