An Aussie Nomad’s quest to reach all 50 States of the USA

Ok, so I am way behind in writing about my current travels but given my recent posts are about very diverse geographical locations you might have guessed I have been on the move quite a bit of late! In September 2012 I decided to leave Seattle, Washington and return to Australia for a while (via some travels in Nevada and California). The northern Winter was looming and I wanted to enjoy an Aussie summer and Christmas with family and friends!

Seattle - January 2012 Space Needle Mt Ranier
Beautiful Seattle – January 2012

When I got back home it was great to see everyone again, especially my little Nieces and Nephews. I did some travel back there including a side trip to New Zealand and even ended up working for a few months back in my old home town of Horsham in Country, Victoria. Then a new freelance job opportunity came up in the USA that would allow me to work and travel at the same time. So off I set again in April 2013 to Los Angeles and new adventures!

Wimmera River Sunset - Horsham, Australia
Wimmera River Sunset – Horsham, Australia 2013

After spending some time in LA, Chino and San Diego in California, I initially had planned to settle in San Diego for a while but fate had different plans…… one stolen credit card later and an invite to join friends in New Jersey to see a Twisted Sister concert sparked a cross-country journey to Philly then onto Freehold, New Jersey. Whilst on a long flight across the country “surviving” on airline peanuts and pretzels, another plan was hatched!

Lockheed P-38 Lightning's at Planes of Fame Air Show,  Chino, CA 2013
Lockheed P-38 Lightning’s at Planes of Fame Air Show, Chino, CA 2013
panda San Diego Zoo
Panda at San Diego Zoo
Twisted Sister - Dee Snider
Twisted Sister – Dee Snider

Up until arriving in New Jersey, I had been to 27 US states plus Washington DC between 1998 and 2013, so I was more than half way. I decided what the hell, let’s go for all 50! 4 months later I have clocked up 12 more states I had not previously been to before, but during the journey I have actually travelled so far through 23 states plus DC and I am still going strong (despite leaving some tricky gaps on the map to cover). Each state I visit I like to spend time in them and not rush through, it’s not a race, just a personal goal I want to achieve (so far I have been to 50 countries, so why not 50 US states too?).

US States visited
On the journey to 50 states

It has been a journey of planes, trains and automobiles. Good weather, foul weather (thanks tropical storm Andrea) and stinking hot weather. Staying in backpacker hostels, friends places, motels and hotels (well on a lounge chair in one at least) along the way!

My US travels from April to August 2013
My US travels from April to August 2013

So far (1998-2013) I have been to: Alabama, Arizona, California*, Colorado, Delaware**, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois*, Indiana*, Iowa**, Kentucky*, Louisiana*, Maryland**, Massachusetts*, Minnesota**, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska**, Nevada, New Jersey**, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina**, North Dakota**, Ohio*, Oregon, Pennsylvania*, Rhode Island**, South Dakota**, Tennessee, Texas*, Utah, Virginia*, Washington, West Virginia**, Wisconsin** and Wyoming* plus Washington DC*!

Any states marked with a * I have travelled through on my latest journey. Any with a double star are new states visited.

Chicago by night
Chicago by night – a beautiful cityscape

Most of my journey has been impromptu such as a road trip from Philly to Chicago with my Aussie mate Brad and I want to try and keep it that way (there is no timeline and no definite plan). Randomly I switched my rough intended plan to go north from Texas back into the Midwest and now sit in Boston via New Orleans instead! If all goes well I will be up to at least 43 states by next month (new states surround me and will soon include Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont)! From there I have to plug the gaps (big gaps in between!). In the lower 48 I have a bit of a challenge ahead of me; in the south I only have South Carolina to go, in the Midwest there is Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan and Oklahoma. Then the logistically tricky ones in Alaska and Hawaii, which will require a bit more effort and will have a higher cost to get to them! Alas Alaska will have to wait as it will soon be subject to heavy snowfalls and the key place I want to go to is Denali NP which basically shuts down mid-September. No matter what happens it is going to be fun!

Humpback Whale "fluking" of the coast of Boston 2013
Humpback Whale “fluking” off the coast of Boston 2013

During my travels I have met people from all walks of life, all standards of hygiene and all levels of sanity! I have experienced some of the most beautiful scenery, monuments and historic places America has to offer from the Appalachian trail to The Badlands; Mt. Vernon to Gettysburg, The Wright Brothers Monument to Mt. Rushmore and so much more!

Historic Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Historic Harpers Ferry, on the Appalachian trail in West Virginia
Theodore Roosevelt NP - North Dakota Badlands
Theodore Roosevelt NP – North Dakota Badlands
Badlands NP - South Dakota
Badlands NP – South Dakota
George Washington's Mt. Vernon in Virginia
George Washington’s Mt. Vernon in Virginia
Gettysburg National Battlefield in Pennsylvania US Civil War
Gettysburg National Battlefield in Pennsylvania
The Wright Brothers Memorial - Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
The Wright Brothers Memorial – Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
Mt Rushmore Sth Dakota
No I am not making a run for the next Presidential campaign!

I have wandered the streets of wealthy neighbourhoods and what could only be described as scumbag row and everything else in between! I have reacquainted with old friends and made lot of new ones on the way. Plus along with Twisted Sister I have managed to see some great bands and musicians in concert including Lizzy Borden at the Whisky A Go Go in LA, Aussie Paul Kelly in San Diego, Billy Idol in Bethlehem (Pennsylvania), Black Sabbath in Austin and Courtney Love in Houston. The whole experience has been great fun and I look forward to what comes next (don’t worry I will keep you posted)!

Lizzy Borden Whisky A Go Go Hollywood 2013
Lizzy Borden rocking the Whisky a Go Go in LA
Billy Idol bethlehem PA USA 2013
Billy Idol in Bethlehem, PA
Black Sabbath in Austin, TX
Black Sabbath in Austin, TX

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