Flying East December 2012 like the clouds
I’ve been in (not just the airport) 45 states but still have 5 states I have not visited: Alaska, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Some were fairly quick drive throughs like Delaware and Connecticut, but that counts for my purposes. Some I’ve driven across too many times, like Nebraska! In addition to having visited 39 states, I’ve lived in 6 states: Iowa (20), North Carolina (2), California (18), Minnesota (3), Hawaii (4), and Maryland (1.5). The years don’t add up to my age because I also lived overseas for a few years. Visiting all 50 states is on my Bucket List and it’s been years since I added a new state to my list (Delaware in 2001), so it’s time to plan a visit to the 4 northeast states I have not been to. I will definitely visit Alaska some day soon, but I today I want to put together the beginnings of a plan for the Northeast states on my “haven’t been there yet” list. I could do a quick drive through these states to “mark them off”, but if I’m flying all the way there I want to really check these states out and do some things that I enjoy. The weather in the Northeast will definitely be best in the early summer. While I’m up there I would love to have a sail, so I’ll try to work that in if we have a sunny day with good wind. I love national parks and hiking, so spending a day or two in Acadia National Park sounds like a perfect thing to do in Maine.

I’m planning to do the Marine Corps Marathon in 2013, so if this happens in 2013 we’ll have to work around that race. Originally I planned to look at an earlier, Golden Ticket race (guaranteed entry to the Marine Corps Marathon), this year that is the Marine Corp 17.75K run on March 23. There were a couple issues with this run for me. I have a run that I always plan to do around that time, the Race for Autism in San Diego. Also, I scheduled two half marathons in San Diego as “training” runs, so another longer run no longer fit into the plan for 2013. Not sure I’ll want to do a road trip right after the Marathon (may be a bit sore), so we’ll see where else it might fit this year, if not it’s a bucket list thing and can happen in 2014 or even later.

Potential Trip Itinerary:

Flying options, having multiple choices and being flexible about the starting point will give us the option to seek out the cheapest flight from the west coast.
1. Fly into New York and spend a day or two in the big city. There is tons to do and I’ve never been there with my wife. It would also add to the road trip feel.
2. Fly into DC and really add to the road trip feel. I’m in DC often and it is one of my favorite places. I’ve never been there with my wife, but this would add a lot of driving time.
3. Fly into a major city in one of the states and just kick it right off.

Drive through and see each of the four northeast states I’ve never been to.

Rhode Island Options.
1. It would be great to spend a couple of nights on Block Island – take a moped or bike around the island and enjoy the day.

Maine Options.

1. Explore the coast line. One of the Marines I worked with in Hawaii was from Maine. One of the things he mentioned was that Maine has more Coastline that California. So there is lots of coast to explore. One of the places on the coast that I will be sure to check out is Acadia National Park. It looks like a terrific place to hike, with tons of scenery. Camping is an option, but it will depend on the season. Summer would be the best time for camping and an extended visit.

New Hampshire Options.

Flume Gorge State Park
White Mountain National Forest. We could spend anywhere from 2.5 hours driving through to 4 days hiking in this forest. This will depend on the season and the focus. The more research I do the more I think one trip may not be enough.
Can’t miss the Flying Yankee, while we are in Lincoln, a restored 1935 train.
A train ride on the Conway Scenic Train would be cool too.

Vermont Options.

Got to stop in Stowe Vermont to worship… I mean tour the Ben and Jerry factory. There are also several hikes along the Long Trail in Vermont near Stowe that would be good (might help burn off the Ben and Jerry’s samples). And if we get nostalgic we can tour the nearby Trapp Family Lodge (yes the family from the Sound of Music).

Any “got to go here” suggestions?

  1. To see the coastline of Maine, you should fly into Portland and drive coastal Route 1 to Acadia. It’s amazing.

    • eric.rial says:

      That sounds like a great way to get there. Definitely driving along coastal Route 1. Looks like it gets really close to the coast in a few areas. The Maine Coast looks very jagged with lots of inlets. Thanks for the suggestion.

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